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Starcom Worldwide North India & Pakistan MD Anita Nayyar

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From a media executive at Interpublicity Pvt Ltd in 1983 to the managing director North India and Pakistan of Starcom Worldwide, Anita Nayyar has come a long way in her career spanning 23 years.

Based in Delhi, Anita has also had stints with organizations like Sista's (now Saatchi & Saatchi), Frank Simoes Advertising (now F S Advertising), O&M (now Ogilvy/Group M), Initiative Media, MediaCom and Optimum Media Solutions.

With an academic background in medicine, she plunged into the media business in 1983 and since then there has been no looking back. "It is always interesting to take on new challenges. I have in effect done that in all of 22 years of my media career. Moving earlier in life from a medical background in academics to advertising and marketing was a huge challenge in itself and I think I've taken it on rather well," says the serene lady.

If one were to list out the brands that she has handled in her career, it would surely take up most part of this page. From durables, automobiles, engine oils, mobile phones, cosmetics, fast food to digestives, baby food, beverages, credit cards and political parties, there is not one sector that has been untouched by her.

Anita played a small but significant role on the changing the government at the center by focused targeting both at the consumer and regions/constituency level for the "Aam Aadmi" campaign for the Congress Party. That it is the Congress' 'Aam Aadmi' the Centre and not the BJP's 'India Shining' (managed by Grey Worldwide) says it all. "The aim was to maximize the media impact of each rupee for Congress campaign in May 2004 and we succeeded in giving the "India Shining Campaign" of the then ruling BJP a run for its money, and that too with one fourth of its spends," says she.

She has also been responsible for setting up the outdoor (now Landscapes) and electronic cell - at Ogilvy & Mather Delhi during her 5 year stint with the agency in the early nineties. Known for striking the best deals in the market place and also as an ROI (return on investment) sensitive professional, Anita was also at the helm of structuring and systemizing media services at Initiative Media, MediaCom, Mudra and Starcom.

Under her leadership the Starcom Worldwide Delhi operations have grown by 147 per cent in year one and 50 per cent in year two.

So what's on her agenda now? "Working for Starcom it's but obvious that the agency agenda will be top priority. Growth is a given however, at Starcom, our holistic approach to media is key. The people internally have also been trained accordingly to look at clients issues and find the best possible solution to it rather than taking a mainstream media approach and push TV/print plans down their throats," Anita says.

Challenges is what makes this lady tick and one of the things on her priority list was to develop the Pakistan market for Starcom, where the agency's launch is slated shortly. "Right now, we are in the final stages for setting up the Starcom brand in Karachi, Pakistan. The exercise entailed sourcing, interacting and negotiating with various media services agencies in Pakistan," she offers.

For the clients she has worked for in various sectors, Anita is known for introducing the advantages of the concept of media consolidation to GPI, Maruti, LG, Sony and Yamaha.

Anita is of the opinion that the television industry, which is growing at a slow pace now unlike the boom years, will pick up "because of its attributes being the medium it is."

"While media consolidation is key to our business and the clients are the chief beneficiaries, it's also important to ensure brand accountability. Like in case of full service clients, it is important for both media and creative to be brand custodians so that there is accountability on a brand and everything is being done in the interest of the brand/marketer," says she.

This straight forward, no-nonsense woman firmly believes in working on her weaknesses to convert them into strengths. Her family is her biggest support today. Her two daughters and an extremely loving, supportive and understanding husband are what keeps her going in this overtly competitive industry.

And if you thought that it was just media planning and buying that she was involved in, think again. Anita is a guest faculty at various management institutes like MICA, Amity School of Communication, College of Media and Communication at Rai Foundation and also the Delhi School of Communication.

On being queried as to which of her qualities helped her being in the position she is today, she says, "I have always put in my best efforts and have had a very focused approach. From being in implementation when I started in 1983 and when media planning was just about seeing the light, to have learned and moved on from there, I think one has come a long way. I could have just been restricted to implementation but have taken up all the challenges in life and given it my best."

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