Gautam Kiyawat, Arminio Ribeiro, Gour Gupta, Paresh Chaudhary, Ruby Bana & Raj Nair on Madison@25

21 Mar,2013

A person is known by the company she/her keeps, and the same holds true of the company – it is known by its people – and how happy they are working for it. Madison, to its credit, has a number of old-timers who swear by it.  RITU MIDHA of MxM India spoke to a handful of the newer team members – on how Madison fitted into their system, and how they fitted into Madison’s. Three simple questions with, well, not-so-simple answers.






Gautam Kiyawat, Group CEO, Madison Media

Gautam Kiyawat became a part of Madison World in May 2012, when he took charge of Madison Media as Group CEO.


 A graduate from IIM Bangalore, Kiyawat has over 17 year of marketing, media and communications experience in organisations like P&G, Star TV, Phillips and Blackberry spanning across India, South East Asia and the US. He is happy working in “bold yet practical, client-focused approach in a non-political environment” at Madison.


How difficult or easy it was for you to adapt to the Madison way of working?

Quite easy. Madison, which I knew as a client, has remained true to its principles over 25 years.


What are the key learnings in your Madison stint so far?

Any agency role is a humbling experience coming from the client side. The degrees of freedom are fewer when you are helping drive multiple client agendas in addition to your own business. The great part of working at Madison is, the bold yet practical, client-focused approach in a non-political environment. There are certain founding principles and values that serve as a guiding light. Not too many organizations live by these values on a day to day basis.


In a nutshell, how would you define your Madison experience so far?
Our best is yet to come…


Arminio Ribeiro, CEO, Madison OOH Media Group

Arminio Ribeiro joined Madison’s Outdoor unit in April 2007. He is now Chief Executive Officer of Moms & Platinum Outdoor. His multifaceted personality needs no introduction. Ribeiro states that Madison objective is to achieve client delight – and he is happy to be working towards that along with others at Madison.

How difficult or easy it was for you to adapt to the Madison way of working?

It has not been difficult to adapt to Madison’s way of working! The fact that I decided to work with Madison rather than any other agency is because of its professional reputation, client profile, size and culture that was similar to what I had grown up with over the years – namely at JWT. At Madison World, there is a single minded objective – “achieve client delight” and this is across SBU’s and employees. Growth and profitability are by products of our delivery to our clients. Amongst the leadership team members there is collaboration and a spirit of comradeship, and I have had the advantage of working closely with Sam and Lara who have believed, supported and encouraged me in launching all our OOH business initiatives.


What are the key learnings in your Madison stint so far?

The answer is quite simple. I have imbibed Sam’s business acumen… priorities are client, then employees and then the management/me. Sam has been extremely successful by following this business principle. As I mentioned earlier, one needs to “achieve client delight” as Growth and Profitability are by-products. What’s more, one needs to be a better human being. And respect our clients and one another.


In a nutshell, how would you define your Madison experience till date?

It has been 6 years since I joined Madison and as CEO, Madison OOH Media Group. I am delighted to state that we have achieved the status of “preferred client choice” when it comes to out-of-home communications solutions across the growing consumer congregation points. As Madison OOH Media Group, we are proud to have some of the best, most experienced and developed minds in this market space, and as a team we have provided our clients with a comprehensive and integrated range of quality OOH communication services – both strategically and tactically. Being consumer-focused, our purpose through experiential, retail and design creations is to deliver experiences that enhance people’s lives at every point of engagement. This has helped deliver a market advantage to potential clients’ OOH needs which has resulted in dramatic growth and recognition for us.


Gour Gupta, CEO, Platinum Communications:

Gour Gupta joined Platinum Outdoor, a specialist OOH unit of Madison World, as Chief Operating Officer towards 2007 end. Before joining Madison World, he has spent time with Modern Suitings, Pantaloon Fashions, Selvel-Vantage Group and Portland India. Gupta believes in Madison’s values and style of functioning.


How difficult or easy it was for you to adapt to the Madison way of working?

The Madison way of working is built on trust, transparency and integrity. It is not much different from my previous work experience, and hence, it was quite easy for me to imbibe the existing work culture and smoothly ease myself into the orgainsation without any hassles


What are the key learnings in your Madison stint so far?

The key learnings so far have been understanding and managing the complexities associated with working for a large group like Madison with individuals from varied work backgrounds and experiences


In a nutshell, how would you define your Madison experience?

Enriching, Invigorating and quite Exciting!


Paresh Chaudhary, CEO, Madison PR

Paresh Chaudhary took charge of Madison PR from Veena Gidwani in June 2012. He has over 24 years of Brand Communication & Reputation Management experience across industries. Among the organisations he has worked for are Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Smith Kline Beecham , Ranbaxy and Wockhardt. He is an MBA (Marketing) with a Public affairs Diploma from Hong Kong University.

Chaudhary defines his journey with Madison as “wonderful” and is elated that the organisation’s value system echoes his own.


How difficult or easy it was for you to adapt to the Madison way of working?

As part of its organizational DNA, Madison gives you the freedom and space to operate in. Sam’s value systems of integrity and fair play has seeped into the system, which echoes my own value systems. This made my transition easy. I am impressed by the engagement levels of our communication professionals, not just at Madison PR, but across Madison World. The empowerment to think out-of-box enhances self-drive and higher levels of customer delightment.


What are the key learnings in your Madison stint so far?

One key learning, I have had so far is that our clients really value our strategic intervention, and view us as important business partners. I intend to integrate my own areas of expertise in corporate communication into the enterprising Madison culture and use it to the benefit of our clients, so as keep raising the bar at all times.


In a nutshell, how would you define your Madison experience so far?

It’s been a wonderful journey so far, with large blue chip clients that we have on board. The fact that most of our clients have been with us for many years, reflects the confidence we have in our well-oiled teams. I plan to spring-board from here to ensure robust and consistent growth, both in terms of client’s delightment, and attracting and retaining talent.


Ruby Bana, Chief Strategy & Insights Officer

Ruby Bana joined Madison in January 2010. Prior to this she was working as Chief Intelligence Officer for APAC region at Havas.


How has your experience been so far?
I joined Madison at a very exciting phase. I have been a part of accelerated change and have enjoyed the pace as well as the experience. It is amazing how an organization this size can evolve, adapt and respond so enthusiastically.


What are your key learnings from Madison?
My key learning from Madison is that vision needs to be jointly shared by all stakeholders for it to be successful. Once a new direction is set fearless whole hearted commitment behind it with action and results to evaluate (both good and bad) is a better way than tentative steps and with halfhearted action.


I have learnt to challenge myself continuously with both humility and confidence at the same time. Most of all, from Sam I have learnt that values endure and make for good long-term business sense even though in the short term it may seem irrelevant or even a baggage sometimes.


Raj Nair, CCO, BMB India

Raj Nair joined BMB India, a 50:50 JV between Trevor Beattie’s BMB and Madison World in June 2012. In his more than 20 year experience in advertising he has worked with JWT, Enterprise and Contract Advertising among others. Nair defines Madison spirit as indefatigability …. the very personification of passion.


Says he:

What really is the Madison way of working? Is it a never say never, relentless spirit? Is it a desire to create outstanding, lasting value for a client? Is it innovation in the truest sense of the word? Having joined BMB Madison just nine months back but having had the good fortune to interact with Sam closely on more than a number of occasions, I would safely say it’s all of the above and then some. It’s indefatigability. It’s the very personification of passion. It’s a sharp sense of what works and what doesn’t. It’s an eye on ROI.


Nine months, quite obviously, aren’t even a blip on the larger picture woven over 25 years. And there will be many other Madisonites who have far more enriched experiences to narrate. But this I will say. On behalf of the entire media, advertising and marketing world and having taken the liberty of using a line from Casablanca, ‘Play it again, Sam.’


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