Saatchi's Nisha Singhania to partner with Ramanuj Shastry

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 01, 2013
With Shastry manning the creative front and Singhania at the business helm, the duo is all set to launch their own creative agency in April.

Ramanuj Shastry, former chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi, announced his move from the agency around a month ago. That he is set to launch his own outfit is common knowledge, too. What's news is the name of his partner and co-founder: Nisha Singhania, general manager, Saatchi & Saatchi Mumbai.

Nisha Singhania

Evidently, Shastry will head the creative front, while Singhania will manage the business side of things at the new agency. She also has a background in strategic planning, which will further fortify the combination of skills.

She has already put in her papers and is currently serving her notice period at Saatchi. She has been with the agency since April, 2011.

While Singhania was unavailable for comment at the time of filing this report, sources close to the development have confirmed the news to afaqs!.

The duo is set to launch their agency in April. The name of the firm has not been frozen yet.

Singhania has more than 15 years of experience in the advertising business. An alumnus of NMIMS (Narsee Monjee Institute of Management) Mumbai, Singhania began her career with Grey (management) in 1997 and five years later, moved on to Ambience Publicis (planning) where she spent two years.

Then, after a year-long stint with Leo Burnett and a return trip to Grey (this time, to handle the planning function as senior planning director), Singhania found her way to Rediffusion in October, 2005, where she grew to head the agency's Mumbai branch.

She quit Rediffusion in March, 2011 as the agency's executive vice-president (Mumbai), to move to Saatchi.

Besides their Saatchi connection, Singhania and Shastry have worked together at Rediffusion for around two years, during which time they became well acquainted with each other's working styles.

It may be noted that Saatchi has suffered the loss of a few senior hands in the recent past. Earlier this month, Jaibeer Ahmad, vice-president, Saatchi, moved on to Cheil Worldwide to head the agency's new business growth plan.

Also, Amit Ajwani, former managing director, Saatchi & Saatchi X India (Publicis Group's global shopper marketing agency that was launched in India in 2010), moved to Cheil, where he currently serves as vice-president and India head of Cheil's new shopper marketing division.

In September 2012, Sourabh Mishra, chief strategy officer, moved on from Saatchi to join Bates CHI & Partners as national planning head.

After Shastry's exit, the agency adopted a two-ECD structure to fill the void: JWT's Priti Kapur was brought in as executive creative director for Saatchi Delhi. She, along with Ashutosh Karkhanis, executive creative director, Saatchi Mumbai, is currently looking after the agency's overall creative product.

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