Starcom MediaVest Group has appointed Sandeep Lakhina to head the West and South regions for Starcom Worldwide. Lakhina takes over from Manish Porwal, who is serving his last week at the network this week.
Ravi Kiran, CEO-South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, said, “At SMG, we are beginning to write a new chapter in our growth and evolution and hope to transform our business model across Asia over the next three years. We were looking for a leader for our West/South region who will take over from Manish and help steer our organisation to that desired future. We met nearly a dozen highly accomplished managers over the last four weeks, and we are really happy that Sandeep, with a powerful cross functional and cross geography experience and demonstrated capability of handling teams of diverse talent, particularly with his experience at Deloitte Consulting and the Coca-Cola Company, has joined us.”
Immediately before joining Starcom Worldwide, upon his return from the US, Lakhina had headed the India operations of a UK-based digital marketing company.
Commenting on his new appointment, Lakhina said, “Apart from the obvious and omnipresent India growth story, the ever evolving media landscape and the opportunities and challenges therein motivated me to join the media space in India. Starcom’s strong reputation in the marketplace, coupled with the fact that it truly believes in, as opposed to merely paying lip service to, ‘adding value to its clients’ and it’s stated ‘people first’ approach, were two of the three strong reasons why I joined the team.”
“The other was the clear sense of progress, purpose, and direction that came across in my recent interactions with the top leadership of Starcom in Asia, namely Ravi and Sriram. As the new media landscape intersperses itself with the so-called traditional media and unfolds itself upon us, I know that there is a strong opportunity to consolidate, evolve, innovate and champion the growth in this space. Given that this is a peoples’ business, and the strongest assets that we have are people – I believe it is our people who will help shape the growth of Starcom over the next few years. And I am truly excited to lead this team and contribute to the growth of Starcom in the days to come,” added Lahina.
In his new role, Lakhina will lead the network’s operations in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Chennai, and work actively with the 10 specialist solutions units of Starcom MediaVest Group. Nikhil Rangnekar, Executive Director, India-West, Sindhuja Rai, General Manager and Head, Bangalore, Narendra Kumar Alambara, General Manager and Head, Chennai and Dinesh Singh Rathore, General Manager-India, FutureWorks will report to Lakhina.
Tarun Nigam, Executive Director, India-North, Pakistan and Bangladesh for Starcom Worldwide, as well as heads of all the specialist solutions units, will continue to report directly to Ravi Kiran.
A Statistics major from Lucknow University and a double MBA degree holder from IMT Ghaziabad and the Cox School of Business, Dallas, Texas, USA, Lakhina has, in his 16 years of experience, spent half his work life in the US. He has worked as an entrepreneur and in disciplines ranging from sales, marketing, business strategy, supply chain, process re-engineering, business consulting and digital marketing, with stints in renowned Indian and global companies, including Euro RSCG Advertising and Ebony Retail in India and Deloitte Consulting and the Coca-Cola Company in the US.