Ni­tish Tip­nis

Se­nior mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sional Ni­tish Tip­nis, passed away sud­denly. His friend and mar­ket­ing vet­eran San­jay Tri­pa­thy writes an eu­logy.

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San­jay Tri­pa­thy pays homage to a friend and pro­fes­sional.

Iwas shocked to hear from a com­mon friend that Ni­tish Tip­nis passed away on the 4th of Septem­ber 2018, in the evening, at the gym, due to a sud­den car­diac ar­rest. I am still find­ing it dif­fi­cult to be­lieve. That very same day he had wished one of our friends ‘Happy Birth­day’ in our What­sApp group. Life and death are so un­pre­dictable, so close to each other!

Ni­tish started his ca­reer at Nerolac Paints which is just 200 me­tres from my cur­rent house. He used to share his ‘first job’ sto­ries when­ever he was in my build­ing. Ni­tish moved on to join Video­con which be­came the long­est stint of his ca­reer and mo­ti­vated him to be­come an en­tre­pre­neur very early in his ca­reer. He set up Plugin Sales, which was In­dia’s first ‘cor­po­ra­tised’ durables re­tail chain for con­sumer elec­tron­ics and ap­pli­ances. Post that he moved on to set up the con­sumer durables, IT and tele­com busi­nesses for Re­liance Re­tail, which he built from ground zero to a US$2Bn sales biz in five years.

He also did a sim­i­lar stint at Fu­ture Group to build their E-Zone busi­ness. He did two terms with Hover Au­to­mo­tive as di­rec­tor mar­ket­ing, and sales - man­ag­ing the mar­ket­ing, sales, net­work de­vel­op­ment and af­ter sales busi­ness for Nis­san pas­sen­ger cars.

He also spent his last few years at Hover and en­sured the lit­i­ga­tion with Nis­san was brought to a con­clu­sion. He was one of the finest sales and mar­ket­ing minds I have ever met. Ev­ery­one I met was al­ways all praises for him, in­clud­ing his team mem­bers who said he was a fan­tas­tic boss to work with. An amaz­ing team leader who al­ways gave ev­ery­body their space. Over­all, a fan­tas­tic hu­man be­ing and a friend that one would like to cher­ish in of­fice.

Ni­tish was an en­tre­pre­neur from his heart and soul. He loved to build busi­nesses from scratch and prob­a­bly that’s why we con­nected well. Th­ese last few months he was busy build­ing an AI-based fash­ion startup; he had also cre­ated a fo­rum for fash­ion called ‘Who needs fash­ion’ a fun-filled and in­ter­ac­tive dis­cus­sion plat­form where you can an­swer ques­tions on fash­ion and style, in a com­mu­nity. He had a great fash­ion sense. A stylish man with great taste for watches and clothes, he had a pen­chant for shop­ping in Lon­don. He wanted to build his ven­ture on his pas­sion - ‘fash­ion’.

As we both worked for Re­liance and had many com­mon friends, we first met in one of the panel dis­cus­sions atn an event around 10 years back. Ni­tish is not just an­other per­son one meets in most of th­ese con­fer­ences. He was a great or­a­tor, speaker and a bril­liant mod­er­a­tor. His deep bari­tone voice and charis­matic style, warm per­son­al­ity and easy go­ing na­ture caught my at­ten­tion. That started our friend­ship jour­ney as we both kept at­tend­ing pan­els, meets, con­fer­ences, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing fo­rums, thanks to IAMAI, Adtech, iMe­dia, ex­change4­me­dia, afaqs, etc.

Like me, he was out­spo­ken and loved call­ing a spade a spade, and soon we formed a group with a few other like minded CXOs who can speak their mind and are not afraid of the con­se­quences. That started a deep friend­ship among our group mem­bers and we started meet­ing so­cially al­most ev­ery month, apart from for­mal mar­ket­ing events. Ni­tish was a word­smith and had a great sense of hu­mour as ev­i­denced by the laughs he gen­er­ated at par­ties and the get-to­geth­ers. I would like to share one of his last pub­lic tweets here:

He was a great friend and had an in­nate abil­ity to blend with peo­ple ir­re­spec­tive of their pro­fes­sional lev­els and back­ground. He had a zest to learn and was never afraid of start­ing all over again. He was a

keen lis­tener and was em­pa­thetic; he al­ways made oth­ers feel com­fort­able.

I have ex­tremely fond mem­o­ries of chat­ting with him as he sipped on his Earl Grey Tea and gave you his com­plete at­ten­tion. Per­son­ally, he was a close friend with whom I was com­fort­able dis­cussing both ideas and fears. He is a friend whom you went back to dur­ing dif­fi­cult times to keep your spirit high. He calmed you with his ad­vice and his wit. Ni­tish was also highly spir­i­tual and a Satya Sai Baba devo­tee; per­haps that’s why I have never seen him get­ting eas­ily per­turbed. He al­ways shared pos­i­tive en­ergy and was full of en­thu­si­asm.

My mind is still search­ing for an an­swer to the unan­swer­able ques­tion -Why? As they say, ‘Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and im­pos­si­ble to for­get’. We are never ready to say good­bye for­ever even though we know it is a part of life. To­day my heart is heavy for los­ing some­one so spe­cial, but as I mourn your death, I will also cel­e­brate your life.

A keen golfer, a gen­er­ous man, friend, fa­ther, hus­band and guru. May God give enough strength to his fam­ily to bear the ir­repara­ble loss. Ni­tish Tip­nis... Rest in Peace. ■

(San­jay Tri­pa­thy is co-founder and CEO, Agilio Labs, a startup in­cu­ba­tor;

ad­vi­sor, IAMAI (In­ter­net & Mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia); and SHEROES).

“A stylish man with great taste for watches and clothes, he had a pen­chant for shop­ping in Lon­don.”

RIP: Ni­tish Tip­nis

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