MUMBAI: Diversity. That has been the buzz globally as the entertainment industry seeks to right the female-to-male ratio in the power structure of corporations that define it. In India?s large organised entertainment sector, most companies have had men in senior executive positions for a while. But with the entrepreneurial fever running high and funding available, an increasing number of women have been setting up ventures operating in this space.
Entrepreneurship aside, women have, over the past few decades, played a critical role in the evolution of the television industry. Right from the black and white television days, they have been involved in programming as well as content production. The credit to set the ball rolling for the TV revolution goes to late prime minister Indira Gandhi, who steam-rolled her way into launching colour television in 1982 around the time of the Asian games.Read On:
The top women in brands
Tanya Arvind Dubash
Executive director & chief brand officer, Godrej Group
Tanya Dubash is responsible for the Godrej Group's marketing function which includes leadership of the strategic marketing group that drives the development of the master brand. She is the eldest daughter of industrialist Adi Godrej.
She currently serves as the chairperson of Nature's Basket and director of Godrej Remote Services and Ensemble Holdings & Finance. She is also a director on the board of Godrej industries limited, Godrej consumer products limited and Godrej Agrovet limited.
Dubash holds an AB cum laude degree in economics and political science from Brown University and is also an alumna of The Cathedral & John Connon School and Harvard Business School. She was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2007.
Marketing director, Procter & Gamble
Dhawan joined P&G in 1998 as an associate marketing director for beauty care and media. In 2011, she got elevated as managing director of pet care for Asia business.
Her career spanning 20 years includes handling beauty and haircare business for India, South East Asia and Australia. Her brand management experiences include creation of new categories, launching new brands, turning around declining brands as well as working on expanding P&G brands to new markets and across new flankers.
She has worked on creating award winning campaigns including Whisper, Ariel and Gillette.
Dhawan completed her BCom (Hons) in business studies, accountancy, economics, business law and audit from Lady Shriram College, Delhi.
Chief marketing officer, Marico
Aggarwal is a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience across diverse consumer businesses and has been with Marico since 2015. She started her career at Unilever where she worked for 12 years, across sales, marketing and general management functions, managing local and global brands and businesses across India and South Asia. She was at the helm of many brand transformation projects including the migration of Surf, the success story of Dove hair care, relaunch of Vaseline and the re-ignition of Clinic Plus. Post Unilever, Aggarwal was senior vice president - brand communication and consumer insights with Vodafone India for four years. She then joined Mondelez India Foods (formerly Cadbury India) in January 2014, as category director for biscuits.
Aggarwal holds a post graduate degree in business administration from IIM - Bangalore and a bachelor's degree in economics from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi.
Joint MD & chief marketing officer, Parle Agro
Daughter of Ramesh Chauhan, the man behind India's largest FMCG brand Parle, Nadia Chauhan joined the family business in 2003 as joint managing director and chief marketing officer for Parle Agro. Under her command, the brand introduced new products, and became profitable by registering a double digit growth year on year.
At the age of 11 she started her own baking company, Just Divine followed by tie and dye T-shirts business before she stepped into the family business.
CMO and head, international brands business, Myntra & head of Jabong
With a diverse experience in strategy, operations and marketing with a passion for advanced big data analytics, Gunjan Soni has played a key role as chief marketing officer in firmly positioning brand Myntra as the leading destination for shopping fashion and lifestyle online. She is credited for growing the international brands business with 10 plus marquee brand additions last year.
Soni has been the CMO and head of Jabong Business of Myntra since February 2017 respectively. She started her career with Infosys as a software engineer.
Listed among the 30 fastest growing women leaders in business by Spencer Stuart-Economic Times, she was previously partner at McKinsey & Company and vice president at media conglomerate Star India. She is credited for starting McKinsey's scientific marketing practice for India. Soni is an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
GM marketing, Jewellery Division, Titan Company
Tewari began her career in marketing at Vadilal Ice Creams and Milton Plastics, and later moved on to advertising with O&M. In her current role, she has developed invaluable insights into the dynamics of two distinct worlds ? creative media campaigns on the one hand, and hardcore business acumen on the other. She has led the company's jewellery division into a new sphere. Her role transcends the division's various brands that cater to India's rapidly evolving consumer segment and she is viewed an invaluable asset to Titan.
She holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from Mithibai College, Mumbai and a masters in management studies from Welingkar institute.
Head of marketing, Google Southeast Asia and India
Sapna Chadha's experience spans over 15 years. Her industry experience includes both B2B and B2C such as financial services, travel and technology. During her endeavour in the industry, she has worked with American express, Deloitte. She embarked on her journey in Google as head of SMB marketing in 2015. Her graduation and post graduation marketing degrees are received from University of Michigan and Northwestern University. She leads Google's Internet Saathi program in India which aims to eradicate the significant digital gender gap by creating change agents across rural India.
CMO, watches and accessories, Titan
Suparna Mitra has an extensive sales and marketing experience, mainly in the lifestyle and retail marketing area. Mitra was elevated to her current position back in 2015. She has been contributing to Titan, the leading watch manufacturer of India, from 2006. She has a degree in electrical engineering from Jadavpur University and a post graduate from IIM, Calcutta. She is responsible for product design and technology, product management, and marketing strategy for watches and accessories in the company.
Madhu S Dutta
Madhu S Dutta has nearly 17 years of experience in the field of marketing and communication. Prior to her involvement in Raymond, she has worked for Pantaloons Fashion and Retail, World Gold Council. From a degree in English literature to one in marketing and communication, her academic qualification also reflects diversity. Everyday she wakes up to the idea "let's thrive to make this day a new learning".
Executive vice president marketing, Kotak Mahindra
Since 2016 Elizabeth Venkatraman heads the marketing function of Kotak Mahindra Bank's consumer and commercial banking businesses. The expert is also credited with the company's 'Faiday ka Insurance' tagline which aligned Kotak Group's core strength of investment expertise to insurance. Her experience spans over almost two decades across diverse segments including computer hardware, confectionery, ecommerce, automobiles, FMCG and banking. She holds an MBA degree from NMIMS, Mumbai.
Head of Marketing, Facebook
Sunita GR, the young marketing professional, has nearly 15 years of experience in the industry. She has a significant experience of managing diverse global and local brands, leader and challenger brands, premium and value brands, imagery marketing and USP marketing and nurturing platform innovations. Prior to her current role, she worked with famous brands like LG Electronics, PepsiCo, Hindustan Unilever Limited.
Executive Director, Hindustan Unilever
Priya Nair, known for her out of the box thinking has been working with Hindustan Unilever Limited over two decades. She started her journey as consumer insights manager. Working through the ranks in HUL, she has worked across various brands such as Dove, Axe, Rexona, Closeup and Pepsodent. She led the launch of HUL's path-breaking rural mobile marketing initiative 'Kan Khajura Tesan' which received three Gold Lion awards at the 2014 Cannes Lions international festival of creativity. She completed her MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management.
Cluster VP Marketing - Foods, South Asia at Unilever
Over the last 30 years, Geetu Verma has worked across varied marketing, innovation and business roles in leading FMCG firms P&G, Seagram, Pepsico in India and Europe. She has led start-ups, turnarounds and brings a deep understanding and expertise in food. Prior to her current role, from November 2011 to June 2016, Verma successfully led the HUL foods and refreshments business into a new phase of accelerated growth and market leadership.
Verma has an MBA degree in marketing from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi.
Head - Demand Generation & Local Marketing, Apple India
Parul Matto during her journey of over 16 years has worked across various famous telecom brands. Her areas of expertise include brand management, external and internal communication, retail execution, PR, research and team management. After completing her education from Delhi's famous Lady Shriram College and Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, she worked for Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Turner Broadcasting India.
Head Marketing, Visa
Manmeet Vohra joined Visa as marketing head, India and South Asia in August 2017. She was earlier working with Starbucks India as director, marketing and category.
Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla Health Insurance
Darshana Shah has a rich work experience of over 19 years. Before joining Aditya Birla group, she worked for famous retail brands including Shoppers Stop, Future Group, Reliance Retail and HyperCITY Retail. She has planned and delivered various concepts for in-store design and communication to various visual merchandising elements which have been studied through international retail exposure and best practices.
Marketing Head, Suzuki Motorcycles India
With over a decade's experience in lifestyle and IT retail, Deepali Mishra was on the list of
Top 100 Marketing Professionals at World Marketing Congress in 2014. She began her advertising journey at OgilvyOne as a senior account executive. Mishra soon moved to Benetton Group in 2007 as the general manager and marketing head where she served for over nine years. In her current role, Mishra is the head of marketing at Suzuki Motorcycle India where she looks after the India operations for the company.
Vani Gupta Dandia
Marketing Director - Indian Snacks, Foods at PepsiCo India
Vani Gupta Dandia, the Delhi University alumnus, has an experience of almost two decades in the marketing industry. The proud single mother has revamped the famous snacks brand Kurkure after joining PepsiCo in 2011. In 2016, she was listed amongst the 100 most Influential marketing leaders by the World Marketing Congress. She won 'India Region Above and Beyond 2014 Chairman's Award' for successfully building a new platform of growth for Pepsi Foods in 2014. She describes herself as a more gut-driven person.
President Marketing, Idea Cellular Ltd
Sunita Bangard had an early start to her career in 1991 at Colgate Palmolive where she was the brand manager of Colgate Dental cream/Tooth Powder category. In her career spanning over 27 years, Bangard has worked for L'Oreal, Hindustan Unilever and Godrej Consumers. She joined Idea Cellular in 2011 as senior vice president of marketing and got elevated to president marketing at the company. Bangard is known for her skills in marketing management, consumer behaviour, FMCG, advertising, and integrated marketing.
Director - Brand Marketing, Flipkart
Richa Sharma began her career at Contract Advertising as account manager and moved on to brand's side in 2007 with Vodafone. She joined Flipkart in 2014 as associate director of brand marketing and was elevated to director of brand marketing in 2015.
She is a brand curator, communication strategist and an integrated marketing specialist with 11 years of experience across e-commerce, telecom, retail and advertising. Sharma is a strong believer, leader and achiever in developing ideas, resources and execution plans that work for business and the brand, through insights and interpersonal relationships.
Head of Marketing, PUMA Group
The communication specialist, Debosmita Majumder holds experience of over 11 years. Her fields of experience span from PR and marketing communications to corporate communications and brand communications. She has worked across various markets and sectors including lifestyle, healthcare and sports with a special focus on understanding consumer behaviour.
Prior to her role in PUMA , she worked as the corporate communications manager at Sony Six and Kix. Apart from professional life, she is extremely passionate about sports.
Marketing Manager, Whirlpool India
Hrishitaa Chopra is a self-starter marketing professional. She leads the categories microwave and dishwasher in Whirlpool India with prior experience in brand communication and developing new businesses. Before joining Whirlpool, she fulfilled the responsibility of brand activation and marketing communication for all categories of LG Hausys India. She holds an MBA degree from a premiere institute IBS Adelaide, Australia.
Head of Marketing, Motorola
Rachna Lather carries a vast experience with her after spending 15 years in the industry. The dynamic professional has worked with some of the best brands in the world like Hewlett Packard, Sony, Virgin Mobile, Micromax, Motorola and Lenovo. Her creative side of nature always pushes to "explore unchartered territories and innovate and experiment with new age ideas." After completing her graduation from Delhi University, she undertook a post graduate course in Delhi School of Communication.
Head-marketing, Godrej Nature's Basket
Kavita Palekar, the expert marketing professional has almost two decades of experience. Before joining Nature's Basket, she worked with Future Group as marketing manager, responsible for marketing of retail brands eZone, Collection i, Furniture Bazaar and Electronic Bazaar. She is experienced in building customer engagement platforms integrating the use of technology, loyalty, digital and social marketing for a holistic customer experience.
General Manager, Tinder India
Taru Kapoor's contribution to the growth of Tinder, a popular dating app, in India is remarkable. She has been with the brand since its launch and local expansion in India by creating and executing growth strategy of the brand. Kapoor holds an M Tech degree in chemical engineering from IIT Delhi, also has a Master's degree in business administration from Harvard University. During her Harvard days, she was an active member of startups community.
Leading Women in TV
I&B & Textiles minister in the Government of India
An Indian politician, former model, television actress and producer, she was also one of the finalists of the beauty pageant Miss India 1998. She first appeared in a song Boliyan of the album Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag and then came her d?but with TV series Aatish in 2000. Stardom hit her with the lead role of Tulsi Virani in Ekta Kapoor's production Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi on Star Plus. The highly energetic Irani has been a part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from childhood. Her political started off in 2003 by joining the BJP party. Irani is a Member of Parliament, being elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state of Gujarat.
EVP & head content, Voot
Holding a BA in English Honours from Miranda House, Shergill has close to 20 years of experience in the broadcast industry and has held various leadership positions at Star India as creative consultant, senior creative director and Star One programming head. Prior to that, she was giving her services to Sony Entertainment Television, Zee Telefilms and SAB TV. She is responsible for content and programming strategy for Viacom18's new digital business Voot since 2015.
Producer & founder of Rashmi Sharma Telefilms
An Indian film producer, who has worked predominantly in Bollywood, Sharma started her career in 2006 after setting up Rashmi Sharma Telefilms. She is now the producer of many successful Hindi soap operas, popular among people of all ages. She has been a producer of films like Pink and Days of Tafree. The most popular TV series is Sasural Simar Kawhich has won the award for the Best Indian Telly Drama Series.
Shemaroo Entertainment senior vice president (animation, digital kids, L&M)
An alumnus of Nova Southeastern University holding the degree of MS in Management Information Systems, she has been one of the key management persons of the company, having handled a diverse range of portfolios in her 18 years of experience. She started the new line ? animation for the company in the year 2005. She heads licensing & merchandising since 2013 to further exploit animated brands like Bal Ganesh, Ghatothkach & others. Since 2012, Maroo is handling all internal marketing needs of the company as well.
The Walt Disney Company (India) ED - programming & acquisitions, media networks
An alumnus of NMIMS with PG in marketing and M Com degree in Banking & Finance from Mumbai University, Prabhu holds the experience of more than 18 years in the industry. She began her career with Hutchison Max (now Vodafone-Essar), handling customer churn and corporate relations. After spending close to eight years at Sony Entertainment Television, she joined Disney India where she was assigned the role of handling several key responsibilities such as strategic planning & research, on-air presentation, media planning, production management and operations.
Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific VP premium & digital networks
Graduated from Sophia Polytechnic Mumbai with diploma in social communication and media, she holds an experience of more than 19 years in the broadcast industry. An absolute television passionate, Waris has worked with top notch broadcasters of India. She started off her career with TV18 India as producer and later joined MTV Networks as an associate CD. She has headed programming at Channel V for 4.5 years. Prior to joining Discovery Networks, Waris took over ZEEL programming (non fiction & events) and was head of development of fiction and non fiction programming at Star TV Networks as well.
4 Lions Films producer-director-writer & co-founder
An alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia, she is the founder of 4 Lions Films productions house (2008) that focuses mainly on general entertainment shows. Since 2010, Khan is very much active in Indian entertainment industry with her written, directed and produced shows. She is the producer, writer and director of the television serial Qubool Hai and writer of the show Arjun. She is the producer of popular television shows Geet, Qubool Hai, Ishqbaaaz and Iss Pyaar Kya Naam Doon 3, Ishqbaaz, Tanhaiyan, Dil Boley Oberoi and many more.
Max Cluster senior VP marketing and communications
An industry veteran who started off her career in the year 1991, she holds an experience of 26 years in dynamic sectors like media, entertainment and advertising. Since 2013, Sharma is associated with Sony Pictures Networks. Sharma is the marketing SVP for the Hindi movies cluster at Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) and is now taking a crack at comedy as she moves to handle marketing for Sab TV and Sony Pal. Prior to this, she was associated with Times Now as VP marketing. She has shared her expertise with BBC Global News, The Walt Disney Company, JWT and McCann Erickson.
Soumini Sridhara Paul
Hungama assistant vice president - product head of ArtistAloud.com
A St Xavier's College alumnus with BSc in Statistics, Paul shares 20 years of experience in the entertainment and music industry. She is the VP of the talent and independent content platform Artist Aloud. She also recently took on the role of head of operations and content programming for YouTube for Hungama and special content creation and event IP projects for Hungama. Prior to this, she has been the executive producer at Saibaba Telefilms and music & relations head at Channel V.
Shashi Sumeet Productions writer & founder-director
Born & raised in Gujarat, Mittal has completed her bachelors from Ahmedabad. Mittal is an Indian TV and film producer and founder of her own production house with husband Sumeet Mittal. She started her career in production of TV shows from the year 2009 and produced numerous soap operas including Sajan Ghar Jaana Hai, Haar Jeet, Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki, Dil Ki Nazar Se Khoobsurat, Kairi, Punar Vivah and Punar Vivah - Ek Nayi Umeed, Tu Mera Hero, Muh Boli Shaadi, Dream Girl ? Ek Ladki Deewani Si, Tum Hi Ho Bandhu Sakha Tumhi and Diya Aur Baati Hum. Her filmography includes the production of one Marathi film Rangkarmi in 2013.
Kavery Kalanithi Maran
Sun TV Network CEO
Coorg-born Kaveri Kalanithi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the prestigious University of Madras, Chennai. She is the wife of Kalanithi Maran, MD of Sun group. She monitors the viewer feedback with regard to the programmes and decides the content mix for airing on the various channels. Her inclination towards philanthropic activities has helped her become a part of the onboard trustees of Sun Foundation, which is a public charitable organisation and she also supervises its daily operations. Further, she is the non-executive chairman of Spice Jet airlines.
Discovery Communications chief evangelist ? integrated platforms, premium networks
A Narsee Monjee graduate with masters in marketing, she holds two decades of experience in marketing and building niche profitable businesses in digital production and consulting. In 2015, Bhattacharji took up an advanced management program in executive leadership from IIM Ahmedabad. She is currently with Discovery from September 2017. Prior to that, she groomed herself at Spatial Access as production audit head, CEO of marketing services audit and as company CEO. She started off her career with Better Communications as head of new initiatives.
Helios Media managing director
Back in November 2011, Radhakrishnan launched her own venture Helios Media that focuses on bringing ancillary services of sales, marketing, research and traffic to the television broadcast industry. She is an alumnus of SIES college with a diploma in business management and bachelors in economics and has been in the business of media management for the last 24 years. She has worked with advertising agencies such as Publicis and Rediffusion-Y&R and in her most recent assignment, she was head of TME, the public relations company - Rediffusion PR and the event management company - Showdiff Worldwide.
SOL productions owner
A Queen Mary School student and Sydenham College commerce graduate, and with over 22 years of experience in the media industry, Allana started her own venture in 2003 with TV and event management professionals Kamna Nirula Menezes. Coming from a theatre background, she was one of the early entries into the Indian TV market when it had been privatised and went multi broadcaster in 1993. She worked with UTV from 1994-2002, where she held a number of different positions, including heading operation in its Malaysian office for five years.
BBC Worldwide SVP and General Manager, SEA and India
Myleeta Aga is a creative leader with over 20 years of media business experience. Aga has worked in several countries and functions. Before starting her endeavour in BBC, she worked for many other well-known media companies like UTV, Discovery Communications and Radio One India. Her academic life also spans over a broad spectrum including BA Economics, MA in English literature and MBA from Georgetown University. She was executive producer of the Emmy winning series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. In her multi-faceted career, the entrepreneur co-founded What's On India, the Asian arm of Gracenote.
Balaji Telefilms joint managing director
Ekta Kapoor, the Mithibai College alumnus, has reshaped the Indian television industry. The young entrepreneur's production company has gifted Indian television with numerous primetime blockbuster hits. Though she is well-known for TV productions, some box-office hit films like Shootout at Wadala, Half Girlfriend are also from the Balaji house. In the OTT space, ALTBalaji is also her baby.
Times Network Mirror Now executive editor
One of the eminent faces in Indian journalism, Faye D'Souza has been working for almost 15 years with leading media houses. Earlier, she dealt with business topics like personal finance, real estate, retail investing in stocks, mutual funds, insurance estate. D'Souza, who is 'not afraid to be called a feminist', has always calmly protested against any regressive comment on women. The rising star of Indian TV news completed her education in Bangalore, holding a post-graduate degree in mass communication.
Leena Lele Dutta
Sony Yay business head
Leena Lele Dutta, a pragmatic executive, holds an experience of over 20 years in the media and entertainment industry. The Mumbai University alumnus has also worked with Ten Sports India, Channel 9 (Nine Broadcasting Media) and MTV India amongst other reputed companies. Her forte is working in startup companies across various channels and functions. She has pioneered the charge for home-grown kids' content on Sony Yay with shows such as Paap-O-Meter and Prince Jai and Dumdaar Viru, under her watch.
Viacom18 head of kids cluster
Nina Elavia Jaipuria is a prominent face in the Indian media business. Her experience spans over two decades across multiple sectors. She currently leads a brand which stands at a top position in ratings and engagement. Under her leadership, Nickelodeon has upped the fun and entertainment quotient for kids. She has also introduced pioneering business models based on creation of intellectual property. Though today she is actively involved with content production, marketing, communication, she initially started her journey in advertising.
EVP and head of digital- ZEE5 India Business at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.
An Indian Institute of Management in executive general management program, Anand kick-started her career at OnMobile global as head-user experience and localisation. Later on she became the director-merchandizing and director and head information and entertainment services in the same company in Bangalore. Her journey started off with ZEE since 2015 and made a swift growth towards her career. The ZEE group's latest consolidated OTT platform, ZEE5, was launched under the leadership of Anand. The app, which brings the group's earlier OTTs under one roof, has had a rollicking start.
Business Cluster head - Premium & FTA GEC channels at Zee Entertainment
An MBA in marketing from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute started off her career as an intern at Reckit and Colman. Bhosle begin her professional career as a Brand manager at Diageo in 1996. She worked with Wisden India as director- sales and marketing, for 4 years and then in 2004, she joined UTV as head-programming, production and broadcast operations at Hungama TV. Bhosle joined Food Food in 2010 at Astro Malaysia holdings bhd. She entered ZEE in 2012 as a business head and now after five years she heads the whole business cluster.
COO - BTVI , VP - IAA , Volunteer- Isha Foundation
A BCOM in marketing from Narsee Monjee College, Tata initiated her career in 1991 as marketing executive at Sunday mail. She started working in sales with selling subscription for a video magazine. Tata turned out to be the star salesperson and she was taken into ad sales for the same magazine. Apart from Sunday Mail, she has worked with STAR India, Turner International India, Managing Director, South Asia for HBO India Pvt Ltd.
President Consumer Strategy and Innovation, Star India
An IIM alumnus, Yadav has more than 18 years of experience in marketing. Her last assignment was as marketing director, General Mills India. She joined the company as the second employee and led the launch and development of a portfolio of food brands, most notably the flagship brand, Pillsbury Atta. She has been associated with the company for about 14 years. Earlier, Yadav has also worked with Procter & Gamble India. She has a strong marketing functional experience across brand building, communication development, strategy planning, market research/consumer insight, new product development and launch support, and trade marketing/sales support.
Chairperson BAG Films (News 24/Radio Dhamaal)
Anuradha Prasad has done Post Graduation in Political Science from Delhi University. After starting from a small project with business magazine, Monday Matters, she has worked with many media organizations, including Press Trust of India. She launched BAG Films in 1993 and produced many successful programs. Some of the popular programs in both news and entertainment categories that are produced by Anuradha Prasad are ? Sansani (Star News), Poll Khol, Khabrein Bollywood Ki (Doordarshan) and Kumkum (Star Plus), among others.
Head of Content - Colors at Viacom 18
Sharma has spent 18 years in the industry in the programming and content departments. She has worked with UTV for about eight years in the initial stages of her career. Subsequently, she joined Channel V for a couple of years. She has also directed a few shows for Zee TV before she joined Sony. At Sony, she joined as fiction head and was later appointed as non-fiction head four years ago. Her stint at Sony lasted for about eight years.
Mohan comes on board with 12 years of experience in the industry. Beginning her career as a copy writer at Ogilvy and Mather, she went on to making content for television as an Executive Producer at FBC Media and Endemol. Her last 5 years at Group M across Mindshare and Maxus, has had her successfully develop the space of brand building with the aid of specially created content for many advertisers across the country. In her last assignment, she was national director - entertainment, sports and partnerships at maxus.
Leading Women in Media Agencies
Executive Director, Publicis
Ravpreet Ganesh, a Symbiosis alumni, has experience of more than 20 years working alongside top brands. She is a prominent face in the industry for her skills in brand management, advertising and integrated marketing.
Ganesh has worked with renowned brands such as Google, Marlboro, Apple, Nestle, Airtel, Fortis, Bacardi, OLX, Canon and Suzlon. She believes in making brands relevant in India by establishing a connect with the consumer. She has also been involved in award-winning campaigns for a host of brands.
Before she took over the current role, she was a part of globally famous advertising agency Leo Burnett.
Lara Balsara Vajifdar
Executive Director, Madison
Lara is the daughter of Sam Balsara, the chairman and managing director of Madison World. Lara is currently the executive director of the agency.
Lara completed her masters in marketing from England and joined Madison in 2004 as a management trainee, followed by a client-servicing role in the advertising unit and, subsequently, took charge of the agency's diversification.
As an executive director, she also plays a role at the organisational level helping various Madison units in business development.
CEO, Lodestar UM India
Nandini Dias took up the responsibility of Lodestar UM India as CEO in 2013. Before that, she focussed on the internal operations and the day-to-day business needs as the COO of the company since 2007.
During her 25-year-long journey, Dias has won several international awards such as the Cannes Lion and Spikes Asia. She was also one of the jury members at the Festival of Media Asia Awards 2017. The Mumbai University alumni holds a BSc degree and a post-graduate diploma in advertising and marketing .
CEO India & South Asia, Havas Media Group
A veteran in Indian media, Anita Nayyar is an integral part of Havas Media Group. Nayyar has experience of over 30 years in India. Before taking up her current role, she worked for Mudra Communications and Starcom.
She has been appointed as the jury president for the media category of the prestigious D&AD awards, 2018. She completed her post graduation in advertising and marketing with a masters in management.
Sr. VP & Head of Customer Engagement, OgilvyRED India
The leader of Ogilvy Red's Indian arm, Sonia Khurana has always been instrumental in growing the business of the organisation and building the team.
Back in 2015, she was elevated to the position of senior vice president and national head of customer engagement for OgilvyOne. Before this promotion, she was also an active part of OgilvyOne's Bangalore office. Under her leadership, OgilvyOne acquired many new clients such as Dr.Reddy's, SAP and Elle Fashionwear. She has worked on famous brands, including IBM India, Nokia, Microsoft, General Motors and Pizza Hut.
Senior Vice President, Mindshare
Anita Kotwani, one of the prominent faces in the media industry, has experience of nearly two decades. She has an extensive background in media management for consumer durables, financial services, FMCG and MNC brands.
The current senior vice president of Mindshare started her journey from the position of management trainee at Stratagem Media. She has been a part of the jury at various industry forums such as the Emvies and the Goafest Media Abby.
Kotwani completed her bachelor of law from Government Law College, Mumbai.
CEO, OMD India
Priti Murthy's career spans over two decades in media planning, insights and strategy. Before starting her journey with OMD India in October 2017, she completed a 13-year involvement with Group M's media agency Maxus.
Murthy is a certified trainer on the Harvard Mentor Program as well as associated with training programmes for middle-level managers. Her work revolves around winning businesses by facilitating with brand teams on key challenges.
She won Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy Award consecutively for 2014 and 2015.
Jyoti Kumar Bansal
Managing Director, PHD
Jyoti Kumar Bansal, a Delhi University alumni, entered the media agency world at Lintas Worldwide, Mumbai, in 1995. She worked on the biggest brands in India at the time, including Bajaj Auto, J&J Baby, Clinic Plus and Maruti Suzuki.
Bansal's career is enriched with her involvement in Webdunia, MediaCom and Omnicom Media Group. She graduated from Delhi College of Engineering and completed her MBA from the University of Delhi. Under her leadership, PHD India has been flourishing since 2013.
Storytelling through numbers and data is her passion.
President (West) and Executive Creative Director, R K Swamy BBDO
Sangeetha N, a senior statesperson in the industry, works as the head of creative and management for the Mumbai operations of R K Swamy BBDO.
She has been with the agency for more than 25 years. Her clients and campaigns include Visa ? Power and LIC.
CEO, SE Asia and India, Omnicom Media Group
Sohrabji started off her career in 1990 at MediaCom and served the company for about sixteen years. She then joined OMD in 2007 as the managing director and, in less than a year, OMD India was awarded a Grade A by RECMA, the first agency to achieve a launch year A grade.
In late 2013, she launched Omnicom's second media agency ? PHD India, which has been gaining strength, momentum, winning business and recognition. In the same year, Sohrabji was given the additional responsibility of helming OMG South East Asia as CEO.
Chief Operating Officer at Lodestar UM and Initiative (Lintas Media Group)
Verma was the media planner at Mudra Communications in 1995 and served the company for about a year. She was a senior media planner and, at the later stage, took charge as a media director at Univeral McCann for 9 years.
She then joined as the general manager at LodestarUM. After four years, she was elevated to the VP's position.
Managing director, Asia, Red Fuse
A management trainee at Ogilvy and Mather in 1990, George worked there for nearly four years. In 1995, she joined J. Walter Thompson Worldwide as associate vice president.
She joined Mindshare in 2001 as general manager after working for six years at her previous company. Prior to joining Red Fuse, George was the CEO at MEC India, where she started working on the Colgate-Palmolive business.
In her current position, she leads the development of integrated marketing communications for Colgate-Palmolive across Asia from Mumbai.
Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu X
Karani has over 25 years of experience in the media industry. This includes nineteen years across agencies, four years as a marketer and two years as a media owner.
She has worked at agencies like Trikaya Grey, O&M, MediaCom, Bates Asia, Media Edge (TME) and MEC (Singapore). In her stints as a marketer, she joined the Reliance ADA Group as media advisor to the chairman's office, and moved to Hindustan Times Media in 2009 as business head ? West.
Prior to joining Dentsu India, she was an independent consultant advising and consulting marketers, media agencies and owners in the media business.
Chief Executive Officer, India at Publicis Media
Acharya holds a master's degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. She joined the advertising industry in 1994 and is an eminent media professional with over 22 years of experience in media agencies across India and Singapore.
Prior to this, she has also held positions of group CEO of ZenithOptimedia, CEO-Aegis Media Singapore, Leader-Team Unilever. In 2005, she was appointed president of The Media Edge (now a part of GroupM). In 2016, Acharya was elevated to the role of CEO, Publicis Media India Business.
Managing Director, Publicis Worldwide India
A Mumbai University alumni with an MBA in marketing, Chatterjee's industry experience spans over 20 years. She has spent considerable time at MullenLowe Singapore and is an award-winner who has led integrated cross-disciplinary teams across digital, PR, shopper and activation for local, regional and global brands alike.
In her previous stints, Chatterjee has worked with Marico as a brand manager and joined Publicis only in 2017.
SVP and national creative director, J. Walter Thompson India
Tisat Sen started her advertising career with Lowe Lintas as a writer and worked on brands such as Johnson's Baby, Stayfree, Cadbury Eclairs, Cadbury Five Star and Oberoi.She then moved to Ogilvy for a brief period and joined J Walter Thomson in 2001. Sen has been involved with some of the largest brands in India and some of the most memorable brands, including Glaxo Smith Kline, ITC, Unilever and Godrej.
She has been ranked among the 20 most creative people in Asia and worked on campaigns that have won numerous metals across the world, including at Cannes, Clio and Spikes Asia. She was the only Asian on the inaugural Glass Jury at Cannes that honours gender diversity in communication in 2015.Sen strongly believes that an idea and insight can cut across geographies and connect with culture.
Managing Partner, MediaCom
A St. Xavier's alumni with a BA in literature, Niti Kumar began her advertising journey in 2003 with Mudra Communications as associate vice president.
Kumar then joined MediaCom in 2011 as the National Director ? Insights and New Business. She led a number of successful pitches, including Mars, which MediaCom won.
In 2013, Kumar was elevated to a bigger role of general manager, MediaCom Delhi. She is currently the managing partner at the agency and looks after the entire national business for MediaCom.
Creative Supervisor, OgilvyOne Worldwide
Sakshi Choudhary is the only Indian to feature on Cannes Lions 'See It Be It,' an initiative created specifically for future women leaders in advertising and marketing.
With an MBA in management studies, she landed a job as innovation manager but an itch to tell stories and make a tangible difference kept nagging her. That's when she decided to turn her back on a corporate career and began from scratch in 2010 by signing up at advertising school, MICA. She soon landed a job at Ogilvy as a copy writer and is now the creative supervisor at the multinational agency.
She is also credited with being on the list of India's 30 most promising advertising professionals under 30.
Head of digital strategy Mindshare India
Responsible for the digital business of Mindshare India in North, Anisha Iyer Handles 360-degree digital media for PepsiCo, GSK, Ford, Lufthansa, Motorola, Yum Restaurants, Apollo Tyres, Limeroad, Swatch, etc.
Iyer joined GroupM in 2006 as business director where she was responsible for mobile solutions across all GroupM Delhi clients, including Nokia, PepsiCo, GSK, Michelin, Google, Yum, Hero, Perfetti, Pernod Ricard and Lufthansa.
National Creative director, Lowe Lintas
Deepa joined Lowe Lintas out of sheer curiosity about the advertising profession and has now spent over 21 years at the agency. She began her career at Lowe Lintas Mumbai, in a unit called Special Projects, and gradually moved on to work for different units and brands across multiple cities at the agency.
She headed the creative function for Chennai and Bangalore for a long spell before returning to Mumbai in 2010. Over the years, Deepa has led the creative march on a number of brands like Saint Gobain, Tanishq, Britannia, TI Cycles, Berger Paints, MRF and Unilever. In her current role, she authors key HUL initiatives across all categories, and is also the global creative director on one of Unilever's biggest global brands ? Fair and Lovely.
She has won numerous creative and effectiveness awards at Cannes, Effies and was also given the South Asia Creative of the Year award in 2014.
President, Lowe Lintas
Anaheeta is a passionate believer in the power of communication and its ability to change behaviour for brands and for the good of humanity.
She has worked across categories, including from food to finance from personal care to baby care, and for large conglomerates including established giants like Unilever to the many new agile challengers omnipresent today.
She is the brains behind some iconic work from the agency including Kan Khajura Tesan ? bringing Bihar out of darkness to connectivity; Kissanpur, and Haath Munh Bum?a Swachh Aaadat, a Swachh Bharat initiative. These have brought her laurels across international award platforms including Cannes, WARC 100, Jay Chiat and the Effies.
Her mantra in life is to passionately work on anything that will help better the present and future of all Indians.
Group Head at Starcom
Pooja Tomar looks at the Starcom business as the group head from Delhi. She started her advertising career as senior planning manager with Madison World in 2011. She then moved to Zenithoptimedia india and Havas Worldwide for the same profile.
After spending two years at GroupM, she recently joined Starcom in January.
Tomar completed her post graduated in advertising and communication management from the NIA institute.
India CEO, Carat Media
With more than 18 years of experience, Rajni Menon has been working in the media industry across strategy planning, media buying, research and insights.
Her experience straddles delivering trading efficiencies for large volume clients such as PepsiCo and Unilever (leading Fulcrum), delivering cutting-edge planning solutions on a variety of India's largest accounts, such as Maruti Suzuki, Reckitt Benckiser, Gillette, General Motors and Microsoft to name a few.
Her expertise also includes the roll out of CCS, India's largest single source research project, which delivers consumer insights for better communications planning and training a large team of people.
She began her career at Madison World and later moved to GroupM before joining Carat in 2010.
EVP, Head of Buying and Trading, Amplifi India, Media Investment Division of Dentsu Aegis
Sujata Dwibedy joined Carat as executive vice president to oversee its Rs 550 crore Mondelez business and was later moved to a bigger role as EVP, head of buying and trading at Amplifi India, a media investment division of Dentsu Aegis.
She has worked extensively across sectors such as FMCG, telecom, airlines, finance, alcohol and beverages. Prior to Carat, she was the head of business development at Omnicom Media Group. She earlier worked with media agencies such as Starcom India, Vivaki Exchange, Lodestar and research and information company Nielsen India.
Creative President, Lintas
Madhu Noorani's first job was at Lintas India, where she joined as a trainee writer over 25 years ago and has stayed there ever since.
She has handled a vast and diverse portfolio from Cadbury's, Johnson's baby, Carefree, Stayfree, Britannia biscuits, MRF Tyres, Band-Aid, Savlon, Acuvue contact lenses, Rexona, Liril, Lifebuoy, Bajaj, Sony Entertainment Television, Pepsodent, Fair & Lovely, Clinic Plus, Clear Shampoo, Pureit water purifiers, Axe, MCX, ICICI bank, Wall's ice cream, LG, Vim, Domex and Knorr soups among others.
A few years ago, she moved into a global role taking on creative leadership on the Clear anti-dandruff shampoo and Unilever's revolutionary new water purification device and Pureit.