Srikant Sastri, VivaKi Country Chair for India since 2008, will step down from the role on July 1, informed Frank Voris, CEO, VivaKi. Sastri will continue to serve in a consulting capacity for Publicis Groupe in the near term, while also nurturing start-up companies in India and Asia-Pacific as an independent investor and operating partner.
VivaKi has initiated a search for Sastri’s successor.
“Srikant has successfully orchestrated three acquisitions and integrations that have simultaneously fortified the founding VivaKi agencies, while also solidifying Publicis Groupe’s position as the leading digital marketing operation in India,” said Voris. “Several months ago he expressed a desire to work with start-up companies – a particular passion of his – but agreed to help the organisation on-board Neev, Resultrix and Convonix before reducing his VivaKi focus,” he added.
For the foreseeable future, Sastri will continue to work closely with VivaKi and also with Razorfish and DigitasLBi in a consulting capacity. For the former, he will surface and evaluate emerging opportunities, exploring tech start-ups who can benefit the agencies of Publicis Groupe and their clients. For Razorfish and Digitas-LBi India, he will serve as a connector to potential clients, talent and partners, and advise Vincent Digonnet, Executive Chairman of Razorfish and DigitasLBi networks in APAC, on the creation of shared capabilities across the agencies.
Commenting on the development, Sastri said, “I’ve successfully completed a big mandate as VCC in India and I am absolutely thrilled that we achieved the goal we set for ourselves 18 months ago – driving digital dominance in India through organic growth and three key acquisitions. We are now twice the size of our largest competitor. With this mission accomplished, I’d like to focus more on three areas that I am passionate about. In addition to working with start-ups, I intend to foster the Indian start-up eco-system by actively leading key initiatives at professional and trade bodies, including The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) and Indian Angel Network. I will also help drive the growth of ventures that are focused on social enterprises and other Indian development issues.”
A successful entrepreneur, Sastri founded Solutions-Digitas in 1995 and grew the company to become India and Southeast Asia’s leading marketing services agency. In 2005, he founded Team4U, India’s largest sales force staffing company. Sastri started his career at Unilever and McCann-Erickson.
He has also driven a big initiative focused towards development issues in Indian society through an initiative called ‘Growth-for-all’, a movement that brought together individuals, corporations, and non-government organizations in a collaborative setting. He is an active Charter Member of TiE Delhi and part of the Indian Angels Network.