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Veteran Adman Anil Kapoor Who Re-Built Ulka Passes Away

Anil (Billy) Kapoor the legendary advertising man and former chairman of FCB Ulka passed away on April 12 at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai. He had successfully battled pancreatic cancer almost a decade ago but it recurred aggressively a couple of months ago. He had been living in Singapore for the last several years and was flown back on Saturday. Unlike the fanfare behind the big brands he promoted, his funeral was a private affair. He along with Ranjan Kapur of O&M, Mike Khanna of HTA were referred to as the ‘Punjabi Club’. The trio controlled the era of big brand advertising. Billy was the last to go. One may recall what Ambi Parameswaran wrote when Ulka turned 60 in his column: “It was Bal’s (founder Bal Mundkur) bold move in 1988 that saved the agency. Or it was Anil Kapoor’s courage of conviction that he could rebuild Ulka in a new image. Anil joined as MD in 1988, identified some key managers to re-motivate and retain (Shashi Sinha and Niteen Bhagwat are still in FCBUlka/IPG Group); Anil also managed to rope in a few more – Arvind Wable, Nagesh Alai and yours truly.”  Kapoor is survived by his wife, Rita, daughter Aruna and son Ram Kapoor who is a well-known TV star.