Amitesh Rao, national business head on the Airtel account at Rediffusion Y&R has assumed a new role in the network. He will shift base to Sri Lanka as chief operating officer.
A month back, Rohit Misra took charge as president of the Indian operations of the agency - he had moved from the Rediff Sri Lanka, where he was head of operations. Rao, in his new role, will now report to Misra.
Rohit Misra, president, Rediffusion Y&R says, "With Airtel's launch in Sri Lanka, there seemed no one better equipped than Amitesh to build on the momentum, provide leadership in that market. With Amitesh on board, the agency is today poised to provide the same innovative thinking and outstanding creative product in Sri Lanka that has been central to the success of Rediffusion in India."
Rao moved to Rediff in 2007, from JWT. Back there, he was heading the Pepsi business as vice-president.
Apart from advertising, Rao has a background in telecom and software. After graduating from IIM Bengaluru in 1995, he joined RPG Paging Services in the sales and marketing division. Advertising happened to him in 1996. He began with McCann as a senior account executive.
He stepped out of the agency three years later (in 1999) as account director. During his first stint with advertising, he worked on brands such as Nestle and Microsoft, amongst others.
In 2000, Rao set up a software company along with a few other people. In 2004, he gave up his operational role, but continued to hold his stake in the company.
He returned to advertising in 2005, and joined Publicis India. He joined as vice-president and strategic planning director, overseeing the work on HP, Nestle, ABN Amro, Unicef and Microsoft, besides the other accounts that the agency handled.
Towards the end of 2005, he moved to JWT, where he spent around one and a half years.
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