Param Saikia to join iris Worldwide

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | August 25, 2009
After spending seven years at Publicis, Saikia is ready for a new assignment

Param Saikia, chief executive officer, Publicis Dialog/Modem, the marketing and BTL (below-the-line) agency of Publicis Worldwide, has put in his papers at the organisation. Saikia confirms the news to afaqs! and says that he is all set to join the Delhi wing of iris Worldwide, a global integrated marketing agency, as chief executive officer.

Saikia's primary responsibility will be to strengthen the agency's digital and experiential capabilities, as well as expand iris' client base in India, which currently includes Sony Ericsson, Microsoft, Shell and Adidas. He will work closely with Alok Lall, managing director, iris, Delhi.

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In a note, Stewart Shanley, chief executive officer, iris Worldwide, says, "Param's appointment underpins our strategy of establishing iris as the agency network model for the future - one that is smarter, faster, more flexible and better to work with than the traditional agency networks. Integration and innovation is at the heart of our output and in Param we have found someone who can drive our ambitions across India, especially in the fastest growing segments such as digital and experiential, where we see a huge demand."

The agency seems to be on a team strengthening exercise. Recently, it appointed Ranjeev Vij as board director. Globally, iris is strong on the digital front. In India, it is apparently putting in serious effort, especially with the appointment of Saikia.

Reliable sources reveal that Saikia has moved with his entire team of Publicis Dialog, which will only make it easier for iris to get working on the digital front, perhaps earlier than expected.

It is also learnt that with this development, Hemant Mishra, chief operating officer, Publicis India Delhi will now play a dual role - working on the functioning for Publicis India as well as Publicis Dialog from its Delhi office.

Saikia has an experience of about 20 years in the advertising industry. He was designated CEO at Publicis Dialog in 2007, when Hemant Mishra was roped in as chief operating officer for Publicis India. He joined Publicis India as COO in 2002, and continued in the role till 2007.

Earlier, he was director, Euro-RSCG. He began his career in advertising with Leo Burnett (then Chaitra), where he joined as a summer trainee. Subsequently, he moved to FCB-Ulka (then Ulka Advertising) as senior account executive.

Within a year, he moved to JWT (then HTA), where he stayed for the next eight years, before a short stint of about a year at Mudra. In 1995, he joined McCann-Erickson as vice-president and general manager, before moving on to Euro-RSCG in 2000. He has worked on accounts such as Coca-Cola, Motorola and Nestle.

Saikia says, "iris is a very exciting agency with a big ambition and its achievements to date have really impressed me. The scale of offering, in terms of discipline and geography, coupled with its independence, means that this micro-network can really offer the kind of nimbleness that clients are looking for right now."

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