Ahead of the Essence and MediaCom merger in January 2023, GroupM has announced the elevations of Navin Khemka as CEO and Sonali Malaviya as chief strategy and transformation officer at EssenceMediacom South Asia.
Khemka was CEO, MediaCom South Asia, while Malaviya was managing director at Essence India. Khemka will report to Prasanth Kumar, CEO – GroupM South Asia and Rupert McPetrie, CEO – EssenceMediacom APAC, and Malaviya will report to Khemka. The duo will be based in Gurugram.
Kumar said, “Both Navin and Sonali are inspirational leaders and under their leadership for MediaCom and Essence, they have been consistent in their efforts for the transformation of agency businesses. With both agencies coming together we all are very excited and confident that we will continue to strengthen our client relationships and continue to focus on our people and capabilities. I congratulate both Navin and Sonali on their new roles and I am certain that this will be a formidable force in bringing some of the best work for our clients”
McPetrie added, “The appointment of Navin as CEO and Sonali as chief strategy and transformation officer for EssenceMediacom South Asia provides us with very strong leadership and direction as we build our new agency of the future and transform the work we do for our clients. Both have a great track record, both have a firm belief in putting people first, and together will bring new growth to our client's businesses.”
Khemka said, “I am looking forward to this transformational role for leading the merged agency of Essence and MediaCom. With our best-in-class data and digital-led solutions, I am confident that we will be able to future-proof our talent and offer new services. Thanks to all our clients for their continued trust and partnership. Our clients can now look forward to the sophistication from EssenceMediacom that is required to succeed in the new era.”
Malaviya said, “Clients today expect media to be at the frontline of transformation - delivering rapid, scalable business change in an era of new possibilities. Every day platforms evolve, creators emerge, and communities are formed. A flywheel of change is being powered at the intersection of consumers, content, and technology. I am looking forward to partnering with our highly talented teams and driving that change and achieving growth and transformation in a way that serves our consumers and clients - it is the best time to work in media!”
Khemka's career spanning 25 years has seen him have roles with Wavemaker, Zenith, Cheil, Mindshare, Carat and Mudra.
In a career spanning 20 years, Malaviya has also worked with Mindshare, PHD and MediaCom across roles and markets.