BBDO has announced the appointment of Nagessh Pannaswami as head of its Mumbai operation. Pannaswami moves in from McCann Worldgroup, where he was leading Altitude, one of McCann's key divisions, which focuses on India's growing list of entrepreneurs and SME clients.
Pannaswami tells afaqs! that the designation has been created specifically for him. He will report to Ajai Jhala, chief executive officer, BBDO India. He will be responsible for the creative culture, new business development, overall growth and performance of BBDO's Mumbai operation, which has a core group of blue chip clients such as P&G Gillette regional, P&G Gillette India, Godrej, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson.
Prior to McCann, Pannaswami was with Lowe Lintas, where he worked on Unilever brands such as Rexona, Axe and Pepsodent. He has also worked extensively on building brands such as Tata Indicom, UTI Bank, Radio Mirchi, Onida and Loop Mobile.
Chris Thomas, chief executive officer and chairperson, BBDO Asia Pacific, says, "BBDO/Proximity India has great momentum. Pannaswami's appointment adds to it as he brings strong commitment to people, the work and clients."
Jhala and Pannaswami worked together more than a decade ago, when the former ran the Unilever Personal Care division at Lowe. "Pannaswami has the right combination of multinational client expertise and new business experience to lead our Mumbai office. He totally embraces our approach to communication - creating news for big brands through big ideas," says Jhala.
Josy Paul, chairperson and chief creative officer, BBDO, confides, "We waited for more than 18 months to fill this role. We considered some of the finest minds in the country for this job." He adds that what attracted Pannaswami to BBDO India was the agency's transformational work on big brands based on its belief - 'Create acts, not ads'.
Pannaswami concurs, "Advertising is not merely about creating a 30 second TVC with a monologue. It's more about integrating several elements of communication to create a point of view for the brand." He adds that the prime reason for his move is the fact that at BBDO, he will have the opportunity to create something different and new.