Mumbai: A.G. Krishnamurthy, the founder of Mudra Communications died in Hyderabad, on Friday, following a brief illness. He was 73.

Born in 1942 in Vinukonda in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Krishnamurthy was considered a doyen of the Indian advertising industry. A graduate in History from the Andhra University, Krishnamurthy started his journey in 1968 with Calico Mills, a big textile firm in the 60s and 70s. He moved to its advertising agency—Shilpi Advertising as an account executive four years later. In 1976 he moved to Reliance Industries as its advertising manager, a job which included overseeing the advertising for their in-house fabric brand Vimal. The experience eventually culminated in him founding Mudra Communications, in the summer of 1980. The agency was owned by Reliance Industries. Under his leadership , Mudra went from catering to Reliance to local businesses in Gujarat to clients from across India. It became India’s third largest advertising agency in 1989, and played a hand in building brands such as Vimal Fabrics and Rasna, a soft drink concentrate brand, into industry leaders.

It was Krishnamurthy’s vision to set up an institute that would feed India’s growing adverting industry with trained talent. In March 1991, he set up Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA). A few years later he set up Mudra International, probably the first time an Indian agency had set up shop on foreign shores. He was also an author and wrote over 15 books In English as well as Telugu. His latest, an autobiography titled, If You Can Dream… was published in 2013.

He retired from Mudra in 2003, and set up his own consultancy AGK Brand Consulting.