VML has announced that Babita Baruah will join as Chief Executive Officer of India on March 1, 2024, working alongside Saurabh Saksena, who has been promoted to President. Meanwhile, Shamsuddin Jasani has announced his resignation as CEO of Wunderman Thompson South Asia. Babita Baruah, a 25-year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry, comes to VML India from a dual position as Executive Director at VMLY&R Thailand and Regional Client Lead within WPP’s Ford International Market Group. The announcement follows WPP’s merger of Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R to form VML.
Babita Bariuah joins VML as CEO of India
Baruah started her career in 1996 at JWT/Wunderman Thompson India, where she oversaw both domestic and international brands for PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestle, Kellogg’s, Godrej, Kotak Mahindra, Reliance, and Aditya Birla during her two decades there. Baruah began working for GTB in India in 2017 as a Managing Partner. In 2021, he relocated to Bangkok to take on two roles: Executive Director of VMLY&R Thailand and WPP Lead for the Ford Business in India, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Middle East, and South Africa.
Saurabh Saksena elevated to President, VML
Saurabh Saksena has been promoted to President of VML’s India operations. He will work alongside Baruah to lead the agency. Saksena has developed strong internal capabilities, overseen change and transition, and increased business growth over the previous 30 years at all five agencies—including a decade at Wunderman Thompson and, most recently, VMLY&R. He has collaborated with aspirational brands throughout the years in a variety of industries, including CPG, retail, finance, technology, automotive, e-commerce, and QSRs.
Shamsuddin Jasani exits Wunderman Thompson
The announcement marks the conclusion of VML’s Asia Pacific leadership team. Under Shamsuddin Jasani’s leadership, the agency won large competitive pitches across Creative, MarTech, and Commerce for Skoda, Vivo, Indigo, Hafele, NPCI, Rupay, Manyavar, and Cult Sports. Jasani is going to pursue a new opportunity; further details will be revealed soon. Tarun Rai, Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives at Wunderman Thompson, announced his retirement in May of last year. He capped thirty years of employment in the advertising industry.
Here’s what they said
Babita Baruah said,
It’s an honour to lead a market like India for VML. I look forward to working closely with Audrey, Yi-Chung, Saurabh, and the whole team in India to make sure that we connect creativity, experience, data and technology, to be the preferred destination for India’s ambitious brands and talented individuals.
Audrey Kuah, Co-CEO of VML APAC added,
Babita is no stranger to India, and we welcome her home as the new VML India CEO. With her vast experience in delivering innovation and growth for clients and a passion for building a high empathy and performance culture, I look forward to working with Babita to take our India business, already one of the strongest in the region, to new heights in 2024.
Yi-Chung Tay, Co-CEO of VML APAC commented,
Saurabh and Babita will be a driving force for growth in India. I’ve watched Babita grow the Ford and VMLY&R Thailand businesses over the years and I’m confident that she will do the same for our clients in India. Saurabh’s elevation is founded on his record of successfully integrating VMLY&R India’s offices, building culture and increasing profitability. I can’t think of a better duo to lead India, which is a key market for VML in APAC.
Saurabh Saksena stated,
I’m very excited to continue this journey of building a strong and successful VML with Babita by orchestrating innovative growth solutions for our clients that sit at the intersection of creativity, experience, data and technology.
Shamsuddin Jasani reflected on the past two years. He added,
It has been an amazing and rewarding two years at Wunderman Thompson and I’m proud of what we have achieved. During my time, we have transformed the company into a partner that provides smart and impactful solutions to crucial business problems – all powered by creative, tech and commerce. As the business continues its evolution, I believe my job is done. I am looking forward to a new and exciting chapter in my life with an amazing opportunity. I thank everyone at Wunderman Thompson – the clients, our partners and specially our team.
Audrey Kuah, now Joint-CEO of VML APAC commented,
With such a large and diverse market like India, I have seen Shams work diligently to bring the offices and capabilities together. I would like to thank Shams for his dedication to our business and wish him every success in his new endeavours.
- Netra is a Dual Masters graduate in International Business and Marketing. She is a content-writing enthusiast and a social media addict. In her downtime, you will find her headbanging to Pop songs from around the world. She is also a sports fanatic and especially loves F1, Volleyball, and Cricket. Her hobbies are baking and watching Anime.
- MediaFebruary 26, 2024Reliance and Disney Ink Binding Agreement to Combine Media Business in India
- TechnologyFebruary 26, 2024Saudi Ministry of Culture Introduces World’s First VR History Tours in Metaverse
- MediaFebruary 23, 2024M&C Saatchi Names Zaid Al-Qassab As New Global CEO
- MediaFebruary 22, 2024MCN, Part of IPG, Bolsters Leadership Team in MENAT; Appoints Lizzie Dewhurst as Chief Communications Officer