Free Press Journal

Talent capital is still Mumbai: Sam Balsara, Chairman and MD, Madison World

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Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director of Madison World, is the senior-most media professional in the country. He has seen the industry evolve and blossom and understands its nuances like no one else. We had a short but insightful conversation with him on what makes Mumbai stand apart. Excerpts:

How has life in advertising changed since the time advertising and media agencies became two separate entities?
Clearly the importance of media in advertising has grown by leaps and bounds. Media, both as a science and art, as a discipline has grown tremendously and now thanks to the separation, we have a cadre of highly reputed, accomplished and recognisable media professionals. The separation has also helped creative agencies focus more on creative, rather than advertising as a whole. If anything has suffered, it is a one window view of advertising, putting a greater responsibility on the advertiser to see that one view.

Why do you think most advertising and media agencies have their head offices in Mumbai?
Mumbai is where it all started (It was really in Calcutta that it started, but soon moved to Mumbai) and while Delhi has as much business, I would daresay the talent capital is still Mumbai.


Most of the awards at Abby and IFFA are bagged by work done out of Mumbai. What would you attribute it to?
The award shows are also in Mumbai and because of greater exposure in Mumbai, clients and agencies in Mumbai are more award-focused.

What would you have to say about the work culture in the city?
Unbeatable. No other city has as much of a work ethic as Mumbai. This is one area where Mumbai beats other cities by a mile.