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WPP agency VMLY&R India gets Red Fuse's Saurabh Saksena as CEO

Saurabh Saksena will be based out of Mumbai and will report to Hari Ramanathan, CEO- VMLY&R, South and South-East Asia and Japan.

By  Storyboard18Dec 12, 2022 2:05 PM
WPP agency VMLY&R India gets Red Fuse's Saurabh Saksena as CEO
In his new role, Saurabh Saksena will drive the integration of VMLY&R’s capabilities across India – from creative excellence to transformational solutions at the intersection of brand and customer experience (BX & CX), data, platforms and commerce.

Global brand and customer experience agency, VMLY&R, has appointed Saurabh Saksena as chief executive officer of VMLY&R India. He will be based out of Mumbai and will report to Hari Ramanathan, CEO- VMLY&R, South and South-East Asia and Japan.

Prior to this role, Saksena was president of Red Fuse Communications, India, the WPP agency that manages Colgate Palmolive. In this role, he was tasked with offering client businesses the ‘best of WPP’ – which helped him to grow his expertise in social, CRM, full-funnel management and new-age media. Before this time, he was chief executive officer at both JWT and Ogilvy, Malaysia.

In his new role, Saksena will drive the integration of VMLY&R’s capabilities across India – from creative excellence to transformational solutions at the intersection of brand and customer experience (BX & CX), data, platforms and commerce.

Saksena replaces Pooja Jauhari. Jauhari was the CEO of creative digital agency The Glitch. The Glitch was acquired by WPP in 2018 and later merged with the network’s digital marketing company, VMLY&R, in 2020. Jauhari was made VMLY&R India’s CEO in March 2022. Jauhari led the combined operations of WPP-owned companies VMLY&R, The Glitch, VMLY&R Commerce and GTB, across its three offices in India - Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai – plus its service of clients across the Indian subcontinent. She moved on to adopt slow-growth life. In October 2022, the founders of The Glitch, Varun Duggirala and Rohit Raj also stepped down. Duggirala and Raj set up The Glitch in 2010.

Based across three India offices in Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai, VMLY&R India has become one of the most cutting-edge agencies in the WPP ecosystem, delivering innovations for Unilever; building strong domestic brands like IDFC First Bank, and redefining rural marketing in the country.

The network has expanded over the past two years to include social creative agency The Glitch, and VMLY&R COMMERCE to scale shopper, retail activation, experiential and rural marketing practices. They operate as one company with distinct capabilities under the leadership of Saurabh Saksena.

Commenting on his new role Saksena said, “I’m thrilled to take up this new role and lead the VMLY&R operations in India. The agency houses a great pool of talent across specialisations that don’t usually exist together in a single agency, making it well-positioned to harness creativity, technology, and culture to create connected brands. VMLY&R has outstanding growth potential in India, and we will continue to build on this foundation.”

On the development, Hari Ramanathan, CEO, VMLY&R South, and South-East Asia and Japan, said, “India is an anchor market for us in Asia and with a breadth and depth of offerings that are unmatched in the industry, VMLY&R India, under Saurabh’s leadership, is all set to help clients get their ‘unfair’ share of growth in a vibrant market. Saurabh represents our continued investment in India, as we believe it’s a market with boundless opportunity and a growth story that is waiting to be unlocked."

First Published on Dec 12, 2022 12:22 PM