Campaign India Team
Apr 19, 2022

DDB Mudra Group elevates Vanaja Pillai

Was consultant, diversity and inclusion

DDB Mudra Group elevates Vanaja Pillai
DDB Mudra Group has announced the elevation of Vanaja Pillai as head of diversity, inclusion and impact. 
She will be responsible for working on initiatives towards growing a diverse and inclusive workplace, including talent acquisition, retention, training and outreach to talent in underrepresented communities. Pillai will also lead the creation and delivery of the agency’s growth and development opportunities. 
Prior to her current role, she was consultant, diversity and inclusion at the agency. 
Pillai will work with Aditya Kanthy, CEO and MD and Rita Verma, head HR of the DDB Mudra Group. 
Kanthy said, “If we don’t change, we’re done. To compete in our times, we need to take a critical view of every aspect of our business. Our approach to talent and culture included. There is much to do in this area, and Vanaja is just the right person to lead us to success. Besides being a stellar leader, having run operating roles in the agency business with flair and distinction, Vanaja has over the last two years built one of the industry’s best run diversity programs – the Phyllis India Project. This work with the Group’s effort as a global network to bring in diverse voices to help shape workplace culture and brand communication of the future.”
Nikki Lamba, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, DDB Worldwide, added, “Vanaja’s work on the Phyllis India program has been applauded across DDB’s borders and is a brilliant example of senior leadership driving actionable change in advancing DEI within the DDB family. We are excited about her taking on this larger mandate and bringing DEI to the heart of our business, people and product strategies in India. There is a lot of good work happening already in parts of the DDB network that India will surely build off and gain from.”   
Pillai said, “It has been an exhilarating journey, from the intent of creating an India chapter for the Phyllis Project, to having the first batch graduate last week. The bar has been set high for every challenge we pick up from hereon. Over the next year we will focus on a select set of DEI goals and approach them with the same rigour and passion that made the Phyllis India Project what it is today. From an overall talent perspective, the pandemic made us even more aware of the need for constantly focusing on people and their growth. We hope to make some of our talent programs world-class this year.”
She was also winner of the ‘Mentor of the Year’ and ‘Best Women Leadership Program’ at Campaign India’s Women Leading Change Awards 2022
Campaign India

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