Campaign India Team
Dec 21, 2023

Year in review: Top 10 moves of the year – India

We look at the moves that dominated headlines during the year

Year in review: Top 10 moves of the year – India
Extending our year-ender series, which also includes the rapid fires, and the upcoming ‘top 50’ campaigns of the year, here’s Campaign India’s top 10 moves of the year.
We’ve listed these alphabetically (by the name of the person).
The year began with a big one. Ajit Varghese, formerly chief commercial officer at Sharchat, joined Disney Star as head – network advertising sales, reporting to K Madhavan, president and country manager, Disney Star. 
He joined the company in a difficult year as it lost its rights to broadcast BCCI’s home games, F1 and HBO content. 
Disney Star continued being in the news throughout the year with talks of a merger with Reliance set to be confirmed early next year. Several former Star employees have already moved to Reliance. Now it’s about whether the media company follows suit…
Avinash Pant exiting Meta (and rejoining Red Bull)
In May this year, Avinash Pant took to Instagram (a Meta company) to announce that he was exiting the company. This coincided with Meta carrying out its third round of layoffs which were said to impact 6,000 employees worldwide. 
Five months later Pant took to social media to announce he had joined Red Bull, as area marketing manager, based in Salzburg. Pant was director – marketing at Red Bull for close to five years before joining Meta. 
Probably the worst-kept secret was confirmed in August 2023. Bobby Pawar, chairperson and chief creative officer, Havas India, announced his departure from the agency ‘to move away from advertising’. 
Not sure if Pawar’s ‘moved away from advertising’ though, as we’ve been graced by his jolly presence at many advertising events since. 
Other changes at Havas included Tarun Jha, formerly leading marketing for Skoda Auto India, taking over as CEO for the agency’s creative operations.
In a top-management rejig at FCB, Dheeraj Sinha joined the group as chief executive officer after a seven-year stint with the Publicis Groupe which started as chief strategy officer at Leo Burnett back in 2016. When Sinha left Publicis Groupe, he was CEO, Leo Burnett South Asia and chairperson, BBH India. 
The changes at FCB included Rohit Ohri moving from a chairperson and chief executive officer role in India to partner – FCB Global.
At Leo Burnett, Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer and CEO, Leo Burnett, SouthAsia, India and chairperson, creative council, Publicis Groupe - South Asia, was elevated as chief creative officer, Publicis Groupe South Asia and chairperson Leo Burnett, South Asia. Both were newly created roles for Das.
BARC India appoints Dolly Jha
Dolly Jha joined BARC India as chief of product and research in May 2023. Jha joined the audience measurement platform after almost 14 years with Nielsen, where she was managing director when she moved on. 
While it won’t be Jha’s mandate to turn around the company by herself, she’s joined BARC at a time when it needs to correct its image from the measurement scam from 2020.
No list which had big industry moves could be complete without a name or two from Dentsu in the last couple of years. 
This year, Dentsu announced that Harsha Razdan, who was senior partner at KPMG, moved to join the agency as CEO, filling a role vacant after Sunil Lulla took the helm for a year. Lulla himself joined Astrum as chairperson.
Other changes at Dentsu during the year included Roopam Garg (CEO – Dentsu X), and Aalap Desai (chief creative officer – Dentsu West) moving out. Garg was replaced by Jose Leon.
Zee Media rejoined Zee Media in March as chief revenue officer after a stint with ABP News. While her mandate was to handle the strategic investment planning and revenue for all 14 news channels of Zee Media, in November the group announced that it would be consolidating its digital (direct revenue) and linear sales function into a unified sales division which will be headed by Jain. 
Neil George ended an 11-year stint with Beiersdorf as he joined Abbott Nutrition India as general manager and managing director. He joined the company in May 2023 after most recently being managing director at Nivea.
Nivea India also saw the return of Sunil Gadgil. He rejoined Nivea India as marketing director after having worked with its parent company Beiersdorf in Germany and Ukraine. Gadgil had previously worked with Nivea India between 2011 and 2017.
A change of guard at Ogilvy was anticipated for a while, but when the news of a press conference hit our inbox in September, we weren’t quite ready for what was to come.
Piyush Pandey, chairperson - global creative and executive chairperson – India, got a chief advisor role at the agency. The global brand director and vice chairperson, Hephzibah Pathak, replaced him to run the operations making her the first woman to take on this role. VR Rajesh, group president Ogilvy, was elevated as chief executive officer. 
The MullenLowe Lintas Group witnessed plenty of changes during the year. Late last year S Subramanyeswar took over as group CEO soon after the exits of Amer Jaleel and Virat Tandon. 
In November this year, Sagar Kapoor, chief creative officer - global brands, Lowe Lintas, and Saurabh Dikshit, executive director (creative), Lowe Lintas, announced that they were exiting the agency. This came a few months after Kapoor was handed an elevation to his current position, at a time during which Prateek Bhardwaj was appointed as head of creative in India.
Other moves in the agency saw Garima Khandelwal (chief creative officer) and Ekta Relan (chief strategy officer) leaving the group while Ram Jayaraman joined Mullen Lintas to replace the former.
Campaign India

Related Articles

Just Published

2 hours ago

Moves and wins roundup: Week of 15 July

The latest appointments and account wins from Burson, Interactive Avenues, Positive Vibez Brand Solutions, Adbuffs and more in our weekly news roundup.

3 hours ago

Zaid Al-Qassab is on a mission to change how ‘the ...

The new CEO tells Campaign why the agency group must become a solutions-based business, look beyond traditional advertising, and embrace learnings from markets including Singapore and Sydney.

4 hours ago

17 business leaders react to Trump assassination ...

CEOs rushed to social media to condemn the shooting after staying quiet about politics for most of this election cycle.

1 day ago

Union budget 2024: Ad industry experts share their ...

SOUNDING BOARD: With the Union budget 2024 approaching, Campaign speaks to industry experts about their hopes for increased government support to drive growth and innovation in the advertising and marketing sector.