A mighty banyan tree: Industry pays tributes to Ranjan Kapur

Ranjan Kapur
Ranjan Kapur

There has been an outpouring of grief and tributes for Ranjan Kapur, Chairman WPP India and former Managing Director Ogilvy India who passed away on January 27, 2018. 

“We are all in a state of shock. We can’t believe it,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP. He further added, “He gave so much of his energy, time, intellect and attention to Ogilvy and then WPP. He shaped the industry in India and beyond, not only because he understood the importance of the creative idea in its broadest forms, but the management and organization needed. He also understood the geographical and technological changes taking place. He was a remarkable husband, father, leader, colleague and, importantly, gentleman. We wish his wife Jimmi and family long life - all 200,000 of us.” 

CVL Srinivas, Country Manager, WPP India and CEO, GroupM South Asia, called Kapur “a very strong pillar of support to all of us at WPP and a friend, philosopher and guide to our entire industry”. “We will miss him dearly. He made a huge contribution to our industry with his outstanding leadership and always added a very warm personal touch to whatever he did. He was an institution by himself, keeping abreast of all the latest developments with child like enthusiasm. Every interaction with him was very enriching. This is a very big loss for all of us,” Srinivas added.

In a Facebook post, Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Director, Publicis India, wrote: “I can never dislodge the memory of my first corridor gyaan session with Ranjan Kapur. His left hand was held at a right angle. His wrist drooped towards the floor. The smoke rising from a half ash cigarette caressed it on its way to gracing the nostrils of those who busied around us. His right handed conducted the symphony of wisdom that issued from his lips.  I remember thinking, ‘He’s shorter than I’. (Comparing heights being the affliction of short men.) Over the next twenty or so minutes I would learn that I was oh-so-very wrong.” 

Continuing further, Pawar wrote: “They say nothing grows under a mighty banyan tree. Ranjan was the rare exception. Many an oak grew tall in the sunlight of his shadow. My heart breaks for Jimi and Tina. It breaks for all of us who were blessed to have him in our lives.” 

Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom18, called Kapur a “professional par excellence and a gentleman”. He added, “You will be missed my friend”. 

Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director & CEO of Universal Music Group & EMI Music India & South Asia, reminisced, “You were such an inspiration for so many of us in our younger days and I was proud to call you my friend in the later years. You will be sorely missed.” 

“Rip Ranjan. Will miss your presence. And your inspiring smile,” wrote Babita Baruah, Managing Partner, WPP GTB India

Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur paid his tributes, saying, “Will never forget your spirit, warmth and constant sense of wonder...the world will miss you.”


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