Suhel Seth

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Suhel Seth
Suhel Seth.jpg
Born (1963-05-28) May 28, 1963 (age 56)
Alma materSt Joseph's College, Nainital, La Martiniere Calcutta
OccupationAdvertising & Marketing, Columnist, Author, Actor, Speaker, Brand Management
Known forFounder, Equus Redcell Advertising Co. Ltd. Managing Partner, Counselage India [2][3]
Spouse(s)Sandhya Narain (1989-1993), Lakshmi Menon (model)
Parent(s)Shub Seth (Mother), Jogendra Seth (Father)
RelativesSwapan Seth (Brother)

Suhel Seth (born May 1963[4] in Kolkata,[5] West Bengal, India) is a founder and managing partner of the consultancy firm Counselage India.[6] Seth is also a columnist, actor, keynote speaker, and a TV Pundit.[7][8][9][10] He currently serves as the Chairman, Marketing Committees of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). He is also on the Experts Committee of Indian Railway Board.[11][12]

Early Life/Education[edit]

Seth was born in Kolkata[13] and lived there with his parents till the age of 28. His father owned a chemical factory in Kolkata, which was closed down on account of the then prevailing political unrest, largely due to Naxalite activities, union conflicts, and strikes.[14] He studied at La Martiniere Calcutta, and went to St Joseph's College, Nainital. Later, he pursued Bachelor of Arts (English Honors) and Master of Arts (International Relations) degrees from Jadavpur University.[15] He is an alumnus of Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard Business School as well; and is also a member of the Harvard Business School Consultants Club. He founded the Debating Societies of Kolkata and Delhi. He is a Rotary International Scholar and the Founder of the Rotaract and Interact Clubs in Kolkata.[16]


In 1996, Seth and his brother founded the advertising agency Equus.[17] He also founded Quadra Advisory with Shunu Sen in 1999.[18] He started Counselage India, a consultancy firm in 2002, of which he is still a managing partner.[19] Seth was inducted to the global Advisory Board of the San Francisco-based blogging platform LiveJournal Inc. in 2008.[20][21] After working with the Tata Group during the management crisis to reconstruct their brand image in 2016, Seth was hired by the Adani Group as a brand consultant in 2018.[22][23][24] Seth is an established speaker on social and commercial trends for the Indian consumer base at business, advertising, and marketing events including several Indian Institute of Management (IIM) colleges.[25][26][27][28] He is a regular columnist for the Financial Times, Hindustan Times, The Telegraph, and the Indian Express.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Seth is a theatre enthusiast and has performed in over 135 English plays, collecting accolades from numerous critics for his performances over the years. He finds an honorable mention in Truth, Love & a Little Malice,[30] the autobiography of prominent writer and satirist Khushwant Singh.[31]


Seth has four books to his credit. His first book, In Your Face, is a compilation of interviews and columns by him published in different national dailies and magazines.[32] He has co-authored the book Kalighat to Calcutta, with Khushwant Singh and R. K. Laxman.[33] His last individually authored book Get To The Top, published in 2011, acts as a perfect guide for the aspirational Indian. It tells readers how to get ahead in life by connecting with the rich and the famous.[34] He has also co-authored The Target with Shantanu Guha Ray. It talks about the downfall of business tycoon Jignesh Shah's global empire.[35]


Seth has acted in several English plays as well as a few Bollywood films. He sits on the international board of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA).[36] His first role, in the movie Rog, was one that he took up on the request of a friend. He was then seen in the much-acclaimed multi-starrer Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, where he played the father of one of the female leads. Seth was also a part of the critically acclaimed film Guzaarish.[37] He was last seen in the movie Calendar Girls, playing a character based on liquor baron Vijay Mallya.[38]


Suhel is a social worker and supports many non-profit organisations through his company, Counselage as well as in his personal capacity. He is the Chairman of Ila Trust, a Delhi-based NGO that provides free health check-ups and medicines to the needy. He also sits on the board of the Max Foundation that works to provide access to cancer treatment for people across the globe.[39] Seth is a prominent individual donor at the Partition Museum established in Amritsar in 2007. He made a donation of 50 lakhs towards a gallery in the museum which is dedicated to his parents.[40] He has a seat on the advisory board of the Indian Head Injury Foundation (IHIF).[41] The foundation works towards building brain trauma care systems in India.[42]

Awards and Achievements[edit]

Suhel Seth is a member of the Global Advisory Board of British Airways and the first Indian to be so.[43] In 2015, he was honoured by the non-profit organisation Giving Back Foundation (GBF) along with Hollywood actress Phylicia Rashad, for his active contribution in ushering social change in India.[44]

Controversies & Sexual Harassment[edit]

In 2011, tobacco major ITC filed two separate suits against Suhel, claiming his tweets and newspaper articles against its chairman, YC Deveshawar, as defamatory. ITC officials alleged that Seth had been making such comments since 2007, when the company terminated its contract with his firm, Equus. Suhel responded through a tweet claiming that his account was constantly hacked into and that he was taking steps.[45]

In 2014 during a panel discussion on sports conducted as part of the Times Literature Festival in Mumbai, Seth failed to recognise Viren Rasquinha, the former captain of India's national field hockey team, and questioned the latter's involvement in the event. Seth was subsequently forced to apologise after a public outcry.[46]

In 2018, Seth was accused of sexual harassment by over 20 women that included model Diandra Soares,[47] filmmaker Natashja Rathore, and writer Ira Trivedi, in a social media backlash referred to as India's Me Too movement.[48][49] This led to Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, terminating Seth as its brand consultant. [50][51][52]

This followed beverage maker Coca-Cola’s public release that it’s long-standing association with Seth and his company, Counselage, stands dissolved. “He is not a consultant for the board or company presently”, the statement said, adding that it took this step in the wake of ongoing allegations against Suhel in the #MeToo movement.[53]

Post Coca-Cola, Adani Group too reportedly terminated Suhel's contract as branding consultant. The group stated the contract that had ended in September 2018 shall not be renewed. “Mr Suhel Seth was consulted for a short-term project which expired in September 2018. He is no longer associated with the Adani Group.”, it said on Twitter.[54] Two other Indian conglomerates, Mahindra Group and JSW Group, followed suit claiming not to be associated with Seth on any project.[55]


  1. ^ "She always carried pic of a little girl & boy: Khanna".
  2. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  3. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  4. ^ "Suhel Seth: The man who 'collected beautiful people' and almost got away with everything".
  5. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  6. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  7. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  8. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  9. ^ "Mr. Suhel Seth Indian entrepreneur, Author, Columnist and Socialite".
  10. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  11. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  12. ^ "Suhel Seth inducted as member of Expert Committee on Railways".
  13. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  14. ^ "Suhel Seth: I have never ever uttered a lie in my life".
  15. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  16. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  17. ^ "Suhel Seth: I have never ever uttered a lie in my life".
  19. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  20. ^ " welcomes Suhel Seth on global Advisory Board".
  21. ^ "Company Overview of LiveJournal Inc".
  22. ^ "Adani Group Hires Suhel Seth as brand consultant".
  23. ^ "Adani Group looks for image makeover; hires Suhel Seth as brand consultant".
  24. ^ "Adani Group looks for image makeover; hires Suhel Seth as brand consultant".
  25. ^ "Company Overview of LiveJournal Inc".
  26. ^ "A state with great potential but poor implementation, says Suhel Seth, about Goa".
  27. ^ "Brands need to stay relevant, contemporary: Experts".
  28. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  29. ^ "Suhel Seth".
  30. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  31. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  32. ^ "Meet Suhel Seth".
  33. ^ "Meet Suhel Seth".
  34. ^ "Suhel Seth tells you how to befriend the rich and famous".
  35. ^ "'The Target', written by Shantanu Guha Ray released".
  36. ^ "Suhel Seth Biography".
  38. ^ "Review: Calendar Girls is another Madhur Bhandarkar dud".
  39. ^ "SUHEL SETH".
  40. ^ "Suhel Seth donates Rs 50 lakhs to India's Partition Museum to be set up at Amritsar".
  42. ^ "Indian Head Injury Foundation (IHIF)".
  43. ^ "Suhel Seth nominated to the Global Advisory Board of British Airways".
  44. ^ "Actress Phylicia Rashad, Entrepreneur Suhel Seth Honored at GBF Gala".
  45. ^
  46. ^ FP Staff (8 December 2014). "Suhel Seth vs Viren Rasquinha Twitter war: 'God can't be an expert in every field, so he created Suhel Seth.'". Firstpost. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  47. ^ Suhel Seth shoved his tongue down my mouth:Diandra Soares
  48. ^ "#MeToo: Why is Suhel Seth silent about the sexual harassment charges against him?".
  49. ^ "Suhel Seth accused of sexual harassment".
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^ Tata Sons Ends Contract With Suhel Seth
  53. ^ He is not a consultant for the board or company presently:Coca Cola
  54. ^ "Before Tata Sons, Suhel Seth had lost Adani Group contract".
  55. ^ Tata Sons, Suhel Seth had lost Adani Group contract

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