Response India’s Chairman Ram Ray passed away early morning today. Ray, who gave over 40 years to the advertising industry, also headed JWT India and USA and Bates (Clarion).
Ray’s great work was hidden to none and appreciated and recognised in India and globally. Ray in his career had worked with more than 200 diverse clients and around 1,600-1,700 marcom and graphic design professionals in India and the US.
In the past, he headed Hindustan Thompson Associates Madras, Bangalore, and Calcutta.
Ray’s connect with JWT was for more than 20 years. He served on the operating boards of JWT, India and USA, headed JWT San Francisco, initiated JWT in Colombo, and started JWT affiliates’ networking in West Asia, Egypt and Bangladesh.
Apart from this, he blueprinted JWT USA’s start-up operation in Dallas and had working stints at JWT Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong.
Ray founded Wysiwyg communications in Kolkata and co-founded Ray+Keshavan Design Associates in Bangalore. From 1992 -97, Ray served as a CEO and President of Bates creative (earlier known as Clarion). He was also a founder member and past president of Concern for Calcutta.
About the loss in the industry, Tarun Rai, Chairman & Group CEO, Wunderman Thompson South Asia, said, “Another legend of Indian advertising has passed away. His contribution to both JWT and to our industry is immense. By the time I joined JWT in 1989, Ram Ray was not working with us in India and so I didn’t have any interaction with him. However, when I went to head our office in Kolkata, in 2000, I met Ram many times, though he was now running his own agency, Response. He is the one who reminded me of the significance of the rather uncomfortable mahogany chair I was occupying at our charming Bondel Road office. It was once occupied by Subhash Ghosal and later by Ram. For me, it was quite an honour to be occupying the same office and chair that both these gentlemen sat in. Ram and I lost touch once I moved to Mumbai but I will always cherish my interactions with him in my brief two-year stint in Kolkata.”
In a Facebook post, Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman, CEO, FCB India, wrote, “Though you never let me rest in peace at Response. You drove me to the edge. Mercilessly. Everyday. It was painful then. But wonderful now. Thank you for shaping my life. Thank you for making me fall in love with advertising. Thank you for showing me my potential. You will always be my YODA.”
A few other industry people shared their grief on social media:
He was and will always be the legend in the ad world. We used to call him adguru. So many stories associated with him and so many left to be shared. A man with great personality and genuine honesty. Ram Ray you will be missed. RIP Ram da.— Prosenjit Chatterjee (@prosenjitbumba) November 12, 2019
The light goes out of a legend. Ram Ray is no more.— Mayukh Ranjan Ghosh (@mayukhrghosh) November 12, 2019
Doyen of Indian #Advertising, Creater of legendary Bengali campaigns, founder of #Response #RamRay passes away in Kolkata.
Rest in Peace. @PritishNandy @derekobrienmp @prasoonjoshi_ @virsanghvi @suhelseth
We will miss you, Ram Ray. One of India’s advertising legends. Loved Kolkata. Loved Bengal. Loved advertising— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) November 12, 2019
Very sad to hear of the passing of Ram Ray, a giant of Indian advertising. He was a deeply cultured human being, even by Bengali standards.— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) November 12, 2019
To those who knew him in advertising and in Calcutta, Mr Ram Ray of Response is no more. Another legend gone... #RIP— Mohit Hira (@mohitoz) November 12, 2019