Remembering Bal Mundkur

09 Jan,2012


By A Correspondent


Founder of Ulka Bal Mundkur, 86, passed away on the morning of January 7, 2012 of heart failure at his residence, ‘Surya’, in Reis Magos, Goa, overlooking the Mandovi River.


The agency, now Draftfcb + Ulka, celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and is ranked the third largest advertising group in the country.


Mr Mundkur was originally a naval officer, and later a commercial airline pilot. A modelling offer from his brother, who worked at Levers, marked his entry into the world of advertising which he joined in 1951. Ten years later Mr Mundkur founded Ulka, which means shooting star, and the agency’s career was indeed starry. In a span of 10 years, Ulka became the fourth largest agency in the country, and by far the largest independent Indian start-up.


A release from Draftfcb + Ulka says, “An avid collector of all things rare and beautiful, Bal’s prized chess set starred in Satyajit Ray’s celebrated Shatranj Ke Khiladi. Bal was not just a businessman, but he was also an extremely passionate crusader for a wide range of causes, from a building for a cerebral palsy hospital to bringing the choir of Trinity College, London on a tour across India.


“In the nineties, Bal retired… and moved to Goa, where he continued working for causes close to his heart – which included helping set up Asia’s very first Museum of Christian Art in Goa.


“Bal remained full of energy and enthusiasm till the end – at 85 he set up the Centrum trust, which recently published Ad Katha, the story of Indian Advertising over the decades.


“Bal has moved on, but he will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.”



Obituary – A dash of spice


Tributes – Warmly remembered


Mediaah!: RIP, Bal Mundkur



Photograph: Shreta Arora/O Herald O

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