While the AdAsia conference was in progress at Macao virtually last week, a hybrid event was held concurrently in Mumbai to induct two advertising industry veterans into the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA) Hall of Fame. Media icon Pradeep Guha was posthumously inducted into the AFAA Hall of Fame for 2019, while adman Ramesh Narayan entered the AFAA Hall of Fame for 2021. AFAA’s Chairman elect, Srinivasan Swamy, was presented the AFAA Special Merit Award for 2019.
Raymond So, Chairman, AFAA, said, “The AFAA Hall of Fame sets out to recognise the best of the very best. It’s for those who’ve defined a generation of advertising -those who we look up to, who inspire us, who have done what few others have ever done or could ever do. For those who have pioneered, those who have been on top, stayed there and will always be there. The very few we can call legends.” Reading out the citation for Guha, So lauded “his efforts in nurturing the IAA/AFAA Olive Crown Awards in its early stages” and paid tribute to his exceptional leadership cutting across cultures and domains.
Reading the citation for Narayan, So recognised “his selfless contribution to AFAA, to the global advertising and marketing community and to the society at large” and called him out “for his integrity, truthfulness, effective communication skills, and unique way of winning friends and influencing people.”
Papia Guha, wife of Pradeep Guha, accepted the honour on his behalf on the stage in Mumbai. She thanked AFAA and reiterated the fact that Guha loved advertising and knew the power of effective communication to bridge gaps and build bridges towards a more dynamic and cohesive society, be it connecting India to the Cannes Lions, championing peers who were and are creative and marketing legends of the industry, or organizing and hosting AdAsia 2003 and other events. “Pradeep would have always wanted the show to go on, and to be a part of that show. So, there can be no greater tribute to him than honouring him today. Gratitude is the single emotion I wish to convey,” she said in an emotional speech.
In his acceptance speech, Ramesh Narayan said, “I'd like to thank AFAA and all my friends across Asia for this huge honour bestowed on me. Around 23 years ago, I was invited by my friend Pradeep Guha (you see, I don't say the late Pradeep Guha, because he lives in our minds and in our hearts) to join the AFAA movement and help make a bid to bring AdAsia to India. This culminated in the AdAsia 2003 at Jaipur. For me, it was an introduction to industry work, over and above my own agency work, and that experience is ongoing. I'd like to acknowledge the immense work done by all the architects of AFAA and to accept this honour on behalf of all of them.”
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