CEO Pi Communications, India
When Sumantra says the company has a new acquisition, more often than not he would be talking not about a new client, but a new award. But then, he’s always been somebody who has placed the creative product on a pedestal. A focus on creativity has been a common thread, from the days he started his career in 1986 in Lintas, through the days he rose up the ranks in his 18 years at JWT to finish as the able head of its Direct Marketing Division.
Sumantra now co-owns pi communications, which started as the Direct & Digital division of M&C Saatchi. Not bad going for somebody who confesses to being more of a grammar Nazi, with an inexplicable love for owls, and none for math.
But in Sumantra’s own words: “I like it when Math Men and Mad Men converge.” This ability to spot in the insights from analytics what others often miss, which he calls ‘seeking creativity from numbers’, is what sets him apart.
This ability, he hopes, is one that has helped fill his shelves with more than its share of awards, including at Cannes.
Sumantra, it could be safely said, is the last man standing among the CEOs who could just as easily have been creative people instead.
As he would have said: “That would be lovely!”