With more than three and a half decades of significant experience, during which he has been associated with and driven several top brands, Sunil Lulla’s name will most likely be amongst the first five to come to mind, were you to be asked to name the five most respected professional leaders in the Media, Consumer and Content space in India. And now, Sunil Lulla is Founder & Chief Evangelist at The Linus Adventures LLP, which, he says in his unique wordsmith fashion, is an ‘in-residence consulting service’.
The Linus Adventures, Sunil tells me, “is about Growing Businesses, Building Brands and Enabling Cultures”, and for this, it will make Sunil available “to engage with promoters and CXOs, directly in the consumer, digital and content domains”.
To set up The Linus Adventures, Sunil quit his top job at Balaji Telefilms Ltd as Group CEO. As he puts it, “I will continue to spearhead some interesting initiatives on the consumer, content, technology and the digital front.”
The Linus Adventures’s “engagements are retainer-basis,” says Sunil. He has signed up two clients, and expects another two do follow suit very soon. “The domains are tech, content, digital, consumer.”
And how will the in-residence consulting service work? “I will work closely with the promoter / CXO and their teams, remote or in their office – because I can help them drive business success fast,” Sunil says. And on team size, he says, “My proposition is what I do – the team is the client’s talented and energetic team. I am like the coffee bean – which dissolves seamlessly – hopefully invigorating everyone.”
Elaborating a bit, he says, “I work with clients where both have mutual comfort of working with each other, and know of each other or know each other.”
Sunil says he will continue to be based “in Bombay, as I call it; clients are not necessarily based in Mumbai, though.”
Sunil is known to be a driven professional, and a marathoner for very long now. That mindset includes in Sunil’s table of offerings, an agility and speed to market with ideas and growth execution. Which mindset, incidentally, is captured in the name of his new venture – Linus. As Sunil puts it, “SUNIL spelt the other way around is LINUS – it is also my running moniker. Linus is Charlie Brown’s best friend and he is really smart.” So that’s about ‘Linus’ in The Linus Adventures. “Adventure, because I make life an adventure which is valuable, memorable and enjoyable,” Sunil explains. “Hence the experience is an adventure.”
“Moreover,” says Sunil, “what I can bring to a business is accelerated positive change. A big surge of energy and transformation of culture and ideas – all leading to growth and success. So that’s the positive.”
Sunil Lulla – 35 years of rich experience
So what is the kind of top brain for hire that Sunil’s ‘in-residence consulting service’ will provide? Look at his profile: Prior to Group Chief Executive Officer at Balaji Telefilms Ltd, Sunil was Chairman and Managing Director of GREY Group India, and before that, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Times Television Network. Over the last 35 years, Sunil has enriched himself with extensive experience in building brands and businesses, with start-ups and turning around businesses, in the consumer, media (TV and Digital), content and the internet technology spaces.
His early years were spent in Sales, and soon thereafter, with J Walter Thompson, a leading global advertising agency, in senior positions in India, China & Taiwan.
Sunil was member of the team which helped turned around Sa Re Ga Ma (HMV) and took it from the Red to the Black in India.
He kick-started and built MTV to a # 1 position in India.
At SONY, with successful programming, Sunil re-built the channel to a strong # 2 GEC. He started up indya.com, subsequently acquired by News Corp/ STAR. He helped start, shape and develop the Times Television Network (owned by the Times Group) which comprises of successful and leading TV channels: ET NOW, MOVIES NOW, ROMEDY NOW, TIMES NOW and zoOm. Its TV channels are now present in 100 countries.
At GREY, Sunil initiated and led the turnaround of the agency’s growth and profitability, building a new team, new skills, robust new clients and a vibrant culture.
Sunil has been a member of many industry associations and helps drive policy- and agenda-setting themes for the advertising, media and entertainment industry, and continues to be on the boards of companies.
He is an active sports oriented person fond of running, squash, sailing and swimming. While at rest, it’s dramas, movies and books, with a good hand at Mixology.