Sanjay Thapar has confirmed that he will be joining Bates Asia as chief executive officer by the second week of July 2012. Thapar moves from Ogilvy India, where he has spent more than a decade. He maintains that he has had a ‘fantastic stint’ at the agency, and looks forward to an ‘exciting challenge of handling the three units at Bates Asia (Bates, Sercon and Wallstreet)’.
Thapar added, "It might be too early to comment on the plan of action from here on, but I can say that there are a lot of plans that will be put into place once I join. The people in WPP share a similar passion for work and you get the benefit of the shield that the umbrella brand provides you. It is the people who make a huge difference and I will be working with these people to take the agency notches higher. My efforts will be to single-mindedly drive towards achieving this goal."
Thapar is currently the group president, North and East, Ogilvy India.
On the announcement, Tim Isaac, chairman, Bates Asia, commented, "We have been talking with Sanjay for many weeks and are delighted that he has now agreed to take up the leadership of the Bates group in India. I have worked with Sanjay for many years to know his character and capabilities first hand. His experience of activation and shopper marketing with OgilvyAction will be invaluable as Bates develops its 'changengage' offer under his leadership. Sanjay is so much more than an "ad" man."
Isaac added, "A further reason why we wanted Sanjay to be our national chief executive officer is that Bates - as an independent and distinctive brand - will be in a more collaborative relationship with Ogilvy as is the case everywhere else in the world, since Sanjay is so well known and respected within the wider Ogilvy group."
Ranjan Kapur, chairman, Bates India, said, “Sanjay comes with impeccable credentials and has proved his capabilities in every skill required of a leader. While at Ogilvy, he has substantially grown the Northern and Eastern operations and under his leadership, Ogilvy Delhi emerged as one of the fastest growing offices in India. I have personally known Sanjay since he joined Ogilvy during my tenure and I am confident that he will prove a tremendous asset to all of us. He will now spearhead bates India and under his tutelage, I am assured that the business will catapult to new heights.”
(This article has been updated with comments from Tim Isaac and Ranjan Kapur on the development)