Firstpost elevates Munaf Merchant to National Head - Sales, Firstpost News Cluster

Munaf Merchant has been associated with Firstpost for over five years now

exchange4media Staff 6 days ago


Firstpost has announced the elevation of Munaf Merchant to National Head - Sales, Firstpost News Cluster, at Network18 Digital. Merchant will be responsible for developing effective marketing strategies and leading the team towards achieving a high-performance sales environment for Firstpost and Tech2. 

Having been associated with Firstpost for over five years now, Merchant possesses an experience of close to 10 years in marketing and sales. 

Merchant’s expertise has garnered client appreciation and has resulted in renewal of business deals repeatedly. In addition to this, he has a proven track record in building and growing properties from scratch, such as Firstpost’s 9 Months – the ground-breaking show on parenting and childcare which is now in its third season, the company said in a statement. 

Talking about the appointment, Azim Lalani, Business Head, English General News cluster, Network18 Digital said, “Firstpost has consistently led the way in offering innovative and path-breaking content for its readers across segments like politics, sports, business, technology and entertainment. Having grown significantly since its inception, we are creating a stronger digital presence in the sphere of original content with shows like 9 Months, WhatTheApp and Social Media Star. Munaf has brought to the table excellent marketing capabilities in the last few years and we are sure that he will apply the same level of perseverance and determination in his new responsibility of undertaking the national portfolio in sales for Firstpost and Tech2.” 

Prior to joining Firstpost, Munaf worked with India Today in Marketing & Sales where he was responsible for generating revenues for India Today megabrand magazines, which included India Today English, India Today Hindi and India Today Tamil among others. 

Commenting on his elevation Merchant said, “I am delighted to be entrusted with the new position. It is the perfect platform to further channelize the abilities and creativity of the team and ensure delivering excellent offerings to all our readers and clients. With the digital sphere growing rapidly, we plan to strategically strive and lead the online news space with effective partnerships that benefit all our stakeholders, including our consumers, at large.”

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Kaizad Patel joins The News Minute as Regional Business Head, West

Kaizad Patel joins The News Minute after a three-year stint at Sportskeeda

exchange4media Staff 42 minutes ago


Kaizad Patel has joined the independent digital news media platform The News Minute (TNM) as the Regional Business Head for West. Kaizad will be leading the sales team from Mumbai and will be responsible for driving revenue through ad-sales and spotting other revenue opportunities in the western region.


With more than a decade’s experience in the digital advertising space, Patel joins the senior management at TNM after a three-year stint at Sportskeeda. He started his career with the IT industry, where he spent eight years. He later moved to the digital advertising space, starting his stint with Ozone Media Solutions, and later worked with SVG Media.


Patel said, “I am thrilled to join the team at The News Minute at such an exciting time in the company’s growth trajectory.”

“Content being an integral part of digital advertising today, what really excites me about being a part of The News Minute team are their new-age digital content ideas, out-of-the-box approach to storytelling and unique news content. I am looking forward to the enthusiastic journey ahead,” he said further.


Vignesh Vellore, CEO of The News Minute, said that Patel’s addition to the leadership team will further fuel the company’s growth. “Having established that as a media start-up we can provide high-value content and superlative reach to the brands we work with, it is now time for us to improve our access in the Western market and speed-up our revenue growth. Kaizad will be key to our success in the West.”


The News Minute (Spunklane Media Pvt. Ltd.) was launched in 2014 and Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media is the main investor in the company. With a special focus on news from the southern states, TNM has readership across India, with 10 million monthly unique users and 30 million pageviews every month.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

SapientRazorfish’s Ranjit Kandhari joins AdGlobal360

Kandhari will lead AdGlobal360’s Sitecore Centre of Excellence as Vice President

exchange4media Staff 3 hours ago


Marketing technology company AdGlobal360 has announced the launch of its Centre of Excellence (CoE) developed in collaboration with Sitecore®. The Centre of Excellence will help AGL’s clients in building digital and highly personalized consumer experiences that seamlessly engage customers both, online and in-store. 

The company on Thursday announced the appointment of Ranjit Kandhari to head this initiative.  

As the Vice President, Sitecore® Experience Platform™ at AdGlobal360, Kandhari will be responsible for setting-up and managing high performance delivery teams, processes, and an R&D practice, for executing multiple Sitecore-based projects.

Kandhari brings with him 17 years of experience in the IT industry, especially an in-depth knowledge of design and development of web applications using Microsoft technologies, content management systems and project management, having successfully delivered many projects with diverse technologies. 

Prior to this assignment, Kandhari was with SapientRazorfish leading Sitecore projects.

The company, in a statement said, with the newly launched CoE, AdGlobal360 will deliver highly personalized digital experiences in real time for their clients across automobile, manufacturing and hi-tech industries. 

Speaking about the appointment, Rakesh Yadav, CEO of AdGlobal360, said “It is great to have Ranjit lead our Sitecore Centre of Excellence. I am sure his experience & expertise will go a long way in establishing our relevance with this futuristic technology.” 

He further added, “Everything we do today is technology-dependent, within a strategic technology driven framework. The CoE is a part of this approach; that we support the skills and capabilities of businesses that need to undergo a complete digital transformation - on the back of technology.”

Kandhari said, “I am very happy and excited to lead this Sitecore CoE that will help our clients transform their businesses in the digital world. We will be able to drive personalized experiences, combining our innovative thinking and process - with Sitecore.” 
He further added, “Our aim is to provide a single robust system that can handle global and multilingual content at a scale which enables deep levels of intelligence about users: who they are, what they care about, and what they are doing thereby enriching the brand ecosystem, while delivering customer value."

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

GroupM names Wavemaker CEO Tim Castree as CEO GroupM, North America

Castree will report to GroupM’s Global CEO, Kelly Clark, and will now be responsible for strategy and operations

exchange4media Staff 6 hours ago


Tim Castree, Global CEO of Wavemaker has been named as CEO of GroupM, North America, according to reports.

It is not yet clear who will succeed Castree as CEO, but Castree will remain at Wavemaker in an advisory role until a replacement is named. After the transition, Castree will be charged with reviving the company's growth in North America, which incidentally is its slowest growing market, but is the world's largest advertising market.

Castree will report to GroupM’s Global CEO, Kelly Clark, and will be responsible for strategy and operations.

In 2017 Castree was named Global CEO of the new agency formed from the merger of MEC and Maxus, now Wavemaker. In its first transitional year, Wavemaker added important new clients including Danone and Adobe in the US, and Mondelez in 20 markets. In addition to Castree’s leadership of Wavemaker, this year he also helped lead a group-wide team focused on transforming the performance of GroupM’s business in the US, a geographic priority for both GroupM and WPP.

Castree's appointment comes after parent company WPP announced a major restructure with plans to cut 3500 jobs. Since September, WPP has made two major cross-discipline mergers, between VML and Y&R and J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman, respectively, to better synergise its offer for clients.

It is believed that Castree also plans to scale GroupM’s technology platforms and expertise across WPP. The media buying division will play a major role in fulfilling CEO Mark Read’s vision on technology, laid out Tuesday, which involves building and scaling a tech and data stack across WPP and operating more seamlessly with software providers like Adobe, Google and Salesforce.

Castree has more than 20 years of experience spanning creative, media and digital agencies, including leading blue-chip global advertiser partnerships. Prior to joining GroupM, he was Managing Director of Videology in North America, US Chief Operating Officer for Publicis Group’s MediaVest, and Global Managing Director for Starcom MediaVest. He began his career with Leo Burnett in Melbourne and he subsequently worked at FCB, Ogilvy and BBH.


Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal suspended from Editors Guild of India

The action has been taken in view of allegations of sexual misconduct against them

exchange4media Staff 9 hours ago


The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has suspended the membership of journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar and former Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal over allegations of sexual misconduct.

“Office-bearers of the Guild discussed the EC’s comments and took the decision on the matter. It has concurred with the majority view that Akbar should be suspended from the Guild till such time that the court case he has filed is concluded. Using the same logic, the office-bearers decided that Mr Tejpal too should be suspended from the Guild,” read a statement from the Guild.

The Guild had sought views of its Executive Committee (EC) on what action should be taken against Akbar, a dormant member at present and one of its past presidents, Tejpal and senior journalist Gautam Adhikari in light of sexual misconduct allegations levelled against them.

Akbar stepped down as the junior foreign minister in October following allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by several women journalists. Tarun Tejpal has been jailed for rape.

The Guild decided it would seek Adhikari's response before deciding on his membership.


Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

OnePlus calls for media pitch worth Rs 200 crore

It comes just two months after a similar pitch, also worth Rs 200 crore, called by its subsidiary company OPPO

Naziya Alvi Rahman 10 hours ago


Leading handset company OnePlus has initiated the process for a media pitch. Several leading agencies, including Dentsu Ageis Network and incumbent Starcom Mediavest, are believed to have given presentations in Bengaluru last week. The account is said to be worth Rs 200 crore

"The pitch is expected to close in early January 2019," confirmed an industry source. Neither OnePlus nor Starcom Mediavest responded to the emails sent by e4m till the filing of this story.

Just two months ago, OnePlus' subsidiary company Oppo Mobile had also called for a multi-agency media pitch. Sources in the industry claim that all leading agencies, including IPG, GroupM, Havas Media and Denstu Aegis Network, participated in the pitch that is estimated to be Rs 200 crore in size. Starcom Mediavest is the incumbent agency for Oppo too. It has been handling the account since 2015.

As the editorial head for the website, Naziya covers media, advertising and marketing domains. Prior to joining the digital domain, she worked for 12 years with leading newspapers covering political, legal and crime beats.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

HSIL’s Benelave signs on Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor as brand ambassador

Shraddha will be the face of Benelave’s upcoming campaigns

exchange4media Staff 22 hours ago


Benelave, from the house of HSIL, has signed leading Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor as its brand ambassador to elevate brand awareness and visibility.

Benelave offers a wide range of bath space products to suit the needs of value-seeking consumers. It is a brand for young Indians who are looking for good designs coupled with modern aesthetics for their bathrooms.

Commenting on the new association, Sandip Somany, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL Limited said, “Shraddha is one of India’s most loved youth icon, and we believe that our core audience resonates with her grounded and girl-next-door personality. We are excited as this association will enable us explore new avenues for our continued growth and success.”

He further added, “Benelave is on a high growth trajectory and is doing extremely well in in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities since its launch a few years ago. Shraddha’s versatile acting skills have made her extremely popular among the masses and this association will help us widen our existing consumer base”

Speaking on the new partnership actor Shraddha Kapoor said, “HSIL is one of the most trusted and iconic companies in India and I am delighted to be their brand ambassador. It is great to see that HSIL is not only committed towards delivering unmatched designs and quality in their offerings, but also towards creating welcoming bath spaces for the entire family.”

Shraddha will be the face of Benelave’s upcoming campaigns. She joins the likes of Shahrukh Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez among others, who already front various bath space brands of HSIL. Benelave encompasses the entire bathroom category with various offerings under faucets, showers, sanitaryware, accessories and allied products.

Over the years, HSIL Limited has bolstered its distribution network for Benelave with 100 distributors and 2500 retailers across 300 cities.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Swati Shetty resigns as Netflix India's Director-International Originals & Acquisitions

Shetty has been instrumental in Indian content licensing for the company and helped Netflix expand its Indian content library

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago


Netflix India's Director of International Originals and Acquisitions, Swati Shetty has resigned from her position after 2 years with the company, according to media reports. It has been understood that Shetty is based in LA at present, but her role has been shifted to Mumbai. Netflix has confirmed Shetty's resignation, 

Her resignation comes as Netflix is looking to bolster its team across verticals, including content licensing, marketing and production talent. This is with an aim to capitalise on India's growing video-streaming market. The company plans to introduce more locally produced original content and experiment with pricing models.

Shetty has been instrumental in bringing about the Indian content licensing for the company and helped Netflix expand its Indian content library, as well as acquire films such as Love Per Square Feet, Lust Stories and Rajma Chawal.

Shetty has also worked with Balaji Telefilms, Star India and Walt Disney.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

WPP takes on new identity to push its ‘radical evolution’ plan

Superunion and Landor have collaborated to create the new identity for WPP

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago


WPP CEO Mark Read on Tuesday announced a three-year plan for “radical evolution” of the company to deliver improved performance. To reflect the new strategic direction of the company, WPP has launched an evolution of its brand identity.

Superunion and Landor have collaborated to create the new identity which represents WPP as a creative transformation company that is dynamic, connected and organised around the needs of its clients, according to information available on the agency’s site.

The logo is made up of many parts that combine to form the whole – a representation of WPP’s people, agencies, capabilities and markets that work together as one for clients.

On-screen, the logo is designed to have a continuously changing form and colour, symbolising creative transformation in itself.

Talking about the idea behind the new logo, Jim Prior, Global CEO, Superunion, said, “Our ambition was to present WPP with the same energy and creativity that we offer to our clients right across the company. There’s a lot of pride and ambition in WPP that is now united under a strong and dynamic brand identity.”

Jane Geraghty, Global CEO of Landor, said, “WPP has always been transformative – bringing together the best people and ideas to meet the needs of our clients. We now have an evolved brand and expression of purpose that better reflects who we are as a company, our collective capabilities, and what we offer.”

According to WPP, the Superunion/Landor team worked alongside WPP’s central team on the new positioning as a dynamic, forward-thinking company with creativity and technology at its heart, and the core purpose of creating better futures for its clients and people.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Madison’s HiveMinds wins Google Premier Partner Awards 2018 for Search Innovation

HiveMinds has won the award for their work on Curefit

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago


Hiveminds, the newly acquired Search specialist digital agency of Madison World, has won the Search Innovation Award for their work on Curefit, at the 2nd edition of the Google Premier Partner Awards 2018, India.

The Google Premier Partner Awards honours innovation in digital marketing across Search, Mobile, Video, Display, Shopping and Growing Businesses Online. Google Premier Partner Award in search innovation is given for expertise and innovation with Google search ads. Examples include creative uses of auto-bidding or optimizing beyond the last click to help clients achieve their goals online. Out of 300+ Google Premier Partners in India, only six agencies were shortlisted for the award.

Curefit is an FMCG-health & fitness solutions provider, founded by former Flipkart executives Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori. For Curefit, HiveMinds through its continuous effort and stacked approach, has been able to deliver 6X improvement in conversions and helped acquire new users consistently, the company said in a statement.

Hiveminds also used:

  • Hyper localized ads to personalize messaging based on user data signals using Google’s smart business feed platform
  • Compelling ad formats like countdown feature, pin-code based bid adjustments
  • Smart remarketing strategies

All this helped the brand deliver 6X increase in conversions, as well as a 30 per cent drop in overall customer acquisition costs.

Talking about the award, Jyothirmayee JT, Founder & CEO, Hiveminds, said, “HiveMinds is arguably one of the strongest performance marketing agencies out of India. Winning this award from Google in the core category of search innovation is very encouraging for us. What's more special, is the award was for our work with another ambitious startup, growing multifold every month and are destined to be an industry leader like many of our clients whom we have engaged at an early stage”.

HiveMinds specialises in providing end-to-end digital marketing solutions like SEO, Performance & Paid Campaigns, Analytics, Social Media, Digital Branding and Creative & Content services, for leading brands and startups in India, US and the Middle East. HiveMinds handles key clients such as bigbasket, Teabox, Sonata Watches, Portea, Zoomcar and Cloudnine Hospitals.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Himanshu Shekhar promoted to CEO, GroupM Indonesia

Shekhar will take over from Ed Thesiger, who will be relocating to the UK at the end of March 2019 to set up his own consulting business.

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago


GroupM has announced that Himanshu Shekhar will be taking over from Ed Thesiger as the CEO of GroupM Indonesia, effective January 1, 2019.

Shekhar has been based in Indonesia since March 2010 when he joined as the Managing Director for Mindshare’s business with Unilever. He was later promoted to CEO of Mindshare Indonesia in December 2011.

While at the helm of Mindshare Indonesia, he consistently delivered strong growth for the agency and positioned Mindshare as the market leader in digital transformation. In January 2015, Shekhar was promoted to his current position, CEO of Mindshare South East Asia, the company said in a statement.

Thesiger, CEO GroupM Indonesia and Vietnam, will be relocating to the UK at the end of March 2019 to set up his own consulting business.

Commenting on the appointment, Mark Patterson, CEO GroupM APAC, said, “Indonesia continues to be a key growth market for us, and I am delighted that we have been able to promote from within for this important leadership position. Himanshu has a proven track record with a depth of experience and industry relationships that is second to none in that market. I would also like to thank Ed for his energy, passion and outstanding leadership over the past seven years.  We are sorry to see him leave the region and wish him every success on his new venture back in the UK.”

Amrita Randhawa, CEO Mindshare APAC, added, “Himanshu has built Mindshare into a titan of an organisation in Indonesia and driven its strength, reputation and leadership stature across South East Asia. His knowledge of Indonesia and our clients’ core needs in the market is unparalleled and therefore there is no one better suited to step into the GroupM leadership position. We are rooting for Himanshu’s success in this next chapter of his career and are confident that he will continue to be an incredible partner for Mindshare and our client’s growth story in Indonesia.”

Speaking of his promotion Shekhar noted, “Leading GroupM Indonesia is a massive responsibility. Across our agencies, Mediacom, Mindshare, Wavemaker and Essence, we have some of the brightest minds working with super successful brands on creating media for business growth. I am thankful to our leadership and teams for building trusted partnerships with clients, media and tech ecosystems over the years.  Today, Indonesia’s media is among the most vibrant globally. We have global innovation originating here and best practices taking shape in some areas. Our global networks have been deeply committed to this already, and I am excited to add my efforts to this journey. I am thankful for the trust, and look forward to working together with our wonderful teams and partners.”

Thesiger added, “It has been an absolute privilege leading such a talented group over the past 7 years. Himanshu has been a cornerstone of the team for the duration of my tenure and I look forward to seeing him drive the business on to the next level in the coming years.”

Ed will work closely with Himanshu to ensure a smooth transition over the coming weeks.  Details of Ed’s successor in Vietnam and Himanshu’s successor will be the subject of separate communications in due course, the company said.

Shekhar will continue to be based in Jakarta with his family and will report directly to Mark Patterson.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.