Obituary: Framroze Punthakey


May 16, 2009

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KARACHI, May 14: Framroze H. Punthakey, one of the pioneers of Pakistan’s advertising industry, passed away on Thursday in Mumbai.

framroze punthakey He is survived by three children and five grandchildren. His wife Kitty F. Punthakey passed away some years ago.

Born on April 10, 1923, Mr Punthakey began his career in 1948 when he joined the Sindh Observer as advertising manager.

In 1950, he joined Pakistan Herald Publications as advertising manager, and in 1952 he joined D J. Keymer, a subsidiary of S.H. Benson, which in those days was the largest British advertising agency in Pakistan. He worked for S.H. Benson in the capacity of account executive, copywriter, visualiser and production man.


In 1964, he joined the old JWT Pakistan (which closed down in 1971) and then in 1968 he joined Asiatic Advertising (precursor to JWT Pakistan) as manager. He went on to become a partner in the agency. After Asiatic was sold to JWT, Mr Punthakey took over Asiatic Public Relations (which he co-founded) as managing director.

In the advertising community Mr Punthakey was an exacting and demanding professional for whom excellence was a byword. He turned many of those who worked under him into the kind of professionals who were able to establish their own agencies. Scores of young people were trained under him. His major clients were Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Engro Fertilizer, Excide Batteries, KLM, the Boeing Company and Johnson & Johnson.

Mr Punthakey was a great supporter of the arts and counted Gulgee, Zainul Abedin, Sadequain and the early Pakistani painter Mohammed Amin among his friends. He was a trustee of the Indus School of Art and Chairman of the H.J. Behrana Fire Temple.

A crusader in the cause of democracy, Mr Punthakey was a staunch supporter of civilian rule and a life-long supporter of the Bhutto family and the Pakistan People’s Party.

During the MRD movement, he wrote passionately against the detention and imprisonment of journalists, and against the successive dictatorships endured in Pakistan. He refused to attend all APNS annual award functions to which General Ziaul Haq was invited.

In 2007 the AURORA Awards for Advertising Excellence, organised by the DAWN Media Group, presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Earlier, he agreed to receive the APNS Golden Jubilee Award only because Benazir Bhutto was then the prime minister of Pakistan and was able to attend the ceremony as chief guest. She gave him a standing ovation when he came to the podium and thanked him for his unwavering support in the cause of democracy.

Theirs was an old friendship as Benazir Bhutto had known him since she was a teenager. He was delighted when Benazir Bhutto, in deference to him, agreed to be the chief guest at the 25th anniversary celebrations of Asiatic Advertising.

Apart from his dynamic career, Mr Punthakey was an avid writer, a keen gardener and an avid agriculturist.

He was the scion of the Punthakey family, which had settled in Sindh in the mid-1800s in the then small town of Daur. His family owned over 3,000 acres of agricultural land in the village of Framabad, which was named after his illustrious grandfather, Framroze Edulji Punthakey.

In a statement released by the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Mujeeb-ur-Rahman Shami, president, and Dr Jabbar Khattak, secretary-general, on behalf of the office-bearers and members of the executive committee of the APNS, expressed their profound grief over the sad and sudden demise of Mr F.H. Punthakey.

‘He was one of the pioneers of the advertising profession and contributed a lot towards the development of (the) newspaper and advertising industry. The office-bearers noted that with the demise of Mr Punthakey, the newspaper industry has lost an experienced and decent friend,’ says the statement.

Original article here.