Mindshare India is now better prepared to take on the challenges of 2009. As is known, Mindshare had globally announced a new agency structure in early 2008. The structure had created disciplines like Business Planning, Invention and Exchange, all of which were stitched up by Client Leadership function. Mindshare India was one of the first Mindshare offices to have begun adopting this structure. The last set of appointments, where Mindshare India has drawn heavily on the resources of other Mindshare offices to set up this new structure, is now complete.
The new appointments include MA Parthasarathy, better known as Maps, who has joined as Partner, Business Planning, South Asia; Alok Sinha, who has joined as Partner, Invention, South Asia; and Pat Vinayak, who, too, has returned to India to lead the Exchange function for the newly-formed Team Aditya Birla Group (ABG).
Not that Mindshare India has defied the hire freeze that was imposed on WPP agencies in October 2008 with these moves. R Gowthaman, Leader, Mindshare India, was quick to inform that all these appointments were made in the early part of the last quarter 2008. He said, “However, it takes time for international moves to take place, and so we are able to announce this last set of key appointments only now. We have now filled in all the key positions that were required for the smooth functioning of the new structure.”
It may be recalled that in October 2008, Mindshare India had announced three senior appointments as Partner, Client Leaders. Chanchal Chakrabarti took over as Partner, Client Leader, for the Team PepsiCo. He is also looking after the non-Unilever business in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Ajit Gurnani was appointed as Partner, Client Leader, for the Team ABG, and Ravi Rao joined as Partner, Client Leader, for Team Unilever, South Asia. Later in the month, Mindshare had replaced Subramanian Swaminathan’s position, who had exited the company, with two appointments – Sindhu Raghavan and Abhijat Sharma as Partner - Client Leadership for Chennai and Bangalore.
Some of the other senior hands appointed earlier were taken from international offices of agencies like OMD and MediaCom.
Gowthaman observed, “The new structure kicked off for us in April 2008 and we had even announced new branding and logo in September 2008. We wanted to put dedicated teams for all of our clients, but at present, we have been able do it only for all our top clients. Team ABG and Team Unilever would continue to be independent and autonomous in their Trading initiatives. What I am excited about is that Mindshare is at present the only agency in the country that can boast of this top class veteran talent for our clients. Each of these officials has been handling frontline client relations at the highest level, and we believe that this is the route to move up the value chain and take us beyond standard transactions.”
Mindshare also has plans to expand areas like Pune, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati, which it believes are the future growth markets.
Parthasarathy, a mechanical engineer from BITS Pilani and PGDM from IIM Calcutta, began his career with Tata IBM as a marketing executive. He soon shifted to the world of advertising and communications, joining JWT India in 1995. Over the last 14 years in JWT, Maps has been an account manager, a strategic planner, a business director, and in his most recent role was Regional Account Director on the Ford Account for the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions, based in Bangkok. He would now be based in Bangalore.
Alok Sinha is currently based in Mindshare Singapore. He had joined Mindshare from Carat, where he spent four years in communication planning and tools and process training roles. His last assignment with Carat was on P&G in Manila. Previously, he was a Planning Director at Ogilvy in India, and before that with Gallup and Lowe in India, in research roles.
Pat Vinayak was with Mindshare Sri Lanka.
Mindshare strengthens South ops; to focus further on regional markets
Mindshare India beefs up senior management to fructify new structure