The Advertising Agencies Association of India has announced that this year’s AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to Madhukar Kamath. This is the highest honour to be given to an individual in India for his/her outstanding contribution to the advertising industry.
The AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Kamath on September 6 in Mumbai.
Ashish Bhasin, President, AAAI, said, “Madhukar Kamath is an inspiration for generations in our industry. His contribution in making Mudra into one of the top agencies in India is extremely commendable. In addition to his professional achievements, he has done so much for the industry. Under his Presidentship, AAAI made significant progress. He is truly deserving of this honour.”
Nakul Chopra, Chairman of the AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award Selection Committee, said, “Madhukar Kamath was the unanimous choice given his stature in the Indian advertising industry. In his case, it was never a question of if, it was only a question of when. My heartiest congratulations to him for this richly deserved honour.”
Kamath is an alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur and Loyola College, Chennai. He has more than four decades of experience in the advertising industry and has spent over 25 years in the erstwhile Mudra, now the DDB Mudra Group. Under his leadership, Mudra transformed itself from an advertising agency into one of India’s leading integrated marketing communications groups. Madhukar also played a key role in the Omnicom acquisition of the Mudra Group and the integration with the Global DDB Network. Subsequently, he facilitated the entry of Interbrand, a leading global brand consultancy into India, and functioned as its Chairman. Currently, Madhukar is the Chairman Emeritus of the DDB Mudra Group and Mentor Interbrand India.
Madhukar has actively participated in and has led several industry bodies. He was Vice-President of AAAI (2005-07) and President of AAAI (2007-09). During his tenure as President, AAAI, Madhukar initiated and concluded the entry of media agencies in the fold of AAAI after amending the constitution. During Madhukar’s tenure, an IAMAI-AAAI joint agreement was signed for the promotion and smooth working of Digital media. He also led the AAAI’s involvement in creation of BARC.
Madhukar played a vital role in conceiving and facilitating one industry- one award programme and The Advertising Club joined hands with AAAI for its prestigious Goafest. This led to Abby Awards being presented at Goafest since 2008. Kamath worked closely with presidents of IBF, ISA and INS in organising AdAsia 2011 in New Delhi.
He was also Chairman of ASCI (The Advertising Standards Council of India). He is currently serving on the board of the Audit Bureau of Circulation as Vice-Chairman and is soon set to take over as Chairman of ABC.
Madhukar took forward the legacy of A G Krishnamurthy in building MICA and establishing it as India’s leading business School for Strategic Marketing and Communication Management. He was the Chairman of Mudra Foundation from 2003 to 2017. He was the Chairperson of the Governing Council of MICA from 2010-17.
In 2013, Madhukar became an Executive Board member of Plan International India, which is a not-for-profit organisation striving to advance children’s rights and equality for girls, thus creating a lasting impact. Helping Plan India reach an impact on the lives of 10 million girl children as a part of their Country Strategic Plan is also very close to his heart. Madhukar joined the Board of Music Broadcast India (Radio City) in 2017.
The AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual who has been a practitioner of advertising for 25 years and had been in the top management position; has been or continues to be an active participant in industry bodies and or made significant contributions in shaping the industry priorities which enabled the advertising industry to grow, prosper and become more professionalised; individual known for his integrity, ethical practice and leadership qualities; contributed to his company/companies' growth by innovative thinking and taking them in newer directions; involved in projects of social consequence which is seen as a role model for the industry at large and had been an industry veteran.
This award was instituted in 1988 by AAAI and some of the past winners include Subhas Ghosal, Alyque Padamsee, Mike Khanna, Piyush Pandey, Sam Balsara, Prem Mehta, Ram Sehgal and others.