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Marketing Featured APAC

GroupM unveils new senior leadership roster in APAC

Singapore – GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has announced a roster of C-suite appointments in APAC that will be leading the regional transformation of GroupM Nexus – the global performance organisation that unites the network’s performance talent and technologies into one single outfit.

The appointees are Arshan Saha, the new CEO of GroupM Nexus APAC, Jon Thurlow, the new COO of GroupM Nexus APAC, Deepika Nikhilender, the new CEO of Xaxis APAC, and Brett Poole, the new CEO of Finecast APAC and AUNZ.

A founding member of Xaxis APAC, Saha rose through the ranks to become APAC CEO of Xaxis and GroupM’s data-driven specialty businesses, including INCA, Finecast, Sightline, and Acceleration. For over a decade, he led the expansion of Xaxis – an A.I.-powered programmatic engine – into 16 markets and multiplied its revenue by 20-fold.

Saha shared that GroupM Nexus is a cross-channel performance-led organisation that unites its expertise in service excellence, AI technology and the most advanced solutions. 

“This is the future of marketing, and we are poised to offer our clients and agencies the most powerful performance engine that will accelerate their growth. I’m honoured to be working alongside some of the world’s best specialists at GroupM Nexus to collectively cultivate a better media ecosystem,” he added.

Meanwhile, as the new COO of GroupM Nexus APAC, Thurlow will be driving the transformation of Nexus alongside Saha. His new role is an additional appointment to his corporate remit as COO of GroupM APAC.

Thurlow is one of the region’s most accomplished practitioners across the breadth of the network’s business. He architected the consolidation of GroupM’s search, social, commerce, programmatic, and addressable practices in APAC, and for almost three years, he oversaw the complex integration of inter-network systems and structures across 16 markets into a unified campaign delivery platform.

Commenting on his appointment, Thurlow said, “I’m very excited about the launch of GroupM Nexus across the region. Building on the success of the past years, the expanded service and solutions offering that GroupM Nexus will create, represents a wonderful opportunity to deliver genuine market-leading innovation and produce a positive business impact for our clients.”

Moreover, Deepika Nikhilender, who is elevated from SVP to the CEO role at Xaxis APAC, has over two decades of marketing and data science experience. She steered Xaxis’ A.I. and machine-learning ambitions in the region while leading the design of marketing solutions, supply strategy, trading, and operations excellence, as well as ad-tech and platforms strategy.

Deepika commented, “I’m thrilled to embark on this exciting challenge to lead Xaxis APAC into new frontiers where we can break new ground for our clients and agencies with our A.I. differentiated initiatives and solutions. Together with the team, I look forward to cultivating a culture where our talents will continue to thrive as well as strengthening Xaxis’ capabilities to achieve our clients’ desired outcomes.”

Completing the Nexus APAC leadership line-up, Poole, who was formerly managing director of Finecast Australia, has been appointed the CEO of Finecast APAC and AUNZ. With over two decades of experience in product development, tech commercialisation, publishing, and advertising platforms, he has launched and built profitable businesses across native advertising (plista), data tech (mPLATFORM), programmatic trading (Xaxis), and most recently, spearheaded television transformation in Australia where his team grew the Finecast brand to become synonymous with addressable TV and TV innovation.

Poole noted, “I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue growing Finecast across APAC as part of GroupM Nexus. I look forward to working closely with Nexus APAC leaders to build on the outstanding work of our Finecast APAC team.”

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Marketing Featured South Asia

CleverTap names Anand Venkatraman as new COO

Mumbai, India — CleverTap, an integrated retention cloud company, has appointed Anand Venkatraman as its new chief operating officer.

Venkatraman has over two decades of experience in building and augmenting global teams and P&Ls across various sales motions. He joins from Freshworks where he held the position of senior vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. In the said role, he led and scaled businesses and evolved global partnerships to independently drive business across 40+ countries, scaled the technology marketplace and embedded Freshworks deep into the worldwide startup ecosystems. Prior to that, he also held leadership positions at Akamai and Microsoft in APJ and India.

Sidharth Malik, CEO of CleverTap, said, he is warmly welcoming Venkatraman to CleverTap adding that Venkatraman’s appointment is an indication of their ambitious growth plans to be the gamechanger for user retention.

“With his successful track record in taking businesses globally, building highly engaged teams, and establishing creative approaches for customer success. Venkatraman will strengthen the Clevertap Management Team to help scale the company to the next level by bringing in excellence in execution,” Malik said.

Meanwhile, Venkatraman commented on his appointment, “I am excited to join CleverTap as they emerge as the Retention category market leader, in not just India and South-East Asia but also in markets like North America, Latin America, Middle East, Turkey, Africa and Europe. I am looking forward to being a part of their journey in taking the Indian SaaS story to the world.’’

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Dentsu India names CEO of Media, new COO

India – Following the recent re-organization of the network, dentsu in India has finally named its CEO for the Media division, Divya Karani. Alongside this, the company has also announced a new COO, Kartik Iyer. 

The new appointments are both internal elevations. Karani is currently the CEO of dentsu X India and will have the new appointment as an additional role, handling all media agencies of dentsu in South Asia, including Carat, iProspect, and Posterscope, aside from dentsu X. She is tasked to drive the global media strategy and delivery in the region, ensuring its alignment and relevance to the market.

Meanwhile, Iyer has previously worked as the president of dentsu’s Media Brands and media investment and innovation platform Amplifi. With the COO role, Iyer will be engaging with regional teams, global teams, and all other network brands to ensure the ongoing transformation program. He will also be driving the implementation of dentsu’s new business model within the country. Iyer will be collaborating with leaders and client teams across businesses in the market to change how the network works and inculcate the culture of operational excellence.

Both Iyer and Karani will report to Dentsu India’s CEO Anand Bhadkamkar.

Commenting on the new promotions, Bhadkamkar said, “Dentsu is committed to delivering the best to its clients and Kartik and Divya are veterans in what they do. Kartik is recognized industry-wide for his media expertise while Divya is one of our finest from the industry. Her strength lies in delivering first-class, client-centric results and I am confident that their expertise and experience will only help accelerate the effectiveness, purpose, and performance offered to our clients.” 

Earlier this year, Dentsu India also announced the recent merge of Vizeum and iProspect into one to bring together the former’s media strategy and planning, storytelling, and brand-building capabilities with the latter’s digital expertise. 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

OMD Singapore goes to home-grown managing director Chloe Neo for COO appointment

Singapore – Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has announced today that OMD Singapore has tapped its own managing director Chloe Neo to take on the role of chief operating officer. 

OMD Singapore vouches for Neo’s seasoned experience in the industry, where 12 years have been dedicated to OMD.  

Neo started out in the company as business director in 2008, eventually rising up to assume the role of managing partner and later on, managing director.

“During her time with us, Chloe has been instrumental in driving growth and innovative solutions for our clients, as well as mentoring and nurturing the talent within our organization,” said Tony Harradine, CEO, Omnicom Media Group, APAC. 

Aside from full-fledged corporate work, Neo has been active in spearheading advertising associations in Singapore, having served senior capacities at the 4As in Singapore. Just this last month, she was appointed as the first vice president for the Association of Advertising & Marketing Singapore for 2020.