Monday, May 03, 2021

City’s top brand strategist dies in Kodagu air crash Niranja

Bangalore: Spending the weekend flying over picturesque locales of Kodagu turned out to be fatal for Bengaluru's prominent brand strategist and top-businessman Ramesh Rao when his microlight crashed near green hilly tracts close to Begurkoli village near Virajpet town in the district on Saturday afternoon.

While Rao (54) succumbed to the injuries around 3 pm on Sunday his co-flier-cum-friend K Subramani is battling for his life at the Apollo Hospital in Mysore.

The cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained.

Superintendent of police (Kodagu) Vartika Katiyar confirmed the air mishap to Bangalore Mirror: “The accident occurred about 2.30 pm on Saturday around the Srimangala area near Virajpet when the microlight was being flown by two identified as Ramesh Rao and K Subramani. The two suffered serious injuries and were shifted to hospital. While Rao succumbed to the injuries today (Sunday), Subramani is under observation in the ICU.”

Vartika said the air crash will be investigated by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Aviation experts and those who have flown with Rao in the past speculate technical glitches in the microlight aircraft

to have caused the crash. “It appears that they tried landing the aircraft on noticing some problem and that is when things could have gone horribly wrong. The aircraft crashed near Begurkoli village,” sources said.

“People in the neighbourhood who witnessed the crash rushed to the spot and rescued both of them. The two had suffered multiple fractures and were severely bleeding,” a local resident informed Mirror over phone.

Rao was serving as the managing director of Scion Advertising Pvt Ltd in Bengaluru and has been delivering brand strategy, design and communication solutions for a wide spectrum of clients across India and the world.

He has worked with well-known brands like Indian Terrain, Café Coffee Day, Gowardhan Dairy, Dark Forest, Arjuna Extracts, Citibank Shelters, Mandala Valley and Autoline.

Rao was on the board of companies like Impress Offset Private Limited, Mandala Valley Vineyards Private Limited, Travancore Palace Resorts Limited and Travancore Regal Resorts Limited.

He was also the former director of Encore Software Ltd. In fact he was in the news recently when Naturo Food & Fruit Products Pvt Ltd, the processed fruit arm of the founders of the erstwhile Nutrine Confectionery, tied up with Scion for development of a brand strategy for its new range of real fruit-based ready-to-eat healthy snacks.

According to sources, Rao had been highly passionate about flying. His profile page on the company’s website says: “When he is not thinking on new business challenges you will find Ramesh flying a microlight or playing the perfect host over a glass of the fine wines which he produces.” Rao has had a miraculous escape in 2013 when his two-seater aircraft made a crash landing at an agricultural field at Kurugod in Bellary District while flying from Kolhapur to Bengaluru on a business trip. 

04/05/21 Niranjan Kaggere/Bangalore Mirror

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