Prema Sagar 29 Jan 2018 // 12:50PM GMT
A legend has passed away. By now, many have penned their views on Ranjan Kapur’s enduring impact on the Indian advertising industry — and rightly so. As the person at the helm of Ogilvy and then WPP in the country, Ranjan’s imprint on the advertising history of India will be indelible.
But there is another world that owes no small debt to him — the Indian communications industry. From his ideas on how the public relations industry is best poised to take ownership of the social media space, to his visionary initiative of establishing the ISDI WPP School of Communications, his impact on the communications industry is just as enduring. Ranjan was passionate about WPP's CSR in the areas of education and healthcare. He loved to talk about the growth of both these.
When I first met Ranjan about 10 years ago, I heard about how WPP grew in India, the die-hard creative people, smart teams and CEOs. He introduced me to many and many to me. I slid into the WPP world. He made me the corporate communications person for Sir Martin Sorrell’s India visits. I learned about both of them and admired the great respect they had for each other. They were always open in their discussions with ideas for the future. Often Ranjan would say to me, "Martin will keep you working with discussions until midnight, I’m going to sleep." But Ranjan was always there enjoying the comments.
As someone who has had the opportunity to work with him closely, I will deeply miss a colleague who was inspiring without being intimidating, creative as well as open-minded. I never heard him say ‘no’ to an idea — even if it was something he didn’t immediately believe in, he was always willing to give you a chance to see where it goes.
And if you ever sought his counsel, he would never tell you "This is how you should do it”. He would always lay your options down in front of you and leave it to you to decide which one to pick. I will miss his smile and the signature glasses that made him.
Former WPP India country manager and Ogilvy & Mather MD Ranjan Kapur died on Saturday in Mumbai at the age of 75. He is survived by his wife Lorraine, and daughter Tina.