More Indian professionals are making it big in the global arena. After the likes of Vikram Pandit, CEO, Citigroup, Indra Nooyi, Pepsi CEO and more recently, Anshu Jain, co-CEO, Deutsche Bank, the advertising world is now picking its leaders from India. The spotlight is now on Indian ad agency honchos as global advertising and media networks such as JWT Worldwide and GroupM Global, part of the WPP Group, choose Indian professionals to lead their global operations.
In mid-September, JWT India CEO Colvyn Harris was elevated to a global post; he was named CEO for JWT’s South Asia operations. Two months ago, GroupM named Vikram Sakhuja, CEO, GroupM India and South Asia, as global CEO of Maxus.
“There’s greater recognition of Indian talent and Indian admen are now taking on global leadership roles,” says Prasoon Joshi, president, McCann Worldgroup South Asia who was elevated to this role six months ago.
Like Joshi, both GroupM’s Sakhuja and JWT’s Harris will be based in Mumbai. “The increasing importance of the Indian consumer and advertising markets should not be underestimated,” points out an industry observer.
In June this year, Ashutosh Srivastava was appointed chairman & CEO for global emerging markets and became Mindshare’s new global leader for products and services as also talent development. R Gowthaman, chief client officer, Mindshare APAC region, was promoted as CEO for South and Southeast Asia, Mindshare.
According to Sakhuja, over the past few years, the work done by Indians has been noticed more. Subhash Kamath, managing partner, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) India, feels the leadership qualities of Indians and their talent are being recognised now.
“Indian admen are now exposed to international consumers and markets and that’s a good trend,” he observes.
As Joshi points out, there’s considerable talent in India across disciplines, be it creative, media strategy or client servicing. “Indian admen are very hardworking and creative and I think this has earned them global recognition,” he says.
In October 2011, Joshi was appointed chairman of McCann Erickson’s worldwide creative leadership council, elevating him to a virtual global creative head’s role at the Interpublic Group agency — a first for an Indian adman.