Technology Featured APAC

Quantcast announces new appointments to continue growth in APAC, SEA

California, USA – Global advertising technology company Quantcast has announced three new appointments to strengthen its operations in Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia, including Sonal Patel as its new managing director for APAC, Daniel O’Connor as commercial director for Australia and New Zealand, and Rueben Vijaratnam as its sales director for Southeast Asia.

Patel brings with her an experience in technology and media industries. Some of the notable roles that she previously held covering APAC markets include director of Display Platform Strategy at Yahoo, president for programmatic services & product at dentsu, and managing director and Vice President for APAC at AppNexus. In her new role, Patel will oversee Quantcast’s presence across Australia, New Zealand and entire Asia.

Meanwhile, O’Connor also brings with him a working experience in technology and media industries. Prior to joining Quantcast, he was with IAB SEA and India as programmatic committee member. In his new role, O’Connor will now lead the sales team in Australia and New Zealand whilst reporting to Patel.

Moreover, Vijaratnam also brings his expertise in technology and media. Before joining Quantcast, he was a head of programmatic at technology company Oath. In his new role, Vijaratnam will lead the sales teams in Southeast Asia to develop the company’s presence in the region and will also report to Patel.

Konrad Feldman, CEO at Quantcast, said that they are looking forward to continue the company’s breakthrough in digital advertising as they establish this strong leadership team and relationships with brands and agencies across these regions.

Patel said, “It’s both an exciting and interesting time to expand my remit to include Australia and New Zealand. The region here is incredibly dynamic, with new privacy legislation, expanded legislative powers for both the ACCC and ACMA to keep the tech giants in check, and explosive growth in CTV and retail media, as well as volatile consumer behaviour post-COVID.”

O’Connor added that he’s thrilled to take the new role in the company whilst looking forward to lead the company’s sales team in its transformational phase.

Meanwhile, Vijaratnam commends Southeast Asia’s vibrant digital economy and its huge opportunities for further growth which makes him excited to expand their presence in the region by delivering more value to clients.

Quantcast focuses on programmatic advertising using its patented AI-powered audience platform to provide rich consumer insights, reach audiences, and drive performance and business outcomes for brands, agencies, and publishers.

Marketing Featured APAC

Josh Drasta joins Digimind as general manager for APAC

Singapore – Global social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company Digimind has appointed Josh Drasta as its new general manager, APAC

In the new role, Drasta will be working on growing Digimind’s team and clients in the APAC region with best-in-class social media intelligence and monitoring solutions for the company’s APAC clientele.

In an interview with MARKETECH APAC, Drasta shared his excitement over the new role. “Be it an SDR role, closing the deals, managing accounts, caring for customers’ success, generating insights out of data, or proposing new marketing strategies – I have touched pretty much every side of the roles of our team. This makes me very excited to be hands-on across these areas, get a feel for the business, and find avenues to expand our activities,” he said.

Prior to joining Digimind, Drasta held the sales lead role at Google, where he helped increase its advertising business and product adoption growth by educating, and promoting solutions to its customers, amongst other responsibilities.

Talking about his experience at Google, he shared that the role gave him the chance to work alongside incredibly talented people and on challenging projects such as working with Google’s highest potential agencies and their C-suite, as well as with business owners of the EMEA region’s most promising businesses.

He added, “At the same time, I was very intrigued about the opportunity to help to grow Digimind and Onclusive in the APAC region at a very special time, given the integration and the future product roadmap. The size and operations of Google and Digimind & Onclusive cannot be compared, but fundamentally, the goal is the same – delight the customers, push the limits of what’s possible to deliver with our products, and grow the team. This is exactly what is close to my heart, and I am very excited to make this my [day-to-day] activity.”

Moreover, he said that the experience at Google gave him the opportunity to learn, adapt, A/B test, and execute a plethora of projects, which he will be bringing forth to his new team at Digimind.

Drasta was also previously a sales director for APAC at consumer insights platform Linkfluence. He also has a wide experience in business development and marketing from companies such as Isentia, Socialbakers, and Groupe PSA.

Last year, Digimind onboarded media monitoring company Onclusive with the goal of delivering a complete suite of market-leading global media monitoring, measurement, and management solutions to PR and communications teams.

Marketing Featured APAC

Former Nissan regional VP for marketing Isao Sekiguchi to now lead automotive as president for ASEAN

Bangkok, Thailand – Nissan has announced the promotion of Isao Sekiguchi as president of Nissan in the ASEAN region. The appointment is targeted to transform Nissan’s business in the region in accordance with its long-term vision, Nissan Ambition 2030.

Currently, Sekiguchi holds the regional vice president of marketing and sales, for Nissan’s ASEAN region and president of Nissan Motor Thailand roles. In the new role, he will oversee Nissan’s operations in the ASEAN region while continuing his current role at Nissan Motor Thailand.

Sekiguchi will likewise oversee the Japanese automaker’s business performance and brand development in 22 markets, including the ten ASEAN member states, and manage all functions in ASEAN. This includes manufacturing, purchasing, supply chain management, research and development, marketing, sales, and other supporting functions. 

He will also be responsible for driving Nissan’s ASEAN growth strategy, which includes positioning Nissan as a leader in the era of electrified mobility.

Sekiguchi brings with him more than 20 years of diverse international experience in the automotive sector. He joined Nissan in 2014 as managing director for Nissan North Africa and Egypt and has served as president director of Nissan Motor Indonesia since 2018. 

Prior to Nissan, he worked with a major Japanese trading house, Sumitomo Corporation, with experience in leading and managing automotive companies based in the US, Germany, and Slovakia.

“We are confident that Sekiguchi-san will lead our ASEAN business to sustainable and profitable growth with his deep understanding of the ASEAN markets and his proven leadership. Nissan aims to continue providing value beyond mobility to customers and society in this region, as well as to lay a solid foundation for long-term growth,” said Junichi Endo, senior vice president of marketing and sales, Japan-ASEAN, at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Sekiguchi’s appointment will be effective on April 1, 2023.

Marketing Featured East Asia

SCMP’s magazine division appoints Sophia Yu as managing director

Hong Kong – The Hong Kong-headquartered global news company South China Morning Post has announced the appointment of Sophia Yu as the new managing director of its magazine division, SCMP Hearst. 

Yu currently serves as senior vice president and publisher of SCMP Hearst, overseeing the brand development, business strategy and editorial direction of all of the division’s lifestyle media brands. She first joined SCMP in 2011 as director of advertising and marketing solutions and moved to SCMP Hearst in 2013 as general manager and publisher. 

Prior to SCMP, she previously held both in-house and agency positions at different companies, having acquired more than 15 years of APAC strategy, sales, marketing and advertising experience across Hong Kong, Greater China, and other Asia markets.

“Sophia is one of Hong Kong’s most experienced and knowledgeable leaders in women’s magazines and lifestyle brands today. I am confident that her strong strategic planning, management, and people leadership skills will take our magazine brands to new heights,” said Catherine So, chief executive officer of SCMP Group.

Yu succeeds Josephine Chan, who led SCMP Hearst for the past 35 years. Under Chan’s leadership, SCMP Hearst has grown to operate five renowned lifestyle media brands in Hong Kong, including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Esquire, and ELLE Men.

“Josephine is a well-respected leader in Hong Kong’s lifestyle media industry. We are grateful for her leadership and commitment to SCMP Hearst over the past 35 years. We appreciate the role she has played in driving our magazine business forward and wish her a well-deserved retirement,” said So.

Previously, SCMP has also appointed Kevin Huang, formerly the managing director for Hong Kong at Carousell, as its chief operating officer.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Dentsu bolsters leadership roster for newly formed SEA cluster

Singapore – Global marketing and advertising agency dentsu has announced the creation of a new cluster for Southeast Asia, alongside the appointment of a team of veteran industry leaders. The newly formed SEA cluster will include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The new appointees at dentsu are Sanjay Bhasin, now CEO of SEA; Prakash Kamdar, now CEO of clients and solutions SEA; and Bharti Agrawal​, CFO of SEA. The three will lead the fast-growing market for the network in the region. 

Prior to the new role, Bhasin was CEO of Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam at dentsu. He is a veteran of the industry with 30 years of experience across APAC and SEA region.

Speaking about his new appointment, Bhasin said, “Personally and professionally, I have also known Prakash and Bharti for several decades and we have built an exceptional chemistry during the years of working together. I could not ask for a better, more collaborative and talented team to embark on this new and exciting era together with.”

Meanwhile, Kamdar brings with him 27 years of expertise in digital marketing and digital transformation and has a strong track record in client-centricity and creating transformative solutions. He joined the digital industry back in 1997 and has been CEO of Singapore and Indoniesia at dentsu.

“I have played various different roles at dentsu in the last 11 years, however my deep love and passion has always been for using the combined power of creativity, design, data, media, and technology to create transformative solutions that help businesses and brands achieve their growth and good ambitions.” 

He also shared his excitement over working with Bhasin, Agrawal, and the rest of the agency’s SEA leaders to transform the fortunes of businesses and people’s lives through its integrated growth solutions.

Agrawal, similarly, is a proven leader with over 20 years of extensive financial experience together with operational, commercial and M&A expertise in listed and private organisations across the UK, Brazil, and SEA. 

Rob Gilby, CEO of APAC at dentsu, also commented, “It’s well documented that SEA is experiencing exponential growth and tremendous transformation. Aligning with this is a natural progression for the business and will support significant investment in and commitment to our people, our clients, our partners and our competitive capabilities in this important growth region.”

Most recently, dentsu International has expanded its partnership with foodpanda to support its media transformation journey and bring closer collaboration across the markets of Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

VMLY&R Malaysia appoints Didi Pirinyuang as chief creative officer

Malaysia – Global brand experience agency VMLY&R Malaysia has appointed Didi Pirinyuang as its new chief creative officer. She will be reporting to Kenni Loh, chief executive officer at VMLY&R Malaysia.

In her new role, Pirinyuang will lead the agency’s creative team in delivering best-in-class solutions for its clients, sharpening its creative culture, and driving its strategy to boost the agency’s creative service offerings.

Pirinyuang brings with her extensive experience spanning a wide range of consumer segments and is expected to further strengthen VMLY&R’s regional operation. She also has an impressive client portfolio such as Pizza Hut, PUMA, and PETRONAS.

Prior to joining VMLY&R, she was executive creative director for Ensemble Global Malaysia and previously for MBCS Malaysia, for which she was a founding member, having played a key role in the growth of the business since 2017. 

Commenting on her appointment, Pirinyuang said, “Over the last two years, I have been closely following VMLY&R, and have been wowed by some of the campaigns – especially work like ‘Mengukir Malaysia’ – a fantastic campaign they did for Telekom Malaysia.”

She added, “It’s an honour and a privilege to join an agency as well-established as VMLY&R. The agency has entered a new era of creativity and I’m excited to be a part of this journey and upward trajectory. The sky will pose no limit as we combine our common ambitions of bringing creative commerce and creative excellence to the next level.” 

Loh also commented, “We are delighted to welcome Didi into the VMLY&R family in Malaysia. Her creative prowess preceded her, and with her input, we look forward to scaling our creative offering further, using brand and customer experience to deliver the most engaging and culturally relevant creative commerce experiences for our clients.”

Previously, the agency has also appointed Saurabh Saksena as its CEO for its India office.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Redhill names Diana Pong as MD for Australian operations

Singapore – Full-service global communications agency Redhill has appointed Diana Pong as its new managing director for Redhill Australia. She will be based in Australia and will work closely with Redhill’s leadership team.

In her new role, Pong will focus on driving local market expertise and cross-market collaboration to devise broader capabilities for the agency’s clients in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region.

Pong is a veteran leader with over two decades of experience in communications and stakeholder management across APAC. She will be bringing her experience in leading and developing multi-channel communications strategies and managing campaigns across the B2B and B2C technology, consumer, healthcare, F&B, and property sectors in the new role.

She has also built and led teams at agencies such as Thrive PR in Australia, BCW (formerly Cohn & Wolfe), WE, Edelman, and Text100 in Hong Kong to name a few. Prior to joining Redhill, Pong also served as APAC communications lead at Thrive PR, where she was responsible for expanding Thrive’s footprint in Asia. 

Speaking about her new role, Pong said, “I am delighted to join Redhill at a time when the company is rapidly growing in Australia and internationally.”

She added that she will be assisting Redhill’s local clients with strategic integrated communication solutions and will be developing innovative offerings to grow their businesses and enter new markets.

Jacob Puthenparambil, founder and CEO of Redhill, also commented, “I am very pleased that Diana has joined us to lead our Australia operation. Diana’s extensive communications experience and business development expertise will help Redhill strengthen our channel partnerships, develop strategic alliances, and accelerate business growth in this market.”

He added, “We believe her strong leadership and business acumen will be invaluable as we continue our ambitious plan to grow and expand our portfolio of solutions for our clients.”

Pong’s appointment will be effective immediately.

This follows Manisha Seewal’s appointment at Redhill as its senior international advisor. 

Marketing Featured APAC

Yahoo makes new leadership appointments for adtech division

Singapore – Yahoo Advertising, Yahoo’s adtech division, has unveiled its new team that will lead its Australia and Southeast Asia operations. The announcement comes with a remit to support the business’ refreshed focus as a media solutions partner for premium clients.

The new appointments include John McNerney stepping into the new role of managing director for Australia and Southeast Asia. In his new role, he will oversee the newly formed integrated teams across all of Yahoo Advertising’s disciplines. 

Yahoo Advertising will focus on helping partners deliver future-forward, full-funnel digital media solutions. These solutions will be delivered through Yahoo’s industry-leading DSP, allowing advertisers to effectively target audiences across a diverse set of channels including Advanced TV, mobile, display, video and digital out-of-home. 

McNerney explains, “For the past few years our Yahoo team in the region has been taking an increasingly educational and consultative role with partners to help them navigate the increasingly complex digital marketing ecosystem. This move is a natural evolution of that work, and allows our team to focus on helping our partners do more with their marketing budgets.”

Supporting this focus is an experienced management team across APAC:

  • Matt Farrington, APAC head of partnerships & investment, will continue to drive global and local partnership strategy across the region, working closely with commercial and platform delivery teams.
  • Julia Edwards is promoted to commercial director AUSEA, overseeing the commercial development team, focused on profitable revenue growth for new Yahoo Advertising and growing partnerships with key clients and agencies.
  • Andrew Gilbert is promoted to director of platforms AUSEA, driving DSP strategy across the region to help clients better leverage Yahoo’s market-leading omnichannel technology solutions.
  • Kenneth Koh as the head of DSP for SEA will lead the SEA enterprise solutions team in Singapore and help clients grow their business through Yahoo’s buying solutions.
  • Dan Richardson will continue as head of data, APAC, and will also take on oversight of the insights and measurement teams, with an emphasis on supporting the sales team and clients with pre-sales support for targeting, insights, and measurement;
  • Zoe Cocker will continue to inspire partners with solutions with innovation at their core, adding premium sales to her current role leading Yahoo Creative Studios. Here she will help clients harness new technology including Web3 and immersive creative solutions, and harness the power of omnichannel marketing to drive greater results.

Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, chief revenue officer at Yahoo, commented on the new appointments, “We’re thrilled to unveil the new Yahoo Advertising with John McNerney at the helm of the new team and sharpened focus across the region. In his new role as MD of Australia and Southeast Asia John’s leadership qualities, deep product knowledge and extensive connection to the industry mean he has all the attributes to take Yahoo Advertising forward under our new strategy.”

McNerney added, “I’m extremely proud and excited to work alongside such a talented group of experts. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of them for several years, and cannot wait to see how they unleash the potential of their teams to drive even more impact for our advertising partners.”

Under the new structure, Yahoo will continue to operate its market-leading DSP, allowing partners to seamlessly create true omnichannel campaigns across channels including digital out-of-home, connected TV, native, display, and Yahoo’s powerhouse owned and operated channels including Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sport, Yahoo Lifestyle and Yahoo Finance.

This follows Yahoo’s key appointments for its APAC team last year to bolster its adtech business in the region.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Wunderman Thompson AU elevates Gavin Bain to CEO, Matt Parry to lead WPP’s HSBC APAC team

Sydney, Australia – Marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson has announced the promotion of Gavin Bain, previously national managing director of the agency’s Australian operations, to chief executive officer. The change comes as outgoing Australia CEO, Matt Parry, moves to Hong Kong as WPP team Helix Business Lead for HSBC in Asia-Pacific.

In the new role, Bain will spearhead the continued evolution of the agency’s Australian business through creativity, consulting, and technology capabilities to drive broader organisational impact for clients. 

Bain will also bring with him over 30 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry to the role, having worked in senior client roles at Bankwest and Adelaide Bank, as well as executive agency roles at Marketforce and independent agency Meerkats, where he was CEO for over 10 years. 

Speaking about his new appointment, Bain commented, “I’m thrilled to be taking on this new role and lead such a talented team as we continue to drive further growth and greater impact for our clients.”

He added, “The strong brand and communications approach we’re known for has been strengthened with key capabilities, including business transformation, EX, CX, strategic design, technology, data, and commerce, all connected to help grow the ambitious brands we partner with.”

He likewise wished for Parry’s success in moving into the new role. 

Meanwhile, Parry will lead WPP’s team Helix for HSBC APAC, one of the group’s key global clients, and will relocate to be based in Hong Kong. Before his move to Sydney, Parry was managing director of Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong, growing the agency to be one of the strongest in the market. 

“Wunderman Thompson will continue to grow from strength to strength under Gavin’s brilliant leadership and the team of outstanding individuals that make up the business in Australia. I’m proud of what this group has already achieved, and what is sure to come for them,” said Parry on the new appointments. 

Bain and Parry’s new roles will be effective immediately.

This follows Wunderman Thompson’s leadership appointment spree, including Shailesh Iyers appointment to the agency as chief strategy officer for Singapore.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Mom-and-pop store solutions platform Growsari unveils e-commerce, financial services unit

Manila, Philippines B2B ordering and store solution platform Growsari Enterprise has announced the launch of its two new business units, SariMart and SariPay, along with new leadership appointments to independently run these business units. 

Maimai Madrid-Punzalan, currently Growsari’s chief growth and marketing officer, will take the position of general manager for SariMart, which is the B2B e-commerce business arm of the platform. 

SariMart will have the mandate to be the country’s largest B2B e-commerce wholesaler for neighbourhood MSMEs and will operate independently from Growsari’s platform, including partnering with other offline and online players.

Speaking on her new appointment, Punzalan shared, “I am thrilled for this opportunity to continue serving the needs of sari-sari stores and other small retailers beyond Growsari’s current network to provide them convenient access to a broader range of products at affordable wholesale prices so they can maximize their earning potential.”

Meanwhile, Sandeep Bhalla will be taking on the role of general manager of SariPay, which is the independently run financial services company that aims to support the MSME network with working capital loans, cash management, remittances and similar products.

“Small stores have been left out of basic financial services by mainstream banks and companies. At SariPay, we want to continue building a financial ecosystem which is inclusive and easy to understand for the millions of MSMEs in the country,” said Bhalla on his new appointment.

Both Punzalan and Bhalla bring more than 20 years of commercial leadership from different large multinational companies, with Punzalan formerly working as a regional senior director of P&G and J&J Asia, and Bhalla being a former senior adviser at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and former managing director of Citibank Asia.

Growsari’s co-founder ER Rollan also shared his excitement over the new business units and appointments. “With MaiMai and Sandeep’s deep expertise coupled with the license to operate independently, we will be able to unlock faster growth via external partnerships. The platform in the meantime will continue to bring as many products and services to the small stores as possible,” he said. 

Last year, Growsari has also secured US$77.5m as part of its Series C funding, which accelerated GrowSari’s expansion in the country.