in Psychology and armed with an MBA, Shubha George turned a true
blue WPP-ite with a 17-year career between Ogilvy & Mather,
JWT, MindShare, and currently Mediaedge:cia.
Starting as a management trainee in Ogilvy
& Mather, Mumbai, George’s training ground included
a spectrum of clients such as Unilever, Asian Paints and Cadbury’s.
She moved to Bangalore and JWT in 1995. Since 1997, she headed
the media function at JWT, Bangalore and became Associate Vice
President & Media Services Director in 2001.
With the launch of MindShare in India in
2001, George, as General Manager, had set up MindShare in Bangalore.
She managed a portfolio that included IBM, SAP, United Breweries,
United Spirits, Infosys and i-Flex.
In April 2003, George moved back to Mumbai
as Director - Strategic Planning for GroupM. In this role, she
had the opportunity to work on a diverse set of brands such as
Diamond Trading Corporation, Bajaj Auto, Ford, Murugappa Group,
Boots, and Hutch, to name a few. She was also part of the new
business development team and successfully pitched a number of
businesses such as Britannia, Titan, HSBC, Boots, and ICICI Prudential
When WPP launched Mediaedge:cia in India
in 2004, George moved in September 2004 as Managing Director,
MEC India. Since 2005, she has grown the new entrant MEC to a
leading media specialist with $250 million billings and 115 staff
across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. Notable business
wins include, Sony Ericsson, Beiersdorf (Nivea India), Henkel
India, Cavinkare, Accenture, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, Citibank,
DHL, Singapore Airlines, Michelin, Tata AIG General Insurance,
and Xerox. Moving beyond traditional media, MEC has in 2008 launched
specialised services divisions MEC Interaction (Digital media)
and MEC Access (Entertainment, Sports, Content, Activation).
Beyond managing media, George is a keen
movie buff, avid reader (strictly fiction) and is always ready
to take a crack at a crossword puzzle (strictly cryptic).
according to you, would be the first milestone of you career, the
I cannot pinpoint any one moment. I think what has worked for me
is consistency and adapting to and changing with the times.
all the assignments that you have handled, which is the one work
that you would always cherish as your best work – a lifetime
there is more than one over the years. If I have to put it chronologically,
being part of the Ogilvy team that crafted the life-changing Cadbury’s
Dairy Milk campaign in the first half of the 90s. At the second
stage, there was a lot of lovely work for the Unilever beverage
brands, especially the first branded train that ran for 3Roses.
The passion with which we ensured that the first ever co-branded
movie tie-up went on air for McDowell’s Bagpiper with the
film ‘Dum’. Being part of the core pitch team at GroupM
and successfully pitching for Britannia and Titan, which went a
long way in building Maxus then.
And last, but
most definitely not the least, building MEC in India literally from
start up to a Top 5 agency today. The many new business wins, starting
with HDFC Standard Life, which will be special as the first win;
building a team from scratch and attracting talent to a hitherto
I am very proud of the work the MEC team has done with Citi in the
last edition of IPL, for Nivea currently with Femina Miss India,
a large scale on-ground activation for Honda Motors and the SpellBee
for HDFC Standard Life Insurance.
On a personal
note, I am happy to have demystified digital media for myself and
now feel at home with the young talent in being able to mount an
online campaign with all the rigour of off-line media.
would you say are the challenges for a woman leader working in the
Probably fewer challenges compared to other industries. Advertising
and media have a more open culture, which makes it easy to sort
out any issues quickly. I have found the industry to be very much
gender neutral. Of course, there are the usual challenges of travel,
work life balance, but that applies to both men and women.
is the one thing that a woman ad professional can bring to the table
that the male counterpart often lacks?
think women by and large are more empathetic in inter-personal relations
and have a greater intuitive ability to understand people. This
helps a lot in people management. Though, I am told by my colleagues
that women are usually either very good at this, or very bad and
there is no middle path!
Two other important
qualities are the ability to multi-task, which comes more naturally
to women, and remaining calm in crisis. Both of these I see in many
women professionals and are very useful qualities, especially in
Jain is currently Head of Strategic Investments at India Media Exchange.
Her journey in the media field has been impressive. Jain has had
rich experience across leading agencies such as JWT, Mudra, FCB
Ulka and Cheil. Her experience extends to clients as diverse as
Samsung, Nestle, Whirlpool, Pepsi and Glaxo SmithKline. Continuing
with the tribute to the Women Icons of the media and advertising
world, exchange4media highlights the achievements and contributions
Jain, Strategic Investments, India Media Exchange
over 15 years’ experience in media planning and buying, Punitha
Arumugam, Group CEO, Madison Media, has several accolades and recognitions
under her belt. She has seen Madison Media grow from a two-client
agency, when she joined eight years ago, to over 30 clients today.
Continuing with the tribute to the Women Icons of the media and
advertising world, exchange4media highlights the achievements and
contributions of Arumugam.
Arumugam, Group CEO, Madison Media.
double post-graduate in Economics and Business Management, Jasmin
Sohrabji, Managing Director, OMD India, started with Economic Research,
before deciding on Media Planning. From MediaCom to setting up OMD
in India, Sohrabji’s journey has been peppered with several
success stories. Continuing with the tribute to the Women Icons
of the media and advertising world, exchange4media highlights the
achievements and contributions of Sohrabji.
Sohrabji, Managing Director, OMD India.
de Souza needs no introduction. One of the most influential media
personalities in India and a 25-year veteran of the industry, de
Souza has had a significant hand in shaping the media business in
the country. Continuing with the tribute to the Women Icons of the
media and advertising world, who have made a difference in their
own unique way in a special series, exchange4media highlights the
achievements and contributions of Lynn de Souza, Chairman and CEO,
Lintas Media Group.
de Souza, Chairman and CEO, Lintas Media Group.
with the tribute to the Women Icons of the advertising world who
have made a difference in their own unique way in a special series,
exchange4media highlights the achievements and contributions of
Preeti Vyas Giannetti, Chairwoman & Chief Creative Officer,
Vyas Giannetti Creative Pvt Ltd, one of the first woman ad professionals
to branch out on her own.
Vyas, Chairwoman & Chief Creative Officer, Vyas Giannetti Creative
a young Creative Director with Grey, Dam had created the ‘Hungry
Kya’ platform for Domino’s to launch pizzas in India.
Continuing with the special tribute to Women Icons of the advertising
world, exchange4media highlights the achievements of Priti Nair,
Managing Partner, BBH India.
Dam, National Creative Director, Grey India.
world celebrated International Women's Day on March 8, 2009, in
various ways. However, it definitely takes more than one day to
salute and recognise the contributions of women. Continuing with
the special tribute to Women Icons of the advertising world, exchange4media
highlights the achievements of Priti Nair, Managing Partner, BBH
India. Nair has won several national and international awards, including
wins at Promax, Asia Pacific Advertising Festival, New York Festival,
as well as Abby and Clio Awards.
Nair, Managing Partner, BBH India
bring their own special touch to things that they do - be it professional
or at home. There is an increasing army of women out there successfully
transcending the gender divide at work and breaking the so-called
glass ceiling. Continuing with the special tribute to Women Icons
of the advertising world, exchange4media highlights the achievements
of Malvika Mehra, Group Creative Director, O&M Advertising Bangalore,
one of the few women who brought a Cannes Bronze to India.
Creative Director, O&M Advertising Bangalore
advertising and media world through a woman's eye is a different
view. When it comes to saluting the 'Gods' of advertising, it is
mainly a male bastion. But women have carved a special place for
themselves. exchange4media pays tribute to the Women Icons of the
advertising world who have made a difference in their own unique
way in a special series. The first one features Meera Sharath Chandra,
President & NCD, RMG Connect.
Sharath Chandra, President & NCD, RMG Connect.