Peers salute the Lodestar

Industry is quite unanimous in its opinion that Lodestar Media is a deep rooted agency that ensures the best value for their clients and is equipped with good media thinking. And it is to Shashi's credit that they all sang paeans for the operation that he, Dias and Menon have built. Hear out some of the comments:

"Lodestar is well integrated with its creative agency. They are good strategists and media thinkers. The core team has good people and are well trained in all aspects of the media. They are an agency which consciously focuses on planning." - Group M CEO Ashutosh Srivastava,

"Lodestar has an extremely strong bonding with their clients. The agency has some of the best minds in media with Shashi, Nandini and Arpita. Their strengths lie in planning and how they use consumer insights to make a difference to their clients." - Madison Media Group CEO Punita Arumugam.

"I see Lodestar as a rock solid organisation, both on business and people. Their biggest plus point is their well-balanced performance, which comes through consistantly at the Emvies - where they shine through across a range of categories. From the outside, one gets the feeling that there is a large team effort at play within. Lodestar has built its credentials on the strength of its people and work, with a very understated PR approach." - Mediacom South Asia president Jasmin Sohrabjee

"Shashi is a good leader and runs a good planning agency. They have got some good local tools, and also have a good portfolio of clients which allows them to innovate. It's a big achievement that they have managed to be in the same league as Mindshare." - Media Direction CEO Sandip Tarkas.

"Lodestar has been our media agency for the past five years, and the support that they have given us is commendable. The shift of the Henkel account was based on a global alignment and nothing to do with the performance of Lodestar. Considering we were based out of Chennai, Lodestar ensured good communication from Mumbai to its regional office." - Henkel India president and managing director Satish Kumar

"Lodestar is a very responsive agency and we get very good deals through them." - Mahindra & Mahindra executive vice president marketing and sales Rajesh Jejurikar.

A weakness if any some in industry point out to, off the record, is the perception that Lodestar is lacking in buying skills. Lodestar vice-president Nandini Dias dismisses this saying: "We believe in having a strategic focus even while buying. We don't beat down media - we believe in the strategic intent of the brand."

Adds Menon: "When we were handling Tata Motors, prior to the Tata AOR consolidating we had done a landmark TOI deal. There has never been a deal like that ever struck again. Lodestar does not give you the lowest rate, but it gives you the best buys."

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