If there is someone in the advertising and media agency business who is universally loved popular vote will go to Shashi Sinha. In spite of being a very astute media negotiator he is seen by the larger media organizations as a friend. In spite of being an advertising professional with strong views, his clients feel he listens to them all the time. No wonder Shashi builds relationships for not just years but for decades. [When I met him after joining Ulka in 1979 he reminded me that we had played Bridge at the Santa Cruz PG dig that I used to share with a common friend Avisesh Bhojani. No wonder he is a fantastic people’s person].
Shashi is an IIT and IIM graduate but never lets that come in the way of a soft business call. He can be analytical and can apply his quantitative chops when needed, but he can equally be creative in the way he approaches tough problems [just check the awards, Cannes Lions included, that he has won]. Interestingly he did not start his career in advertising. But after getting his feet wet in sales and marketing, he joined Ulka in 1986 as an Account Planner. He was incidentally the single man account planning team of Ulka Bombay those days. He worked on the first Amul brief, and no wonder he continues to work with Amul. Over the thirty years at Ulka he has overseen key accounts, led numerous pitches, build a robust media brand [Lodestar], supervised the fantastic management trainee program [FCB Ulka Star One: from 1989 to around 2009 every single MT at FCB Ulka was personally interviewed by him] and over the last five plus years he has been playing a stellar role in shepherding IPG’s various media assets including some fantastic acquisitions for the Group.
Shashi has played a key role in several industry bodies including The Advertising Club, ABC, ASCI, AAAI and was a moving force behind the birth of possibly the world’s biggest TV ratings service, BARC. All done using his tremendous skills at understanding technology and the human mind.
Today Shashi stands tall among all advertising and media personalities. He loves cricket and Bollywood music [partly thanks to his better half Ena’s singing skills]. Can play a decent hand at Bridge. And he can deliver a 10 minute talk in 2 minutes. Obviously he is matchless in the advertising and media buying game!