Initiative, the out of home (OOH) media division of the Lintas Media Group, has announced the promotion of Vivek Lakhwara from president to chief executive officer.
Lakhwara has been with the Lintas Media Group for the last eight years. He spent the first four years at Millennium Media, the group's mass media division, and the next four at Aaren Initiative. In all, Lakhwara has more than 20 years of experience, 13 of which are in space marketing with companies such as the Indian Express Group, Chitralekha and the Hinduja Group's movie channel, CVO. He has managed Aaren Initiative as its president since 2006.
In an official communiqué, Lynn de Souza, chairperson, Aaren Initiative, and chairperson and chief executive officer, Lintas Media Group, says, "Under Vivek's leadership, the company has grown very rapidly to become the second largest agency in the out of home space, with a blue chip roster of clients and truly innovative solutions. This appointment, replacing Ashish Bhasin (former managing director, Aaren Initiative), is a recognition of the valuable contribution he (Lakhwara) has made."
Apart from being a media planning and buying outfit specialising in OOH, Aaren Initiative also houses a creative cell that looks into creating innovations or adapting clients' existing campaigns to outdoor.
Talking about the OOH medium, Lakhwara adds, "Indians are truly 'stepping out'. There is a 47 per cent increase in working women. Foreign travel has doubled in the last two years. Every third metro Indian hangs out at malls and multiplexes. Even the so-called traditional media have rapidly expanding out of home reach."
Aaren Initiative has recently expanded its team with professionals from diverse backgrounds, rather than outdoor specialists. Sandesh Gupte, head, Mumbai, who joined recently, has marketed B2B media and events. Simon Thekkedom, who currently heads Tamil Nadu and Kerala, has a telecom and retail background, as do three other senior recruits in Mumbai.
The recent new business gains at Aaren Initiative include Nokia, DNA and JG Hosiery. The company services the out of home requirements of companies such as Tata Teleservices, the Future Group, Blue Star and Fever FM.