One of the biggest names in Asia’s advertising fraternity, Sonal Dabral, is all set to join BatesAsia in a dual capacity from October 2007. He comes in as Regional Executive Creative Director, Asia Pacific, as well as Chairman of Bates David Enterprise India. He would be working closely with India CEO Subhash Kamath. He replaces current Chairman Mohammad Khan who is retiring.
Both executives are reporting to the region, that is to Jeffrey Yu, President, BatesAsia. On the development, Yu said, “Sonal’s appointment signals BatesAsia’s commitment to elevate the creative prowess of our network and to produce the best, change-building work for our clients.”
Khan added, “This has been in the offing for some time and is part of a carefully planned strategy. I am absolutely delighted to welcome Sonal and to know that Bates has a fabulous future in India under his creative leadership.”
Prior to BatesAsia, Dabral worked with Ogilvy for ten years with Tham Khai Meng, Co-Chairman, Ogilvy Asia Pacific. He started with Ogilvy India in Mumbai, where he worked with then CD, Piyush Pandey. Together they drove Ogilvy India from the creative wilderness to become the number one creative agency in the country.
Kamath commented, “In India, over the past 18 months, we’ve grown enormously through M&A. We are now a strong Top 10 agency with over 450 people across all centres. The next big step was to raise the bar on our creative product. And frankly, it cannot get any bigger than this! Sonal, in my opinion, is one of the hottest creative people in the region, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with him.”
Dabral said, “I am excited about working for such an ambitious network as BatesAsia and look forward to taking up the challenges of a pan-Asia role.”
As one of Asia’s most illustrious talents, Dabral needs little introduction to the industry. A multi award winner, he is recognized by the best, in Asia and globally. In his 15-year career, Dabral has won awards from all the most prominent international and regional shows, including Cannes, Clio, D&AD, One Show, AdFest and Spikes.
From O&M India, his next step was Malaysia, where he joined as ECD at Ogilvy Malaysia in 1999. Within three years, Ogilvy Malaysia became one of the top creative offices in the region, winning awards from Cannes, Clio, D&AD and AdFest. In 2000, a film he wrote won the Grand Prix at the Asian Media awards. Soon after, he won for Malaysia its first ever One Show Gold.
In May 2004, Dabral took over as Chairman and ECD of Ogilvy Singapore. He made full use of his vast experience to not only improve the quality of work on existing brands but also help the agency win new business and grow its reputation as one of the hottest creative agencies in the region.