L&K Saatchi & Saatchi India CEO Anil Nair exits to start ‘charitable biking company’ Goodwind Moto Tours

Anil S Nair

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi CEO and managing partner Anil S Nair has left the agency to create Goodwind Moto Tours which he describes as being “the world’s first charitable biking company”. He will remain an advisor to L&K Saatchi & Saatchi. 

Paritosh Srivastava who is currently chief operating officer at Publicis Ambience and Publicis Beehive has been named Nair’s successor. He will formally assume responsibility in January 2020.

Nair was part of the founding team of the agency which was initially known as Law & Kenneth, a collaboration between former St Luke’s founder Andy Law and Praveen Kenneth.

He was named CEO and managing partner in 2014, shortly after the agency was bought over by Publicis and took over the then floundering local operation of Saatchi & Saatchi. 

Praveen Kenneth divested his stake in the agency in 2017. Another member of the founding team, Anil K Nair had left to join VMLY&R India as CEO earlier this year.  

Speaking to Mumbrella about the reasons for his exit, Anil S Nair said: “From the time we started out and were wondering where the money for the next salary cycle will come from, the agency has grown sizeable and very strong. 

“Over the last couple of years, the numbers were getting bigger and we had more clients and people. But to be honest, I felt I was doing more or less the same thing – and that it had been that way for a while.

“I have always wanted to be a creator. It didn’t make sense to do that in advertising since I had already played a part in creating a pretty good company.” 

Nair turned to Goodwind Riding – a passion project that he had started with a few friends, where they undertook bike rides to raise funds for underprivileged children. 

He said: “It had been very sporadic, but the idea to turn it into a business hit me at the Cannes Lions. I saw a lot of advertising that was trying to change the world. But will it really make a difference was something that I have always wondered about. Were we doing this just to win awards? Some of it struck me as poverty porn.”

And so Nair decided to create Goodwind Motor Tours, guided rides around India, targeted at high-end global tourists. Part of the proceeds from the income earned during the tours will be donated to charity. He said: “‘Feel Good, Do Good’ is our motto.” 

Nair will be using everything that he learned in his years in advertising to grow Goodwind Moto Tours. He intends creating a fleet of indigenous Royal Enfield motorcycles and said: “You come to India to ride an elephant – not to go to an amusement park.”

The audience he will first be focusing on is  European bikers and then enthusiasts from the UK, Australia, the United States and Canada.

The premium-priced tours will officially be launched in September next year and Nair sees himself riding at least once a month – “for fun and not out of necessity.”

He also said he will be working on an AI-powered product in the B2B space which wouldn’t have anything to do with the advertising business. 

Speaking about advertising, Nair stressed that he was not walking away from it and would still be advising L&K Saatchi & Saatchi on a few key clients and initiatives. He said: “It is hard to cut the umbilical cord. It’s a fascinating and wonderful business.

“While digital and technology has created multiple opportunities, the core is still the brand. You still need creative, sensitive people to protect it and wrap it all together. As long as brands exist, the industry will exist”

On Nair stepping down, Publicis Communications India and South Asia CEO Saurabh Varma said: “It’s a bittersweet feeling. Anil has had a hankering for biking for many years and I admire his zeal and passion to pursue his dream. 

“He has been an exceptional leader and business partner. I would like to thank Anil for everything he has done for Publicis Groupe. I wish him the very best for his future.”

Paritosh Srivastava

On Srivastava’s appointment, Varma added: “It wasn’t an easy task to find Anil’s successor. After evaluating a number of candidates both internally and externally, we found Paritosh to be an incredible fit for this role. 

“His powerful business acumen skills and ability to deliver through cross-functional collaboration and integration is why we believe he will be the perfect fit.” 

Srivastava said: “It has been an incredible journey of over eight years with Publicis Worldwide, leading Ambience and Beehive.

“L&K Saatchi & Saatchi is a powerful brand with an amazing portfolio. I would like to thank all the past leaders and founders who have contributed to making it the force it is and specially Anil for his contribution and continued support.”


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