So what’s next for Dr Bhaskar Das?

12 May,2022

By Our Staff

There were telltale signs at Goafest last week.

One of the oldest and seniormost delegates present at the three-day event was perhaps also the most energetic. Present at nearly every session held and of course the awards. He ran upto the stage to meet star guests. Selfies galore with all the people who matter. 

He is decidedly one of the most cerebral advertising and marketing professionals, one of the few people in the industry who has done his Ph D in marketing twice (not once) and is now working towards his thesis. He is on the Governing Council of MICA, and on the advisory boards and faculty at a few other temples of learning. And then amidst all of this, he does five to seven sales calls a day, is a door-opener for meetings with people who are otherwise unreachable to even the big bosses at media giants. And, yes, he also answers to our questions in Das ka Dum Monday through Friday.

So the telltale signs were that he was present at Goafest not as a representative where he has be Group President/Chief Strategy Officer/Mentor, but as Secretary of The Advertising Club. Yes, you read it right: he was not representing Republic at Goafest.

We tried reaching out to Dr Bhaskar Das, he politely declined to speak. We wrote to Republic via the marketing and PR head. No reply. We wrote to Republic owner, MD and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami via his secretary. Not once, but twice. No reply. News entities we feel should be concerned about authentic information getting out in the market, are often the last to cooperate with sharing of news.

We also feel that there should be some graciousness, but this is not a story on morals and what’s not cool.

Das’s exit, if indeed true, will of course significantly impact Republic. In the short run at least. For in the last two years, where many corporate and advertising biggies have been dubbing the channel’s content as toxic, Das and the former Group CEO Vikas Khanchandani have been holding fort. Das’s persuasive and self-effacing demeanour has ensured that even those who detest the channel and its face didn’t mind inviting him for a coffee.

In the days when the channel was facing a lot of heat, despite friends in the industry asking him to quit, his only reply was: Yes, I am disturbed with the controversy. My age doesn’t allow me the strain. But I will never desert the ship at a time like this..

While entities like The Times of India, Zee and Dainik Bhaskar have thrived even after his exit, all of them have had a much longer legacy and many leaders who have had a fair equity amongst the powers that be.

Republic has had a string of senior and mid-level exits. COO and distribution head Priya Mukherjee, Group CEO Vikas Khanchandani and now Dr Das.

So what does Dr Bhaskar Das do next?

He has just turned 69. In fact a friend of the family told us that he put in his papers on his birthday on Sunday, on his return from Goafest. He wants to spend more than the hour-odd that he currently does at the gym and spend time with the family, but he also once told us that he wants to fight possible cognitive malnutrition by doing work.

He is active with MICA, and has also been teaching at various other business schools. He also mentors a few start-ups. Is working on his next PhD. Gives gyaan and put things in perspective for whoever needs the help. And is everyone’s friend.

Will he join another news entity?

We don’t know, but we’ll be surprised if he is (or rather his services are) not lapped by anyone.

He once told us: “Lord Krishna will take care of me. He knows it. I am a das, a loyal servant. I’ve always had cordial relations with whosoever I’ve left.”

Hmmm.

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