Arijit Ray appointed CEO, Dentsu Communications

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 21, 2012
Ray was with the DDB Mudra Group, where he headed the Mumbai branch.

Dentsu Communications has appointed Arijit Ray as chief executive officer. In his new role, Ray will be based at the Mumbai office of the agency. Ray's key priority will be to enhance and reinforce the agency's competencies and output, including overall creative, strategy and services, and also strengthen media synergies and drive growth.

Under the recent restructuring of the DDB Mudra Group, Ray was to work on a new assignment in the DDB Asia Pacific network.

Arijit Ray

Rohit Ohri

Ken Terasawa

Earlier, Ray was president, Mudra West, DDB Mudra Group's Mumbai-based agency. He reported to Jude Fernandes, chief executive officer, Mudra India, before Fernandes quit the agency last year.

Over his four-year tenure as head of DDB Mudra West, Ray successfully steered the unit into the next orbit of growth by seamlessly harnessing business growth through a combination of focused talent infusion, training and development, and a noteworthy step-up in quality of work.

Before being promoted as president, Ray was executive-vice president and head of Mudra West.

Welcoming Ray to Dentsu, Rohit Ohri, executive chairman, Dentsu India Group, says, "I am delighted to have Arijit join the leadership team at Dentsu India. Ray's experience across diverse product categories and in traditional as well as new media is what will help us drive Dentsu's ambitious plans for India. I look forward to working closely with Ray and Taira Kimura, COO, Dentsu Communications, to create a world class integrated communications agency in India."

Ken Terasawa, executive vice-chairman, Dentsu India Group, says, "We are very pleased to have Ray on board Team Dentsu. He has strong expertise in driving organisational growth by leveraging the strength of teams combined with sharpening client deliveries."

Ray says, "Dentsu India is in the midst of a serious expansion agenda led by Rohit's vision of building a top-notch integrated communication network. The group is well into the phase of building a quality talent and client base and this will only get more impetus in the endeavour to shape enduring client relationships, conceive and execute cutting-edge communication mandates that are not only award-worthy but more importantly, worthy of recognition in the market and in the consumers' mind, resulting in enhanced desirability and image/market shares."

On joining team Dentsu, Ray adds, "What is heartening in being a part of the Dentsu India team at this juncture is the new benchmarks it is creating in the global context. Not many people are aware of Dentsu's leadership position in a large and important market like the US and the strides it has made in the digital space. I look forward to work closely with Rohit and support him in the aggressive plans he has for Dentsu in India."

Ray's career in advertising began with New Delhi-based Alfred Allan Advertising in the early 90's, from where he moved to Triton Communications, New Delhi. Here, he managed brands such as Geep Batteries, Salora TV and fax machines, and Flury's tea and confectionery products.

Later, Ray joined Rediffusion-Y&R where during his six and half year stint, he worked on brands such as Godfrey Philips India (Philip Moris), Rothmans, Jaisalmer, Northpole, United Airlines, DS Group, Rajasthan Tourism, Ericsson mobile phones, Canon Copies and Singer sewing machines. He was also a part of the team that worked on the re-launch of the Jaisalmer brand with Dentsu Inc., Tokyo.

Joining McCann Erickson, Delhi as associate account director in 1999, Ray led the Nescafe business as head of the team that launched the 'Taste that gets you started out' communication, integrating it seamlessly into Nescafe's then-global communication platform, 'Open up'. Managing brands such as Coca-Cola India's Fanta and Kinley Soda, Excelcia Foods, Braun and Duracell, Ray also led the team for the national launch of the Gillette Series range in India.

Moving back to Rediffusion-Y&R, Delhi as account director in 2000, Ray was appointed business head on the Godfrey Philips portfolio and managed the Four Square franchise, Select Filter and Northpole Menthol. He also led the team to drive the new positioning of Maruti Suzuki Zen's 'Just add Zen to your life'.

In 2001, Ray moved to Rediffusion-Y&R, Kolkata as branch head. In about two and a half years, Ray turned around the business from a one-client operation to a stable seven client operation with four of Kolkata's top five clients, recording one of the best years for the Kolkata operation both in terms of revenue and profit. In 2003, Ray moved back to Rediffusion DY&R, New Delhi as general manager on the Airtel national business.

In early 2004, Ray joined Ogilvy, Mumbai as vice-president and head of the Specialist Auto Practice Group, leading work on brands such as Bajaj Pulsar and CEAT Tyres. He also led the team to launch one of the most successful bikes in the Bajaj portfolio, Discover, and led the negotiation for Jackie Chan to endorse the brand.

Moving to Saatchi & Saatchi in 2005 as business head, Mumbai operations, Ray led Logan's India launch for Mahindra Renault. He also headed the Reliance Infocomm portfolio, and developed strong telecom experience, becoming the Knowledge Leader in the category for the agency in the MESA region, successfully driving the strategy development process for the Sony Ericsson pitch in India. In 2008, Ray joined Mudra as executive vice-president and head, Mudra West.

An honours graduate in Commerce from Delhi University, Ray also completed a programme in marketing management from MICA, Ahmedabad. A highly awarded and professionally reputed business head, Ray has consistently sharpened his faculties by participation in advertising and creative workshops such as the DDB Advanced Leadership Programme in Shanghai (ALP 2010), the Advanced Seminar on Advertising Skills DY&R - (ASAS Penang, Malaysia 1996), the Lovemarks workshop (Saatchi & Saatchi) and the Bill Folley Creative workshop (Rediffusion DY&R), to name a few.

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