Marketing whiz Shunu Sen no more

MUMBAI: Corporate India is that much poorer today with the passing away of ace marketer Shunu Sen. The CEO of marketing consultancy Quadra Advisory passed away early this morning (3 January) following heart failure. Sen has been a guiding hand to many a senior marketing and sales professional during his 35-year plus career.

Born in 1940, Sen started his career as a management trainee in 1960 with Hindustan Lever when the concept of professional marketing was still new to India. Shunu, as he was known to all, handled assignments of various products like detergents, personal products and foods. He later graduated to become the Head of the Personal Products business and Marketing Director-Detergents. He was responsible for the legendary Lalitaji and Liril advertising campaigns.

In 1990, he was appointed vice-chairman - Lipton India. His last assignment with Hindustan Lever was as group marketing advisor for the Unilever Group of Companies in India. Later, he did an international assignment for Unilever plc., London.

Subsequent to his retirement from Hindustan Lever, he worked as president, marketing services, RPG Enterprises and group marketing advisor.

In 1998, Shunu set up Quadra Advisory in partnership with advertising professional Suhel Seth and one of the world's largest ad and marketing conglomerates WPP Group to provide consultancy in marketing and sales in the areas of marketing strategy, distribution and sales, branding and positioning and marketing training. Speaking to a couple of years ago, he had said he had done this reluctantly: "I had taken retirement and I just wanted to sit at home, read books and listen to music. But Sir Sorrel got me quite interested and so I decided to invest in it. Both Suhel and I also invested as original investors," he had said.

But there was no looking back after that. Some of the clients he consulted include: Reckitt & Colman, Dabur, Wrigley's, Kimberly Clark, Henkel, Ranbaxy, Parle Agro, Rasna, AP Diary, TetraPak, Royal, Enfield, Eicher Tractors, JK Tyres, Castrol, HPCL, Philips Domestic Appliances, Godrej GE, Borosil, Usha International, Baron Electronics, ICI, Max Health Care, Sun F&C, Lifespring, Nirulas, CII,,,,

And even the government. When the information and broadcasting ministry wanted to inject some marketing savvy into its moribund DD and All India Radio it turned to Shunu. He was appointed chairman of a high power committee recommend the best practices in the marketing of airtime.

Sen was also a member and officer bearer of various professional institutions such as Advertising Club-Bombay, ABC, ISA, AND MRSI.

For Sen's views on the history of branding, click here

Can ‘Made in India’ become a brand?

For a Shunu Sen interview with 'The Week' which appeared in in October 2001, click here

"Companies often do not have a consumer focus"

To view the website of Quadra Advisory, click here

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