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iris ropes in Param Saikia as CEO of India operations

iris ropes in Param Saikia as CEO of India operations

Author | Pallavi Goorha Kashyup | Tuesday, Aug 25,2009 7:45 AM

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iris ropes in Param Saikia as CEO of India operations

Global integrated marketing agency, iris Worldwide, has appointed Param Saikia to the role of CEO of iris India. Saikia, who is currently CEO of Publicis Modem / Dialog, will be responsible for leading the growth of the independent network across the region.

Saikia will be joining iris in the coming weeks and will report to Stewart Shanley, CEO, iris Worldwide. He will be based in Delhi and his initial focus will include working closely with Managing Director Alok Lall to strengthen the agency’s digital and experiential capabilities, as well as grow iris’ client base in India, which currently includes Sony Ericsson, Microsoft, Shell and adidas.

Commenting on Saikia’s appointment, Stewart Shanley said, “Param’s appointment underpins our strategy of establishing iris as the agency network model for the future – one that is smarter, faster, more flexible, and better to work with than the traditional agency networks. Integration and innovation is at the heart of our output, and in Param we have found someone who can drive our ambitions across India, especially in the fastest growing segments like digital and experiential where we are seeing huge demand.”

On his new role, Saikia said, “iris is a very exciting agency with a big ambition and its achievements to date have really impressed me. The scale of offering, in terms of discipline and geography, coupled with its independence, means that this micro-network can really offer the kind of nimbleness that clients are looking for right now. I’m looking forward to being part of putting iris well and truly on the industry map in India.”

Alok Lall, Managing Director, iris Delhi, added here, “As one of the few people in the Indian marketplace who has real experience across ATL, direct marketing, digital and experiential, Param is a rare breed. iris offers both multiple specialisation and the ability to blend it efficiently and effectively around a client need to provide a truly integrated solution, which we believe will be the agency model of the future, and in Param we’ve found a perfect fit.”

The agency has a global footprint across all key regions with 15 offices in 10 countries, employing over 750 people. Launching in Delhi in 2007 was part of an aggressive expansion drive, which saw it set up offices in Sydney and Miami that same year.

“We think that the traditional networks have had their day and that the time is right for iris to begin establishing a leadership position in India. Param’s appointment is a key step in the next stage of iris’ evolution and as most agencies struggle to keep up with the changing face of the communications industry, we have the advantage of independence and agility to lead that change,” Shanley added.

Saikia has over 20 years of wide-ranging experience with leading ad agencies in India. His career has seen him work on big-ticket multinational clients like Coca-Cola, Motorola, Nestle, HP, Intel, Perfetti, Beam brands, Bacardi Martini, Reckitt Benckiser and General Motors.

Prior to his current position, which he’s held since 2007, Saikia was COO of Publicis India since 2002. Before Publicis, he had held board level roles at agencies such as Euro SCG, McCann Erickson and Grey, with his formative years spent at JWT.

Meanwhile, iris is expected to announce a significant number of further appointments in coming weeks, in line with a continued growth rate in excess of 50 per cent year on year.

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