Ranjan Kapur
India
Ranjan Kapur
  • Country Manager, WPP (Advertising)
Born Lahore, India, 1942. MA English, St. Stephens College, Delhi University (1964).
“I think the uniqueness of India lies in its diversity … But then we don’t look at it [this diversity] as a barrier. We see that as an opportunity…”

Summary

How does a brand become an icon and who are the people behind this magic? This interview concerns one of these magicians – Ranjan Kapur, the man who spent fifty years in the advertising industry and led one of the largest advertising agencies, Ogilvy and Mather, in India. Kapur describes his personal journey over these decades and highlights the dramatic changes in the advertising industry with the opening of Indian economy in the 1990s and the rise of digital technology. Kapur shares his personal experiences of working in three different countries - India, Singapore and the United States, his successes and failures, his experience of turning around a company, his views on global branding, and his reflection on work-life balance.

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How does a brand become an icon and who are the people behind this magic? This interview concerns one of these magicians – Ranjan Kapur, the man who spent fifty years in the advertising industry and led one of the largest advertising agencies, Ogilvy and Mather, in India. Kapur describes his personal journey over these decades and highlights the dramatic changes in the advertising industry with the opening of Indian economy in the 1990s and the rise of digital technology. Kapur shares his personal experiences of working in three different countries - India, Singapore and the United States, his successes and failures, his experience of turning around a company, his views on global branding, and his reflection on work-life balance.
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Additional Resources

Additional Resources

  • WPP--Integrating Icons to Leverage Knowledge [HBS case]
  • "The High-Growth Areas Are in Non-advertising: Ranjan Kapur” (Interview with Country Manager, WPP and Chairman, Bates India), Business Standard, April 2, 2012
  • "Will Bates India be Ranjan Kapur's Elusive Perfect Snowball?” The Economic Times, March 28, 2012
  • “'Advertisement Agencies Should Stop Devaluing Their Services,' Q&A: RANJAN KAPUR, country manager (India), WPP," Business Standard, July 30, 2008
  • "Kapur Assigned to Country Manager Role for WPP India,” Media, March 26, 2004
  • "O&M India Unveils Strategy Post-Kapur Retirement,” Media, July 11, 2003
  • "Ranjan Kapur: Life after Ogilvy,” Economic Times, November 19, 2003
  • “Ranjan Kapur Striving to Make O&M India a Worldwide Player,” Advertising Age, February 21, 1994
  • Video file of this interview available at Baker Library Historical Collections, histcollref+hbs.edu. Harvard ID holders can access the full-length video above.

Interview Citation Format

"Interview with Ranjan Kapur, interviewed by Sunil Gupta, August 5, 2015, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/creating-emerging-markets/."