Submitted by admin on Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:47

CVL Srinivas, Country Manager, WPP India and CEO, GroupM South Asia, is the recipient of this year’s exchange4media Influencer Award, instituted to acknowledge and honour an individual who has been a trail-blazer in his/her sphere in the communication arena.


CVL Srinivas aka ‘Srini’, Country Manager, WPP India and CEO, GroupM South Asia, is the recipient of this year’s exchange4media Influencer Award, instituted to acknowledge and honour an individual who has been a trail-blazer in his/her sphere in the communication arena. The award was presented to him by Subhash Chandra, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Essel Group of companies, at the exchange4media Conclave 2017 in Mumbai. Srini is a very popular man in industry circles, and behind his softspoken demeanour lies a strong leader and visionary, architect of great success stories in the media agency domain, and credited with GroupM’s highly successful journey in India.

In its inaugural year in 2016, Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd, had won the exchange4media Influencer Award.


Congratulations for winning the award! Srini has really changed the model for GroupM, not just in India but the region as a whole and we are hopeful that other businesses, other countries in GroupM Asia and around the world will use the same model. Well done, Srini, well done, GroupM, well done all the GroupM agencies in India. We are very proud of you.


I know that the exchange4media Group has named my colleague and friend Srini as the Influencer of the Year. Srini and his team of innovators and disruptors are doing amazing things to drive one of the world’s most exciting and rapidly developing media economies to new heights. In recognition of that, Srini has also been named WPP’s country leader for India, so there are a lot of good things to come, not only for our own business but for the industry. Thank you for this recognition. I couldn’t be more proud, both in terms of GroupM’s relationship with Srini and the business he leads for us, but also for the Indian advertising and media economy.

Srini has an incredible ability to stay calm through all highs and lows. In the seven years that we have worked together, we have had a great partnership between GroupM and Google. We have had many highs and a few not so great moments. What I really like is Srini’s ability to stay calm and centred. I can’t imagine anybody better deserving of this recognition. Congratulations, Srini! Hope that you are able to influence not just three but five million and more over the coming years in the advertising industry in India.


I want to congratulate Srini as he dons the mantle of being the country head for WPP, well done, Srini! Moving on, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Srini for being the Influencer of the Year. I have known him for many years; he is absolutely a fantastic guy and he fully deserves this recognition. He is a thought leader in the space of media, and very clearly, be it the readership survey or transition to BARC, he has played an amazing role. He started his career with Fulcrum, which was the first media agency in the country, and HUL’s media agency on record. Over the years, he has done a tremendous job of developing and nurturing the relationship with HUL. One of the things that stand out in Srini is his client-first attitude and that gets reflected in all his transactions and relationships with us. I feel very proud today talking about Srini and on behalf of HUL and personally too, I want to congratulate Srini. Well done, and may the wind be always behind you.


Srini is quite amazing. He is a really thoughtful guy... when you meet him, it’s impossible to not come out with that impression. That’s how I felt several years ago, when I first met him. When I started dealing with him, every day the impression got reinforced - that he was intelligent, and that his intelligence was enriched by thoughtfulness and deliberation. He doesn’t say a word that he hasn’t thought through and that is quite remarkable. That is why he has been able to lead his business and this industry from the front. He has challenged the game, reinvented it, made big strides and all of that has been a part of the larger picture. There can’t be a better person to receive the Influencer of the Year Award. Congratulations, well earned and well deserved, Srini.


I am delighted to know that Srini has won the exchange4media influencer award. We could not have a more deserving person to win this award. Srini has demonstrated during his time at Madison and GroupM that he is mature, responsible, a silent and quiet worker who is very effective and delivers results both for his employers and for his clients. All the best, Srini! Keep flying high and keep the media flag flying high.



I am happy that this award stays with Bangalore, at least for now, says Srini


I feel truly humbled to be recognized as the Influencer of the Year and am especially delighted as I follow in the footsteps of my dear friend Raj Nayak, a very inspirational leader and a fellow Bangalorean! I am happy that this award stays with Bangalore, at least for now! I’d like to thank the exchange4media Group, Anurag, Nawal and the entire team for giving me this honour. I would like to thank the entire GroupM and WPP family, all the staff, my ExCo who are here tonight. I’d like to thank my predecessors at GroupM, Andre Nair, Ashutosh Srivastava and Vikram Sakhuja. GroupM is what it is today because of the solid foundation and visionary leadership that we were fortunate to have, thanks to these three stellar leaders who helped take the agency to new heights. What we did in the last 4-5 years was just building on top of that. I would also like to thank the gentleman who gave me my break and because of whom I am in the industry, Fali Vakeel of Lintas Bangalore. Back in 1991, I was doing my management course at XLRI, Jamshedpur and for the summer project, my only criterion was that the placement should be in Bangalore, because I had got sick of hostel food and was missing my masala dosas. Unfortunately, no Bangalore-based company came to the campus that year and I had to go out on my own and look for a summer project. Those days, Bangalore was pretty simple, straightforward, with not so much of traffic and all the offices were on MG Road. I took about 20 copies of my resume and started from one end of the MG Road and went to Lipton House, Madura Garments, Arvind (in between went to Ajanta and had a dosa as well). I kept going from office to office and nobody gave me a summer project. The last office on that road was Shivprasad Complex. I just walked in there and there was Fali Vakeel. Those days, I had a lot more hair, a nice parting and was dressed like a seedha saada guy. He probably saw the way I was dressed, read my resume, saw that I had done engineering and just looked at me and said, “I think you will do well in media”. He gave me a summer project in media and that’s how it started.

Thanks to him, I got the project and ended up getting a job in Lintas the next year. So thanks Fali, wherever you are, for getting me here. There’ll be lots of other people who have influenced me all through my career. When I joined, the industry was full of doyens and superstars, people whom one could look up to. Since I had the good fortune of working in both Lintas and HTA, which is what JWT was called back then, People like Ketaki Gupte, Ambika Srivastava, Sainath Iyer, not only taught me the art and science of media planning but more than that.

It was their amazing work ethic which inspired me. There are two other very special people I’d like to thank todayfor playing a very big role in making me who I am. Suresh Shankar, my first boss at Fulcrum, a very inspirational leader and Sam Balsara, with whom I worked for about six years. Also, all my colleagues on all the industry boards, BARC, AAAI, and members of ABC, MMA, RSCI, etc., for all the collaboration and all the work. Last but not least, I would like to thank all our clients and media partners.

My wife keeps saying that our industry is hyped. Every piece of little business moving is breaking news and every person leaving from one agency to join another is bigger breaking news. She comes home coolly after signing a million dollar PE deal, and doesn’t even get mentioned anywhere! That’s good for me, because that’s my reality check when I go back home. Thanks so much, Mona. And of course I thank my mom, who will probably be the only person who’ll find it very difficult to believe that I got this award because she still thinks I am growing up! You know how mothers are, and they are always right.

It’s also a little funny that this is happening in 2017 because it’s been exactly 10 years since I took that very famous break in my career. One day, I just chucked my job, felt fed up and bored and wanted to do something different. I had no plans in life and just walked into a music school in Gurgaon, next to where I lived, and started learning the tabla. I did that for almost a year and the only people I interacted with were 5-6-year-olds because they were my classmates and we all played tabla together. If I look back over the 25 years of my career, that one year of resetting my life has really helped me find new paths.


Thank you.


I am delighted Srini is winning this year’s Influencer of the Year Award, and there couldn’t be a better choice. He has contributed a lot to the industry in the last one year, be it his active involvement in seeing IRS through, where IRS is on the verge of being launched, or his active engagement in BARC. He is on the Board, but he does a lot more than just being a Board member, be it evangelizing BARC or ensuring that all constituents are working together. Once again, my hearty congratulations.





Srini, congratulations on winning the Influencer of the Year Award! You truly deserve it. I must say in the little time I have spent with you during your MRUC days, I could really see that you made a lot of impact, and influenced the people around you in a very positive way. I am confident this award will further motivate you to look at more industry issues and influence all of us for better times ahead. All the best to you!





Congratulations, Srini! You truly deserve this Influencer of the Year Award. I have known Srini for 22 years now. He’s worked on my brands from the original days of Fulcrum, which morphed into Mindshare, and to the role he is handling now as the country manager of WPP. Over the past three years, Srini has been instrumental in driving the Mobile Marketing Association. This concept of digital and what digital can do is something that Srini has been evangelizing, and influencing all the big corporations of this country. A richly deserved honour, and I am sure you will have many more honours in your life.



I’ll describe Srini in two sentences, one, what you see is definitely less than what you get and two, he has grown a lot in his career but hasn’t grown up very much. Let me start with Srini, the young professional I met 20 years ago, confident and self-assured in a quiet way... A thinker who wanted to go deep, a different kind of doer who worked the ground and rallied the troops to his cause. But behind that quiet demeanour was a very creative mind. Srini was always thinking two steps ahead and was tremendously innovative. There was always more to him than what you see and hear. Srini, the man, has grown in professional stature but the inner child is never far from the surface. Rock it, dude!


I am extremely happy that my dear friend Srini has been chosen to be the Influencer of the Year. I have known Srini for more than two decades now and it has been a great association and relationship. I couldn’t think of a better person for the Influencer of the Year Award, especially this year. Srini has played a very influencing role in our industry in many ways, he has been actively involved in the creation of BARC, he has been a part of various industry bodies and the way he has evolved and taken GroupM to where it is today... he touches many lives. He and I have one thing in common - we both dote on our mothers. Whenever we meet, we talk about how our mothers are doing, so we connect informally as well. Srini has done very well this year, and the timing is also great as he has just become the county head for WPP... For a media person to be heading both the creative and media side of the business is a great achievement. Srini, I am very happy for you, you have been an inspiration for many people. Wish you all the very best. Continue the good work that you are doing. May you achieve more success, reach greater heights and I love you, my friend!


Over the last 15-20 years that I have known almost all media professionals who have existed in the country, some outside too, most have either long or no hair, they wear fancy ties... but Srini comes across as a normal human being, like you and me. He stands totally on his knowledge base is always very serious, so the award he is getting is not for his ties, hair, looks or oration, but for the substance he carries. I wish him the best.



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