Hires & Promotions: Havas, Timex, Nivea, Network Advertising

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

Havas Group India Appoints Anjali Gupte As CFO

Havas Group India has appointed Anjali Gupte as Chief Financial Officer, further bolstering its senior leadership team. She will be based in Mumbai and will report to Rana Barua, CEO, Havas Group India and also to the APAC Group CFO, Brice Pinoncely.

Anjali has experience of over two decades across industries spanning advertising, financial services, manufacturing and real estate. In her previous role as CFO at Grey Group, Anjali oversaw the financial operations of the agency’s creative, digital and activation businesses in South Asia and she was responsible for driving profitable growth across India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Prior to Grey, she worked at Thomson Reuters for 17 years in the financial risk division. She is also an Independent Director on the Board of Astec LifeSciences Limited, part of the Godrej group, where she also had a four-year long stint.

Anjali has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant.

Commenting on the appointment, Rana Barua, CEO, Havas Group India, said, “Havas Group India is now totally integrated and has over 1000 people working across 10 specialist agencies in 3 Villages (Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai). We also have ambitious acquisition plans and multiple ongoing conversations for both Media and Creative groups. I welcome Anjali as Group CFO at this crucial juncture as we stabilise operations and action our growth plans. Anjali is a highly accomplished professional with leadership and people skills that have stood her in good stead as a business partner and strategist in her previous roles.”

Anjali Gupte, CFO, Havas Group India, said, “I am delighted to join the Havas Group, which in a very short while has built a fantastic reputation and stature in the Indian advertising market. With an extremely progressive vision of growth, strong leadership, and a wide spectrum of specialist agencies ranging from creative, media, health, data, design and entertainment all under an integrated Village model, this will truly be an exciting opportunity for me. I am looking forward to my role at Havas Group at such a challenging time and am confident that we will make a meaningful difference as we go forth.”

Ajay Simha Named Marketing Director At Nivea India

NIVEA India welcomes Ajay Simha as the Marketing Director. With over a decade of experience across various categories such as personal care, male grooming, face, lip and sun care, Ajay has championed leading various brand portfolios both in India as well as globally. Before taking over as Marketing Director, NIVEA India, Ajay was responsible for the NIVEA body care and cleansing and baby care portfolio across Middle East and North Africa. 

With close to 15 years of overall experience in the field of sales and marketing, Ajay’s leadership will help strengthenNIVEA’s position as Emerging India’s most loved and trusted skincare brand. With a deep-rooted understanding and a proven track record of driving growth, Ajay is slated to enhance NIVEA’s brand presence and equity in the country. 

Neil George - Managing Director, NIVEA India, said, “We are thrilled to have Ajay back to the India team and lead the marketing efforts here. We have witnessed Ajay’s journey over the years and are confident of the tremendous experience and deep-rooted understanding he has. He will have a significant role in devising strategies for our launches, continuing the marketing momentum across categories and liaise with key industry players, teams and associates. We wish Ajay the very best for his new role.”

Timex Group India Ropes In Manoj Juneja As VP, Sales and Marketing

Timex Group India has named Manoj Juneja as Vice President – Sales & Marketing to provide a strong impetus to the company’s India business. An experienced leader, Manoj brings with him over two decades of deep understanding of the consumer goods segment of the Indian market along with a repertoire of learnings in this ever-changing environment. In the past 22+ years, Manoj spearheaded the sales & e-commerce vertical for ADIDAS India and prior to that worked with LG Electronics.

Speaking about Manoj’s appointment, Sharmila Sahai, Managing Director, Timex Group India, said, “Manoj will be a great addition to the Timex India team. Given his expertise in Sales & Marketing across offline and online channels for some of the most respected and popular global brands, I am confident that we will further strengthen our reach in India across retail and e-commerce. Manoj will bring in a renewed strategic focus in line with the transformation the industry is seeing post-covid.”

Commenting on his new role, Manoj said, “With the changing market dynamics and ever-evolving consumer needs, Timex Group India is all set to embark on a new journey. As the company opens a new chapter in its growth trajectory and sets out to achieve new goals, I hope to further transform the business with a refreshed strategic vision that embodies multi-channel strategies. In the watch brands portfolio, Timex Group caters to a diverse set of audiences and I am enthused to be working for the group with a strong outlook and vision for the Indian market. I look forward to delivering strategic alignment and momentum towards business growth.”

Akashneel Dasgupta Joins Network Advertising As CCO

Network Advertising has named Akashneel Dasgupta as its chief creative officer. He joins Network from BBDO, Gurgaon.

Dasgupta has over 16 years of experience and began his career as a strategic planner but switched over to creative for the sheer love of films and filmmaking. He has had successful stints at DDB Mudra, Lowe Lintas and ADK Fortune.

Vinod Nair, managing director, Network Advertising, said, “We are extremely fortunate to have a powerhouse of talent like Akashneel on board at Network. A rare combination of a Strategic Planner turned Creative Director; I am looking forward to seeing his leadership in collaborating with his team in creating work that adds value to our client’s businesses.”

Dasgupta said, “Independent. Integrated and most importantly Indian. Not too many agencies can truly claim to be that in the current scenario. Added to that is a culture of empathy and transparency. It is a story which deserves to travel further, and I would be extremely happy to contribute to this wonderful place, that is an outlier in today’s world. At the same time preserve the culture which has been carefully built over decades, by the current team.”

Axis My India Names Girish Upadhyay As CMO

The Consumer Data Intelligence Company, Axis My India, has onboarded Girish Upadhyay as its chief marketing officer. Bringing with him a rich experience across research, media & marketing, he will be leading the marketing, digital and overall communication initiatives of the company.

Says Pradeep Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, Axis My India, “Axis My India is at an inflection point, as we continue to expand our portfolio of service offerings of consumer insights to corporations, backed by a robust digitally enabled platform as part of our big, audacious Mission Himalaya - Unchi Udaan- roadmap – a vision to connect and resolve problems of over 250 million Indian households. I believe Girish, with his varied and extensive experience, is well equipped to take the brand vision forward in this journey”.

Speaking about his new role, Girish Upadhyay, CMO, Axis My India said, “We want to use our scale and expertise to truly bring about a material difference to the lives of everyday Indians and also revolutionise the way consumer research is done. Look forward to being part of this growth trajectory & raising the strategic visibility of Axis My India”.

Girish brings with him strong knowledge on consumer insights, brand management, and digital marketing having worked with organisations like Tata Motors, Madison, Starcom & AC Nielsen in the past.