Bates CHI & Partners has announced the appointment of Ramanathan Balasubramanian to the position of CEO of their flagship ASEAN office in Jakarta as Hendra Lesmono steps up to become the agency’s Creative Chairman – a newly formed role designed to put creativity at the center of the agency.
Balasubramanian as he is known will relocate from Mumbai where he has for the past three years been the Managing Partner of Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai and Kolkata, whilst Lesmono has been the Creative Leader of the agency since 2007.
David Mayo, Regional CEO Bates CHI & Partners said, “Ram and Hendra are a unique combination. Ram has led the most successful creative agency office in India for 3 years and Hendra has led one of the most successful agencies in Indonesia. They are both at the top of their game and their combined dynamism and vitality will bring a new dimension to our successful Jakarta agency.”
Whilst at Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai, Balasubramanian led the agency to the top of the Global Effie Index and the most recognized agency in India. Lesmono meanwhile is the architect of Indonesia’s most acclaimed and iconic A-Mild campaign.
Talking about this move, Balasubramanian said, “I have had the opportunity to run diverse offices in India. And, with Indonesia poised to grow, Bates CHI & Partners is an undeniable opportunity for someone like me - its collaboration positioning is built for the new world order. Under Mayo, Hendra and Graham Kelly’s leadership, work is shining, new business is coming in and the Jakarta agency continues to grow ahead of the pack. I couldn't have come in at a better time."
The Creative Chairmanship of the agency is a newly created role designed to put creativity at the center of the management agenda whilst making more space for a new generation of Creative talent. “We have always been a creative agency in Jakarta and over the past 18 months we have focused on bringing in newer and younger talent to help drive our creative agenda. As Creative Chairman, Lesmono will work alongside Ram to ensure that our growth plan is delivered through a creative lens – not unlike the way Ram has done at Ogilvy in Mumbai. It’s a proven strategy that we know will work in Indonesia,” said Kelly.
Lesmono started at David in 2004, which became Bates CHI & Partners by 2013, and has been with the agency ever since to become one of the most recognized and established creative minds in Indonesia. “I am very proud of what we have achieved over time and being Creative Chairman of Bates CHI & Partners in Indonesia will allow me to champion the creative cause at an industry and national level whilst driving the fortunes of our agency and sharing that agenda,” said Lesmono.
“We are massively proud of Shafira Sahara and Reza Maulana,” said Lesmono of the youngsters that were selected by the Cannes organizers to attend this years’ festival in France. “But they are emblematic of the spirit of this agency and the people who work here. Having two of us at Cannes will mean we are all at Cannes this year.”