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Marketing Featured APAC

Dentsu’s Gyro APAC promotes regional head of strategy to managing director

Singapore – Dentsu’s B2B creative agency Gyro has announced a new managing director, promoting its regional head of strategy Rhys Taylor to the position.

The new leadership comes as Gyro’s B2B capabilities are merged into the recently announced B2B powerhouse of Dentsu’s data-driven marketing agency Merkle, with four more other B2B companies roped in into the collective.

Taylor was Gyro’s head of strategy for two years since 2018 where he lead the agency’s internal transformation and oversaw its client-facing strategy practice from Singapore. For the new role, he will be reporting to Gyro’s Asia-Pacific CEO Kieran Vye.

Vye said, “Coming into 2020, we were fortunate to have built a stellar team who worked tirelessly to develop new services to ensure our clients were armed with actionable plans, and access to practical resources, keeping them relevant during what turned out to be a year of unprecedented disruptions due to the pandemic.”

In his new role, Taylor will work closely with the existing leadership team which includes Yasmine Mansour, regional head of growth; Rimi Sweis, regional head of media; Francesca Babet, who heads up Singapore operations, and Christine Mills who helms ANZ operations. Together, the team will be at pole position to set the future direction of the business, and further evolve how Gyro value-adds to its client offerings.

Meanwhile, the agency’s strategy practice will be led by Uzma Atcha who joined the business earlier in the year from Singapore-based digital marketing agency Bonsey Jaden.

The new managing director said, “Uzma joined us seven days before our world plunged into lockdown due to the pandemic. Despite the challenges of remote working and isolation, [she] has won the trust of key clients and the camaraderie of her colleagues. I’m excited to see how Uzma brings her experience and ideas to lead the roll-out of Gyro’s Ignition process and Merkle B2B’s LEN5 framework.”

The Ignition Process refers to Gyros’ unique global process which is building strategy around human relevance.

Vye said that amid COVID-19 restrictions, digital adoption, or even the generational changes in the workplace, the agency was able to help clients adjust to such challenges.

“With the leadership team in place, coupled with the launch of Merkle B2B, we are set on redefining what modern marketing looks like in 2021 and beyond,” he said.

The latest to join Gyro’s client roll is global network infrastructure provider CommScope with recent projects for clients Mastercard, Magento Commerce, and Marketo Engage, among others.

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Platforms Featured APAC

Amazon’s Twitch expands APAC team with new senior hires

Singapore – Amazon’s live streaming service Twitch has announced that it has appointed two former Dentsu International heads Mandar Kambli and Sunil Yadav to be its newest leads for the APAC team. Kambli will join as Programmatic Enablement Lead, while Yadav will be assuming the role of Agency Development Lead.

In August, Twitch named a new marketing head for APAC, and the latest hires come as it continues to grow its team in Singapore and across the whole region.

Kambli comes to Twitch with 14 years of industry experience with agencies, ad tech, and publishers. He was with Dentsu from 2015-2019 where he led programmatic product, supply, and data initiatives across the region. He was most recently the head of advertising platforms for product listing app Carousell.

Meanwhile, Yadav brings with him 20 years of expertise across advertising, media planning, and digital communications. He was previously president of APAC at Dentsu’s media innovation and investment arm Amplifi where he managed media buying and media partnership. Notably, he built its programmatic agency Amnet, across 14 markets, and launched its content agency TheStoryLab in APAC. Prior to Dentsu, he worked with media agencies Mindshare and Starcom, and TV company Mediacom.

At Twitch, Kambli will be responsible for developing and supporting Twitch revenue growth across multiple regions and sharing his expertise on programmatic. With it, he will be helping enhance Twitch’s work with its customers and manage a number of key relationships. Yadav’s role, on the other hand, will charge him with the task of leading all agency partnership negotiations and relationships. He will help build upon Twitch’s success in other regions to help APAC brands and their media agency partners develop deeper relationships with the brand.

“Our pace hasn’t slowed since our last key hires in APAC, and we’re excited to bring key team members in Mandar and Sunil aboard,” said Steve Ford, vice president of Twitch for sales in APAC.

“As new users in APAC and across the world are continuing to come to Twitch, they’re finding their community and forming lasting bonds with creators. Our continued expansion will make for a better experience for these new users, as well as the brands that excite them. We’re planning even more big hires across APAC in 2020 and beyond, and look forward to taking exciting new steps in a number of markets here,” added Ford.

On the new role, Kambli said, “I’m excited to join Twitch during this period of unprecedented activity and growth in APAC. Twitch is multiplayer entertainment – it’s unique, interactive, live, and such an exciting place to be, whether you are a viewer, creator, advertiser, agency, partner, or anyone in between. And our goal is to work hand-in-hand with everyone to make the most of it.”

Meanwhile, Yadav commented, “On Twitch, everyone comes together to celebrate, learn, and grow their interests and passions, and I’m looking forward to helping agencies to learn about how to best work on Twitch to do new and exciting things. Gaming and live streaming are two areas where APAC’s audience and its passion are unparalleled, and we are just scratching the surface of the exciting new things that are possible for brands on Twitch’s platform.”

Twitch has also announced the start of its first salespeople based in Taiwan, providing a physical presence to support early inroads that Twitch has made with partners and organizations in the country. The new hires in Taiwan join the existing content and marketing teams in its office location.


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Marketing Featured APAC

Dentsu promotes South Asia Head of programmatic business to lead APAC unit anew

Mumbai, India – Dentsu International has roped in Chief Data Officer and CEO of Dentsu Programmatic for South Asia Gautam Mehra to lead the APAC unit anew. He will be assuming the title Chief Data & Product Officer for the larger region.

The appointment comes as the marketing communications company moves to build a stronger and more unified APAC data and product offering across the network. Based in Mumbai, Gautam will report to Zhengda Shen, APAC president of Dentsu’s data-driven performance marketing agency Merkle.

Gautam joined Dentsu in 2013, where he later assumed the South Asia leadership three years after. In his recent role for the region, Gautam was responsible for driving the data quotient in the market both internally and with clients. Most notably, he led the unification of the Dentsu’s data sciences team and the team of programmatic marketing service Amnet to create Dentsu Programmatic.

Gautam also led the creation of Dentsu’s proprietary adtech product, the Dentsu Marketing Cloud ecosystem, which is a cohesive system that brings together a slew of Dentsu proprietary ecosystems such as the Facebook Marketing Partner (Ad-Tech) Badged DMC Explore, Dentsu Play, Dentsu TrueValue and other proprietary martech tools used in over 32 markets globally.

On the appointment, Ashish Bhasin, Dentsu Asia Pacific CEO said that data is central to the company’s business strategy as it ensures that advertising efforts are in the right direction.

“Having Gautam drive this data agenda for us is crucial in the era of data explosion. He has earned a reputation of developing and delivering highly innovative data-led initiatives while embodying the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism. This is a well-deserved promotion and I look forward to working closely with him,” said Bhasin.

Merkle APAC president Zhengda Shen also commented, “Organizations are constantly challenged to evolve with agility and speed and adapt to ever-changing consumer dynamics. Providing leadership for clients by integrating data, media, content, and technology to navigate through this shifting landscape is a critical function of agencies. Gautam’s track record for driving innovations and developing globally scaled solutions makes him perfectly placed to help our clients in the region and to ensure that Dentsu International continues to lead through innovation.”

Meanwhile, Gautam, on his new role, said, “There are almost no limits to what we can uncover by studying consumer behavior and their interplay with brands. I’m excited to apply my leadership, knowledge, and experience in delivering globally adopted tech-driven products and solutions to further the data-driven culture of Dentsu International and to build the practice across APAC, further cementing our dominance in this area within the region in using cutting edge technology to solve everyday client challenges.”

Very recently, Dentsu announced its rebranding from Dentsu Aegis Network to now Dentsu International. The new brand will see the union of thousands of global employees under one Dentsu name.

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Marketing Featured Global

GlobalCom PR Network ropes in PR veterans as newest board members

Germany – PR company GlobalCom PR Network (GCPR), an alliance of 80 public relations agencies in more than 100 countries, has appointed communications firm Interprose’s CEO Vivian Kelly, and Singapore-based PR company PRecious Communications’ Managing Director Lars Voedisch, as its newest members of the board, with both bearing the title managing director.

They will join GCPR founder Ralf Hartmann and Richard Merrin, managing director of UK-based PR firm Spreckley, on the GlobalCom board of directors to provide strategic direction for the growing GCPR network. 

GCPR provides clients with a worldwide network of independent PR agencies offering services on crisis communications, media relations, analyst relations as well as influencer marketing and SEO PR. Its PR partners boast of expertise in a slew of verticals such as consumer electronics and lifestyle, financial services, fintech, and also healthcare and IT.

Both Kelly and Voedisch carry with them decades of experience in their field. Kelly has been specifically well-versed in working with tech companies. She founded Interprose in 1998, which provides strategic communications among global B2B tech innovators. In addition, Kelly has been an active advocate for technology companies promoting diversity and inclusion via providing opportunities for brand ambassadors of all backgrounds to serve as spokespeople and thought leaders. 

Meanwhile, Voedisch is known for growing, managing and defending leading brands’ reputations. He has been with PRecious Communications for eight years, having provided strategic communications counsel to over 300 startups across APAC, which includes 15 unicorns as well as enterprises, lifestyle brands, and government agencies. His firm has been honored with multiple industry accolades including the Independent Agency Head of the Year award at the 2019 Marketing Talent Awards. 

Commenting on the appointment, Hartmann said, “We live in a decentralized world, and companies are looking for trusted partners who understand their business, and can scale as they expand into new markets.”

“Our clients are assured of the best, most cost-effective approach to multi-market PR, from experts in their field. Having Vivian and Lars join the board, gives our clients a more comprehensive global view on new markets and how best to penetrate them from an awareness building perspective,” he added. 

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SEA venture capital firm Openspace Ventures appoints new senior team members

Singapore – Openspace Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on investing in technology opportunities in Southeast Asia has appointed former Walt Disney’s APAC head for business development Jessica Huang Pouleur as its new executive director, while finance and investment executive Aristo Setiawidjaja has been tapped as the company’s senior advisor for Indonesia.

The company said that the new appointments come as the team expands its portfolio of investments in the region.

Aside from the executive director position, Pouleur will be joining as a member of the investment committee of OSV+, the company’s newly established opportunity fund focused on mid-stage technology investing.

For over ten years, Pouleur has been focused on Southeast Asian opportunities in telecommunications, media, and technology. As Walt Disney’s head of strategy and business development for APAC, Pouleur led and oversaw strategic initiatives and managed Disney’s investment and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity across the region including key aspects of its 17 billion US dollar acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Before that, she was with Providence Equity Partners as director based in Singapore, leading the evaluation and management of growth-stage investment opportunities across the SEA region.   

Meanwhile, Setiawidjaja is a board member and managing director of hospital network Hermina Hospitals in Indonesia amid joining Openspace Ventures. Prior to that, he was a director at investment firm Olympus Capital.

Poeleur, commenting on her appointment, “Southeast Asia is evolving rapidly as a market and my experience at Disney and Providence has given me a great perspective on the exciting opportunity set. Good investment opportunities start with a clear understanding of diverse regional consumer dynamics supported by relevant product development and leading technology. I am excited to join Openspace where I have known the Partners for a long time and watched with admiration as their team has helped build some of the best companies in the region.

Meanwhile, Setiawidjaja said, “As we deal with the new normal due to COVID and rethink how daily life will change in its aftermath, there are plenty of emerging opportunities in Indonesia and the region. I am looking forward to contributing my perspectives to Openspace in sectors it is investing in, which coincide with my domain knowledge of the sectors.”

Shane Chesson, founding partner at Openspace remarked, “Openspace is now operating four funds across the region with a team of 25 diverse individuals delivering on the unique requirements of technology investing in Southeast Asia. We welcome our new team members who add to this diversity and skill set. The investment environment is attractive during this phase and we will keep executing on our busy pipeline.”

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Marketing Featured APAC

Dentsu Aegis Network names new head of business growth, solutions for APAC

Singapore – Dentsu Aegis Network today announced the appointment of Dominic Powers, former CEO of Singapore-based advertising technology company CtrlShift, to the role of head of business growth and solutions for APAC. 

Prior to joining Dentsu, Powers served as executive vice president and managing director for international affairs of advertising cloud solutions provider, Epsilon, for 14 years until 2016.

Currently, he independently offers advisory services in the area of technology and marketing, and acts as a connector among brands, agencies, and tech companies for consumer engagement projects, with which he operates a self-domain website, dominicpowers.com, to promote his services.

Based in Singapore, Powers will be reporting to Dentsu Aegis Network’s CEO for APAC Ashish Bhasin, as well as to the company’s CEO for solutions in the region, Yusuke Kasahara. 

Within the new role, Powers will be tasked with driving organic revenue growth for clients by identifying innovative solutions to maximize growth opportunities across media, creatives and CRM. 

He will also be overseeing the APAC region’s new business strategy and opportunities within the company’s existing client base, working with regional teams to grow C-suite relationships as well as the solutions unit to deliver business value to clients through integrated solutions, strategies and products.

Commenting on his appointment, Powers said, “Industries across the world have seen more disruption and transformation in the past six months than they have in years.” 

He adds, “Brands need an agency that can guide them through the changing consumer landscape, maintaining their relevance while identifying the next growth opportunity. I am looking forward to working with our teams across the APAC network to identify these challenges and deliver growth for our business and importantly, that of our clients too.”

Meanwhile, Kasahara said, “Marketing transformation is central to Dentsu Aegis Network’s proposition. While we are built in a way that enables integration across multiple capabilities, Dominic’s role will be paramount in making sure [that] the way we organize ourselves benefits our clients while bringing new brands through the door.”