Navin Talreja & Kawal Shoor quit O&M to launch agency

13 Apr,2015

By Pritha Mitra Dasgupta

 

Senior Ogilvy & Mather executives Navin Talreja and Kawal Shoor have quit to launch their own advertising agency. Both Talreja, president at O&M Mumbai & Kolkata, and Shoor, national planning director at O&M India, confirmed the development. They put in their papers last week and will serve notice till the end of April.

 

The industry is abuzz with speculation they will join hands with Abhijit Avasthi, erstwhile national creative director of O&M who quit to launch his own venture along with ex-colleague Sonali Sehgal. Talreja and Shoor, however, denied it. “Let’s get the elephant out of the room. Kinu (Avasthi) is a great guy, but at the moment Kawal and I would like to go at it alone and start our own company and be on that adventure,” he said.

 

Shoor said, “Navin and I are still talking about how to shape our new shop. And I desperately want to refrain from clichés (‘different’, ‘new kind of agency’, etc). We will let our work speak. The one thing we’re clear is that we will not chase numbers.”

 

While Shoor has spent 21 years in O&M, Talreja has worked with the agency for 18 years. Overall, they have 40 years of experience in advertising and communications business with expertise in planning, business development, client servicing and administration. The duo is now looking for a creative partner for the new venture. “A creative partner (or partners) is crucial, and, thankfully, a few good minds are keen, but it’ll take alot more to build the kind of place we’re dreaming of. Navin and I will try to find some unconventional partners, as unless you have new kind of people, you won’t get new kind of work,” said Shoor

 

A senior agency head, talking on condition of anonymity, feels Talreja and Shoor should join hands with Avasthi because they don’t have the creative expertise to start a new agency. Also, the duo shares a great rapport with Avasthi, the person said. “It only makes sense if they come together,” he said. But all the three have said there’s no chance of that happening. “I am not teaming up with Kawal and Navin to form a new agency,” Avasthi said. The news of Talreja and Shoor exiting O&M came to light on the eve of the 60th birthday of Piyush Pandey, executive chairman at the agency. “I have been out of Mumbai for the past five days and, hence, Navin and Kawal are yet to tell me what they are planning to do. But they are not joining hands with Abhijit,” Pandey said. “I can also say that they won’t do anything that is against the interest of O&M.”

 

Some top officials, meanwhile, suggested Talreja quit because O&M recently went through a senior management restructuring following which Kunal Jeswani was made the CEO of the agency and Talreja didn’t get any prominent role. But Talreja said, “The reason to move on is a feeling that the time is right to try and do something new and exciting on my own.

 

Do it at our own pace and scale and to enjoy a different kind of journey by challenging oneself.” Talking about the two exits, Jeswani said, “Change is inevitable. It keeps us sharp and makes us stronger. The transition is being worked out and should be completed in a month.”

 

Source:The Economic Times

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