afaqs!

Dentsu's Naresh Gupta joins Cheil as national head, planning

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | December 10, 2010
Gupta had been with Dentsu Marcom since February 2010 as director, strategy and planning.

Naresh Gupta, director, strategy and planning, Dentsu Marcom, has called it quits at the agency. He has joined Cheil Worldwide as national head, planning. This position was previously unoccupied at Cheil. He will report to Alok Agrawal, chief operating officer, Cheil Worldwide South West Asia.

Confirming his move, Gupta tells afaqs!, "The opportunity on the Cheil side of things was far too great to ignore. Presently, Cheil is saying very interesting things out there - there is a charm in creating a new kind of agency, and at Cheil, we plan to do exactly that." Gupta adds that unlike established networks with set ways of working, Cheil is an evolving animal that is taking steps to go in a new direction - and in particular, move away from purely being recalled as 'that Samsung agency'.

"Yes, Cheil is actively pitching for several other businesses and interesting categories, and has full plans of stepping out of Samsung's shadow," Gupta adds, even as Samsung continues to be Cheil's prized clients, but the task clearly is to take the agency to other brands as well.

Gupta's stint with Dentsu lasted around 10 months; he joined the agency in February 2010. Some interesting campaigns he worked on while there include the Honda repositioning one ('My City, My Pride'), where the pride of owning a Honda City was essayed out with unique creatives and insights in each 'city' it was advertised in. Furthermore, Gupta also led the team that pitched and won the Tata Power business and worked for a campaign on the same.

Gupta had joined Dentsu from Publicis India, where he left as national planning head. He had joined Publicis in 2008 as executive vice-president, strategic planning.

Gupta began his career in research with Mudra's research agency, Samir, in 1988. In 1991, he took up a role in marketing - he joined Maharaja International as marketing services manager. In 1993, he joined Jagajit Industries as product manager on the liquor brands where he worked till 1995.

Advertising was his calling in 1996, when he took up a planning role in MAA Bozell. Three years later, he joined Contract Advertising as an account director, planning. His stint at Contract lasted for about a year. In 2002, he hopped over to Grey Worldwide as account director and stayed with the agency for about eight years, after which he moved out of the agency as head, planning, South Asia for Grey India.

Gupta has several awards to his credit, including the Euro Effie for the Incredible India campaign; the APAC Effie for Nokia; the Asian Marketing Effectiveness awards for Samsung Cup; and the Thought Leadership award for the APAC region at Grey for the study called Puppet Kings. Some of the accounts that he has worked on in his career include Incredible India, Hyundai Accent, Samsung Appliances, Vimal, Parle-G, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Maggi.

For the record, recently, Cheil had lost out on Prathap Suthan, the agency's NCD who recently moved out to form his own agency.

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