The change that Ambience Publicis had instituted in its creative structure in January 2006 is now complete with the agency appointing Ramanuj Shastry as National Creative Director. Shastry will join Ambience Publicis in August 2006. His last stint was with McCann Erickson as Senior Creative Director.
Nakul Chopra, CEO and MD, Publicis, India, said, “Creative excellence has always been at the heart of all we do at Ambience Publicis. With Ramanuj’s coming aboard, we will substantially add to the formidable creative team under Elsie’s leadership. I am confident that Ramanuj will bring impetus to both our creative product and leadership. Over the past years we have begun to build a very unique and solid strategic product under the leadership of Partha Sinha, Chief Strategy Officer – a newly invigorated management under the leadership of COO Rajiv Sabnis – and now this move will even better equip us to meet our clients’ needs.”
As is known, Elsie Nanji had stepped into the NCD shoes after Pushpinder Singh quit the organisation last year. Nanji will continue as VC and Chief Creative Officer for Publicis in India and will continue to oversee the creative quality of the agency. In his capacity as NCD, Shastry will report in to Sabnis.
Giving the larger picture here, Sabnis said, “Ambience Publicis is a big agency and in keeping with the requirement of the agency that would steer to growth path, we had induced the Four Group structure.” As per the structure, the agency was divided into four creative groups, each headed by a Senior Creative Director (SCD). Two of these were recently added – Prasanna Sankhe and Raju Kulkarni. The other two are Yvonne Shaikhawat and Shahrukh Irani. These SCDs will now work with the NCD, completing the Ambience Publicis creative team.
Ambience Publicis has been on a hiring spree of late and some other senior level appointments include Sharmila Malekar and Vikas Kumar as VP in Account Management. Harihar Narayan Swamy was brought in as Senior Planning Director. All these officials report to Sabnis. The new recruitments are being done across disciplines in the agency and across levels.
What is expected from the agency now with all the new hands in place and the crucial positions filled? Sabnis replied, “Exponential growth in creative quality and revenues.”
Speaking of his move, Shastry said “I’ve had a very productive and rewarding stint at McCann. But time has now come in my career to move into a larger role. Ambience Publicis offers me that opportunity. I have always had a lot of respect for their creative approach and quality – I will now have a chance to be part of it.”
Prior to joining Ambience Publicis, Shastry had completed two years at McCann Erickson and O&M. At McCann, he was involved with clients like Virgin Atlantic, Chlormint, Stayfree (J&J), Coca-Cola, Saffola, NDTV India, Radio Mirchi, and UTI, among others. At O&M he oversaw Castrol, British Airways, World Gold Council, Jai and Moti Soaps (HLL) as his key brands. Ambience Publicis and Publicis India are the two brands of Publicis Worldwide in India.