Dentsu International has announced leadership changes to its creative agency Taproot Dentsu.
Agnello Dias, who founded Taproot that was acquired by Dentsu in 2012
, will be exiting the agency at the end of this month. According to a note from the agency, Dias was stepping back from active work with the agency for the last few years, and will now continue as a consultant for key brands.
Ayesha Ghosh, who was previously heading the agency's Mumbai office, has been elevated as CEO following Umesh Shrikhande's retirement in March. Ghosh joined Taproot Dentsu in 2015.
Also elevated is Shashank Lanjekar who has been appointed as CSO. He was heading planning for the Mumbai office.
Pearl Vas, who has been with the agency since 2018, has been elevated as SVP, strategic planning.
The creative team will continue to be led by Santosh Padhi, co-founder and chief creative officer (CCO) - Taproot Dentsu.
In Mumbai, the team has been divided into four units, each to be headed by Neeraj Kanitkar, Yogesh Rijhwani, Abhishek Deshwal and Purva Ummat. While Kanitkar and Rijhwani have been elevated, Deshwal moves from Lowe Lintas. Ummat was previously with McCann.
Abhinav Kaushik, who was executive vice president (EVP) for Gurugram, has been elevated as head of Taproot Dentsu for the region. Titus Upputuru will continue to be in charge of creative in the Gurugram office.
Dias said, “I’m delighted that Taproot Dentsu has produced and attracted this kind of talent. Both Neeraj and Yogesh have been with us for many years and the quality of work they have produced in the last couple of years shows that they’re ready for the next step. I have been around these past few years to make sure that they are ready and now that it’s clear they are, I have decided to step back further.”
Padhi said, “The average age of the agency coming further down is the right sign for us being future-ready. Creativity is at the core of our business and we are lucky to have got a wonderful variety of creative leaders in the form of Neeraj, Yogesh, Abhishek and Purva fronting the agency to take it to the next level, along with Ayesha and Shashank in their new national head roles.”
Ghosh said, “It’s as exciting as it is nerve-racking to step into this role! Nerve-racking, because the standards set are very high. And these are tough times for business. Exciting, because we have young blood, hungry to prove a point. Either way, this is an adrenalin-pumping opportunity and with this super talented team, we are set up to win. We have some giant brands which give us a vast canvas to create advertising that can capture the popular imagination. Others have reposed their faith in us to help meet or surpass their ambitions. With the help of Paddy, Shashank and the rest, I’m sure we’ll be keeping the Taproot flag flying very high.”
Lanjekar added, “I see this as a once-in-a-career opportunity to lead a young team to pull off some good work. The attempt of the strategic planning function at Taproot Dentsu has been to exercise the rigor and depth necessary to drive clarity for creative disruption to breathe. With a fresh set of minds in the planning teams of Mumbai and Delhi, it only helps the strike rate for great work to be created.”