Pops, as he is popularly known, will work as chief creative officer of the agency in India.
KV Sridhar, erstwhile chief creative officer, India subcontinent, Leo Burnett, is headed to SapientNitro, an interactive marketing, creative design and technology services agency.
This is both, a significant and counter-intuitive development.
He will also be a member of the global executive creative team of SapientNitro and will report to Andy Greenaway, executive creative director of the agency for the APAC region. Besides Greenaway, Pops will also work closely with Rajdeep Endow, managing director of SapientNitro, India. Together, they will spearhead the agency's business in the APAC region.
Recall that Pops announced his departure from Leo Burnett last month. His last day at the agency, where he has spent 17 (non-consecutive) years of his 30 year long career, was on May 4.
At the time of leaving Burnett, Pops said, "It has been a purposeful journey for me at Leo Burnett, growing with and having a chance to play a key role in shaping the agency's creative prowess. I have had the opportunity to work with and get to be friends with some of the brightest creative minds in the world, work on some of the most exciting campaigns, with some of the most amazing clients. I wish Saurabh (Varma, CEO of the agency in India) and Leo Burnett great success."
On his move to SapientNitro, Pops says, "Marketers think differently about brand-consumer engagement today and recognise the critical need for strategy, creative and technology to blend together. I am thrilled to join SapientNitro as they are leading this change, and redefining what it means to be an agency in today's hyper-connected world."
SapientNitro's Endow, says about Pops appointment at the agency, "I am delighted and honoured to welcome a creative stalwart of Pops' calibre to our leadership team. His renowned creative excellence and his deep expertise in the Indian market will be instrumental to our ability to serve the growing client demand in the region for our unique blend of connected capabilities across brand, digital, experience design and technology."
Adds Gaston Legorburu, worldwide chief creative officer of SapientNitro, "Pops, a creative powerhouse renowned for his ability to lead and develop talent, shares our vision for redefining storytelling for an always-on world. Brands today recognise the need for sustaining consumer engagement across devices and channels to keep pace with the shifting expectations of the increasingly connected consumer. The addition of Pops reflects that evolution and furthers our ability to create strategic advantage for clients in this incredibly important, rapidly expanding market."
Leo Burnett recently replaced Pops with BBDO's RajDeepak Das, who will head the agency's creative function across India and the subcontinent.
While his creative career is an open book, not many know about Pops' humble beginnings and passion for all things art. Pops graduated in Botany, Zoology and Chemistry from the Osmania University, Hyderabad, post which he enrolled to study art at the Ideal School of Art, in Gulbarga, Karnataka. He spent six years there, training to be an artist.
He has worked as a Bollywood billboard painter during the initial days of his art career. Between 1976 and 1981, he held several solo exhibitions and group shows to showcase his painting talent. Pops' paintings are displayed at the Andhra Pradesh Lalit Kala Academy, Hyderabad Art Society, Modern Pavilion at the Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad and the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority.
When not at work, Pops enjoys painting on his iPad.
Recently, Pops was in the news for joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
For the record, SapientNitro, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), is a USA-based agency with interests in what it calls integrated, omni-channel commerce.
The agency has offices in 31 cities spread across The Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Globally, the agency has over 1,000 clients including names such as Chrysler, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Lufthansa, Target and Vodafone.
Recipient of 200 creative awards, the agency was named Creative Agency of the Year by MediaPost's OMMA Magazine last year.