Omnicom-owned TBWA has appointed Shiv Sethuraman as the chief executive officer for its India operations. Based in Mumbai, Sethuraman will take up the role in June this year and will work alongside K Geoge John, chairman and MD, TBWA India, for the time being.
Sethuraman comes in from Ogilvy & Mather, Paris, where he held the post of managing director since 2005. He moved to Paris in 2001 from O&M Mumbai to oversee the agency’s Nestle Dairy business across 22 markets.
Sethuraman will be responsible for both the TBWA and Tequila brands in India. “My primary aim will be to take TBWA India to its rightful place in the industry, as one of the top four agencies in the country,” he said.
“I also look forward to using ‘Disruption’ as a strategic tool to create some breakthrough creative work for our clients.”
Though there have been talks about Omnicom buying out the outstanding 49% stake owned by TBWA India’s local partners: N Krishnan, Kurien Mathews and John, Keith Smith, president – international, TBWA Worldwide refused to comment on it. However John said, “I would have liked to retire right away but TBWA is insisting I stay till the end of 2009.”
It remains to be seen how the hierarchy will pan out once Sethuraman comes on board as the head of the TBWA India and Tequila. “It is premature for me to comment on if and how there will be a reshuffle in the agency,” said the new CEO. “I will, however, propose greater movement of personnel between TBWA’s worldwide offices.”