John Steedman, the CEO and Chairman of GroupM APAC, is retiring after thirty-nine years in the media industry. GroupM India held a farewell party for Steedman on March 10, 2009 at Joss in Mumbai.
Some prominent names from India’s media industry attended the party, including Madison Media’s Sam Balsara, ZEEL’s Punit Goenka and Joy Chakraborthy, MSM’s Rohit Gupta and Albert Almeida, Real Global Broadcasting’s Sunil Lulla, NDTV Media’s Raj Nayak, Radio City’s Apurva Purohit, BBC World News’ Seema Mohapatra, BCCL’s Bhaskar Das, DNA’s K U Rao and Ayaz Memon, WWM’s Tarun Rai, Lokmat Group’s Jwalant Swaroop and Bharat Kapadia, Conde Nast India’s Alex Kuruvilla, Red FM’s Abraham Thomas, MediaCom’s Divya Gururaj and former GroupM colleagues Big FM’s Himanshu Shekhar and Reliance ADAG’s M Suku.
The host for the evening was Vikram Sakhuja, CEO, GroupM South Asia. Other key GroupM India officials such as Hiren Pandit, CTG’s Prasanth Kumar, Maxus’ Ajit Varghese, MEC’s T Gangadhar, Motivator’s Rajul Kulshreshtha and CFO R Sridhar were also there.
Speaking on India, Steedman said that “GroupM India was the pinnacle of the kind of work that GroupM wanted to do across its offices”. Despite the economic scenario, Steedman believes that India has a bright future. “There are several multi-national clients who are looking at their investments and development in India because the country is, in a sense, sheltered from what is happening globally and it can support businesses of clients who are based in Europe or the US,” he said.
He added, “The operations in India are outstanding. What the team here has put together is not really seen in other countries because the India team is able to provide the business various distinct offerings, much better than anyone else in the world can. India is the second strongest market for us in the APAC region, right after China, in terms of revenues.” He reiterated the importance of the APAC market for most companies, in terms of investment and development for future growth of an organisation.
The one piece of advice that Steedman has for his successors is to “motivate people”.
Steedmane spent thirty-three years of his career with WPP, where he set up and headed Mindshare in the APAC region before going on to become the CEO and Chairman of GroupM APAC. Following his retirement, Steedman will relocate to Sydney where he will do consulting work.
Source: Bombay Adclub