Hires & Promotions: Havas Group India, Hotstar, Outbrain, Restolex Coir, Skill-Lync

Quick look at new hirings, promotions and people movements this week

Havas India Elevates Manas Lahiri & Ravinder Siwach

Havas Group India is restructuring its senior leadership team at Havas Worldwide (Creative) India to drive business growth, consolidate client management, and further strengthen the ethos of making a meaningful difference to brands, businesses, and consumers.

Effective immediately, Manas Lahiri, President North, has been elevated to the role of Managing Director and Ravinder Siwach, currently the National Creative Director, has been promoted to the role of Executive Director and National Creative Director of Havas Worldwide (Creative) India. 

Manas will continue to report to Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India. He will lead both the offices (Gurgaon and Mumbai) of Havas Worldwide India and work closely with the leadership team of the other Havas group companies to drive growth, digital innovations and help in the overall integration across businesses and functions. Ravinder will continue to report to Bobby Pawar, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Havas Group India and continue to drive the creative excellence of the group.

Talking about this restructuring, Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India said, “We have witnessed an exponential growth in a short span of 2 years and have added a phenomenal set of new clients and talents across both our offices.  It was time to recognise a strong leadership to drive the client consolidation and take charge of the day-to-day operations of Havas Creative.”

He further added, “Manas is a seasoned leader and has driven both organic and inorganic growth for the network, and Ravinder has done an incredible job in scaling up Havas India’s creative prowess under Bobby. Together they have been amazing partners, demonstrated solid team spirit, skill, commitment, and resilience. And along with a strong team, they not only consolidated our existing set of esteemed clients but also added several marquee businesses to the roster. I am confident that they will scale up Havas Creative, India to greater heights.”

Bobby Pawar, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Havas Group India said, “Ravinder and Manas are a rare pair of leaders who are equally passionate about creating great work and growing the agency. The way they collaborate sets the right tone for the rest of the team. Their elevation is a recognition of all their contributions and the passion they bring to Havas’s mission of helping brands make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

Both Manas and Ravinder have spent close to 3 years with Havas Worldwide and have played a pivotal role in consolidating Reckitt and its brands like Harpic, Mortein, Durex, Vanish, Veet, and many others. They have also played a critical role in scaling up the new business growth of Havas creative and won multiple new brands like Dabur Honey, Dabur Tea, Suzuki, Fortis, William Grant, Amazon, and several others.


Hotstar's EVP & Head Of subscriptions Prabh Simran Singh Resigns

Prabh Simran Singh, EVP and Head of Subscriptions at Hotstar has resigned after 5 years with the company. Prior to joining Hotstar, Singh was working with Google, where he stayed till 2015. He announced his departure via LinkedIn. He'll stay with Hotstar till the end of the year.

"I announced my departure from Hotstar yesterday, where I learnt how to back big dreams with audacious thinking and high-quality execution. The last 5 years have been transformational, from creating World record concurrency on the back of immense user love to making Hotstar into the largest subscription service in India with an explosive 30x growth in just 2 years. Today, Hotstar contributes to a third of Disney+ global subscribers!" write Singh on LinkedIn.

Singh's next move, he added, is to be enthused about technology's growing role in tackling vast and difficult problems, particularly in health.

"In this exhilarating 0 to 100 journey, it's been an absolute privilege to work with whip-smart people. I'm incredibly grateful to my insanely talented teams for believing in my vision and coming on-board as co-conspirators in building Hotstar. I'll be at Hotstar till the end of the year," he added.

"Prabh Simran Singh What a journey it has been! Super fortunate to be part of this team. Learnt what 'Audacity' truly means and got to script a dream run.
You were the real Gorilla. Thanks for being an amazing leader for Hotstar," said, Harsh Chaudhary, Vice President - Hotstar.


Shouneel Charles Joins Outbrain As MD, India

Outbrain has appointed Shouneel Charles as MD for India. He was the EVP and Business Head of Times Network Digital in his previous position.

Shouneel has almost two decades of experience in the digital and media industries. He joined Times Network as Senior Vice President — Digital in April 2017. He was promoted to EVP in July 2019 to help the network's digital platforms improve their audience and turnover.

Charles was previously the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer and Chief Revenue Officer at NDTV Convergence, where he oversaw the digital business. He has also developed many channels and media properties for international firms such as Yahoo, Turner Broadcasting, Star India, and National Geographic.

Recently, Sandeep Balani had moved on from Outbrain as Head of India to join JioAds as Vice-President. The company had also roped in Allen Sharma for the role of Director of Sales, India, say media reports. Sharma was leading Digital Sales at ABP Network prior to this.


Restolex Coir Appoints Kishore Kangokar As New Marketing Head

The decades-old mattress firm, Restolex Coir Products, has hired Kishore Kangokar as its new Marketing Head. Kangokar has 16 years of experience, mostly in the digital area.

Kangokar's most recent stint was as the Client Lead South Performance at Wavemaker. He has formerly worked at Position2 as Group Head - Media and Assistant Manager - Operations. Kangokar has previously collaborated with Microsoft and other well-known companies.

“Restolex is a vintage brand that dates back to 1981. They're now reaching out to engage with the market in real-time. "That's when they reached out to me," the company's new marketing director explained.


Skill-Lync Apooints WhiteHat Jr's Nikhil Mittal As Head of Growth

Nikhil Mittal has been appointed Head of Growth at Skill-Lync, an engineering education start-up. Nikhil will be in charge of Skill-growth Lync's role, which will include overseeing the Marketing and Sales organisation and ensuring that robust systems are in place to help Skill Lync become leaders in the higher education category.

Prior to joining Skill-Lync, Nikhil was VP Marketing at WhiteHat Jr., where he was an early member of the core team and spearheaded demand and supply-side growth. His earlier stint includes working with Vodafone, Zain Telecom, Tata Docomo, and Ericsson across India and international geographies.

The main aspect of solving accessibility is making sure we have a strong distribution channel that helps students know about the options available for them to learn from. This is where Nikhil's experience will come in very handy for the company. 

Commenting on the appointment, Nikhil Mittal, Head of Growth said, "Surya and his team have developed an innovation-led and application-intensive curriculum for engineers. I am excited to be a part of such a revolutionary team and share my efforts in the hyper-growth phase of the company. Together, we aspire to deeply root industry-pertinent skills with engineers across industries."

Suryanarayanan P, Co-Founder & CEO, Skill Lync, said, "I see a huge opportunity to make a substantial difference to strengthen our market leadership globally. I am delighted to welcome Nikhil to the team and help us achieve that. We fundamentally believe that high-quality industry-relevant education should be accessible to students across the world. There has also been a high demand for industry-relevant courses in the US and Europe and we aim to penetrate deeper into the US and Europe regions over the next 6 months along with India. "

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