Remembering UAE-based Inca Tanvir Advertising founder Tanvir Kanji
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Remembering UAE-based Inca Tanvir Advertising founder Tanvir Kanji

Remembering UAE-based Inca Tanvir Advertising founder Tanvir Kanji

Kanji set up one of the Middle East’s first full-service advertising agencies in 1976 in Sharjah

Tanvir Kanji, head of Inca Tanvir, an independent integrated communications company and marketing and PR consultancy

Tanvir Kanji, chairman of the Inca Group of Companies – including the group’s flagship Inca Tanvir Advertising, – died on January 2, 2022, at the age of 78.

Kanji set up one of the Middle East’s first full-service advertising agencies in 1976 in Sharjah, UAE. He had visited for three weeks the previous year, and was “convinced that this is where I wanted to be”, he told UAE newspaper Khaleej Times in a 2015 interview. He would later become a founder of the UAE chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) and was president of the chapter until 2006.

In 2006, Kanji was awarded the IAA’s Medal of Merit, and Publicity Man of the Year awards. In 2009 he was named Advertising Person of the Year by Dubai Lynx.

Marwan Kai, CEO of Media Interactive Services Gulf, said: “I had the privilege of serving with Tanvir on multiple IAA Executive Boards and was his VP for the best IAA World Congress ever held in Dubai in 2006.

“Tanvir was a man of integrity, wit and charm. He worked tirelessly to ensure the industry’s voice was heard, to encourage the youth to take up a career in the marcomms world and to grow the size of the industry across the MENA region

“Like the group of Lebanese that escaped the Civil War in Lebanon and came and set up their agencies in Dubai, Tanvir left his native India to come and seek a better future in the UAE and succeeded in creating a hugely successful agency in the UAE, as well as other businesses.

“Tanvir will be dearly missed by his friends in the ad industry and beyond; he will always be remembered for his charm, energy and honesty. RIP Tanvir.”

Ian Fairservice, CEO and group publisher of Motivate Media Group, said: “I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Tanvir, a friend and colleague of over 40 years. He opened his advertising agency a couple of years before we launched What’s On in 1979 and was always encouraging and hugely supportive.

“We shared many memorable experiences Both founding members of the International Advertising Association in the Emirates, we served consecutive terms as IAA-UAE President and attended several world congresses together, along with others on our very active and close-knit board.

“Tanvir was a brilliant adman and personally highly creative. Yet, unusually in our industry, he was not showy but discreet, humble and extremely generous in his help to others. A trailblazer of the Middle East advertising industry, Tanvir will be greatly missed and very fondly remembered.”

This story first appeared on Campaign Middle East 

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