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Aalap Desai to lead Taproot Dentsu & Isobar India as CCO

Desai will report to Ajay Gahlaut, Group Chief Creative Officer India, dentsu Creative India

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Mar 15, 2022 11:29 AM  | 4 min read
Aalap Desai

Dentsu India has appointed Aalap Desai to the role of Chief Creative Officer (CCO), Taproot Dentsu, a dentsuMB Company. Erstwhile National Creative Director (NCD), isobar India, Desai has also been promoted to the role of CCO for the agency. In both roles, he will report to Ajay Gahlaut, Group Chief Creative Officer India (GCCO), dentsu Creative India.

In addition to leading isobar India’s creative team, Desai will now also be responsible for Taproot Dentsu’s transformation into becoming a Nex-Gen, digital-first agency. While working at India's best mainline and digital agencies, Desai has developed a profile that is truly integrated. He has won over 150 International & National awards that include Cannes Lions, D&AD, Spikes and One Show.

Previously, Desai was with dentsuMB India where he held the position of NCD. In addition to this, he also co-headed the creative team at Dentsu Webchutney, Mumbai and was behind some of the most notable works like Code Name: Uri, The 8-bit Journo for Vice and The World's Most Reported trailer for Thappad. Apart from this, Aalap was also a part of the creative teams at Disney+ Hotstar, Leo Burnett, JWT, DDB Mudra, Ogilvy, and Publicis Ambience. He has helped build India's most loved brands like McDonald's, Complan, Huggies, Nerolac, Videocon d2h, and some youth-centric ones like Early Salary and MTV India. At rank 41, Aalap was recently the highest rated Indian creatives in the global creative listing of 2022 by ‘The Drum’ and was also part of the jury at Spikes Asia 2022.

Speaking on his elevation, Aalap Desai commented, “I am humbled by the faith the dentsu network has shown in me over the years. With the integrated approach we have now, I am excited to be a bigger part of that journey with my new role at isobar and Taproot Dentsu. isobar has taught me the power of limitless possibilities, the power of future-gazing and thinking of things that don't even exist. It is a scary privilege to not just be in step with the world but to create steps that the world will use to climb to the future.”

“Taproot Dentsu is legendary. It is a sacred altar that the whole industry pays homage to. It has challenged the industry and created an unmatched space for itself. For years, I've looked up to it and to the work that this institution created. To now be a part of it and help usher it into the future, is something that is extraordinarily exciting for me", he said.

Additionally, Titus Upputuru, earlier Creative Head, has now been elevated to the role of NCD, Taproot Dentsu, Gurgaon. Titus will lead the agency's Gurgaon creative team and will report into Aalap Desai, CCO, Taproot Dentsu in this new role. Titus has also been entrusted with the additional charge of leading integrated solutions for dentsu Creative India. In this role, he will report into Ajay Gahlaut, GCCO, dentsu Creative India. 

Sidharth Rao, CEO, dentsuMB Group said, “The decision is vital to the growth of dentsu Creative in India and aligned with the network’s global ambitions. Talents such as Aalap and Titus come with unmatched expertise & experience; and their contributions are bound to outweigh the expectations of our clients and the industry. Over the years, they have been groomed with the proficiency to build brands from scratch and are excellent at measuring & matching the market pulse with client needs. With this move, I look forward to dentsu Creative India reinforcing creative solutions in newer & undefined ways.”

Ajay Gahlaut added, “It is fascinating to work with some of the country’s best creative brains. Aalap and Titus are creative geniuses who have delivered some fantastic campaigns over the years. Their brand-building approaches are contemporary and fresh. I feel that's the need of the hour. All the conversations around us are evolving and it is inevitable for brands to evolve their conversations too. They are perfect for that task. Their expertise in brand thinking and storytelling will create robust digital-led creative solutions for clients. I am looking forward to working with both.”

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