Rajeev Sabnis will join DDB Mudra as president of the agency's India operations. Earlier, he was executive director, M&C Saatchi. He will assume office by the end of this month and will be based in Mumbai.
The appointment comes close to the Mudra Group's management restructuring exercise carried out about a month ago. The agency had consolidated all its services under four business verticals, each of which are to be headed by a senior hand. The four verticals have been assigned specific SBUs (strategic business units).
Sabnis will focus on expanding the agency and building a strong team across offices. He will also look to partner Indian clients who can benefit from the vast global network of DDB.
Commenting on the new appointment, Sandeep Vij, chief executive officer, DDB Mudra Group, says, "The DDB Mudra Group is already an established player with the soul of a start-up and with Rajiv's formidable experience in growing large established offices as well as start ups, the connect is perfect."
Madhukar Kamath, managing director and CEO, Mudra Group, says, "After bringing in Max Hegerman to head Tribal DDB India and Venkat Mallik to head RAPP India, Rajiv is another exciting addition to the leadership team that Sandeep is building at the DDB Mudra Group. I'm delighted to welcome Rajiv to the group."
Sabnis started his career with Everest Advertising. In the eight years with Everest, he was also head of its Chennai operations. Subsequently, he joined Contract Advertising as senior vice-president and office head, Mumbai. After more than 10 years at the agency, he joined Ambience Publicis as chief operating officer. He quit the agency after two years to join M&C Saatchi, where his mandate, to start with, was partnering Jet Airways.
Sabnis says, "The DDB Mudra partnership is led by the immense local knowledge, experience and expertise of Mudra in India over the past three decades. With the DDB name comes an awesome reputation one has to live up to. It is not only one of the largest communication networks in the world, but also one of the most awarded in terms of its creative product. My principal task in India will be to mirror the creative reputation and brand stewardship of DDB in India."
In his 23 years of experience in the industry, he has handled sectors such as FMCG, consumer durables, media and entertainment, automobiles and retail. He has also worked for key brands such as P&G Healthcare, Lakme, Cadbury, Shaw Wallace, Mahindra & Mahindra - Tractors, JK Tyres, HSBC Bank, Singapore Airlines and Asian Paints.