Leo Burnett appoints RajDeepak Das as chief creative officer

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 22, 2014
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He moves in from BBDO. Though he will focus on Leo Burnett's India operations, he will also support the agency's creative efforts across South Asia, just like outgoing CCO, KV Sridhar did. Nitesh Tiwari to continue being associated with the agency.

The Leo Burnett Group has announced the appointment of RajDeepak Das as chief creative officer of Leo Burnett India. Based in Mumbai, he will head operations across the agency's India offices including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, as well as overseas offices in the region.

RajDeepak Das

Mark Tutssel

Saurabh Varma

Note that this appointment comes close on the heels of the exit of KV Sridhar (Pops), the agency's previous CCO, India subcontinent. Also note that till now, Nitesh Tiwari held the post of CCO, India, at Leo Burnett India.

Regarding Das' mandate and Tiwari's role, the Leo Burnett spokesperson clarifies, "Raj will focus on the creative product and clients' businesses in India. He will oversee and support the creative efforts across South Asia, just like Pops. We respect the fact that Nitesh Tiwari requires flexibility because of his engagements with the feature film industry. He will however continue to be associated with Leo Burnett and will work on key assignments."

Says Das about his movement to Leo Burnett, "I always believed agencies don't create iconic brands, people do. And that is what Leo Burnett stands for. I want to bring in new trends of communication to make our brands future ready".

Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, who, according to the agency, was personally involved in the recruitment process, that stretched across several continents, says in a press note, "Raj brings with him global experience, creativity, focus and best-in-class leadership. He understands today's creative landscape is 'always-on' and always integrated. The decision to bring Raj on board as our CCO holds immense promise for our clients and our creative product. I strongly believe that Raj, alongside Saurabh (Varma, CEO) will form a perfect unity of creative and strategy."

Tussel is confident the agency will become the leading "integrated" agency in the region, in the days to come.

Saurabh Varma, chief executive officer, Leo Burnett Group India, says, he and Das will work together to "create work that is not only human, but also participative by design."

According to Jarek Ziebinski, president, Leo Burnett Asia Pacific, Das' appointment, and partnership with Varma, represents a "new beginning and milestone for Leo Burnett India."

"India's growing importance as an economic force on the world stage, and its rapid change from a traditionally print and TV dominated market to one that will see the online ad market reach USD 1.12 billion next year, are key indicators of transformation in our clients' businesses."

He promises that Das and Varma will have nothing less than the full support of "the network" to achieve their targets in the days ahead.

A product of MICA, Das began his advertising career with Enterprise Nexus followed by stints at Grey and Contract Advertising. He has worked across several global brands including P&G, Pepsi, Visa, Pizza Hut and Tesco, among others. Some of the brands he has worked closely on are Gillette, Mars Food, FedEx, BMW Mini, Cadbury's, Blackberry, GM, J&J, HomePro and Titan.

The agency sent in the following note to sum up Das' career so far: "Raj has a body of work that reflects his passion, understanding of business and new age solutions that delivers results.

He has had a long run at BBDO across offices in Asia. Five and half years back he moved to India, as the country's youngest executive creative director to start BBDO in Mumbai. Under his leadership, in the first three years itself, BBDO Mumbai, from working out of coffee shops, became one of the top 10 most creative agencies in the region.

Before coming to Mumbai, Raj worked for four years in Bangkok under the leadership of Suthisak Sucharittanonta. Despite having to communicate with sign language, he started a new genre of advertising, which won honors across the world. He was an integral part of the regional team and worked closely with the best creative brains across continents."

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