Movers & shakers of advertising in 2022

Movers & shakers of advertising in 2022

An overview of all those who caught our eye in the advertising industry during the year.


Mumbai: This year, being the first since covid was done and dusted away with, has been one of upliftment for all industries, and advertising is no different. On the people movements’ front, however, observed this year to be the year of churn for the advertising industry. From a slew of exits from Dentsu India, restructuring at VMLY&R, and key leadership changes at the helm of MullenLowe Lintas to various appointments and departures across the industry, it has been quite a ride.

Getting on with the movements of the who’s who of advertising…

WPP Group:


In an interesting turn of events, Devika Bulchandani was brought to the helm of Ogilvy Group’s worldwide operations as global CEO – prior to this, she was global president and CEO of Ogilvy North America. Her visit to India was quite an elaborate affair.

Also, Sumanto Chattopadhyay, aka Sumo – one of the oldest creative hands of the Ogilvy India Group with an association spanning three decades and chairman and chief creative officer of 82.5 Communications, decided to hang up his boots after spending three decades with the agency. Anuraag Khandelwal and Mayur Varma took on the role of joint chief creative officers of 82.5 Communications.

The agency announced the promotion of Ganapathy Balagopalan to deputy chief strategy officer. Tithi Ghosh became president and head of Ogilvy Bengaluru. Hirol Gandhi took over as president and head of the Mumbai and Kolkata offices at the agency.

Prakash Nair was elevated as president and head of office at Ogilvy Gurugram.

Kunal Jeswani moved to Singapore as group CEO, and VR Rajesh took over the India role as group president.

After the departure of Mahesh Gharat and Kiran Anthony, who held the designation of co-chief creative officers of Ogilvy South, the agency onboarded Puneet Kapoor as chief creative officer for the agency’s South operations.

Former Ogilvy exec Samrat Bedi, who was playing the role of president at 82.5 Communications, joined Gozoop as CEO India.

Ogilvy India president and head of office Shouvik Roy joined G.O.A.T Brand Labs. Ogilvy's senior creative director Nikhil Narayanan moved on.

Wunderman Thompson

Ad veteran and long hand of 22 years at Wunderman Thompson, Tista Sen bid adieu to the agency. The agency also made senior appointments at its Mumbai office – Rakesh Varma as vice president and executive business director and Abhay Godbole as vice president and client servicing director.

Jyoti Mahendru joined Wunderman Thompson as chief people officer. Wunderman Thompson Kolkata appointed Ayan Banik as senior vice president of brand strategy.


VMLY&R got Saurabh Saksena as CEO when Pooja Jauhari put in her papers as group CEO of the agency. The founders of The Glitch, the VMLY&R network’s digital-first creative agency, Varun Duggirala and Rohit Raj, stepped down from their roles.

IPG Group:

MullenLowe Lintas

MullenLowe Lintas saw senior-level departures – group CEO Virat Tandon and group chief creative officer, and chairman Amer Jaleel, decided to move on. S Subramanyeswar aka Subbu donned the hat of group CEO. Vidyanath PA quit Ogilvy to join MullenLowe Lintas as group creative director.

Lowe Lintas appointed Shayondeep Pal as the regional creative officer of the Bangalore office.

Azazul Haque moved on from MullenLowe Lintas and joined Media.Monks as the chief content officer.

MullenLowe Lintas’ newly launched branded and original content division, Lintas C:EX Entertainment, appointed Niranjana H as creative director of brand solutions.

Lintas C:EX Entertainment also brought in Shailendra Jha as the lead content advisor—fiction.

Reuben Karkaria took up the role of group creative director at Lintas Live, the PR division of the MullenLowe Lintas Group.


FCB India hired Abhinav Kaushik as their new president, and Udayan Chakravarty was roped in as its executive creative director. FCB Interface appointed Aditi Patwardhan as chief strategy officer.


Kinnect announced leadership elevations: Kartikeya Tiwari was promoted to national creative director; Mithun Mukherjee and Ashish Tambe were pronounced executive creative directors.

Varun Bansal joined Kinnect as an associate vice president for media to look after the Delhi operations. The agency also brought in Ankur Garg as executive creative director—Delhi and Bengaluru.

McCann Worldgroup

Vishal Ahluwalia has been named president of McCann Worldgroup's south operations. PK Anil Kumar joined McCann Health as head of creative.

Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN):

Dentsu India was abuzz with people stepping in and out of the agency, literally, in 2022. Dentsu CEO APAC and chairman India Ashish Bhasin made headlines after resigning after 13 years and joining RD&X Network as co-founder and chairman.

Sidharth Rao stepped down as CEO of dentsuMB Group India – he went on to set up a martech outfit with Madhu Sudan, Punt Partners.

Taproot Dentsu chief creative officer Titus Upputuru put in his papers and flagged off his company – The Titus Upputuru Company, which offers creative and strategic solutions.

Dentsu India onboarded Sunil Lulla as a consultant advisor.

Dentsu India also roped in Bhasker Jaiswal as the chief operating officer of media. Unmesh Pawar was appointed chief people officer for India and South Asia. DentsuMB and Dentsu Webchutney chief creative officer Arjuna Gaur quit the agency in October – he had joined the agency network in April.

Dentsu Creative India brought in Joy Mohanty as chief creative officer, and onboarded Dalip Daniel and Tulika Seth as executive creative director and group creative director, respectively. The agency also welcomed Ajeet Shukla as the group executive creative director.

Sumeer Mathur joined Dentsu Creative as chief strategy officer; Sudhir Das came in as executive creative director; and Anu Gulati, too, was roped in as executive creative director.

Dentsu India’s chief operating officer Narayan Devanathan, moved on. The agency appointed Saagar Sethi to lead Amplifi in India, who would additionally drive The Story Lab and Posterscope.

Dentsu India appointed Aalap Desai to lead Taproot Dentsu & Isobar India as chief creative officer.

Dentsu Isobar’s executive vice president Gurjot Shah Singh moved on. Dentsu International’s chief human resource office Rohit Suri jumped ship to Netflix as head of talent for the OTT major. Dentsu Webchutney's Ashwin Palkar moved on; the agency elevated Harsh Shah to managing partner.

Publicis Groupe:

Publicis Worldwide India roped in Oindrila Roy as managing director at the agency; Srijan Shukla and Pratheeb Ravi were appointed as creative heads. The agency also roped in Nitin Sharma as senior vice president and head of client services, who would be based out of the Mumbai office.

Google's Amaresh Godbole joined Publicis Groupe India as CEO of its digital technology business.

Pallav Jain and Sarfaraz Khimani, who were the co-CEOs of Performics India, decided to step down from their roles and move into a more developmental role - Publicis Groupe India appointed Lalatendu Das as CEO of Performics India.

Publicis Groupe elevated Jose Leon as managing director of Indigo Consulting. Indigo Consulting appointed Sanjeev Kumar as senior vice president of customer success and operational excellence.

Shonali Sharma has joined Publicis In-Motion to lead Arc Worldwide's Delhi office.

Publicis Media Services appointed Vivek Tyagi as head of performance marketing; Rajesh Viswanath joined as senior vice president of data sciences.

Publicis Groupe brought in Hari Krishnan as managing director and head of Publicis Content.

Anindya Banerjee was brought in as the new creative head for Publicis Health.

Publicis Emil senior vice presient Anil Kotian quit and joined Zee5.

Leo Burnett

In a restructuring at Publicis Groupe India, Dheeraj Sinha was appointed as the chairman of BBH India, in addition to his existing mandate as CEO and chief strategy officer of Leo Burnett, South Asia. Subhash Kamath moved into an advisory role for the Groupe on other strategic initiatives.

Amit Nandwani, who held the post of executive creative director and content head at Leo Burnett and was based out of the agency’s Gurugram office for nine years, quit the agency. Leo Burnett welcomed Bala G as its new executive creative director.

Publicis Groupe also announced the launch of its creative council for South Asia – in addition to his role as CEO and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett South Asia, Rajdeepak Das was appointed chairman of the newly formed council.

BBH India

BBH India CEO and chief creative officer Russell Barrett decided to move on from the agency. The agency announced the promotions of Priya Gurnani and Arvind Menon as executive creative directors. It also appointed George Sebastian as executive creative director. BBH India elevated Radhika Burman to vice president and head of its Delhi operations.

BBH India managing director Arvind Krishnan bid adieu to the agency; he got together with Prajato Guha Thakurta (Projo), who quit his role as national creative director at Leo Burnett India, to launch Manja.

Digitas India

Digitas India, Publicis Groupe’s marketing and technology services agency, made key senior-level appointments: Mohammedullah Shaikh aka Shariq and Richa Chugh were roped in as senior vice president and head of tech services and vice president of media, respectively. Digitas India appointed Abhinav Parshad as senior creative director; the agency roped in Abraham Varughese as the chief creative officer.

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi India appointed Shitu Patil as head of art and executive creative director. The agency also appointed Avinash Jakhalekar as group creative director. Neeraj Sharma has been appointed senior vice president at L&K Saatchi & Saatchi. The agency appointed Amitabh Sreedharan as vice president.

Omnicom Group:

DDB Mudra

DDB Mudra got Manish Darji as head of art – West. The agency appointed Aniruddha Deb as executive vice president and head of business—North. DDB Mudra Group also elevated Vanaja Pillai to head of diversity, inclusion, and impact.

DDB Mudra appointed Mehak Jaini as strategy chief; the agency brought in Gauri Burma as associate creative director.

Anand Murty and Pallavi Chakravarti, who held the positions of national strategy head and creative head west, respectively, at DDB Mudra, moved on from the agency.

BBDO India appointed Naina Meattle as vice president of brand planning.

TBWA\India brought in Amit Kekre as chief strategy officer.

Interbrand elevated Ashish Mishra as CEO, India and South Asia. The agency also appointed Satish Krishnamurthy as chief strategy officer.

22feet Tribal Worldwide appointed Vishnu Srivatsav as national creative director.

Havas Group:

Jaibeer Ahmed quit Cheil after working there for three years and went on to join Havas Worldwide India as managing partner—North. Havas Group India’s health, wellness marcom and digital agency, Havas Life Sorento, elevated Sachin Talwalkar from executive creative director to chief creative officer.

Havas Group India’s creative arm, Havas Worldwide India, welcomed Anupama Ramaswamy as the new chief creative officer; Nikhil Guha and Neeraj Toor were brought in as group creative directors. Govind Agarwal joined the agency’s Mumbai office as vice president – account management; Sulagna Chanda and Neha Gupta got in at the agency’s Delhi office as associate vice presidents of strategic planning and associate vice president – client servicing, respectively.

Havas Worldwide appointed Jigisha Chawla as executive vice president for the Gurgaon office.

Havas Sports & Entertainment roped in Arun Kumar Rao as senior vice-president. Havas CX strengthened its leadership with key appointments - Arunima Singh was appointed as vice president - customer success and Ashtad Gandhi was roped in as associate vice president – data and analytics.

Havas Media Group elevated Uday Mohan to president and chief client officer. Havas Media Group brought in Chandra P Dobhal as executive vice president – investment.

Cheil India

Cheil India chief creative officer Emmanuel Upputuru quit the agency to set up his own outfit – Efgh Brand Innovations.

Vikas Chemjong stepped in as the new chief creative officer of Cheil India. Kaushik Datta joined the agency as executive creative director. Cheil India senior vice president for integrated campaigns Abhishek Sen moved on from his role after spending six years at the agency.

Wieden + Kennedy

Ayesha Ghosh and Santosh Padhi aka Paddy quit Taproot Dentsu and joined Wieden+Kennedy as managing director and chief creative officer, respectively. Anirban Roy was allotted the position of head of strategic planning at Wieden + Kennedy India.


Schbang elevated Aditya Mehendale to national creative director. FCB India senior creative director Manish Kinger put in his papers—he joined Schbang as executive creative director. Also, Amit Dhawan, who was the founding partner and business head of the Delhi operations of Schbang, went on to join Art-E MediaTech.

Famous Innovations

Famous Innovations elevated Mithila Saraf as CEO, and also roped in Mitali Srivastava Hough as national planning head. The agency appointed Tarvinderjit Singh as creative head, Delhi. Famous Innovations roped in two business heads - Renjita Menon and Kaushal Kansara.


RepIndia announced elevations in its senior leadership team - Nazneen Joshi was elevated to senior vice president of business and strategy (West); Neelanjan Dasgupta was promoted to the role of creative head (west) and Nikhil Kashyap was appointed as the vice president of business and strategy (North).

Durgesh Tiwari joined RepIndia as a senior account director.


Wondrlab brought in Bhavesh Kosambia as the content lead. Rajesh Ghatge was appointed as the CEO of Wondrlab Technologies, the outfit set up by Wondrlab to help businesses and brands adapt to the industry 4.0 digital landscape. The agency appointed Sameet Ali Soni as the content lead.

Wondrlab roped in Siddhyesh Narkar as CTO and Shama Sayed as head of sales.

Additionally, these movements also took place…

Amit Saxena joined WPP’s Red Fuse Communications as head of digital and data.

Ferzad Variyava was roped in by Langoor as chief creative officer.

Manoj Jacob joined Crayons' Delhi office as executive creative director.

Chimp&z Inc. elevated Ashish Duggal as chief operating officer.

Grey India promoted Rahul Pahwa to senior vice president and business head, North.

Infectious Advertising brought in Siddhartha Singh as managing partner and chief operating officer; Anil Jayachandran was appointed as the agency’s chief strategy officer.

Virtue, the creative agency powered by VICE, appointed Hayden Scott as senior creative director for India.

FoxyMoron appointed Alin Choubey as business head, North. Chirag Sangai was roped in by Sociowash as the business head of the Mumbai office.

Aejaz Khan was appointed as CEO at Makani Creatives.

Liqvd Asia appointed Anish Varghese as chief creative officer and roped in Praveen Nair as its joint national creative director.

Gozoop promoted Ahmed Aftab Naqvi as its global CEO. Burzin Mehta joined Gozoop Group as its chief creative officer.

Thought Blurb Communications elevated Renu Somani to national creative director.

Shashwat Manohar joined Enormous as vice president and head of digital.

Grapes elevated Shradha Agarwal to CEO, and the agency appointed Partha Sengupta as creative director.

HiveMinds appointed Saurabh Tyagi as chief client officer. HiveMinds Innovative roped in Aayush Arora as vice president – client success, at Gurgaon.

Hashtag Orange roped in Amit Shankar as co-founder and chief creative officer; it also appointed Gauri Awasthi as chief digital officer.

The year saw a lot of ups and downs, and we also lost a few stars along the way. One of the many includes the "grand old man" of Indian advertising, Gerson daCunha. We know that he made advertising a better place in his own way, and would be dearly missed.

Dan Wieden, the man behind Wieden+Kennedy’s very famous ‘Just Do It’ tagline, which has stuck with the brand Nike, too, breathed his last this year.

All in all, 2002 was a year that saw a mixed bag of comings and goings to and from the advertising industry. Let’s see what the new year has in store.