Worked in: Asia and USA
Shekar Swamy is the Group CEO of the R K SWAMY BBDO and HANSA companies, operating in India and USA. The Group comprises of 20 distinct services, employs over 1000 people and is an acknowledged leader. In his two-decade association with the Group, Shekar has helped build the business across a broad array of service offerings: 1) Advertising/Marketing Communications, 2) Interactive 3) Market Research and, 4) Data Analytics.
His knowledge of Brand creation and management, and his innate understanding of the DNA of Brands and the context of their markets, ranks him among the top Marketing & Communication strategists in the world today. He has helped major companies launch, manage and grow their brands and businesses significantly. Among them are Abbott Labs, Life Insurance Corporation, Mars Chocolates, Mercedes Benz, O’General, Gillette, Piaggio, Raymond, Sara Lee, State Bank of India, VISA, and WIPRO.
Shekar’s experience and interest in cross-border communications has led him, along with Professor Don Schultz, to successfully develop a course on “Global Marketing Communication.” Shekar and Don Schultz have been co-teaching this course to the Graduate students of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University’s Medill School for the past twelve years. Given his contributions, Northwestern University inducted Shekar into the Alumni Hall of Achievement in 2002.
Shekar has been actively involved in developing the professional standards of the advertising, media and marketing business in India. He is a co-founder and past Chairman of the not-for-profit Media Research Users Council, a body that has been at the forefront of organizing media research in that country.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? Innovation is that which has not been tried before, and has the chance of overturning the status quo towards positive results. This is what Hansa Marketing Services with their global delivery model is about. They are succeeding because it works very well for their clients.
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. The R K SWAMY HANSA Group has built a truly integrated business under one roof. This comprises Creative (both online and interactive), media, activation, database analytics and market research. There are very few private groups, anywhere in the world, encompassing all of these at such a high level of competence. The Group employs over 1,100 people full time, serving 150+ clients. Shekar has been driving this development for 25 years. Most recently, he has set up Hansa Marketing Services in the USA (www.hansa-marketing.com) to offer a full suite of services on a global delivery model. This is a combination of “Insourcing” (where customer facing executives are located on client’s premises in the USA) and global delivery (where creative, analytics and other work is done elsewhere and delivered to the client) from across continents. This innovative model significantly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of advertising and marketing services delivered to the client. Unlike “outsourcing,” this is not a price play. It delivers genuine customer service at a high level, combined with efficiency of a top class talent base delivering seamlessly. They service clients like Hoovers.com, D&B, OfficeMax, Encyclopedia Britannica, Honey Baked Hams and others in the USA on this model.