Bridging gaps between industry bodies a key focus: M G Parameswaran

Armed by an illustrious industry experience of about 35 years, M G Parameswaran, fondly known as Ambi, was elected as the President of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) for the year 2014-2015, following a formal announcement in the week gone by. Currently playing the role of an Advisor at FCB Ulka, Ambi has been a known face in the India advertising arena.

Adgully caught up with M G Parameswaran (Ambi) to know what’s on the planning chart with the new responsibility, how he plans to take this new role and more.

Speaking about the responsibilities that he would be shouldering with the new role at AAAI, He said, “I have a 9 to 5 job at FCB Ulka, the rest of the time I hope to spend on AAAI matters. I have responsibilities to my company and to the clients who we serve. That will always come first. But I am conscious that AAAI can play a more meaningful role in the lives of its member agencies. If we can help member agencies function better, the result will show in the work they do for their clients, the way they treat their people, the way they work with media and finally the way they play a role in society. To whatever extent I can, I hope to create at AAAI some pillars that will help agencies raise their profile and skills.

Ambi believes that the appropriate working of the association will only happen with joint efforts from all parties involved. “The AAAI is an association of 100+ agencies who reportedly account for 80% of the through put of advertising in the country. We have member agencies in big cities and in small cities. So whatever action plan we put together will have to help all of them, to some extent at least”.

While he shares that there are no clear ‘immediate’ plans as off now, but he certainly is aware of matters that go on the priority list at the AAAI. “There are a few priorities and those include helping BARC get started, moving into a new office, creating learning forums, building bridges with other organizations etc. We will also see how we can involve the new digital agencies in our workings”, he said.

It is learnt that AAAI will make efforts to work closely with the Indian Broadcasting Federation and Indian Society of Advertisers to ensure that the BARC deadlines are met and a world-class television measurement system is put in place soon. Adgully is also told that AAAI will work with special focus towards stitching the Indian media fabric on the while by working on filling gaps with other bodies like Indian Newspaper Society, Ad Club, International Advertising Association, Internet & Mobile Association of India, Outdoor Association, Radio Association, Cinema Association and other.

Speaking about the challenges faced by the industry and the matters of concern for the association, Ambi said, “The challenges facing agencies are many, starting with challenging clients, paucity of talent, aggressive media sellers etc. AAAI has played a meaningful role in helping agencies in the past. We will continue to play that role. We will also see what we can do to help agencies get ready to face the future.

While ad-land witnesses the induction of newer talents day in and day out, industry bodies certainly take note of this to devise their approaches in functioning. Sharing his thoughts on AAAI having a more open-armed approach and inclusive way of functioning; considering the mushrooming younger minds entering the industry, Ambi said, “We do have several young leaders in our Executive Council and I am hopeful of tapping them to reach out to the younger professionals in the industry. The industry has to ensure that the best and the brightest do not desert us, just when they have learnt all the key skills. In the past AAAI has created forums to involve new disciplines and specializations. We will revisit that process and see if we can do similar forums to give a stronger voice to the younger leaders. As you can understand, all agencies nominate their No 1 or No 2 to the AAAI and they are not necessarily young. But they may have many young leaders who can make a very useful sounding board for AAAI. We will see how to engage them”.

Ambi ended the conversation stating, “Though it is still early days to talk or share the plans and initiatives we at AAAI would aim to work on, however, I hope to discharge my duties in a fair and sincere way, just as I have done my duties in my work life and when I was the President of Ad Club Bombay.
We at Adgully wish M G Parameswaran – Ambi good luck with his new role.


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