Hires & Promotions: FCB Ulka, Twitter, Rediffusion, Kimberly Clark, WOW Skin Science

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

FCB Ulka Makes Leadership Changes

FCB Group India has restructured its creative agencies and a new three agency structure - FCB Ulka, FCB Interface and FCB India. FCB Ulka, the flagship agency of the group, led by Nitin Karkare as Vice Chairman, now announces its newly elevated C-Suite leadership team.

FCB Ulka has elevated its young leaders to C-Suite roles to lead the agency’s next phase of growth in India. Kulvinder Ahluwalia will now be Chief Executive Officer, Saad Khan will be Chief Strategy Officer and Keigan Pinto will be Chief Creative Officer. In their previous roles, Ahluwalia, Khan and Pinto were the trio heading the account management, strategic planning and creative at FCB Ulka’s Mumbai office.

FCB Ulka prides itself for being a strategic business partner to its clients. Creating ‘Never Finished’ brands is the philosophy on which the agency has been built over the last 60 years. The fact that 7 out of the top 10 client relationships at FCB Ulka are three-decade strong is proof of that fact that client’s truly value this spirit of partnership.

Speaking on the occasion, Nitin Karkare, Vice Chairman, FCB Ulka said, “Ulka is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2021. It is only appropriate that on this momentous occasion, we start getting the agency ready for the next 60 years. And what better way to do this than recognizing talent from within. Kulvinder, Saad and Keigan have played a key role in building the Mumbai office of FCB Ulka. And I am delighted that they will now lead the agency into the future.”

Kulvinder Ahluwalia- ‘Kulvie’, who joined the agency in 1996 as a Management Trainee, as part of Star One - one of the most comprehensive entry-level programs in the industry, is now the CEO. This is just one more demonstration of the agency’s strong commitment to long term partnerships.

His shrewd business acumen and knack for fostering deep relationships with clients has helped him build some of India’s iconic brands for over 25 years now. 

Keigan Pinto belongs to a rare breed of creative professionals who can himself do everything from very precisely interpreting the client brief to generating the creative idea to writing the lyrics and scoring the music for the film.

A Bollywood musician and a deeply insightful creative leader, Keigan has a pulse on popular culture. He has been listed among the ‘Blazing Admakers’ of the country by Impact Magazine and his work has been awarded at the most prestigious national and international platforms, putting the agency on the global map!  

Saad Khan- With over two decades of diverse experience in advertising and brand consulting, Saad brings to work solid problem-solving skills and an attitude that questions formulaic marketing. 

A vibrant and vivacious leader, Saad can energize his teams to address business problems and find opportunities. An ardent advocate of detail, data, and behavioural economics, his approach to strategy is to remove all the noise to get to the core problem. 

Saakshi Verma Menon Joins Kimberly Clark India As Marketing Director

Saakshi, with 18 years of experience across several global brands like Colgate Palmolive, Coca-Cola and Uber, has joined Kimberly-Clark to lead marketing for their iconic brands in India. In this role, she will lead the brand, digital, research, analytics & product innovation teams. She will be a part of the company’s senior leadership on the journey of transformational acceleration. Additionally, she will also be responsible for shaping a brand-building organisation in a digital-first world. 

Announcing the appointment, Mainak Dhar, Managing Director Kimberly-Clark India, said, “We are delighted to welcome Saakshi to our Kimberly-Clark India team. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience to our business that will help in accelerating the transformational growth agenda we have- both in terms of our current portfolio and in future expansion plans. I look forward to her leadership in shaping a future-ready marketing organisation that will not just deliver today’s results but create capabilities, talent and mindset to accelerate our progress towards the exciting future we see for this business.”

Saakshi added, “I am delighted to join Kimberly-Clark India at this exciting point in the transformational journey of the company.  Kimberly-Clark is at the cusp of unleashing the potential of its brands in India and I am looking forward to working with the team to take India to its next phase of growth, especially in terms of creating a world class brand building organisation that can thrive in a digital-first world.”

Twitter Names Vinay Prakash As Resident Grievance Officer For India

Amid tensions with the government, Twitter has appointed a Resident Grievance Officer, days after it designated a chief compliance officer, as it also released its first India Transparency Report to meet the new IT rules. The US social media giant's website has listed Vinay Prakash as the new grievance officer, providing contact details and procedure for users to report potential violations of its rules and terms.

Twitter had previously appointed Dharmendra Chatur as its interim grievance officer for India after the new IT rules came into force on May 26. However, Chatur stepped down within weeks of taking over the key role.

California-based Jeremy Kessel was named as India's grievance redressal officer, on the platform's website - although the appointment did not meet the requirements of IT rules that clearly mandate key officers - grievance officer, chief compliance officer and nodal officer - to be resident in India.

Former Samsung marketing head Tathagat Jena joins Rediffusion

Rediffusion has roped in the former Samsung marketing head, Tathagat Jena, as the head of the agency's Delhi branch.

Tathagat Jena or TJ as he is widely known in marketing circles, has over two decades of experience on both the client side, and at the agency end. A former ad executive, having worked in agencies like Lowe Lintas, Ogilvy and Leo Burnett, Tathagat did a stint at international luxury retail brand Lladro, before moving on to Samsung India in 2008 where he led marketing, brand and product campaigns, media & e-commerce for the smartphone division for nine long years.

His last corporate stint was with Chinese smartphone company Transsion as CMO of Infinix mobiles.

“I am happy to join an agency with a fantastic and unique legacy. At a time when clients are increasingly seeking ‘marketing partnerships’ from their communication agencies, Rediffusion aims to offer the complete suite of digital first solutions & demonstrate capabilities beyond just communications. Along the way I hope to have some fun co-creating success stories that Rediffusion is famous for," Jena said.

Navonil Chatterjee, joint president, Rediffusion, said, “In Tatha we have a good combo of a good agency man and a matured client hand, especially one who has worked in a highly competitive category like mobile handsets. He will now bring all those learnings to Rediffusion Delhi. For us Delhi was one of our most important geographies with Maruti, Airtel, Pepsi all being our clients born in that office. Tatha is tasked to bring back the effervescence to the Delhi office. We have signed up some very interesting and live-wire businesses in Delhi and we look forward to a big Rediffusion operation in India’s capital city in the days to come. Delhi is a big priority for us going forward."

WOW Skin Science Elevates Madhur Acharya As VP E-commerce Marketing

Personal care brand WOW Skin Science has elevated Madhur Acharya as vice president, e-commerce marketing. His extended role will now entail leading business growth through e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa among others, new product development and expansion to international markets.

In his 2 year tenure at WOW Skin Science, Acharya has led the marketing team and crafted strategies across ATL, BTL, digital and advertising verticals. He has also played a major role in the communication, creative and content for the 3 brands WOW Skin Science, WOW Life Science and Body Cupid.

With his promotion, he will be responsible for marketing strategies for e-commerce platforms, leading key account managers to ensure achievement of periodical targets, forecasting revenues, activating new marketplaces, and introduction of new sub-brands under the parent company Body Cupid.

At his earlier stint as an ecommerce manager with Forest Essentials, Acharya played a pivotal role in expanding their B2B business and managing key accounts like Amazon, Jabong, Nykaa, Myntra, Flipkart for the brand. He was involved in regular retail planning and forecasting of the business and meeting monthly targets and margin percentage for the brand along with customer service.

Acharya said, “WOW Skin Science has always been a digital first brand and E-commerce is an integral part of the brand universe. I am elated to be a part of this journey and happy to bring forth my area of sector expertise to amplify our business objectives. In my new role, I look forward to setting goals and aim to achieve remarkable results along with my superlative team.”

Manish Chowdhary, co-founder, WOW Skin Science, added, “Madhur has demonstrated his commitment and delivered extraordinary performance in his 2 years working with us. I’m happy to recognize his work and give him additional responsibilities. His sharp business acumen and technical know-how make for a perfect mix to take our business goals ahead. We look forward to seeing Madhur catapult his growth along with WOW’s to a whole new level.”