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51st Annual Awards: Elite Award Winners 2010

Date: 11.11.2011 Venue Presidential Ball Room, Hotel President
(Chief Guest - Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, Father of Green Revolution in India Hon'ble MP
(Rajya Sabha - Upper House) )

Communicator of the Year
Ms. Sweta Rajpal Kohli | Economic Affairs, NDTV Profit

In a short span of 13 years, her name has become synonymous with excellence in business reporting.Before her debut in the electronic media, she had eventful stints with esteemed publications like Indian Express, Times of India, Business Standard and Hindustan Times.As the Economic Affairs Editor of NDTV 24x7, she is responsible for all economic, policy and business coverage of the channel.Her weekly shows 'Ride the Recession', 'Road to Recovery' and 'The Game Changers' are one of the most watched television programs.

Her interviews make a splendid assortment of "who's who" across spheres... whether

  1. Nobel Prize winning economists Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz,
  2. Prominent industrialists and CEOs like LN Mittal, Indra Nooyi and Jeffrey Immelt or,
  3. Top-notch ministers and policymakers like P Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherjee and Montek Singh Ahluwalia

She has covered several strategic global events like the World Economic Forum, ASEAN summit, G-20 Leaders Summit, IMF-World Bank Meet and the OPEC Summit.

  • For her eye for detail, ear to the ground and nose for news that have set new benchmarks in business reporting.
  • For being one of the youngest achievers to make business journalism an integral part of mainstream journalism.
  • ABCI confers the Prestige Award for the Promising Business Communicator to Ms. Shweta Rajpal Kohli.
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Communicator of the Decade
Mr. Agnello Dias | Chairman & Co-Founder TapRoot India

Each time the anthemic Airtel jingle plays on television, "Har ek friend zaroori hota hai", the nation roars in deafening approval. That's only one of awesome creations in a career spanning just over two decades.Despite the numerous awards and accolades from the world over - including India's first-ever Grand Prix at Cannes in 2007...Despite the glorious stints with top notch agencies like the Leo Burnett and JWT...

His entrepreneurial spirit saw the inception of his own creative shop in 2008 in partnership with a dear friend and colleague. And his work has not lost even an ounce of the proven genius. In fact, it has blossomed under his free will on the chosen path. In the last 10 years, his setup has won more lions than all the other Indian agencies put together.

He has shown us how advertising can effectively mirror life's truisms either to create a heightened sense of belongingness or to bring about transcendental change

  1. Whether through the Nike ad showing a bunch of boys playing cricket atop buses and cars in the midst of a jam-packed traffic intersection,
  2. Pepsi's 'change the game' World Cup cricket campaign that harped on the offbeat within the usual,
  3. or the Times of India's cross border initiative "Aman Ki Asha" that used provocation as a positive catalyst to unite two countries with the same past but conflicting priorities.

He's undoubtedly the Pied piper on the field winning challenging assignments spanning the whole range of breadth of print, outdoor, activation, live events and PR.

His maverick attitude to look ahead is also blessed with a dogged determination to stay put. As he remarked in a media interview:

"Fifty per cent of the time you make the right decision, while for the remaining 50 per cent you make the decision right."

  • For his non-conformism and innovation that have lent a distinct style and dignity to Indian advertising...
  • For his vision, veracity and verve that have scripted his entrepreneurial success story...
  • For the maverick performer who defines work as the 'cornerstone of civilization'
  • ABCI is proud to present the prestige award for the Communicator of the Year to: Mr Agnello Dias, MD, TapRoot Advertising
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Excellence in Business Journalism
Mr. Kiron Kasbekar | Managing Director, The Information Company Pvt. Ltd.

His experience and expertise in the publishing and related businesses span more than two-and-a-half decades.

Following the celebrated editorial stints with the best names in print media including Economic Times, Times of India and Business India, he ventured into the then elusive world of web and digital media with The Information Company.The foray seemed even more challenging, given the dotcom bust and the recession of the year 2009.

But thanks to his stellar conviction and extraordinary vision, he went on to set his company's feet firmly on the path of rapid growth. The esteemed clientele includes names like the Tata group, Essar, Aditya Birla Group, Axis Bank, Rallis India, Mahindra & Mahindra and many more.

He is also the chief architect and inspiration behind the company's foray into innovative software products. Many among them were developed to address in-house needs to streamline processes and increase efficiency.

Among the truly unique products are Organyze, a powerful document management tool which massively enhances the power of Windows Explorer; and Informachine, an information management system which helps organisations reduce their costs of tracking, downloading and managing fresh content over the net.

'Entertain and inform in the same breath' is his motto for domain-B - India's first online business magazine, a pioneer of the internet revolution in India.

Today, the website attracts a premium audience of 55,000 visitors per day, comprising managers, investors and B-school students.

  • For his foresight to gauge the humungous power of the internet at a time when others had written it off...
  • For building a vibrant new-age entity offering editorial, design and software services through web-based and digital media...
  • For being a pioneering information and communication architect who has raised the bar for online business journalism in India...
  • ABCI is proud to present the prestige award for Excellence in Business journalism to: Mr Kiron Kasbekar
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Excellence in Marketing & Brand Communications
Mr. Jayant Pendharkar | Former VP Global Head Marketing & Communications, TCS Limited

As the Head - Global Marketing at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), he spearheaded all major global and domestic sales and marketing campaigns in a career spanning 15 years.His penchant for and command over communication saw him establish a full-fledged corporate marketing department - a credible achievement for a seasoned technical professional of a technology company.He was responsible for internal branding & communications, market research & intelligence, lead generation & direct marketing services besides research analyst interactions.In the mainstream, he was involved in developing IT applications for the banking sector.It was his pioneering contribution that helped set up Tata-Burroughs, the joint-venture company presently known worldwide as Tata Infotech. From programming to system analysis, from business analysis to consultancy, his proficiency has been' end-to-end' as they say in IT.His visionary leadership re-launched the TCS website and created a cohesive brand identity for the company. His 2007 "Experience Certainty" campaign is an ace case study in technology-led communication.

He also played a crucial role, thanks to his professionalism and commitment, as company's Ethics Counsellor as well as a member of TCS' Compliance Committee.And the software and marketing proficiency are only two facets of his versatile persona.He is a passionate and talented sportsman having represented universities and clubs in tennis, track, basketball and rugby.He has championed the cause of sport-related events and sponsorships including the Mumbai Marathon and exhibition tennis matches, Ferrari F1 Formula 1, Mumbai Marathon and the Rajasthan Royals IPL team.

Even today, he remains a diehard tennis player, sweating it out at the Bombay Gymkhana every morning.

  • For his exceptional ability and agility to tide over the unexpected - across markets, customers, and businesses across the globe...
  • For striking a judicious blend between software skills and marketing competence to build a lasting global technology brand...
  • For his sprightly disposition that relishes playgrounds and boardrooms with equal gusto...
  • ABCI is proud to present the prestige award for Excellence in Marketing communications to: Mr Jayant Pendharkar, Advisor, Tata Elxsi
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Global Business Communicator
Mr. K. Venkataramanan | President & Member of the Board, L&T Limited

He's a technical artist etching his company's and country's imprints on a global canvas. His diverse projects speak the languages of five continents. Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Milan, London or Houston, he transcends linguistic, national and cultural barriers through his time-tested formula for communication - be credible, be cogent and be memorable.

An excellent engineer and an exceptional communicator, a rare blend for any professional across spheres, he has unlocked business concepts and ideas from the arid confines of academic rigour to make them a driving force for brand building in the niche global technology space.His enduring obsession with the tools of the communicator's trade - ideas, words and images - has shown us that project execution is as much about accurate communication to diverse audiences as about authentic delivery to different clientele. By wholeheartedly espousing the potent medium of films, he has successfully simulated every project's scale and splendour for boardroom brainstorm thereby making on-site execution and offsite reflection as seamless as possible.To all the sceptics and the 'nay-sayers' who demurred when India unfurled its global ambitions, he has emphatically demonstrated that engineering excellence is blessed with universal currency.Thanks to the pioneering strides across the globe that "say it all and say it well" as he would put it, the value chain of customers, technology partners and consultants is unanimously in sync with the vision, mission and values of his organization.

His ideation, articulation and expression, all carry the warmth of genuine concern. It has the crystalline clarity of the truth and while it may embody complex thought, it's simple and sincere....

  • For bringing wit, vibrancy and vigour into the sphere of business communication...
  • For decisively shaping opinion led by conviction, in an era of fleeting impressions...
  • For overcoming boundaries of the geographical and metaphorical kind, while helping others transcend their own limitations...
  • ABCI is proud to present the prestige award for the Global Business Communicator of the Year to: Mr K. Venkataramanan President - Engineering & Construction Projects, L & T
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Strategic Business Communicators
Mr. Hudson Samarasinghe | Chairman, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

He was born in a tiny hut with a thatched roof. Like most of his deprived folks of his hometown Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, he had to drop out of school to support his family through employment. But it was the kind patronage of his landlady that laid the foundation for his meteoric rise in the years to come. This turn of events was destined and determined in the same breath as the world found later.

This starry-eyed boy from Peradeniya was the only student to obtain eight Distinctions in the Senior School Certificate examination. Later, he went on to complete his Postgraduate Degree from Howard University, Washington.For someone who came face to face with the Radio for the first time in Radio Ceylon, the achievements that followed were nothing short of phenomenal. Thanks to his friendly disposition, empathy with listeners and exceptional command over the medium, he steadily rose through the ranks - from a radio broadcaster to the Chairman of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.Popular for his outspoken and open radio programmes, he gave listeners across cultures and regions exclusive space to cheer tradition and cherish values. Thanks to him, SLBC today airs more than 10 services daily in languages like Sinhala, Hindi, Tamil, English, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. In fact, SLBC has more than 5 crore Hindi listeners across the globe, that's twice the total population of Sri Lanka. He comes with a multitude of experiences both as a veteran journalist and politician. He has worked closely with four Sri Lankan Presidents and was also elected Member of Parliament.

  • For his exceptional talent and temperament that transformed the once-ailing Radio Ceylon into a vibrant organization called the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation...
  • For his invaluable contribution in reviving the fortunes of radio broadcast in an era of the television...
  • ABCI is proud to confer the Prestige Award for Excellence in Strategic Business Communications for Non-Business Communications Professionals to Mr. Hudson Samarasinghe, Chairman of the SLBC
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Life Time Achievement Award
Mr. Ashok Advani | Founder & Chairman Business India Magazine

He's a lawyer by profession, having served the Bombay bar for over 20 years besides an eventful stint with the Middle Temple, London.

His academic credentials are no less impressive - a proud alumni of the Cathedral School, Bombay, he read Philosophy, Politics & Economics at the Lincoln College, Oxford University.

But the world knows him best as one of India's most respected media barons.

Way back in the late seventies, launching a dedicated business and economics magazine was a dreary proposition. But this visionary conceived 'Business India' - the magazine of the corporate world - that reversed the trend within no time.

He ensured editorial quality by recruiting noted journalists at hefty prices. His soft spoken and gentle ways soon won the lasting loyalty of employees and readers alike.

Business India was a phenomenal success story in magazine journalism. The copies rose rapidly, and the advertisements soon topped the charts. It was the "in thing" to place an ad with 'Business India' if you had to reach out to where it mattered. During its peak, Business India was the country's largest selling magazine with a circulation of more than 1 lakh.After granting a solid market base for Indian publishing industry with Business India, he gainfully entered the sunrise cable TV distribution business.Then was the debut into Market research - when he was instrumental in merging MARG with ORG to create another market leader. He also employed the Business India brand to create another profitable line in the form of Business India exhibitions and trade shows.

  • For his innovation and insight that brought glamour and goodwill for magazine publishing in India...
  • For his exceptional capability to create new markets in the seemingly elusive territories...
  • For his inspirational versatility and verve across professions and businesses...
  • ABCI is proud to confer the prestige award for Lifetime achievement to: Mr Ashok Advani
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Life Time Achievement Award
Mr. Sylvesterda Cunha | Chairman - da'Cunha Associates

Who could have imagined that a seemingly trivial Indian household product like butter would become an eternal advertising Brand in India especially in those early days of our independence when we were just about trying to come out of the shadows of the British Raj.

Foreign brands were yet a dominant factor influencing every aspect of Indian life and the aspiring product in his caring hands was pitted against proven names like Polson.

But thanks to his zeal and ingenuity, the 'utterly butterly delicious' Amul went on to become one of the most glittering success stories in Indian advertising.

His achievement is cherished to this day for the fact that his commercial brand successfully endorsed the Swadeshi mission of Dr. Kurien's co-operative milk revolution, a movement that marked India's self sufficiency in dairy products.

We rarely see such a fine blend of commercial value and social values in advertising.

No wonder, his Amul campaign ushered in a new era in communication branding and marketing for the Indian Dairy industry. Amul butter, Nutramul, Amul Milk, Amul Cheese, Amul Kool and Amul Baby Food are all household names in India.

For his wholesome achievements across spheres - whether as an astute practitioner, visionary thought leader, eminent educator, astute advisor, responsible critic or good Samaritan

  • For his outstanding contribution in setting high standards of professionalism and integrity in Indian Advertising.
  • For his path-breaking initiatives in creating public awareness on social issues through the medium of advertising.
  • ABCI has immense pleasure in presenting the prestige award for Life time Achievement to the Mr Sylvester da Cunha
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Life Time Achievement Award
Mr. Alyque Padamsee | Advertising & Brand Guru

He is a man of many faces and numerous facets. Born in a wealthy Kutchi family of riches, he chose to tread the path of rags. The scion of a thriving glassware and furniture business began his professional life in an ad firm for a princely sum of well...300 per month. But this rebel with many a cause, all without a pause, relished his vocational joyride to glory and carved his own niche in the big, bad world of Advertising.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, his stage exploits could have easily translated into a rocking career as an actor-director. Whether playing the historic character of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in the film 'Gandhi' or staging plays likes 'Evita' and 'Tughlaq', he has mesmerised audiences with his superb diction, awesome histrionics and astute direction.

As an Ad guru, he has worked wonders with his peerless acumen and authentic precision - salt, soaps, toothpastes, condoms, pain balms, tyres or airlines - this pioneer of Experiential Marketing in India has helped clients across verticals to sell captivating ideas in the form of winning products.

As an inspirational mentor and motivator, he has shaped the careers of such talents across diverse fields - whether Shyam Benegal or Kabir Bedi, Shiamak Davar or Sharon Prabhakar, Suneeta Rao or Alisha Chinai, Javed Jaffery or Karla Singh.

As a perceptive consultant and advisor, he has helped revered institutions and individuals realign objectives and reengineer processes - whether publications like the Indian Express or a political maestro like Chandra Babu Naidu.

  • For his tireless zeal and zest for life that continues to defy age and time.
  • For the maker of such lasting brands like Liril, MRF, Dalda, Bajaj, Captain Cook, Surf, Cherry Blossom, Jet Airways, Timex and Close-up.
  • For his ability and agility as a maverick communication artist addressing diverse global markets.
  • For his pioneering contribution that redefined advertising as a promise in the guise of a product offering people an incentive to change for the better.
  • ABCI takes immense pleasure in conferring the Prestige Award for Lifetime achievement to Padmashree Mr. Alyque Padamsee
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