Ranjan Kapur, the banker-turned advertising veteran who spent nearly four decades at Ogilvy and made it the market leader in the country, passed away last Saturday following a cardiac arrest. Kapur, 75, is survived by his wife Jimi (Lorraine) and daughter Tina.
Ranjan Kapur, the banker-turned advertising veteran who spent nearly four decades at Ogilvy and made it the market leader in the country, passed away last Saturday following a cardiac arrest. Kapur, 75, is survived by his wife Jimi (Lorraine) and daughter Tina. He was chairman of Ogilvy rpt Ogilvy India from 1994 to 2003 and since then the chairman of WPP Group India till October 2017. Kapur was also the country manager for WPP India since 2004 and in October 2017 was replaced by GroupM South Asia chief executive CVL Srinivas. With over four decades in advertising, he spent 38 years at Ogilvy and was credited for making the agency a creative powerhouse and the largest creative agency in the country by expanding its businesses to rural communications, outdoor and healthcare. Born in Lahore on November 25, 1942, Kapur spent his first 20 years in Patiala. He started off as a banker with Citibank in 1964 in Calcutta before venturing into advertising after a chance meeting with David Ogilvy, the founder of the Ogilvy and Mather, in New York. And since then he never looked back. During his nearly 40 years career at Ogilvy, Kapur had worked in various positions across several countries in East Asia, India and the US. Kapur was an MA in English from St Stephen’s College in the Capital and also had a degree in advanced advertising studies from the Advertising Agencies Association of America.
According to his book, The Perfect Snowball, he was schooled at Welham’s Preparatory School, Dehradun, and then at Yadavindra Public School, Patiala. After a failed attempt at becoming an engineer, he went on to graduate from Mahindra College, Patiala, with honours in Mathematics and English. He started working with SH Benson (before being acquired by Ogilvy) as a management trainee in 1966 in Bombay and by the mid 1070s he was transferred to O&M, New York, where he handled the Unilever and Kraft accounts. In the two years he was there, he graduated from the American Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies. He returned to the country in the late 1070s and after five years moved to Ogilvy Singapore, only to return again in October 1993 as managing director of O&M India.
Kapur was the executive chairman of Ogilvy & Mather India from 1993-2003 and a year later it vice-chairman, Asia Pacific. Kapur also headed another WPP Group agency Bates India as its chairman since 2012. Besides, he was also on the board of directors in several companies, including HDFC Bank, Abbott India and Pidilite Industries. Kapur was honored with the Industry’s Lifetime Achievement award from the Advertising Agencies Association of India in 2008. Known for his quick wit and humble nature, Kapur’s interests included writing, painting, sculpting and he had created a series of sculptoons (caricatures made from m-seal).