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Goutam Rakshit unheralded leader of the ad industry: Jagdeep Parsram

Goutam Rakshit was founder of Advertising Avenues, the agency that broke through the dominance of the large MNC agencies with brilliant advertising, especially for the Onida brand with the devil as the brand mascot and the campaign line – ‘Neighbours’ Envy, Owners Pride’. That campaign became the benchmark for how creativity can reposition international competition and build a local brand from scratch to become the market leader in the crowded television category! 

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Obit: Goutam Rakshit, ad veteran behind Onida Devil, passes away

I knew Goutam personally, a very amiable person with great wit and charm, and professionally, in my brief association with Advertising Avenues as a consultant, during which time I had some very interesting and intellectual interactions with Goutam on new brand pitches. For me, Avenues was like a homecoming, the office being in Marthanda building on Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli. I had lived during my early years in the adjacent building and spent memorable years playing with friends who lived in Marthanda at that time. 

Jagdeep Parsram
Jagdeep Parsram

As former Cathedralites, Goutam being some years senior to me, we had a lot to discuss about our school and our teachers. It was like another homecoming, knowing him. 

I had lost touch with Goutam, having last met him at one of the industry get-togethers a few years back. 

I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He was probably the unheralded leader of the advertising industry, which I am sure he would have preferred in his own unassuming way. But his agency was definitely the industry’s envy and Goutam undoubtedly was the advertising industry’s pride. 

I’m sure he will be chuckling about the devil with that mischievous glint in his eyes as he looks down on us benignly. 

Rest In Peace. 

(Jagdeep Parsram is Director , Pentagram Integrated Communications.)

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