Andre Nair, who is moving to Singapore to assume the responsibilities of Chairman and CEO of Mediaedge: CIA, Asia Pacific, has given the Indian media industry a face in his role as the CEO, GroupM, India and South Asia. Now as he leaves the country, industry leaders share the changes that Nair infused on the Indian media scene.
GroupM India was indeed seeing the leave of a leader. The agency organised a farewell for their Chief but what GroupM officials will remember better than the evening party was the luncheon they had earlier in the day when Nair shared words of his experience and encouragement with his team. His team, on the other hand, shared more on what they learnt from Nair and what it meant working with him.
Stepping in the man’s shoes is Ashutosh Srivastava and as to how he feels, Srivastava says, “These are big shoes to step in! Andre is a fabulous person to work with. The way he has built the business and put in place a style of work is terrific. There are great learnings that we have taken from him in these past few years.”
Srivastava shares that under Nair’s leadership, the agency has firmed its ground with new businesses and even in non-traditional areas that has put it well on its way to attain heights greater than what GroupM presently has.
While much credit of this goes to Nair and his team, which apart from Srivastava includes the likes Vikram Sakhuja, CVL Srinivas, V Balasubramanium Manjiri Kamath, Shubha George and Hiren Pandit amongst others, Ranjan Kapur, Country Manager, WPP shares that Nair brought the Indian media planning and buying from the back room to the front room, “He single-handedly has brought media on a pedestal, giving it its due importance.”
Kapur further expresses, “Not only has he given media the priority in the scheme of things in the brand-building business but people also respect him for being a truly caring person.”
Shashi Sinha, President, Lodestar Media, agrees with Kapur, adding, “Andre gave the media industry a face. And he was concerned about the industry’s growth as well. Even as we competed by the day, he initiated a practice of a few media professionals discussing industry matters in the evenings, to see how one could help the other. He certainly understood his role as a market leader.”
V Ramani, CEO, MediaTurf believes that the one key thing that Nair brought with him above the skill and global expertise was a trait of fairness. “He was straight and just, which made it that much easier to trust him. Many lack it in the business today and I think many would miss that part of Andre more than anything else.”
Andre Nair has surely given the Indian media industry a style. From STAR’s Peter Mukerjea, SET’s Kunal Dasgupta, NDTV Media's Raj Nayak, Zoom’s Apurva Purohit, Chitralekha’s Bharat Kapadia, JWT’s Colvyn Harris, O&M’s Piyush Pandey to Zee TV's CEO Pradeep Guha, TAM’s LV Krishnan, Shashi Sinha and OMD’s Sandeep Tarkas amongst many others - all joined GroupM in bidding farewell to Nair.
Surrounded by the Who’s Who of the fraternity in his farewell soirée, all wishing him luck in his new assignment, the silver long-locked man left GroupM with an anthem, ‘Hum Hai Naye, Andaaz Kyun Ho Purana’.