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Featured Alumni

Sanjay Thapar
Name: Sanjay Thapar
Batch: PGP 1987
Sanjay Thapar is our alumnus from the class of 1987. He is currently President, North and East India, at Ogilvy and Mather.


President, Ogilvy and Mather - oversees the entire communications business for the Delhi and Kolkata offices
Mentors the Ogilvy Action business at the National level
Instrumental in engineering business turnarounds at O&M, Mudra Communications and Ramms India Pvt. Ltd
Wide experience in sales, brand management, launching new brands and restructuring the retail distribution system at Bata India Ltd.


Sanjay, could you describe your career path since you graduated from IIM Lucknow?

At campus itself, I got placed with Bata India Ltd. Sure there were other options, but I chose to sell footwear. What came on to me at that stage I don’t know, but quite frankly as I look back I have no regrets today. I spent a little over 7 years with Bata India Ltd. Selling shoes (and smelling feet) during my training, running our wholesale operations in multiple locations, Brand management and finally looking after Merchandising and Distribution for our North India Retail operations. In 1994, I crossed over to the communications side, joining a small start up, Ramms India Pvt Ltd, a division of MAA Bozell. During my little under 3 years there our operations grew threefold and from a single city to a three city operation. A year in Mudra, followed by joining Ogilvy & Mather Pvt Ltd in 1998 and since then I am still out here. I joined Ogilvy in Kolkata and was responsible for turning around a loss making operation. I then moved to Delhi as Head of Advertising in 2002 and presently am responsible for our North and East operations as well as helping set up the Retail Practice for Ogilvy.

Could you elaborate on your current job profile:

Simply put, I currently oversee our entire communications business (all disciplines, such as Advertising, Direct Marketing, Public Relations etc) for the Delhi and Kolkata offices. In addition I mentor our Ogilvy Action business at a National level. It is here that we are looking at re-defining our business to focus on Brand Sales conversion at the Last Mile, with particular emphasis on Modern Trade. I am also a member of the India Board and in that capacity play a role in contributing to the future strategic directions that we should take.

What according to you are the skills required for a career in advertising?

I personally feel there are some skills that are needed in any field/profession. However some things that I look for when recruiting – and maybe those are a bit more specific to Advertising, or dare I say Ogilvy – are Passion, Curiosity, Ability to fire up teams (people handling), Bravery and Agility.

Read the complete interview here

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