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JWT loses ‘Pepsi Boy’ Soumitra Karnik to Dentsu

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JWT loses ‘Pepsi Boy’ Soumitra Karnik to Dentsu

Soumitra Karnik, who had quit JWT as Executive Creative Director and Vice President in September 2011, has joined Dentsu India Group as National Creative Director, Dentsu India Group.

Welcoming Soumitra to Dentsu, Rohit Ohri, Executive Chairman, Dentsu India in an official release said, “Soumitra is a truly gifted creative and great leader. He will partner the creative leaders at Dentsu India and me to take our creative product to the next level. Soumitra believes in integrated communication solutions and as a key member of the India leadership team, I see him helping us effectively deliver this core Dentsu belief to our clients.”

Speaking on his new role, Soumitra Karnik, National Creative Director, Dentsu India said, “As far as my role is concerned, my first priority shall be to build a solid network of talented creative teams across Dentsu companies and to create a ‘boredom-less’ and fearless creative culture. I will also partner our clients in developing thought leadership and strategic superiority in their respective markets by the process of collaboration and co-creation.”

Soumitra added, “We have pressed the ‘Refresh’ button at Dentsu and are pretty serious about being the very best, both for our clients as well as our own people. We want to be known as a place with a large heart where people with great minds work. And I can certainly promise a lot of action around us in the coming times.”

Often called the ‘Pepsi’ boy, Karnik had headed the Pepsi account at JWT for five years. He was with the agency for 11 and a half years. It is not known who has replaced Karnik at JWT. Apart from his stint at JWT, Karnik has also worked with agencies like Lintas, Percept and few others in his 20-year long career. He is known widely for his work on Pepsi, Mirinda, Slice, Hero Honda and Airtel at JWT. He was the brains behind the widely recalled campaign for Pepsi – ‘Yeh hai Youngistan meri jaan’.

Meanwhile, Suresh Mohankumar has been appointed as National Planning Head, Dentsu Communications. Based out of Bangalore, he will lead strategic planning and brand management at Dentsu Communications across its offices in New Delhi and Bangalore. With nearly two decades of experience, Mohankumar joins Dentsu from Mudra India, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of Planning - Mudra South.

Rohit Ohri, Executive Chairman, Dentsu India, said, “I’m really happy to have Suresh as a part of the leadership team of Dentsu Communications. Suresh has the right combination of passion, talent and commitment to partner our creative and account management teams to take our creative product to the next level.”

Taira Kimura, COO, Dentsu Communications, added here, “Suresh brings on board strong experience across brand, categories and regions. I have great confidence in his abilities and expertise to add value to our service deliveries and up the ante at Dentsu Communications.”

On joining Team Dentsu, Mohankumar said, “The communications business is at a crossroads as convention increasingly gives way to real consumer engagement. That integration and media-neutral planning is the way forward is exactly what Dentsu believes in and I believe that Dentsu is uniquely structured to deliver that. Also as part of an organization at the cusp of an exciting transformation, I am very excited about my journey ahead and look forward to my mandate at Dentsu Communications.”

Mohankumar started his career in Account Management with RK Swamy BBDO in Chennai. Over the next seven years he worked with Contract and Lowe in Bangalore. He switched to Account Planning in 2000, when he moved to Mudra Chennai. As a strategic planner he then worked with Contract and JWT in Chennai. Tanishq, BPL, Ford, Volkswagen, Carbon, MRF, Lotte, TI cycles, Henkel, Fa, Reynolds, McDowell’s, Johnson & Johnson and Lipton are some of the brands that he has worked on.

Kranti Gada joined the family business at Shemaroo in 2006 after a successful stint of over two years in marketing at Pepsi Co. She has been associated with the company for 12 years.

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