afaqs! news bureau

Leo Burnett: Pops goes for a South Asia role; Nitesh Tiwari named CCO for India

K V Sridhar's (aka Pops') mandate will include Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He will also look into all creative matters of Burnett's other agencies, including Black Pencil, Orchard, Arc and Indigo. Nitesh Tiwari, erstwhile ECD, Leo Burnett Mumbai, has been named CCO, Leo Burnett India.

Leo Burnett's national creative director K V Sridhar or Pops, as he is popularly known, has been given an additional mandate at the agency. Besides looking after the creative product of Leo Burnett India, Pops' mandate now covers the entire Indian subcontinent, which includes Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Leo Burnett: Pops goes for a South Asia role; Nitesh Tiwari named CCO for India
Also, Nitesh Tiwari, erstwhile executive creative director, Leo Burnett Mumbai will now step into a pan-India role and look after the agency's Mumbai as well as Delhi branches. Tiwari has been named chief creative officer, Leo Burnett India.

Tiwari has been a part of the Leo Burnett family for almost a decade and has worked on brands such as Tide, Heinz, Sony Entertainment Television, Reliance Mobile, McDonald's, Perfetti Van Melle and Bajaj Electricals, at the agency. Before joining Burnett, Tiwari worked on brands such as Axe Deodorants, Castrol, Amul and Ceat Tyres.

Further, besides Leo Burnett, Pops will also oversee matters across the agency's sister concerns - Black Pencil, Orchard Advertising, activation division Arc and the recently acquired digital agency, Indigo Consulting.

Pops will manage his new responsibilities in the official capacity of chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, Indian subcontinent.

Pops tells afaqs! that while he has already stepped into this role unofficially, the current development is more of an official statement. "We have ambitious plans for all the group's brands. I will travel a lot more now than before, help set up new talent pools, help position our other agencies better and ensure they grow, get more business and do great work," he says.

"The core of our consumers across product categories is becoming younger with every passing year. So it is only fair that we have young creative leaders - those who speak the language of youth and understand new-age challenges for brands and businesses. They have the talent and the mindset to address these challenges with fresh ideas and solutions across new media," Pops adds in an official communiqué.

No surprise then that Leo Burnett has promoted several creative performers. Vikram Pandey (aka Spiky) is now executive creative director with focus on the Tata Capital and HDFC Life accounts. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is promoted as executive creative director and will continue to work on the Sony Entertainment Television business. Vicky Bhambhani is now regional creative director on the Tide account.

Further, Abhishek Sinha (P&G Tide and Shiksha accounts), Nikhil Mehrotra (Bajaj Electricals and Complan accounts), Piyush Gupta (Tata Capital account) and Shreyas Jain (HDFC Life and Limca accounts) have all made it to what the agency calls 'the creative director circle'.

Leo Burnett has also roped in creative talent from across the industry. These new creative directors include Timsy Gupta from DDB Mudra Mumbai (for the Uninor account), Rishi Agarwal from McCann Erickson Delhi (for the Uninor account), Sapna Aluwalia (for the McDonald's account) and Rajneesh Ramakrishnan (on the McDonald's account).

The agency authorities attribute all these changes to their ambition to transform the agency into what it calls 'a fast growing new age communications company' across the Indian subcontinent. This goal comes in the light of the group's impressive growth of more than 100 per cent over the past three years.

Leo Burnett: Pops goes for a South Asia role; Nitesh Tiwari named CCO for India
Commenting on this initiative, Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, says, "The infusion of fresh new blood into our industry is vital for its long-term health and prosperity. This new generation is tomorrows' world thinkers -- bold, brave and curious. They naturally defy the status quo and open up infinite possibilities for modern day communication. Pops has been exceptional at spotting and nurturing young talent. Clients and their brands will benefit immensely from the new creative structure we're putting in place."

"From TV advertising as the core of marketing plan and specialist services bought from smaller independent shops, Indian clients are demanding new ways of approaching advertising suited to the rapidly changing environment. They are demanding advertising platforms that truly integrate their brand communications across channels as diverse as traditional media, digital and modern retail. This transformation is extremely exciting. Changing our core while growing fast requires foresight, meticulous planning and its relentless execution," says Arvind Sharma, chairman and chief executive officer, Indian subcontinent, Leo Burnett.