Ashis Pal Chowdhury, Vice-President and General Manager of Bates Kolkata, is set to quit at the end of this month. Pal Chowdhury however refused to comment when contacted, but did not deny it either. A formal announcement is expected shortly from the recently appointed Bates CEO, Subhash Kamath, probably during his next visit to Kolkata.
Pal Chowdhury's move is significant that it comes after an association with the agency for over two decades. He has been with the agency since in the early 1980s, starting from the heyday of its earlier avatar Clarion, then through the tumultuous Bates-Clarion phase in the late 1990s, and eventually after the takeover when it became Bates India.
Having begun his career in client servicing, Pal Chowdhury has worked in various capacities in the agency's Kolkata office, including a long stint as Head of Production and Merchandising, and on almost all its major clients such as ITC and ABP to name a few. He took charge as the agency's Kolkata head in April 2003 around the time Rajiv Agarwal took over the reins of Bates India. This was following the sudden exit of the team of Amitava Sinha-Sandeep Bhargav that was running Bates in Kolkata during Madhukar Kamath's days as the head of Bates.
Pal Chowdhury's tenure also saw the division of the agency into Bates and 141, with the huge ITC business going to 141. The main Bates clients in Kolkata currently include ABP, Lafarge and Coke Eastern region.
There is no word yet as to where Pal Chowdhury is moving or who will be taking over from him.