CHANGE OF GUARD

Bharat Thakrar resigns from WPP Scangroup

Scangroup founder steps down after 35 years at help

In Summary

•He listed the company on the Nairobi Stock Exchange through an initial public offer in 2006

•In his 40 years in the industry, his companies have created some of the most memorable advertising campaigns

WPP Scangroup has accepted the resignation of Bharat Thakrar as Chief Executive of the company.

 “Bharat Thakrar has resigned as the director of the company and its affiliates," the board said in a statement.

Thakrar who founded Scanad, his first advertising agency in 1986, built Scangroup into one of the largest marketing communications businesses in Africa.

He listed the company on the Nairobi Stock Exchange through an initial public offer in 2006 and grew the company’s revenues from Sh3 billion to over Sh 17 billion.

In 10 years the company paid out dividends of over Sh6.9 billion to over 20,000 shareholders including its majority shareholder WPP.

In his 40 years in the industry, his companies have created some of the most memorable advertising campaigns including Tusker Milele, Niko Na Safaricom, Stori ibambe winning multiple industry awards.

“Bharat built up the advertising industry. He put Kenya on the map, built careers and brands.  He is the AdMan as he called himself," said a former employee.

He said if it was not for Bharat, WPP would have found it hard to successfully get a footing in Africa.

"They bought into his vision. I worked for him and I know we built a good unit.  He was passionate about people and he always pushed me to do my best," said the ex-staffer.

He said Bharat always had a desire for his people to grow with him. 

"He always used to tell us if his company is growing and as an individual, you're not growing then you're the problem.  He has stepped out, but his achievements stand to outlive him,” said the former colleague.