Senior level management changes at ZenithOptimedia, VivaKi Exchange

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Planning & Buying | January 15, 2010
Dnyanada Chaudhari has joined ZenithOptimedia India as the managing director of its West and South operations; while Mona Jain has been appointed chief operating officer of VivaKi Exchange

ZenithOptimedia India has appointed Dnyanada Chaudhari as the managing director of its West and South operations.

Prior to joining the agency, Chaudhari was head - media services, India at Hindustan Unilever. She took charge on January 13 and will report to Satyajit Sen, chief executive officer, ZenithOptimedia India.

On the appointment, Sen says, "Dnyanada's wide-ranging experience across essential sectors and her commitment to ROI -- encompassing ideas, intent and investment, are fundamental to our growth in Mumbai and Southern India. I am confident that under her leadership, we will soon match the success we have already had with our North operations."

"This is an exciting opportunity for me. I am looking forward to offering my experience at the agency, as well as a perspective from the clients' side of the business, to drive ROI and deliver value to ZenithOptimedia clients," says Chaudhari.

In another development, VivaKi Exchange -- the consolidated media buying arm of Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia and Solutions Digitas -- has appointed Mona Jain as chief operating officer. Jain was earlier the India head - strategic investments at the company.

Jain has, in the past, worked with agencies such as Hindustan Thompson, Contract Advertising, Mudra Communications, Draftfcb Ulka, and Cheil Communications. Some of the key clients she has handled are Pepsi, Horlicks, McDonalds, Whirlpool, Frito Lays, Hyundai, Hewlett Packard, Nokia, Nestlé and Samsung.

In her new role, Jain will work with a team that includes Sejal Shah, who has been promoted to executive vice-president and will be responsible for content and partnerships, and Shikha Mahajan, who has joined VivaKi Exchange as vice-president -- expansion and alliances.

Shah has worked across a wide range of product categories and was vice-president, India-West & South at VivaKi Exchange, before being promoted. Mahajan, on the other hand, brings 19 years of experience in areas of procurement, including 10 years in GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare in India and overseas.

VivaKi Exchange also announced the formation of VivaKi Nerve Center in India. This new model will deliver digital capabilities to Publicis Groupe and its clients in new media.

The arm will take care of the technology investments of the three agencies, such as technology for search marketing and social media. It will also handle training of employees across various relevant disciplines.

"The VivaKi Nerve Center will bring cutting-edge technologies that will provide a huge competitive advantage to Starcom Mediavest, ZenithOptimedia and Solutions Digitas, in the months to come," says Srikant Sastri, chairperson, VivaKi India.

Pavan Chandra has been appointed as the managing director of the arm. Chandra has been with ZenithOptimedia since its inception in India. In his last role, he served as the chief strategy officer.

"The VivaKi Nerve Center has been a global rollout. While regions like the US and Europe saw phased launches in 2009, we were waiting to find an able leader, till we decided on Pavan (Chandra) to take charge," Sastri says.

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