Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar joins Contract Advertising as Chief Creative Officer

With over three decades of experience, Sagar is a highly feted creative professional with multiple domestic and international awards under his belt

exchange4media Staff 4 days ago

SagarMahabaleshwarkar

Contract Advertising has announced the appointment of Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar as the Chief Creative Officer. Tarun Rai, Chairman & Group CEO, J. Walter Thompson said “We have been in discussions with Sagar for the last few months. And I am very happy that we have him on board, finally. Sagar is an industry stalwart. He has built his reputation over the years across many agencies in India and abroad. He has worked with more traditional FMCG clients as well as some of the iconic technology companies. And he has excelled across media platforms - with the last decade, especially, building his reputation as a digital-first creative leader. Contract has some of the most exciting and high-profile brands. We have big ambitions for the agency. With Raji Ramaswamy as the CEO and Rohit Srivastava, one of the finest strategic minds in the country, what Contract needed was a CCO with the depth of experience and a solid reputation of creative excellence that Sagar brings to the agency. He is the ideal creative leader to take Contract to the next level and make it a creative powerhouse”.

With over three decades of experience across leading advertising agencies in India and abroad, Sagar is a highly feted creative professional with multiple domestic and international awards under his belt. In addition, he has also been on the jury of several award festivals. In his long and successful career, he has left his mark on brands like Samsung, Adidas, Grants, Apollo Munich, Jet Airways, Tata Motors, Fiat, Colgate, Airtel, Virgin Mobile, Uninor, Close Up, Dell, Tata Sky, Taj Hotels, Unilever Teas, ITC, Titan, Neo Sports, Star TV, MTV, Kingfisher, Himalayan, to name a few.

Sagar is a seasoned professional who has displayed his prowess in the emerging new age media through several of his campaigns across multiple categories. In addition, he has also set up and nurtured the design function in some of the agencies. He brings extensive experience in creating high impact, 360-degree communication platforms and integrating them across traditional, digital, activation and retail functions. He has also demonstrated through his work his ability to lead and drive new age creative thinking in an integrated manner. Over the years, in addition to creating traditional solutions, his repertoire also encompasses innovative technology, CSR program implementation, SEO campaigns, retail design and experiential.

He is recognized for his exemplary client relationships and his experience in working with senior stakeholders across the marketing and communication fraternity. Sagar is also an inspirational creative leader who is acknowledged for his mentoring skills and who has the reputation of building impactful teams. He is an advocate of creativity being inspired by technology, leading to the creation of intellectual properties that brands can own.

One of his recent wins has been for the Good Vibes project where the creative solution had a strong technological backbone through a mobile app, enabling two-way communication for deafblind. This app won over 27 Prestigious Awards including Cannes Innovation, D&AD and Goafest.

Speaking on the appointment, Raji Ramaswamy, CEO, Contract Advertising said “I am delighted to welcome Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar as the Chief Creative Officer responsible for guiding the creative output of Contract in the digital age. He is a seasoned new age creative leader who has the finest art and design sensibilities. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the country across both traditional and new media platforms and excelled in every one of them. Contract manages some of the biggest brands and businesses in the country and we believe Sagar will be able to contribute and add value to each one of them. He is a game changer with a great track record for creating category breaking and award-winning ideas. He has a deep understanding of digital and technology with a strong belief that the future lies in the meeting of the two. He has built strong integrated teams in his earlier roles and we are confident that he will take the agency to the next level as an integrated agency of the future with big ambitions”.

“I would like to thank Ashish Chakravarty for providing Contract with the creative leadership and support and in getting us to where we are today. I would also like to wish him the very best for the future” added Raji Ramaswamy on Ashish Chakravarty’s movement.

Commenting on his appointment, Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar said, “The vision of Contract and the direction that JWT group is taking globally, is to make brands agile and to make brands purposeful. That’s a dynamic shift which is challenging and forward-looking. I am excited with Tarun’s strategy. Having worked on a winning note in a highly competitive, tech-first consumer business for the last three years, I am confident the shift is in the right direction. It is all about NOW. The NOW of shifting consumer behavior, of tech-enabled lives, of the design-conscious user, of brave, bold and light-footed ideas. With right partners in Raji Ramaswamy and Rohit Srivastava and with remarkable clients, the new Contract is a promising venture for both its brands and its people”.

“Advertising that was only art some years ago is now an evolving art woven with science. Not the medium, but the idea is the message, laced with technology and fast-changing consumer behavior. It is the complete picture that makes the difference today and not just vanilla advertising” added Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar.

Sagar is a sports enthusiast with a deep interest in cricket, tennis and Formula 1. In addition, he is also an avid photographer.

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Deep Halder joins India Today Group Digital as Executive Editor

Halder was previously the Editor of Dainik Bhaskar Group’s English newspaper DB Post

exchange4media Staff 1 hour ago

DeepHalder

Deep Halder will join India Today Group Digital as Executive Editor.

Halder has over 17 years of experience in print and television media. He was Editor of Dainik Bhaskar Group’s English newspaper DB Post before this. Halder was also the launch editor of Millennium Post.

He joined the publication at the inception stage, spearheading the launch of the 16-page daily broadsheet, with circulation in Delhi and NCR and focus on investigative journalism. He was Resident Editor of MidDay's Delhi edition and worked in senior positions in Hindustan Times, DNA and Pioneer.

This will be his third stint with the India Today Group.

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V>ENGAGE appoints Raju Markandeya as Chief Executive Officer

The agency has also bolstered its team with key appointments

exchange4media Staff 4 hours ago

RajuMarkandeya

The promoters of a Gurgaon headquartered media communication agency operating for last six years in events, experiential marketing and digital advertising have recently diversified into Outdoor advertising by launching V>ENGAGE, an OOH specialist agency. Currently the group is operating with more than 150 employees who are servicing over 70 clients and are looking into investing in OOH space by recruiting talent from the industry.

Raju Markandeya, is the former COO-Kinetic Advertising, has been appointed as CEO of this brand new venture. Markandeya comes with over two decades of experience in advertising and media industry across Finance, Commercial, Trading, Operations and Business strategy functions.

He has worked in Grey Worldwide for 16 years and his last stint was with Kinetic Advertising-WPP Group for 8 years, one of India’s leading OOH specialist agency. OOH is gaining huge momentum and Raju’s focus is to capitalise on the Group’s existing client base with the help of innovative technology backed solutions.

Along with Raju, the specialist agency has also invested in some of the senior talent with a collective group experience of over 100 years and managed both global and national brands such as Lufthansa, Google, Amex, Ford, HSBC, VW Group, Castrol, Samsung, Reliance AMC, Abbott, Facebook, etc. in their respective earlier assignments. The agency is in hiring spree and expected to recruit additional talent in the next couple of months.

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FreakOut appoints Narayan Murthy Ivaturi to its Board of Directors

Ivaturi has also been elevated to the role of Global Chief Operating Officer for FreakOut's adtech business

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

NarayanMurthyIvaturi

FreakOut, the global marketing technology company, part of FreakOut Holdings, has appointed Narayan Murthy Ivaturi to its Board of Directors. FreakOut has also elevated Ivaturi to the role of Global Chief Operating Officer for its adtech business.

The appointment is in recognition of Narayan’s pivotal contributions to FreakOut’s strategic growth, including launching the next wave of FreakOut’s digital solutions and building out key programmatic partnerships across both the supply and demand sides.

In his expanded remit, Narayan will lead the newly consolidated adtech business across all 16 markets where FreakOut is currently present. He will work on enhancing local and international product partnerships with publishers, strengthening supply partnerships and orchestrating M&A in line with FreakOut’s expansion agenda.

Commenting on the appointment, Yuzuru Honda, CEO and President – FreakOut Holdings, Inc. said, “We are delighted to have Narayan join the board as our adtech business enters the next phase of its growth strategy. We believe the refreshed board and management team are committed to achieving outstanding performance and maximizing our corporate value.”

The consolidation of FreakOut’s adtech business is poised to deliver immense value to advertisers and publishers by streamlining product lines and technologies. As a result, clients will have access to FreakOut’s multi-faceted product portfolio in Japan, including Programmatic SSP with native in-feed display and video formats. The diverse product access, coupled with FreakOut’s network of 3000 premium publishers, will enable clients to maximize the global reach of their marketing campaigns.

Speaking on his new role, Ivaturi said: “I’m really excited to be part of a team that shares my passion and vision. I’m very grateful to FreakOut’s board and am looking forward to building a formidable global offering, and making FreakOut the first choice for advertisers and publishers.”

Ivaturi’s role is effective immediately.

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Ashish Chakravarty returns to McCann as Executive Director & Creative Head, India

He will report directly to Prasoon Joshi, Chairman McCann Asia Pacific & CEO & CCO McCann Worldgroup India

exchange4media Staff 5 days ago

AshishChakravarty

Ashish Chakravarty has returned to McCann as Executive Director and Head of Creative, India. Chakravarty has been recognized as one of the top Creative Directors in India and has also been ranked among the top 50 ECDs in the world.

He was until recently, Chief Creative Officer of WPP’s Contract, overseeing creative output of Contract Advertising, iContract, Designsutra, and Core Consulting. In his earlier stint at McCann India he closely worked with Prasoon Joshi and helped build McCann Delhi as one of the top leading operations in Delhi market. Winner of several national and international awards, he has also consistently been part of jury at various advertising awards.   

Chakravarty will report directly to Prasoon Joshi, Chairman McCann Asia Pacific & CEO & CCO McCann Worldgroup India.

Speaking on the appointment, Prasoon Joshi, Chairman McCann Asia Pacific & CEO & CCO McCann Worldgroup India said “Ashish is a rare breed of creative talent who is backed by solid strategic thinking. He’s constantly rediscovering himself and genuinely interested in creating work with depth and effervescence at the same time. Moreover, he is a great team builder, am really looking forward to Ashish joining McCann back.”  

Commenting on his new role, Ashish Chakravarty said “There is a certain degree of familiarity, and fondness that I have for McCann, having spent over a decade there. I enjoyed a fabulous run in my last stint, and it always felt good to see it continue from strength to strength. On a personal note, I have a huge regard for Prasoon, both as a creative leader, and for the person that he is. Our bond runs deep, and we have a quirky chemistry of sorts; one that is maddening, and magical at the same time. And almost always results in some very good work. So, when the opportunity came to get back into the thick of it, and also in a more substantial way than before, I found it hard to resist.”

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Iris Delhi promotes Paroma Ganguly and Faisal Ahmad as joint Managing Directors

Both Ahmad and Ganguly are seasoned professionals in the industry who have been instrumental spearheading Iris forward through their respective roles

exchange4media Staff 6 days ago

ParomaGangulyFaisalAhmad

Global multi-specialist creative network, Iris, has promoted Paroma Ganguly and Faisal Ahmad as joint Managing Directors of Iris Delhi.

Ahmad, who has been promoted from the role of Digital Director, has been instrumental in steering the development of Iris Delhi’s digital offering for clients, with a focus on both global and local. Faisal has over 15 year’s experience in the industry, having worked on brands such as Samsung, Nokia, MINI, General Motors and Airtel Africa. Faisal’s focus is on delivering a seamless Iris experience for clients across to benefit from our technical and creative capabilities. 

Ganguly, who has been promoted from the role of Strategy Director, has over 15 years’ experience in the media and communications industry. She has been responsible for raising Iris’ profile in the Delhi market, ensuring all work is in line with the network’s global ‘For the Forward’ philosophy, whilst supercharging Iris’ integrated offering in India, driving a culture of strategic thinking across the agency in order to deliver effective results for clients. 

Commenting on his appointment, Faisal Ahmad, Joint Managing Director, Iris Delhi said: “I am excited to be part of an almost new “For the Forward” chapter of the agency in India. Our endeavor is to create a niche for ourselves – as an agile, solutions-focused agency committed to delivering impactful communication that helps solve our client’s business challenges.”

Speaking on her new role, Paroma Ganguly, Joint Managing Director, Iris Delhi said, “Our commitment is to create a workplace that fosters creativity and innovation – in the way we think, in the way we work and in what we deliver for our clients. In the “For the Forward” era of Iris Delhi, we not only help client’s challenge status quo but are also striving to create a unique workplace where we challenge status quo in the way we do things at the agency”

Luke Nathans, CEO APAC Region, Iris said added, Paroma and Faisal represent the next generation of world-class leaders. Agile, entrepreneurial and multi-disciplinarian. They’ve already made a massive difference to the business and will only continue to push it forward.

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Cosmos-Maya strengthens leadership with key appointments

Adi Shayan has been appointed as COO, Kalyani Rane as CFO and Ashutosh Tipnis has been appointed as HR Director

exchange4media Staff 28-November-2018

CosmosMaya

Cosmos-Maya, a name synonymous with quality kids’ content has always been a frontrunner in shaping industry trends. After Emerald Media, the Pan-Asian media investment platform backed by US private equity firm KKR acquired a controlling stake in Cosmos-Maya, the company is now consolidating.

It is now a hub to attract the best-in-class talent across all fields. Cosmos-Maya has appointed a new Chief Operating Officer, Chief Finance Officer and Human Resource Director as the market leader beefs up its C-level staffing in pursuit of further growth.

Anish Mehta, Cosmos-Maya’s backed CEO spoke on the development, saying, “With KKR backed Emerald Media acquiring a controlling stake in Cosmos-Maya, it became imperative to have a well-structured organization to ensure scalability. This has also enabled us to develop SOPs aimed at achieving efficiency, uniformity of performance and international quality output. The company is looking at a more holistic approach with robust systems in place.”

Adi Shayan, the new COO, comes to Cosmos-Maya from Bangalore based Xentrix. Studios where he worked as COO. In a career almost 20 years in the VFX and Computer Graphics Industry(CGI), he has held various positions, including a 9-year stint at DreamWorks Animation India as Studio Manager and almost 4 years at Tata Elxsi – Visual Computing Labs (VCL) as a Business Development Manager and Producer.

His sparkling dossier also has a 4-year stint in LA/Hollywood. He carries with him the pedigree of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore from where he pursued an executive course.

Speaking on his new role, Adi Shayan said, "I am elated and humbled to help lead and grow the company that has without a doubt changed the animation landscape of the country".

Kalyani Rane, the dynamic CFO, joins the company after a 10-year stint at JSM Corporation Pvt. Ltd., where she was CFO. Kalyani has more than 20 years of experience across diverse industries including Food & Beverage and Retail. Her credentials include professional degrees like Cost & Works Accountants and a Management degree with a specialization in Finance. A result-oriented and decisive leader, she is also a persuasive communicator with a knack for success. A result oriented HR professional, Ashutosh Tipnis brings along with him a vivid experience of over two decades.

Ashutosh Tipnis, who started his corporate journey with Crompton Greaves, was previously Head - HR (West and South) at Hindustan Times. With a Masters in Human Resources from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, he carries with him the pedigree of a premier B-school.

Today with 16 shows on air/in production, including 3 European & one Brazilian Co-Production, with over a 60% market share in the domestic Indian animation production business, the company is already a force to reckon with.

Mehta further added, ”With the new appointments, Cosmos—Maya is poised to make a leap into the next orbit of growth, both in the domestic sphere as well as a global player. In the coming two quarters, we aim to up production from the current 35 half hours/month to 50 half hours/month. We also plan to reach the 2000 employee mark during this time.”

The three appointees bring along with them a vivid experience of several multi-national companies and will be instrumental in supporting the company in its journey towards the next orbit of growth.

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MX Player appoints Tarannum Alam as Head – Agency Business

She will be based in Delhi and will report to Viraj Jit Singh, Senior VP & Head Revenue, MX Player

exchange4media Staff 27-November-2018

TarannumAlam

MX Player, the largest local video player in the world has appointed Tarannum Alam as Head - Agency Business. In her new role, she will be responsible for driving relationships across advertising/media agencies pan India with a focus on revenue growth for the app.

She will be based out of Delhi and will report to Viraj Jit Singh – Sr. VP & Head Revenue, MX Player. With a vast experience of over 18 years, Tarannum Alam has worked with leading advertising agencies and managed media across categories like FMCG, Telecom, Consumer Electronics, Travel, Mobile Handsets, E-commerce and Automobile.

In her last assignment, Tarannum was with Havas Media as Executive Vice President and handled clients like Hyundai, Emirates, Voltas, Kohler among others. She started her career with McCann Erickson in the year 2000 and worked on the Nestle and L’Oreal businesses. She was also associated with Madison, Vivaki Exchange, Group M and Reliance BIG FM in the past.

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Fourth Dimension Media Solutions appoints Sreekant Rudrabhatla as Chief Business Officer

Sreekant Rudrabhatla has over 22 years of experience in the varied world of finance media & entertainment and different technology platforms

exchange4media Staff 27-November-2018

Sreekant

Fourth Dimension Media solution, the Chennai based media outsourcing company which has striven its way to being the country’s number one media outsourcing firm appoints Sreekant Rudrabhatla as its Chief Business Officer.

The company with a national presence operates with offices in Chennai, Mumbai, and Delhi and Sreekant will be based in Mumbai. Sreekant has over 22 years of experience in the varied world of finance media & entertainment and different technology platforms. An economics post graduate from Benaras Hindu University, he has worked with Retail Forex category in Thomas Cook, handled sales & marketing functions in Times of India, moved on to TV9, thereafter in Hello FM.

He has been with Fourth Dimension Media prior to his move to the booming digital industry with Ignitee Digital, Interackt Digital and Rage communications. In Quisk INC, an international fintech collaboration, Sreekant headed the Business Development for their Mobile led payment solution.

Sreekant's experience in Enterprise product marketing, fintech business development, deep understanding of how technology platforms work, how to build both digital and non-digital assets and his evident expertise of working with different verticals and people of different milieu has given him an edge of expertise rarely found.

Speaking on the appointment, COO Bharath said “Sreekanth comes with a great experience of working in varied domains such a television, Radio, print, Digital, technology and we believe that having him back would be a great strength for Fourth Dimension Considering that we are also in a complete acceleration mode with new product acquisitions and entry into varied domains away from traditional media sales. I am very eager to work closely with Sreekant once again and wish him a great stint with us".

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MediaCom appoints Christine Fang as Global CFO

Fang, who has more than 20 years of experience in financial management roles at agencies and brands, joined GroupM in 2016

exchange4media Staff 27-November-2018

ChristineFangMediCom

MediaCom has appointed Christine Fang as its new Global Chief Financial Officer. Christine, who is currently CFO of GroupM China, will relocate to MediaCom’s London HQ in March 2019.

Fang, who has more than 20 years of experience in financial management roles at agencies and brands, joined GroupM in 2016. Previously, she was Head of FP&A at Mondelez China, and before that, spent more than six years at PepsiCo China as CFO Beverages. Christine has also worked at Gillette China and Carrefour China.

Speaking on her appointment, Christine Fang said: “I am excited to further my career at GroupM, and I am looking forward to joining MediaCom and its strong management team. I believe that by drawing on my local market knowledge and brand experience, we can continue to strengthen our financial and commercial excellence at a global level.”

Commenting on the appointment, Stephen Allan, MediaCom Worldwide Chairman & CEO, added: “Christine has a rare skill set, marrying her client and agency commercial knowledge. Her knowledge of our industry and our clients’ businesses gives her a broader business perspective that will be invaluable for our teams. We’re delighted to have her join us at MediaCom.”

Adding to this, Stuart Diamond, GroupM CFO said: “This is a great opportunity for Christine and we are delighted that she has accepted the opportunity and continues to grow her career within the Group. Christine’s talent and experience are unprecedented in our industry, and her knowledge of both agencies and brands will give MediaCom a unique advantage. We wish her the very best of luck.”

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Abhijit Bose appointed as Head of WhatsApp India

Bose joins WhatsApp from Ezetap where he served as Co-Founder and CEO

exchange4media Staff 21-November-2018

AbhijitBose

WhatsApp has announced the appointment of Abhijit Bose as Head of WhatsApp India. Bose will build WhatsApp's first full country team outside of California and will be based in Gurgaon. Bose and his team will focus on helping businesses, both large and small connect with their customers.

Earlier this year, WhatsApp released the WhatsApp Business app for small business owners and the WhatsApp Business API to serve larger businesses that engage with customers at scale. Today there are over one million users of these WhatsApp business products in India

Speaking on the appointment, Matt Idema, Chief Operating Officer of WhatsApp, said, “WhatsApp is deeply committed to India and we are excited to keep building products that help people connect and support India's fast-growing digital economy. As a successful entrepreneur himself, Abhijit knows what it takes to build meaningful partnerships that can serve businesses across India,”

Commenting on his new role, Abhijit Bose said, “WhatsApp is special and can be a major partner for financial inclusion and economic growth in India. It's not only how so many families stay in touch, but increasingly it's how businesses are engaging with their customers. WhatsApp can positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of Indians, allowing them to actively engage and benefit from the new digital economy". 

Bose joins WhatsApp from Ezetap where he served as Co-Founder and CEO. Founded in 2011, Ezetap is an electronic payments company backed by top-tier Venture Capitalists. In 2018, it was recognized by CNBC as a Top 50 Disruptor for its impact on digital payments in India.

Bose is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Cornell University. Bose will join WhatsApp in early 2019.

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