Friday, February 05, 2016

A.G. Krishnamurthy passes away

A.G. Krishnamurthy, Founder, Mudra Communications Limited, passed away in Hyderabad after a brief illness early this morning. He was 73.
“(He left) hundreds of people and families desolate for he had shaped their careers, outlooks and often their characters,” wrote Ramanujam Sridhar, CEO, brand-comm, in The Hindu Business Line… “AGK had the rare ability of translating complex communication problems into single sentences. His solutions were path-breaking. Who can forget the cute girl eyeballing the camera with an ‘I love you Rasna’ or the advertising for an essentially ordinary tagline ‘only Vimal’ that through different executions, season after season, made it a major brand.”
“As founder Chairman and Managing Director of Mudra Communications, he was well known for steering his agency from a Rs. 35 lakh company to a Rs. 7 billion corporation in remarkably short span of 23 years,” according to a report in exchange4media.
“An outsider to the end - Mudra continued to be headquartered out of Ahmedabad in his lifetime - AGK had an original take on life as well as the advertising business,” according to a report in afaqs. “It was his passion that led to the founding of MICA, the institute for strategic marketing and communications, in 1991. Ironically, today is the 25th anniversary of MICA.”
I had the good fortune of working briefly with AGK, and it is rare to find any Mudraite, from whose memory the advertising and branding genius had faded away. He touched every one with his gestures, pioneering work and values.
“I know that it is unfashionable, but I continue to be a representative of old world middle-class values,” he wrote in his book, If You Can Dream (Tata Mcgraw-Hill Education, Rs 325, 2013). “I stand by a few basic principles. They are time-tested beliefs. I believe that: Hard work pays. If you can dream it you can do it. Dedication and determination are the key tools to achieve our goals. Gains made from dishonest and corrupt ways do not last long. Integrity and goodness are the true stepping stones for a good, happy life.”
After reading excerpts from the book, I wrote to him, “Several of the lines in your book would have a deep impact on the minds of all right-thinking people including myself, as they seem to come from the bottom of your heart….”
In my mail, I had also thanked him for the Ganapati idol he had personally gifted me (soon after I joined Mudra) and the Diwali sarees which Mudra used to gift to the wives of its employees. 
He promptly replied, “We had Mudra Reunion in Ahmedabad on the 28th of April, 2013, one day before the launch of my new book.  Some 60 people gathered there from different parts of the country. When each one was requested to say a few words about their experience of Mudra, believe me most men recalled the Diwali saree and how precious the gesture was and how treasured they are even today, many years after the event.  Quite a touching down memory lane experience it was for all of us. It was a good old world charm - The Mudra Experience.”
May his soul rest in peace even as his words and monumental work – not to forget his values -- continue to inspire all of us.