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Guest Column: Ramesh Agarwal has left behind a fantastic legacy, and a great brand: Piyush Pandey

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Guest Column: Ramesh Agarwal has left behind a fantastic legacy, and a great brand: Piyush Pandey

“That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth:  how many hearts you touched.” —Patti Davis

Paying tribute to the late Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, Chairman of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, who passed away on April 12, ad guru Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman & Creative Director, S Asia, Ogilvy & Mather India says he was a “visionary who turned a family business into an institution; and left behind a fantastic legacy, and a great brand.”

Here we present, in Piyush Pandey’s own words, his reminiscence of the late Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, especially memories of his close interactions while being on the DB Corp Ltd Board steered by the media veteran:

“Shri Ramesh Agarwal was a wonderful professional, and I knew him well by virtue of being on the Board of DB Corp Limited for many years now. He has set up fantastic brands and today, the Dainik Bhaskar Group is a very dynamic group. The way Agarwal Senior led it and empowered his sons and other professionals working there was evident in the Board meetings. He was a fantastic human being, as interested in the editorial content as he was in the business; therefore he was able to build a brand like Dainik Bhaskar...

“Ramesh Chandra Agarwal had fully empowered his sons to deal with agency and other partners, and his comments would only be reserved for Board meetings to assess the work done and take strategic management decisions. Agency partners usually had no interface with him; that he left to his sons and other people whom he trusted to arrive at decisions...

“My best memory of Agarwal is his unique way of inviting me to be on the Board of DB Corp Limited. One day, I got a call from his son Girish Agarwal, who said, ‘My father wants to meet you.’ So I said okay, I will come and meet him wherever he wants to meet me. But Girish said, ‘No, he wants to come to your office and meet you.’ And so it was that one day soon after, Ramesh Agarwal walked into my office with a bouquet of flowers in his hand and invited me to be on the Board of DB Corp Limited. It was such a wonderful gesture from a person senior to me…

“Today, I am really sad and shocked because I had met Ramesh Agarwal for a Board meeting of DB Corp Limited not more than a month back. And he was fit and fine, hale and hearty… contributing like a champion. It is difficult for me to believe that he is no more. It’s a loss for the entire publishing industry. And it’s a loss for the very vast Board of DB Corp Limited…

The Board meetings were always in Mumbai, and he had a number of wonderful professionals on the Board, many respected people who have been clients of mine, or contemporaries of mine, had a lot to contribute to the decision-making process. At every Board meeting, we would be able to see that Agarwal was a visionary and a senior who contributed significantly, but he always allowed the Board members to express themselves. To his credit, Ramesh Agarwal got together people from the professional industry and with the help of their expertise, turned a family business into an institution. I am sure that his family will carry on his legacy and make Dainik Bhaskar into an even bigger brand.”

[As told to Srabana Lahiri. When we spoke to Piyush Pandey, he was in the process of finding out about the funeral ceremonies for the late Ramesh Agarwal, and making arrangements to attend at least one of them.]

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