BENGALURU: Following in the footsteps of his late father Dr Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar too donned the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) brand ambassador’s cap without accepting any remuneration. In the 10 years that Puneeth endorsed KMF products, there was no actual agreement between him and the Federation.
AS Premnath, former KMF MD, told The New Indian Express that Dr Rajkumar was the brand ambassador in the 1990s. “That was his first and last endorsement for any product, and it was advertised in newspapers and on Doordarshan. The legendary actor did not take money,” he added.
After Dr Rajkumar died in 2006, KMF did not have an ambassador for a few years. “In 2011, I met Puneeth and asked him if he could endorse KMF. He readily accepted,” Premnath recalled. It was also an idea of then KMF chairman Somashekar Reddy.
Asked about remuneration, Puneeth had said, “When my father endorsed your products without taking a paisa, how can I demand money?” The actor endorsed Nandini Goodlife tetra packs in the first year. “When we told him the advertisement will be shot at a government school in a remote village near Devarayanadurga, he obliged. We shot the advertisement for three days.
He would reach the spot at 8.00 am and leave only at 6.00 pm. I remember him as a very down-to-earth person. He would sit with the children and have lunch,” he recalled. “With just his endorsement, KMF products started seeing good sales. That was the power of Puneeth,” he said.