J. Walter Thompson has announced that Senthil Kumar has been elevated to the position of chief creative officer for India.
In November 2011, the agency had announced the elevation of three of its creative leaders as NCDs, albeit with regional mandates. Swati Bhattacharya led Delhi, Tista Sen headed Mumbai, while Kumar looked after South.
The agency’s last creative leader with a stated national mandate was Bobby Pawar, who exited in March 2013. He was designated national creative director and managing partner.
In a statement announcing Senthil’s elevation as CCO, Tarun Rai, CEO, JWT South Asia, said, "It’s a new world of communication. Creativity is no longer only about the 30-second TVC but has to work across various platforms. For this new world of communication, I needed a new age creative chief – someone who thinks digital first. Senthil is extremely talented, is focused on work and always leads from the front. His passion for excellence and his boundless energy is infectious. He will partner me in raising the bar of our creative product, building our clients’ brands and attracting the best talent in the industry."
Kumar said, "I am thrilled to lead J. Walter Thompson India as its CCO. The opportunity to partner Tarun in steering India’s largest agency into the future, challenges and motivates me. Am proud of our current creative firepower across the country and our collective ambition will be to spearhead marketing success stories for our clients with world-beating ideas. The way forward is not just language-neutral and media-agnostic ideas, but to invent platform-specific creative solutions that solve business problems."
He added, "The journey is never over in this business of ideas as we continue to push harder on the creative front and attract the best talent from within and outside the industry. Our creativity should leap from deep human insight and be driven by ‘Curiosity’ and ‘Collaboration’ while we build our ‘Capability’ to generate ideas that engage with millions of consumers."
Matt Eastwood, worldwide chief creative officer, J. Walter Thompson, said, "Senthil is the definition of a modern ideator and leader who thrives on constantly exploring the power of new technologies and platforms to create truly pioneering work. His boundless energy and enthusiasm for his craft, clients and employees alike, will serve him well in guiding and building our creative brand in the region."
Kumar joined the agency 15 years ago.