Technology Featured Southeast Asia

InMobi taps Aditya Varadarajan as regional head of the newly expanded Microsoft business in SEA

Singapore – InMobi, a leading provider of content, marketing, and monetization technologies, has appointed Aditya Varadarajan as the regional head for its newly expanded partnership with Microsoft Advertising in Southeast Asia to strengthen the in-market presence and enhance relationships with strategic and enterprise clients. 

Varadarajan’s remit also includes helping brands and agencies maximise impact from the multitude of Microsoft advertising products and solutions.

He will be based in Singapore and expand the regional sales team across the key markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. His team will also be responsible for sales, account management, client servicing, and billing in the region.

Varadarajan brings with him an extensive background in handling account management, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, and data analysis. Before joining InMobi, he worked with brands including Google, WalkingTree, and Madhura Agro where he specialised in performance and brand marketing.

Rohit Dosi, vice president and general manager for Microsoft Advertising business at InMobi said that they are delighted to welcome Varadarajan as their regional head in the newly expanded business whilst looking forward to enabling the advertising ecosystem across Southeast Asia, one of the focus markets with growth potential for InMobi and Microsoft Advertising.

In 2022, it can be noted that InMobi and Microsoft have expanded their partnership in Southeast Asia to support enterprise and strategic advertisers in the region.

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.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Thailand-based T&B Media launches Translucia website to make metaverse accessible and engaging to the public

Bangkok, Thailand Thai media corporation T&B Media Global, in partnership with digital product company Two Bulls/DEPT®, has launched Translucia website, a metaverse project that combines interconnected multiverses to provide a space for users, creators, and businesses in accessing its products and services.

The platform is also built to promote prosperity and equity of access to all digital citizens, regardless of background whilst aiming to make Web3 and metaverse available to the public in an accessible and engaging way. 

The launching also marks the first milestone of the partnership between T&B Media and Two Bulls/DEPT® which was kickstarted last year. 

Jason O’Donnell, managing director at Two Bulls/DEPT® said that they are thrilled to be a part of the collaboration and development of Translucia Metaverse, whilst adding that it has the ability to change the way people engage.

James Kane, founder & CEO at Two Bulls/DEPT® added, “We’re proud to have found a partner in T&B Global that shares both our values and beliefs that with technology, we can create a better tomorrow. There’s immense opportunity to lead in the metaverse space right now, and we’re glad to see that Translucia is taking charge without losing sight of their values and the greater good for society.”

Other international partners for this project include Dogstudio/DEPT® for video creation, Accenture Singapore for copy and translations, Blackflame China for concept art, Sunovatech India for 3D assets, and Pellartech for Blockchain.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Oat-based milk brand Oatbedient sees mascot ‘Oatdit’ reminding benefits of plant-based products

Singapore – With its vision to provide oat-based products that are good for its consumers and environment, Oat-based milk brand Oatbedient, in collaboration with independent creative agency GOVT Singapore, has launched a new brand film that sees its mascot – the bubbly little oat ‘Oatdit’ – reminding consumers of the health benefits they’ll gain from choosing plant-based products. 

Titled ‘Oat My Goodness’, the 30-second clip is associated with uplifting music and colorful illustrations to present the series of plant-based Oatbedient products that are authentically healthy with no nasty ingredients, junk, or fillers.

The campaign also aims to show that Oatbedient brings ‘goodness’ to life whilst reminding that being healthy can also be delightful.

Elaine Teo, Co-founder of Oatbedient said that consumers are often exposed to a variety of products that have low or no nutritional value. Therefore, their vision for Oatbedient is to create delicious clean labelled products that can feed families.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Neo, group creative director of agency GOVT Singapore, added, “Oatbedient is a fun and quirky brand that is already likable. So our job was to make sure we help paint the journey of Oatdit introducing the products in an entertaining way.”

All works from the campaign will run across multiple channels including social media and digital.

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

W Communications bags PR remit of Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations

Singapore – Just right on time for International Women’s Day, global PR and social media agency W Communications has announced that it has sealed a partnership with Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), the national coordinating body of women’s organisations in Singapore, to manage its corporate communications, community outreach, and engagement programmes.

The agency’s mandate will also include supporting SCWO in redefining its core narratives to further introduce itself as the national coordinating body of women’s organisations in the country.

Moreover, the said partnership goes under the agency’s efforts to boost its portfolio of clients in the social impact sector.

Jolin Ng, general manager at W in Singapore, said that the agency gives importance to equity, therefore, it works with organisations like SCWO to fulfill its commitment towards such causes and support the organisation’s plan of impacting the lives of women and society.

Koh Yan Ping, chief executive officer at SCWO, commented, “We wanted a PR partner who truly understood the intent behind the impact we are making towards the cause and enables us to better engage stakeholders from all walks of life. W stood out with their understanding of our objectives, excellent media relations and of course, strength in corporate storytelling.”

Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations boasts more than 60 member organisations representing over 600,000 women in the country. It provides opportunities, platforms, and services to empower and support Singaporean women. 

Earlier this year, W Communications has also been tapped by food company Deliveroo to manage its corporate and consumer communications.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Lion & Lion rebranded as Lion & Lioness for entire duration of Women’s Month

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – With its commitment to promoting gender equity, digital-first agency Lion & Lion has rebranded itself to be called ‘Lion & Lioness’ for the entire duration of international women’s month. This is to celebrate the said designated period of honouring women, with the brief name change also coming with an empowering tagline, ‘Roaring for Equity’; and a new logo to boot showing a lion and lioness.

With a team that is currently consisting of 60% female, Lion & Lion emphasised that the agency is taking meaningful steps to establish a network that values and recognises the contributions of its female staff whilst creating a more effective team that can better serve the clients.

Some of these efforts include introducing two initiatives for the support of female employees such as creating a ‘priority room’ in the Kuala Lumpur office to give a comfortable space for upcoming mothers who need a private area to breastfeed or rest and an alarm keychain that can be used in times of danger.

This Women’s Month, Lion & Lion also gives a spotlight to its female leaders or ‘lioness’ from the different departments of people & culture (HR), traffic, media planning, and in-house marketing & communication team who play significant roles in operating internal processes and client servicing. 

These female executives include regional head of people & culture Mawar Mustaffa; client services manager Julia Michelle Boudville; media lead Rafeah Siron; and senior marketing manager Menuka Vejasegaran.

The special rebranding comes with an on-ground celebration at the Kuala Lumpur office on 8 March where all employees, regardless of gender, can enjoy the team building and engaging activities.

As an agency that aims integrate data and creativity, Lion & Lion continues to drive efforts in providing impactful solutions for clients. Earlier this year, it expanded its offerings by launching a film production studio to connect its integrated creative, social, and digital experience solutions.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

YouBiz, Xero team up to support local SMEs to go digital

Singapore – YouBiz, the corporate card and finance management platform by YouTrip, has announced their strategic partnership with cloud-based accounting software provider Xero. Said partnership aimed at reducing operational costs remains amongst SMEs in the Southeast Asian region.

It also aims to equip local businesses and startups with more capabilities to manage their corporate expenses efficiently through the integration of Xero’s accounting software.

Through this integration, YouBiz users can unlock automated sync on all multi-currency accounts with Xero, reducing manual reconciliation of expenses and erroneous accounting entries. YouBiz users who are new to Xero can also enjoy 50% off on any Xero accounting plan for 6 months.

Caecilia Chu, co-founder and CEO at YouTrip has expressed their excitement with said partnership, remarking that with growing inflation and rising prices, finance automation platforms with enhanced accounting capabilities will allow SMEs to cut down on operational costs significantly and redirect valuable funds and resources towards their global expansion plans.

“With Xero on board, YouBiz users will have better control and greater visibility over their business spending. And as we continue to be a valuable and reliable partner to SMEs, YouBiz will strive to forge more partnerships with digital brands and businesses that SMEs work with, to bring more returns and cost savings beneficial to companies, and aid them in their digitalisation efforts,” Chu said.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Canadian coffeehouse Tim Hortons to launch in Singapore

Singapore – Popular Canadian coffeehouse and restaurant chain Tim Hortons has announced its expansion to Southeast Asia, starting off with Singapore, and later on to Malaysia and Indonesia.

The expansion was made possible by Tim Hortons APAC and multinational conglomerate Marubeni Corporation. Whilst the launch ofTim Hortons in Singapore has been already set, the expansion to Malaysia and Indonesia is still subject to regulatory approvals and finalising agreements.

Tim Hortons is operated under the Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which also handles other restaurant brands such as Burger King, Popeye’s, and Firehouse Subs.

Said expansion is part of Marubeni’s ‘Next Generation Corporate Development Division’, its first investment in the region. The new division, launched in 2022, aims to invest in businesses that capture the growth of next-generation consumers in Southeast Asia.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SevenRooms launches new email marketing tool to improve hospitality brands’ customer engagement

Singapore To expand its marketing suite for hospitality operators, global guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry SevenRooms has launched an e-mail marketing tool that is built with a set of personalised trigger-based emails from operators to customers, aimed to help in continuous engagement with guests.

Working in conjunction with SevenRooms’ automated e-mails, the customers will be able to send one-time, customised marketing emails directly to the SevenRooms platform in order for operators to control the way they use their guest data. 

The platform will also allow operators to build their brand by having direct touchpoints with guests, whilst being provided with insights that matter to their business including the reservations, covers, and revenue attributed to each email. 

In addition, this will support operators with a solution that is connected throughout a restaurant’s tech stack, without using third-party email service providers. It is directly linked to the SevenRooms CRM and operating system so operators have full control over their messaging and its receivers.

Meanwhile, in line with the goal of enhancing the guest experience, this gives updates about their favourite venues, receive targeted messages and promotions, or simply control the venues from which they receive marketing. 

Allison Page, co-founder and chief product officer at SevenRooms said that SevenRooms provides an email marketing product with a functionality that cannot be seen in other traditional email marketing platforms.

“While other email service providers promise revenue, SevenRooms can prove it with accurate data on the revenue generated by each campaign to truly measure email marketing performance,” she added.