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SMG Digital strengthens team with two key appointments

Sharon Aneja joins as Director, Earned Innovation & Business Head West, and Gautham Ram Pingali as Director, Digital Improvisation

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 15, 2012

SMG Digital, Starcom MediaVest Group’s digital arm, has appointed Sharon Aneja as Director, Earned Innovation & Business Head West, and Gautham Pingali as Director, Digital Improvisation. While Aneja will be based in Mumbai, Pingali will be working from the Bangalore office. They will both report to Arnab Mitra, National Director, SMG Digital.

SMG Digital was formed in recognition of how search, social, mobile and display play a role in the rapidly changing landscape of marketing, communications and media. With social media reach scaling up and earned media gaining a strong ground with big advertisers, Aneja’s appointment is in sync with SMG Digital’s focus in investing on people, processes and technology to boost client visibility and engaging consumers on an interactive platform.

Aneja recently shifted to India after working in London for the last 12 years. Prior to joining SMG Digital she was working with UKTV, the commercial arm of BBC, as Head of Digital Entertainment. She was primarily responsible for developing a creative and commercially focused multiplatform vision for the company’s core entertainment brands. She has a longstanding experience in key online and social media trends.

She began her career in 1991 with Conde Nast and has since then held important positions with organisations like Virgin Media, National Geographic and Sky. She completed her education from the Queen Mary University of London.

SMG also continued to strengthen its South operations where it has a substantial client base. With the appointment of Pingali, SMG added to its talent pool in the South after several recent appointments. Pingali has over six years’ experience in multiple verticals across industries. He joins SMG Digital after a three-year stint with Havas Media. He initially started off with the group’s centre of excellence to drive operational efficiency and organisational growth, and quickly moved into managing projects for global and regional clients.

In his last assignment, he was Associate Director Strategy & Business Development with Havas Digital India where he also managed the businesses in North. Pingali started his career in 2004 with AIESEC Hyderabad and has since then led teams at Myrmidon Consulting and ABN AMRO Central Enterprise Services. He is a B.Tech from Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University, Hyderabad.

Confirming the appointments, Mitra said, “We are thrilled to have Sharon and Gautham on board. While Sharon has huge global exposure and a very solid creative experience in her kitty, Gautham has a sharp inclination towards business development and strategy. I am sure both will immensely contribute to the success of SMG Digital.”

Commenting on her move, Aneja said, “While moving to India I was keen on moving to an organisation that had digital as one of its core functions and was future focused. I am thrilled to be a part of SMG Digital as it is an extremely future focused and strategic pillar of SMG.”

Pingali said about his new role, “I am excited to work with SMG Digital as they have some unique methods a great team and a very strong vision. With this ability they are in the forefront of creating a new dimension to the marketing and communication space by leveraging the digital platform.”

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