A G Krishnamurthy, founder of Mudra Communications, passed away in Hyderabad on Friday morning after a brief illness. He was 73. He passes away on a day when MICA, the institute for strategic marketing and communications he set up in 1991, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Krishnamurthy founded Mudra Communications with Rs 35,000 in Ahmedabad, his favourite city, in 1980. A mere nine years later, in 1989, the small regional agency became India’s third largest advertising agency. Today, the advertising behemoth is firmly ensconced among the top 10. "When I started Mudra, it was not just a full time job, it became my mission in life," AGK, as Krishnamurthy was fondly called, used to say.
Krishnamurthy didn't start off to be in advertising, but landed up in the business when he was handed the mammoth task of producing "the best possible advertising in textiles" for Reliance's in-house fabric brand, Vimal, by none other than group patriarch Dhirubhai Ambani. By 1980 Mudra was spun off as an independent advertising agency, and it began scouting for the advertising business of other Gujarat-based entrepreneurs. In no time, Mudra set up branches across the country, becoming a full-service national-level advertising house that could effectively challenge multinational ad networks that ruled the industry back then.
Mudra continued to be headquartered in Ahmedabad during much of his lifetime. Krishnamurthy set up AGK Brand Consult soon after he left Mudra in March 2003.
MICA (formerly Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad), today is the alma mater of professionals serving in leadership positions in some of the best known companies in India, in marketing, brand management, research and analytics, advertising, media, digital and related businesses.