Mumbai Pradeep Guha, managing director of 9X Media and former president of the Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL, also known as the Times Group) passed away in Mumbai on Saturday, August 21. Guha was recently detected with fourth stage liver cancer and was being treated at the city’s Kokilaben Ambani Hospital. The hospital declined to make a statement on the request of Guha’s family. He was 68, and is survived by his wife and their son.
An economics graduate from St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, Guha was associated with the Times Group for 29 years between 1976 and 2005. He was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Zee Entertainment Enterprises the same year, a position he held until 2008. Between 2008 and 2015, he presided over the Asia Pacific division of the International Advertising Association, a global advertising and marketing body established in 1938. In 2010, he was appointed managing director of 9X Media, a position he held until his death.
In January 2010, he founded Fountainhead MKTG along with Brian Tellis, Neale Murray, Owen Roncon, VG Jairam and Otis D’Souza. Several Hindi cinema and television personalities and publishers took to social media to mourn Guha’s death.
Punit Goenka, MD and CEO and of Zee Entertainment, said, “Devastated to lose my mentor, guide and friend Pradeep Guha… It is a huge loss for all of us.” Actor and producer Riteish Deshmukh said, “Extremely saddened by the demise of Mr Pradeep Guha. An absolute icon, a marketing genius- be it beauty queens or page 3 events – he gave them a pedestal to shine.”
The producer”s wife Papia Guha and son Sanket Guha shared the news of his demise in a statement issued to the media. “We regret to announce the sad demise of our dear Mr Pradeep Guha. In these COVID times the family has requested to be allowed to grieve in private and will share a date for a prayer meeting in a few days. No condolence visit at home due to COVID restrictions. Please keep him in your prayers.”
“Deeply shocked and saddened to hear about my friend @guhapradeep‘s passing away !! May you rest in peace Pradeep,”Manoj Bajpayee wrote on Twitter.
Chopra Jonas, who first met Guha during her time at the Miss India pageant in 2000, said,”You were always my forever champion. Your random calls of encouragement, your zest for life and your ambition was something I have always admired so much. This loss is so personal. I will miss your voice and strength so much. I’ve had very few constants in my life and outside my parents, you were one that I truly saw as my mentor. You saw something in me I never knew I had. You never shied away from reminding me on how I could be better. You always lead with charge,” she wrote alongside a video Guha did around the release of her memoir “Unfinished”.
Lara Dutta, the winner of the Miss Universe crown the same year, said Guha was the most successful “Queen maker”, said, “My dearest PG @guhapradeep you were always the KING who was the most successful ‘Queen maker’. May we, your protégés always keep your memory alive and shining bright and may you always watch over us as you have always done. #RIP,”
Actor and Miss Asia Pacific 2000 Dia Mirza recalled a conversation she had with Guha while leaving for the international beauty pageant that filled her with “strength”, wrote, “I will never forget that car ride as you dropped me off to the airport as i left the country to represent India at the Miss Asia Pacific. ”What if i lose?” I had asked you and you said, ”It will be their loss. You are a winner. Those words were everything. They gave the 18 year old me so much strength. And over the years you stood by me. Through good times and bad. Always offering your wisdom,” she posted on Instagram.
Adnan Sami, said, “He was an incredible person & a genius at marketing! I have many fond memories with him starting from the time when he was Editor of ‘Bombay Times’ 20 years ago.”
Subhash Ghai, twetted, “Good bye my friend #Pradeep Guha. I will always be indebted for your genuine love and support to I needed and we all @Whistling_Woods international for your enriched guidance as a director on board since its birth… RIP my friend.”
“Shocked to hear of the passing away of Pradeep Guha. Friend, Pioneer , Game Changer, Mentor to so many. He transformed the media landscape in India. In grief and with love…you”ll be missed Pradeep,” Shekhar Kapur tweeted.
Saddened by his demise, actor Riteish Deshmukh wrote, “Extremely saddened by the demise of Mr Pradeep Guha. An absolute icon, a marketing genius- be it beauty queens or page 3 events – he gave them/it a pedestal to shine. Rest in peace!”.