In Kartik Sharma, Omnicom might have found their perfect match

Sharma’s exceptional track record has led to high expectations being set from him in his new role as India CEO of Omnicom Media Group

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Jan 31, 2020 11:17 AM

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Kartik Sharma

In November 2014, when Kartik Sharma took charge of the newly formed Wavemaker most industry people expected the agency to struggle with teething problems for a year or two before delivering desired results.

However, barely a year into its conception, Sharma announced that his agency had already won new businesses worth Rs 1,000 crore. These wins included Mondelez, Eureka Forbes, Bisleri and Mother Dairy to name a few. In 2018, despite a relatively slow economy that was grappling with the effects of disruptions like GST and demonetization, the agency made its mark and won accolades at all leading industry awards.

With a track record as strong as this, expectations from Sharma, who is all set to lead the Omnicom Media Group as India CEO, are already running high.

Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director of Madison World, who has worked with Sharma called him “a strategic person”. “I remember when he was with us he was I think heading our Madison Media Research Centre. He would come up with some very useful ideas for clients and brands. I am really delighted that he has now gone into a leadership position. I want to give him my good wishes.”

A co-worker, who did not wish to be named, said: “Sharma is a go getter who is immensely focused and dedicated. His understanding and interpretation of data and ability to win the client’s trust make him stand out from his peers."  

Another industry expert called him a strategist who is excellent with data and analytics. “He is a silent doer who understands the craft of media business. Besides he knows how to lead teams,” said the senior industry person who has worked closely with Sharma for decades.

Sharma had been associated with Maxus (now Wavemaker) for more than a decade in various positions. He became Managing Director of the agency in 2017 before taking over the South Asia CEO role in 2018. With over two decades of experience in the media industry, Sharma had worked with Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Lintas, Mindshare and Madison before joining Maxus.

In his new role, he will work closely with Priti Murthy, CEO of OMD India, and Jyoti Bansal, CEO of PHD India, on chartering the continued growth of the agency brands in India.

Speaking on the appointment, Tony Harradine, CEO of Omnicom Media Group, Asia-Pacific, said: “A revered leader with an impressive track record, I am thrilled that Kartik has joined us. I have the utmost confidence in his ability to steer our business to even greater heights in one of the most important markets in Asia.”

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