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BBDO India appoints Ajai Jhala as CEO

17-September-2008
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BBDO India appoints Ajai Jhala as CEO

BBDO India has announced the appointment of Ajai Jhala as Chief Executive Officer. Jhala is relocating from London to Delhi to take up his new assignment as of September 15, 2008. He will partner with Josy Paul, Chairman & National Creative Director, BBDO India. They will both report to Chris Thomas, Chairman & CEO, BBDO/Proximity, Asia Pacific.

BBDO India is majority owned by BBDO Asia with the RK Swamy Group holding a significant stake.

Said Thomas, "We are thrilled to be attracting such high profile talent to the network. Ajai Jhala’s appointment is huge news for BBDO India operations. He is a well-known brand builder with international experience and an unwavering commitment to 'the work’. Together, Josy and Ajai will be a formidable force. In RK Swamy BBDO and BBDO India, we now have two very strong and rapidly developing businesses in India."

Said Paul on Jhala’s induction, "Ajai's experience is wider, deeper and comes from a holistic worldwide perspective. We come from different backgrounds, but we connect at the same point. We believe in the same philosophy. We believe Indian advertising is ripe for a new perspective – one that is founded on our intrinsic Indian heritage but influenced by worldwide forces and creative trends. This crossover is where BBDO India will find a new voice."

Commenting on his new assignment, Jhala said, "After two decades with Lowe/Lintas in Asia, Europe, USA and a brief stint with Ogilvy in New York, I was made an offer I couldn't refuse. The union of the right creative partner, the right company and the right country made this the perfect opportunity. Josy is a man whose enthusiasm to create great work for brands in a collaborative manner is infectious and undiminished. BBDO is the best agency network in the world, where the emphasis is on simply producing great work. And I get to return to one of the most exciting markets in the world, one that seems ripe for a new wave of ideas.”

Jhala is well-known in the advertising industry having worked in numerous international locations. Over the past year, he has been undertaking brand consultancy work for a number of companies in the UK. Prior to that, he had spent six years with Lowe Worldwide as Global Communications Director for Unilever. During his time with Lowe, he was based in London, Paris and Bangkok. Prior to Lowe, he was Planning Director at Ogilvy & Mather, New York. He has also previously worked for Lintas based in New York, Mumbai and London.

BBDO India's team has grown significantly in recent months with key appointments including Sandipan Bhattacharya and Manoj Deb as Executive Creative Directors; Sangeet Pillai as Planning Director; Rajesh Sikroria as Business Director & VP; Partho Sengupta as Creative Director; and Ranjeev Vij as Business Director & VP-Delhi. The less-than-one-year-old agency was launched in December 2007 following the win of the 7Up business.

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