The year 2010 turned to be a hectic one for the Rediffusion Group. The big one was announced on November 30, 2010, when it became official that Mahesh Chauhan, Group CEO, Rediffusion, is quitting the agency. The market has been buzzing with rumours on this for the past three months. Sister agency Everest Brand Solution’s President D Rajappa has been moved to Rediffusion Y&R. It is still unclear whether Rajappa would be replacing Chauhan in his exact role, as Chauhan was also looking after other Rediffusion group businesses, including media agency TME.
Dhunji Wadia, who had quit JWT India in May 2010, is now going to head Everest Brand Solutions as President.
Earlier in the year, Rediffusion Y&R had lost Bharti Airtel and Colgate Palmolive to JWT India and Bates 141. In the following months, Diwan Arun Nanda’s team worked in proving that Rediffusion was not about only two clients. The agency won a number of businesses, the big one being the MTS win. The agency is said to be in the fray for at least two new business announcements. Destination next for Chauhan was not known at the time of filing the story, but as is known, Chauhan had moved to Bangalore a few months back, and is now settled there.
Prior to being Group CEO, a position given to Chauhan in August 2008, he was the President for Rediffusion Y&R from October 2006 to August 2008. He had joined the Rediffusion family in 2002 for the South operations and in 2004 he was made President of Everest Brand Solutions. Chauhan had begun his advertising career in Ogilvy & Mather, where he completed two separate stints – from 1992 to 1994 and then from 1998 to 2002.
D Rajappa has been at the helm of Everest Brand Solutions since 2006. Prior to this, he was CEO of Rediffusion DYR, Sri Lanka from 2003 to 2006. Rajappa has been in the advertising industry for the last 18 years. He began his career in 1988 with McCann Erickson and moved on to Interact Vision, before joining Rediffusion DY&R in 1994.
Wadia was appointed as Managing Partner of JWT Mumbai on January 1, 2008, prior to which he was in the agency’s Bangalore office. He has over 26 years’ experience in the advertising industry. Wadia had set up the Diamond Marketing Group in India for the Diamond Trading Company in 1995. In 1997, he took on the role of Regional Business Manager for Unilever Home and Personal Care division for Central Asia, North Africa and Middle East region (CAME region).