Vivek is a rare breed of Advertising and Communication professionals. He lives by a very traditional credo of advertising science, but at the same time has imbibed the most modern and futuristic elements of marketing. I have personally experienced this rare spectrum in my prolonged engagements with him. I used to lead Marketing Group at Hyundai Motor India and worked closely with Vivek in his capacity as Managing Director of Innocean Advertising. That association started almost eight years ago, and his very mature and energetic initiatives created immense value for our team efforts, and for the brand Hyundai in India.
Vivek has traveled through the ranks to achieve this position and his practical approach to issues reflects that. I sensed in him a gritty, dedicated and extremely competent leader. I have seen him personally getting his hands dirty with the team to accomplish tasks, big or small. He leads a large team of talented individuals in the field of Creatives, Media, Digital, Events, Sports Marketing, OOH and the list goes on. Somehow he has a special talent for integrating various initiatives into effective themes and winning campaigns. There was never a new trend which he was not aware of, and in many ways, he was a sounding board for many of us.
I have always observed a very friendly and cheerful demeanor in him when he dealt with his team, however I also could sense a boss who is in control of everything without being a control freak. It’s great to see him commanding the loyalty and respect of his team. He has a special sense of providing stability in the midst of chaos.
Vivek is an active member of industry bodies and his network built over the years really opens up doors at critical times. He has been able to maintain and nurture relationships over an extended period of time. I would say, he somehow manages to put in an extra something beyond the mundane professional approach to people and tasks. At Hyundai Motor India, the various new initiatives we started relating to Sports Marketing, ICC Sponsorships, Digital Marketing created a huge success for us. In fact he even initiated a unique “Crowd Sourcing” creative idea generation for one of our brands.
Vivek comes from Allahabad and, its rich literary culture's influence is reflected in his (Vivek's) strong command over written and spoken language. I sometimes see in him a reflection of the strong academic and literary character of that city. He is a family man of refined tastes and I was pleasantly surprised to know that he has been taking special lessons to learn to play the saxophone. Though, not a part of his ‘Foodie Gang,’ I got to know that Vivek carries forward his taste for the refined to culinary matters as well!
I have always found Vivek to be very passionate about what he believes is best for the brand. To the extent that he would stand his ground with reasoning and persuasion in discussions whenever there were differences of opinion (You guessed it right : Typical client –agency spats). We have had our share of arguments (sometimes very passionate and animated too), but I have always admired his sense of logic and fair play in putting across his viewpoint, without losing his cool. It was always about the brand and never about people.
The fast evolving, rapidly zooming tech boom is gripping all of us. As we choose to quickly adapt and change our lenses, Vivek, I am sure, will be among a pack of leaders riding and leveraging these innovations.