Adland Nice Man Ramesh Narayan given a fitting Salute

25 Jul,2014

Ramesh Narayan being felicitated by AAAI President Arvind Sharma. Photograph: Sakshi Kapoor/dna



By Shobhana Nair


Veteran ad and media personality Ramesh Narayan was felicitated by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) with the Lifetime Achievement Award last evening (Thursday, July 24) at an event attended by top ad and media trade professionals.


Arvind Sharma

Making his opening remarks, AAAI President Arvind Sharma said, “Everybody says do good to others but Ramesh is one guy who actually follows it. He practises it and has been doing it for over a quarter of a century. That’s why he has many admirers in the industry. He has made so much of a difference to the industry.”


Mr Narayan started his career in the media in 1982 and established his agency Canco with no experience in advertising and without a client in hand. However, soon there were clients who came on despite having the bigger agencies empanelled and Canco had on its roster among the biggest advertisers in the country. Mr Narayan wound down his agency in 2006 even as there were some serious overtures for an acquisition.


He has been active in all trade associations and instrumental in the organizing of the Ad Asia conventions in the country.


Accepting the award from the AAAI, Mr Narayan thanked his friends and peers who had flown from all across the country on the occasion. He also remembered his father, the late CA Narayan, who had made the maximum impact on him.


Said Nagesh G Alai, Group Chairman, FCBUlka: “Ramesh has been a long-time advertising veteran who believed in some ethical way of doing business. However, since the ethics were moving out of the business, he decided to move away rather than falling prey to it. Even after retirement, he has been quite active in terms of engagement with the industry like awards, recognition of young achievers so on and so forth.  He truly deserves the award because of his continuing engagement and professional approach to it. At a personal level, he is a good human being. I have known him for 25 years. He truly deserves it.”


Summing up the sentiment of the fraternity, Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network, and Honorary Secretary, AAAI added: “A lot of credit for the work on policies and the strength of the AAAI goes to Ramesh. If one person deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award, it is him.”


Some more comments and reactions to the felicitation of Mr Narayan:

Sam Balsara, Chairman & Managing Director of Madison World: I think it’s a very well-deserved award for Ramesh. It is really creditable that even after so many years of him closing down his agency, he is still involved with the industry and continues to contribute substantially for the overall well being of the industry which I think is very creditable.



Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman and Managing Director, RK Swamy Hansa group: I nominated Ramesh Narayan for the AAAI Lifetime achievement award. The committee found him fit to honour him. I have known him for many decades and we have worked together for many years. It was thanks to Ramesh Narayan that we got the IBF and AAAI agreement signed. He is a very nice, humane, hospitable, caring and friendly guy. I have not come across any industry colleague who is as humane as him.


Pradeep Guha, Managing Director, 9X Media: Truly anything that happens in this industry and certainly in the last 15 years, I can say Ramesh has had a role to play. The only thing is he is just too shy. He doesn’t take credit for anything. He’s the hidden hand in everything that happens in the industry and he continues to do so. Without him, our industry would have been a lot poorer. We are really blessed to have a person like him in our industry.


K V Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro: Ramesh Narayan is a wonderful human being. You can’t find a human being who is better than him in advertising. He has done such selfless service to the industry through AAAI and now with IAA. He is one of those industry veterans who has stood for the industry and represented the industry across many forums in the world. He has held the image of the industry and took that forward everywhere. That’s the reason why he deserves it. There are very few industry spokespersons as people look into their own business, agenda and people. But he has nothing.


Bharat Patel, ISA Member and Independent Director, Birla Sun Life Asset Management: Ramesh Narayan has been the backbone of the Indian advertising especially for the associations like AAAI and IAA. I have not seen anyone like that who has supported advertising in India like this. These are people who have been successful in advertising but there has been no Ramesh Narayan who really got the advertising community together and achieved so much.


Shekhar Swamy, Group CEO, R K Swamy Hansa: Ramesh Narayan is a great guy who has done many things for the industry and he deserves the award for the amount of time that he has put. He has worked selflessly into the promotion of the industry. We are here to celebrate with him. Congratulations to Ramesh!



Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC: Ramesh is one of the greatest guys that I’ve met. I am here to wish him for the rest of his life. At the peak of his career, he renounced everything. How many people can do that? It is an amazing thing to do. So many people aspire to do so but will not be able to achieve it.



Madhukar Kamath, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, DDB Mudra: If ever there’s a person who truly deserves this award then it is Ramesh Narayan. Apart from the accomplished professional that he is which I am not qualified to talk abou, Ramesh is one of the nicest persons in the industry. We require more and more of Ramesh Narayans. A person with no agenda, clear heart,  and one who wears his heart on his sleeves. He never says no and importantly, a person who gets things done. Ramesh is an idol for me. Less talk, more action is Ramesh Narayan.


Rana Barua, CEO, Contract Advertising: It’s absolutely an honour to be here. He is one of the most silent and hard working people in the industry. Though he is very silent but he goes about doing things meticulously. This is something which should have happened many years before.



Paritosh Joshi, Principal, Provocateur Advisory: “Ramesh Narayan is somebody who has given so much for the development of the industry. He had his own agency which he exited it. He moved on after spending so many years. The profit motive was gone for him. He was not running his agency anymore but here’s a guy who genuinely believes in the development of the broader communication professions. There are very few people who do that with a genuine sense of selflessness. Hats off to him on all fronts.”


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