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Obituary: Remembering Anand Halve

The demise of Halve on November 23 has left everybody in the advertising industry in a state of shock. He left behind his immense contribution of knowledge for future generations to learn from. Many consider him the father of brand planning in India

Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | November 24, 2016


The world got to know of Anand Halve’s sudden demise when Kiran Khalap, MD and co-founder of brand consultancy Chlorophyll tweeted on November 23: “The Chlorophyll community grieves the untimely death of its co-founder, father of brand planning in India & friend to millions: Anand Halve.”

Halve was unwell for quite some time and passed away due to pneumonia.

Prior to co-founding Chlorophyll in 1999, Halve was with Enterprise Nexus for almost a decade. He started his career at Lintas in 1977, where he was for eight and a half years, following which he did a small stint at Fulcrum.

Earlier in his life, Halve had joined a medical school and left it in less than a year due to lack of interest as he believed that “if you are not enjoying something then dump it”. After that he did his BSc and later joined IIM-Ahmedabad for his post-graduation degree.

He has to his credit setting up Pathfinders, the market research division of Lintas. A prolific writer, Halve wrote many books, including Planning for Power Advertising (2005), AdKatha: The Story of Indian Advertising (co-authored, 2011) and Darwin's Brands: Adapting for Success (2012). He had also set up India’s first TV audience survey, cinema monitoring services and election polling research.

Halve was well known for his strategic acumen and creative work with many brands, including Lakme, Blue Dart, Dabur, Britannia, Hero Motors, Titan, Standard Chartered and National Egg Coordination Committee (he wrote the line ‘Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao anday’) to name a few. He had served on number of industry bodies, including AAAI, ASCI and The Ad Club. He is an avid Urdu poet as well.

His friends call him fun loving. Halve was a rare breed in the profession of advertising and marketing. If put together in a statement, knowledge, intelligence and talent when combined with humility and likeability results in harnessing people around an idea and making it work is what defines Halve.


Industry and Halve’s friends bid adieu

Kiran Khalap Kiran Khalap

Halve’s long-time partner Khalap said, “Probably the only human being I know with the perfect balance of left brain and right brain: he could solve an impossible mathematical puzzle in one moment, write a deeply moving Urdu couplet the next. He created some of the most durable intellectual assets for Chlorophyll in the form of models and processes. He loved to teach, whether in Chlorophyll, at MICA or at IIM A. He was sui generis, not just in Chlorophyll, but in the industry and in our lives.”

Mohammed Khan Mohammed Khan

Mohammed Khan, advertising legend and former Executive Chairman, Bates Enterprise, said, “There are people in advertising and there are people who love advertising. This is a terrible loss for the people who are in love with the business of advertising. Andy was one of the most valuable assets in the industry. He had amazing skills in terms of analysis. On a number of occasions where we would be sitting with clients and discussing some problem, he was a man of very few words. He listened to everybody who would be constantly chatting. Then, 10 minutes later, Andy would get up quietly, pick up a piece of chalk or marker and go and write four to five words and would send across his point.”

Khan further said, “As an individual he was an extremely enduring person and people just loved him. Andy had two distinct personalities. One was the 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Andy and then was the 6:00 PM to 3:00 AM in the morning Andy. They were complete opposites of each other. There were two completely different people in one body. He was deeply respected by his clients. I don’t think his quality of thinking is available in the industry.”

Piyush Pandey Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and National Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia, said, “I feel very sad. He was a very nice man and highly respected within the industry. It’s a shocker for all of us. We have not worked together, but whenever we met, we met very nicely. My wife Nita Joshi had worked with him at Enterprise and only has the best things to say about him as a boss. He was an industry colleague and every time I met him, he was wonderful to me.”

Prasoon Joshi Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, McCann Worldgroup, Asia Pacific, CEO and CCO, McCann Worldgroup India, said, “He was my silent mentor. Early in my advertising career I had heard of Anand Halve and had respect for his work and stature. But my first personal connect with him was getting a mail way back in early 2000 when the ‘Thanda Matlab’ campaign broke. Among the industry seniors he was the first one to notice what I was trying to do and was very appreciative of the scope and nuance. I remember being so touched and motivated by this gesture. From time to time, I would get a mail from him appreciating a campaign, a film or a piece of poetry. And I cherished his genuine sentiment, the gentle words, deep observation and validation of being on the right path. He belonged to the rare and nearly extinct breed of advertising stalwarts who could see, appreciate and cheer good work irrespective of which agency it came from. I will miss his emails and words. He leaves behind a vacuum and I am genuinely feeling a sense of loss. Rest in peace, Sir.”

KV Sridhar KV Sridhar

KV Sridhar, advertising veteran and former CCO, SapientNitro, said, “It’s very sad. I have known him for more than 25 years. We worked together at Enterprise. He was a committed planner. A lot of planners do their planning and leave it to creative, but Andy was one of those people who used to push you to do what is the natural outcome of a good piece of planning. He was the one to whom Mohammed Khan used to listen to in those days. He was very fun loving and had a very sweet Bombay language. I remember in our earlier Ad Club events, we used to get drunk and do ‘naagin’ dance. He comes from the first generation of planners. He brought in discipline, scientific thinking and consumer connect in a terrific way. He was an IIM topper. We don’t get IIM toppers in advertising anymore. He belonged to a different era altogether.”

MG Parameswaran MG Parameswaran

MG Parmeswaran, Founder,, said, “Anand Halve, or Andy as we knew him, was one of the original thinker / planners we had in Indian advertising. He had an incisive mind and was capable of taking the leap to help the creative process. I remember the many sessions we had at Gokul three decades ago. Will miss him.”

Santosh Desai Santosh Desai

Santosh Desai, MD and CEO, Futurebrands, said, “It is a terrible loss. Andy had a very sharp and analytical mind. He was a very original thinker who had a great influence in the industry. On a personal level, he was a very generous human being. A lot of people have learnt from him. He was a teacher for a long part of his life. As a writer he has written some fundamental text on advertising in the country. He has been a mentor for a whole generation of people.”

Halve’s left brain was that of a management professional, while his right brain embraced shayari (Urdu poetry).


An Urdu poem written by Halve:

Zindagi ke parche me ek sawaal reh gaya,

Har imtihaan me mera ek sawaal reh gaya

Khwaabon ke tuutne se kuchh na badlaa,

Shikwa, gila, afsos, gham, malaal reh gaya

Teri har taareef me khamiyaan si thii…

Sach ka izhaar ankahi misaal reh gaya

Rait pe hamare qadmon-ke nishaan mit gaye,

Dil pe tera naqsh-e-paa beherhaal reh gaya

Haath ki lakeeron pe har haadse lafzon se sajaaye,

Diiwan me apni khabar-e-intekhaal reh gaya…”


RIP Anand Halve. You will be missed always.

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