Hires & Promotions: Viacom18, PubMatic, Pen India, ISA, Mindshare, ABC, Havas

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

Viacom18 Appoints Jyoti Deshpande As CEO

Viacom18 has appointed Jyoti Deshpande as its new CEO with immediate effect. Jyoti already serves on the boards of Network18, Balaji Telefilms, and Saavn Media, two of the company's investees. Jyoti's new role will entail bringing synergies across all of Reliance's media interests and investments, as well as preparing the firm to capitalise on huge growth possibilities as the sector embraces digital change.

Jyoti has over 27 years of experience working in the media and entertainment industry. After successfully building a prominent media firm and pioneering an early disruptive foray into the OTT market, she joined Reliance Industries in 2018 as President – Media Platform & Content.

PubMatic Appoints Vijay Anand Kunduri As Regional VP- OTT, APAC

PubMatic has appointed Vijay Anand Kunduri as Regional Vice President of its OTT business in APAC. 

“Kunduri was formerly Managing Director for video advertising company Unruly in Asia. He brings more than two decades of experience working with leading broadcast, video-on-demand, and digital companies across the Asia Pacific,” the company said.

In the last decade, he has helped to establish American and European ad tech companies in the Asia-Pacific region, including setting up Adotube, a video ad network, in Southeast Asia, and spearheading Switzerland-based Viewster’s move into the VOD (video-on-demand) and OTT (over-the-top) markets in the region, said the company.

“There has been explosive growth in the adoption of connected screens and consumption of streaming content in the region,” said Vijay Anand Kunduri, Regional VP- OTT, APAC. “Brands and OTT publishers have a tremendous opportunity to engage consumers and find new revenue with programmatic partners like PubMatic that offer the optimal combination of technology and premium advertiser and content partnerships.”

Kunduri’s role will be to accelerate the growth of the PubMatic OTT and video business across the region; consulting with existing publishers, creating new relationships and further establishing PubMatic as a preferred platform for media buyers and publishers.

“We are thrilled to welcome Vijay to the PubMatic team. We’ve been building an innovative OTT business in the APAC region, which we plan to further accelerate under his leadership,” said Jason Barnes, Chief Revenue Officer, APAC at PubMatic

Utpal Das Joins Pen India As Group CEO

Pen Studios has appointed Utpal Das as its new Group CEO. In his current role, he will be leading all the businesses under Pen Studios and its affiliates. 

“Pen Studios is a dynamic and ever-growing media entity, and Das has a remarkable history of success in implementing high impact growth strategies in his career of 30 years in the engineering consumer, healthcare industry, besides media,” the company said. 

In the last 20 years, he has professionally focused on media business serving in various capacities at TV Today, Times of India, Zee TV and Viacom 18, Das has led various initiatives and established processes which have largely become benchmarks in the industry. 

An alumnus of National Institute of Technology, Silchar and IIFT, Delhi, Utpal’s vast experience and varied exposure would be handy in driving business strategies of Pen Group primarily operating in Entertainment space with its Film Studios, Broadcasting, Media-Tech Services, Distribution and Digital initiatives.

Welcoming him aboard, Jayantilal Gada, Chairman & MD of Pen Group said “Utpal was a natural fit in our organization, his business acumen combined with his industry experience is exactly what we needed for our planned growth here on, and we are glad to have him on board.”

Utpal Das said “Pen Group currently has many mega projects and different ventures as well, and I am happy to be a part of this dynamic organization and look forward to growing with it.”

Sunil Kataria Continues His Sixth Consecutive Term As ISA Chairman 

The newly elected Executive Council of the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) met on September 27, 2021. Sunil Kataria, Chief Executive Officer, India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products was elected Chairman of the ISA.

Sunil has led the Society over the past five years to greater heights garnering support from the fellow Executive Council members, the ISA members, and other industry bodies.

On his election for the sixth consecutive term as the Chairman of the ISA, Sunil said, “In our journey towards creating a greater value proposition for the ISA in the industry, the focus will be to make this unique body even stronger in the future to provide value-added support to our members for the new normal and beyond. With digital advertising having ascended as second only to TV and growing even further, our endeavour this year would be to take forward our efforts in the area of digital measurement. The ISA’s plans to work with BARC to create a Multimedia Measurement are progressing in good shape.  We heartily thank all fraternity organizations for their strong partnering and this will surely help us scale newer heights. I also acknowledge the continuing support by the ISA members in all our endeavours.”

He further added, “In particular reference to the Covid-19 pandemic, I am glad to acknowledge the cooperation of all our members, industry associates, vendors and ISA Secretariat team in staying safe, getting vaccinated and adhering to directives by health authorities and governments”.

ISA is the apex national body as a strong voice to advertisers over the last 69 years. Its cross-sector advertiser members contribute to more than half of the annual national non-governmental ad spends.  ISA, which is a founder member of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and one of the founders of ASCI, continues to partner with other industry bodies that connect to the advertisers.  The ISA played a significant role in the formation of BARC and is closely partnering with it towards advertisers getting robust and credible data. 

The Executive Council members of the ISA thanked Sunil for his tremendous contribution to the ISA as Chairman over past five years and expressed pleasure to elect him again for 2021-22.

Other members of the Executive Council are:

-Atul Agrawal, Senior Vice President – Corporate Brand and Marketing, Tata Services Limited

-Narendra Ambwani, Director, Agro Tech Foods Limited

-Tarun G. Arora, Chief Executive Officer & Whole Time Director, Zydus Wellness Limited

-Subhadip Dutta Choudhury, Chief Executive Officer, Hawkins Cookers Limited

-Paulomi Dhawan, Independent Director, Whistling Woods International 

-Neil George, Managing Director, Nivea India Pvt Limited

-Girish Kalyanaraman, Vice President, Brand Operations, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited

-Chandru Kalro, Managing Director, TTK Prestige Limited

-Devraj Lahiri, Chief Operating Officer - India Tobacco Division, ITC Limited

-Angshu Mallick, Managing Director & CEO, Adani Wilmar Limited

-Bharat V. Patel, Independent Director, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited

-Anuj Poddar, Executive Director, Bajaj Electricals Limited

-Ramakrishnan Ramamurthi, Advisor J. K. Enterprises

-Ram Raghavan, Managing Director, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited 

-Gauravjeet Singh, General Manager – Media Services (South Asia) Media Dept, Hindustan Unilever Limited

-Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Limited

Mindshare Names Gopa Menon As Digital Head- South Asia

Mindshare India has appointed Gopa Menon as the Digital Head, South Asia.

In this role, Gopa will be responsible for managing the agency’s full-service digital offerings and help existing and new clients transform their digital processes, digital marketing strategies, brand building and ROI driven marketing outcomes.

Gopa Menon comes with a rich and vast experience of close to 18 years in driving digital transformation for brands across the region.

Amin Lakhani, Chief Operating Officer, Mindshare South Asia said, “Gopa brings with him in depth knowledge and diverse digital expertise. We are confident that Gopa will play a pivotal role as we accompany our clients in elevating business outcomes through our unique addressable media stack.” 

Gopa Menon, Digital Head, Mindshare South Asia said, “With the digital growth and evolution today, there are a lot of opportunities in store for brands to explore and accordingly revamp their digital tactics. I am incredibly thrilled & happy to be part of the Mindshare & the purple family, its sort of homecoming for me and as Mindshare now re-orients its business around the pillars of “Acceleration”, “Outcomes” & Good growth, I am really looking forward to working with the teams here at Mindshare to shape the continued phase of growth & transformation for its clients.”

Gopa will be based out of Gurgaon and will report to Amin Lakhani, Chief Operating Officer, Mindshare South Asia.

Debabrata Mukherjee Elected Chief Of Audit Bureau of Circulations

The erstwhile CMO of United Breweries, Debabrata Mukherjee, has been unanimously elected chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) for 2021-2022, an ABC statement said on Friday.

Mukherjee, who has over 27 years of experience, has earlier managed brands such as Kingfisher, Heineken and Amstel, it said.

A publisher member on the council, Pratap G. Pawar of Sakal Papers, was unanimously elected deputy chairman for the year, the ABC statement said. Apart from Mukherjee, Karunesh Bajaj of ITC, Aniruddha Haldar of TVS Motor Company and Shashank Srivastava of Maruti Suzuki India are the advertisers’ representatives on the council for 2021-2022, it said.

Riyad Mathew of Malayala Manorama, Devendra V. Darda of Lokmat Media, Hormusji N. Cama of the Bombay Samachar, Shailesh Gupta of Jagran Prakashan, Parveen Someshwar of HT Media, Mohit Jain of Bennet, Coleman and Co. and Dhruba Mukherjee of ABP were the publishers’ representatives, apart from Pawar.

Havas Creative Group Appoints Debopriyo Bhattacharjee As EVP & Planning Head – North

Havas Creative Group has appointed Debopriyo (Debo) Bhattacherjee as EVP & Planning Head – North, effective immediately. In his new role, Debo will be responsible for providing strategic guidance to Havas Creative with a special focus on all brands of Reckitt and a portfolio of brands from the Dabur stable. He will also be spearheading many leading clients like Suzuki, Norton, Fortis, William Grants, ITC and working closely with the Senior Leadership team to drive new client acquisitions and ensuring seamless adoption of the process of integration and collaboration across the group.

Debo, will be based out of the Gurgaon office and will be reporting to Neeraj Bassi, Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Group India.

Debo is a strategic planner with 17 years of work experience. He has worked with reputed agencies in India and Southeast Asia such as Ogilvy, Dentsu, DDB and McCann to name a few. He also served as the Head of Strategy Planning for over three years in Havas at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His expertise lies in solving business problems by sparking and nurturing creative possibilities. During his storied career, he has worked on a multitude of blue-chip accounts, namely, Unilever, Danone, Mondelez, L’Oréal, Coke, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Diageo, SABMiller, Carlsberg, Maxis, AXA, ICICI, PETRONAS and Tesco, among others.

Manas Lahiri, President – Havas Creative Group India, said, “Debo has both the experience and knowledge of handling brands across a wide range of categories. He has been part of the Havas network earlier and understands the culture of Integration that Havas offers to its clients. His unique perspectives and ideas will undoubtedly increase our abilities to produce interesting work for our client portfolio.”

Commenting on the appointment, Neeraj Bassi, Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Group India, said, “I am delighted to welcome Debo onboard. He brings a lot of value to the team because of his passion for understanding customer concerns and finding creative solutions to business problems. I’m confident that his strategic planning skills will help us continue to achieve our goal of making brands more meaningful.”

“I’m thrilled to join Havas Village Gurgaon and spearheading the planning for our key office in creative. For me, it is a homecoming to a network that I admire. With the change in consumer behaviour especially post the pandemic, the endeavour will be to keep working on creating differentiated strategies for all the leading brands of Reckitt, Dabur, Suzuki and many others. I’m looking forward to working with the dynamic team of Havas Village India,” said Debo.