Bates boss-to-be plans big

16 May,2012


Sanjay Thapar, Group President, North & East, and member India Board, Ogilvy India is all geared to take one of the most challenging jobs of Indian advertising in the current times – that of reviving Bates India. He is set to take the mantle as the CEO of Bates India. The agency has gone through a lot of upheaval in recent times and Mr Thapar’s job is definitely not a simple one but the man has proved his mettle in his past assignments. Will he be able to pull this one off? Mr Thapar in conversation with Tuhina Anand of MxMIndia, talks about this and more.


What prompted you to take this role at Bates?

During my career, I have done many different roles and I have donned multiple roles specific to communication too. Each one has come with different challenges and each challenge brings with it a unique set of opportunities that has given me the chance to learn and grow. I guess I love each one of them, especially if they are different, and this is one of them.


Don’t you think that after the entire churn that the agency has gone through, you have a tough job to keep?

As I said, each job or each role has its challenges and this one is no different. Of course, the job is challenging, but that’s what makes it so interesting.


What will be the tasks on hand once you join the agency?

Bates has had its share of glory in the past, and currently it is a robust agency with a good pedigree and foundation. My job is to build on its strength and make it shine again. I would love to see the agency double its business in the next 3 years.


You are an old hand at Ogilvy, though it is within the network, how easy or difficult is the switch for you?

It’s been 14 years with Ogilvy and that is a long time. Sure, it’s difficult – it’s like moving to a different part of the family. Thankfully, it’s the same family and that’s what made the decision somewhat easier. Being part of the same group, we do share similar values and are culturally alike. That surely helps.


It is known that Bates didn’t perform in the last year, can you share any strategy that you would adopt to turn around the agency?

It’s too early for me to comment on this. I take my position with Bates sometime early July and I can only comment once I get there. One thing is clear though, it’s the people who make the place and I am sure we still have many of them at Bates.


How do you view this opportunity?

Interesting and Challenging.


At Ogilvy, what would you say has been your achievement and also share some of your learnings.

I have played many a parts at Ogilvy. Some of the most significant ones would include the turnaround of Kolkata office, which is also as it was my first role at Ogilvy. Another would be achieving significantly higher levels of growth in Delhi, which brought the office to its current position, both in size and stature. I can also recall helping to set up Ogilvy’s Shopper marketing practice as another achievement and learning.


Along the way, I have learnt many lessons, which include when to be aggressive, when to be humble, when to accept situations and when to fight them. The most significant of them is the art of collaboration. Our business has so many people, each with different skills/strengths, yet it is a must that they combine well and that is when magic happens.


Post a Comment 

2 responses to “Bates boss-to-be plans big”

  1. Sai Nagesh says:

    Hey Thapar, heartiest congratulations. Ranjan couldnt have picked a better person for the job ! The lethal combination of aggression and humility that you possess is a fantastic charger for Bates. Cheers and all the very best.

  2. Amar says:

    Congrats Sanjay and all the very best to you!!!