Anant Rangaswami, senior journalist and advertising industry professional, passed away on Tuesday morning. He was a former editor of Storyboard and a champion and a critic of the advertising and marketing industry, always striving to make it better — a better place to work and to have fun. He was generous with his time, wisdom and wit.
Condolence messages started pouring in from industry executives who remember him as a straightforward, inquisitive and a deep-thinking individual who contributed immensely towards the media and advertising fraternity.
Two industry stalwarts, Piyush Pandey and Shashi Sinha, pay their tributes to Rangaswami —
Piyush Pandey, Chairman of Global Creative Ogilvy Worldwide & Executive Chairman, Ogilvy India:
Anant was a great human being and a very close friend. He was my partner in the books and a confidant on issues that I could not talk to other people about sometimes concerning my own people. He was a perfect sounding board, he added a voice of objectivity to my thinking, whether he agreed or didn’t agree but I always wanted to use that sounding board.
He knew that I could speak to him and he did justice to it always. He’s a friend of my family and he was a friend of the industry. A great observer and an objective commentator on the industry. It’s a massive loss to everyone and of course, it’s a huge loss to his family.
My heart reaches out to his family, particularly his mother and a lot of friends he had in the industry, more friends than one can imagine. I think he had a mind of his own and he was never scared of expressing it, of course always in the interest of the industry. He did not have any agenda because he had nothing to gain from the industry. He had been in the industry and he had a point of view and it was a very objective point of view.
Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India:
I have known Anant for many many years. I mean it’s really difficult to remember… 30 years or more since we are both in the industry. In an advertising business it is easy for people to be polite and not give genuine feedback… Anant had a knack of calling it out wherever necessary so that the industry could do well. Whatever criticism he gave was always meant for the good of the industry.
For him the industry came before anything else… it was not about his own company or his editorial team. It was always about the industry. I don’t know too many people today who look at it that way. It will be a real loss for someone who critiqued and gave suggestions on how to improve…it’s a terrible loss. I have high regard and good memories with Anant.
Those who knew Anant well knew that he cared more about the industry more than anything else. For him it was not ‘his job’ or ‘my job’ or the company he worked… it was always about the advertising industry.