Vision, values and never-say-die spirit work for Madison@25: CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM

21 Mar,2013

CVL Srinivas, now CEO, Group M, South Asia spent five years (1998-2003) at Madison Media. His second job post his PGDBM – the first being a four year stint with Fulcrum (JWT) as Media Head, Foods & Personal Products, Unilver AC.


Srinivas (Srini as he is known properly as) has, covered many a mile and crossed many milestones post his Madison stint, and is today the most powerful man at the helm of the largest media entity in the country.


In this short conversation with Ritu  Midha of MxM India, he fondly remembers his stint with Madison, his learnings from there, and adds that working with Sam was a huge bonus.


What do you think has been the key factor behind Madison’s stupendous success?

Madison has been successful due to Sam’s leadership and vision. Additionally, the never-say-die spirit, the vision and values have held it on good stead for all these years.


You were a part of Madison in its early days. How was the experience working in a ‘David’ agency with mammoth dreams?

For me, Madison was terrific learning. I was young, restless and wanting to explore unchartered territory. Madison provided me a perfect platform to hone my skills. Working with Sam was a huge bonus.


Any interesting incidents/fond memories you can share with us?

I have many fond memories. I (finally) got married around the time I joined Madison, so in that sense it proved lucky!!! We had a small, well-knit team and I enjoyed working with people like Ajit Varghese, Sudipto Roy and so many others. Madison also made me shift base to Delhi, a city I wasn’t very sure of, but grew to like and ended up living in for 14 years.


What is your take on Madison as competition?

Madison is a highly respected brand in the media space. We treat all competition with the same seriousness. To Madison’s credit they have remained consistent.


Do you believe Madison success story can be repeated by another standalone media agency?

Nothing is impossible, although it is very difficult to build an empire like Sam has, being a standalone agency.


What are your views on Sam, the person, the boss and the competitor? Any key learnings from him that have guided you?

I have the highest regard for Sam as a person, boss and competitor. Despite the legendary status he has achieved he remains a very humble person. His attention to detail, passion for his client’s business and ability to engage with people at all levels make him very special.


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