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R Gowthaman quits WPP to pursue his passion in the blockchain technology

He is slated to join a blockchain company in October this year from his current role as Global Client Lead, WPP and Global Blockchain Solutions Lead, GroupM

R Gowthaman

Gowthaman Ragothaman, Global Client Lead, WPP and Global Blockchain Solutions Lead, GroupM, is leaving the advertising giant to pursue his passion in the blockchain technology. He is currently serving the notice period until the end of September 2019.

Confirming his move, Gowthaman told that he is currently evaluating a couple of options from companies working in blockchain technology and its applications. He will continue to be based in Singapore.

“Both the organisations have entrusted the responsibility on me to take it on. It is like a blank sheet of paper for me and I am looking forward to it,” he said.

Gowthaman started his career as a media planner in RK Swamy BBDO in 1990 and worked there for five years before moving to Ogilvy Mumbai as media supervisor. He had a small stint with Bates Clarion before starting his 20-year long stint with Mindshare and GroupM in 1999.

Talking about his newfound passion at 50, Gowthaman said, “It is the same passion that brought me to advertising. Fresh out of BITS Pilani after graduating in Master of Management Studies, some big connect showed me the way that this is what I want to do. And after 30 years, I am again in a similar state.”

The risk in this particular technology and application is slightly more pronounced. “There are a lot of speculations and ambiguities behind this technology but I think the speculation will turn to conviction on the technology and its potential soon. Which is why I felt that after spending over a year on this, I should be part of this journey when this speculation becomes conviction, else, I’ll miss the bus,” he said.

In general, there is a misconception that blockchain is all about bitcoin and there is too much distraction about bitcoin at this point in time. Application of this technology has immense potential in the entire adtech ecosystem, GDPR, privacy, complaints and the personalised reward based engagement.

According to Gowthaman, “Bitcoin uses blockchain’s distributed ledger technology. It is not about one single owner or authority but it is about decentralised authority which is run on mutual consensus. And bitcoin uses this to reward someone for doing some activity. If you remove the reward angle and keep the decentralisation of ownership and a structured approach for though consensus, then you see a lot of potential for our industry.”

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