Madan Mohapatra

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The Benevolent Leader

Now that I think of it, I would attribute my entire career since my son was born, to Madan Mohapatra. On a “I am a mom now” sabbatical, when burps and the presence (rather absence) of maids and nannies took precedence over TRPs...Madan happened. And he had a very simple solution – "Don’t want to leave your baby at home? Just bring him to office." That’s how I came back into the big bad world of adverting (baby, maid, bottles of formula in tow) as an entire cabin was turned into a baby room at Mudra Delhi. Madan even joked that my son was getting an early start in advertising and he would be conversant with power point and excel by the time he was two.

Madan’s biggest strength is his ability to invest lasting relationships with people, especially his teams. All of us at Mudra Delhi in those days had some special bond with Madan – whether it was stories around how he tackled tricky client crises or stepped in to help someone in a personal capacity. A testament to this is the connection his team members feel with him, despite years or geographical distance.

“Why? Why can’t you do it?” I remember hearing these words with dread, knowing a curve ball would be thrown my way. Much as we may have argued at the time, most of these conversations turned out to be smart ways of solving the ‘complex’ problems in the life of a media planner. Madan recognizes and respects passion and creativity and never hesitated to encourage out-of-the-box solutions.

Always willing to help, give an honest point of view or argue the whole evening away on a difference in opinion, Madan is inspiring without seeming judgmental or unapproachable. One of the rare bosses who would admit he was wrong and apologize upfront. A lot of what I know of leadership, I learnt from him.

Here’s to you Madan. Keep smiling!

Head of Strategy & New Business
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