Nikhil Dey’s role expands as President, Public Relations & Public Affairs and Atul Sharma is promoted as Chief Operating Officer, among other appointments. The appointments will be effective from January 1, 2016
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 21, 2015
Genesis Burson-Marsteller has announced senior leadership appointments, which will be effective from January 1, 2016. Ajit Sahi is Director, Public Affairs, Sanjay Arora is India Practice Chair, Corporate and Financial; Piyal Banerjee is now Managing Partner, Telecom and Technology (B2C) and Business Leader, Step Up; Shivaram Lakshminarayan is Managing Partner, Telecom and Technology (B2B) and Corporate and Financial (South). Nikhil Dey’s role has expanded as President, Public Relations and Public Affairs and Atul Sharma is promoted as Chief Operating Officer.
Prema Sagar, Vice- Chair, Burson-Marsteller, Asia Pacific and Principal/Founder, said, “Over the last twelve months, the consultancy has reinvented itself into a new-age communications firm to meet the growing requirements of our clients. As the year draws to a close, I am happy about the great leaps we have taken in 2015 and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. To support the continuing growth of our firm in 2016, we are promoting our talented and experienced leaders who have demonstrated that they make a difference to our clients business. I am confident that these leaders will further strengthen our India leadership team.”
Dey is now President, Public Relations and Public Affairs. He will continue to play a key role overseeing the firm’s client growth strategy in addition to scaling up the recently launched Centres of Expertise and will now also focus on mentoring the public affairs business.
Sharma has been promoted as Chief Operating Officer and will now be a part of the India Management Team at Genesis Burson-Marsteller. Having spent over twelve years at Genesis Burson-Marsteller, Atul has counseled diverse businesses, Indian and multinational, on corporate reputation and brand reputation programmes. In his new role, Atul will focus on improving the operational excellence of the firm while continuing to serve as India Practice Chair, Telecom and Technology.
Vandana Sandhir, currently India Practice Chair, Corporate and Financial, is moving to a new leadership role in the WPP network after ten years with the firm. Arora, who has been with the firm for over six years, will take on the India Practice Chair role from Sandhir. With a total of sixteen years of experience, Arora has led corporate reputation management campaigns for many of the firm’s Fortune 500 companies. As the India Practice Chair, he will be responsible for ensuring business growth of the Corporate & Financial business in line with the firm’s strategy, providing leadership and guidance to the teams to ensure high quality service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Former journalist Ajit Sahi, who joined the firm last year as Director, Thought Leadership will now take on the mandate of Public Affairs. With nearly three decades of in-depth and extensive experience in journalism, ranging from being an investigative reporter to heading newsrooms at TV news stations, newsmagazines, news agencies and newspapers, Sahi brings with him a thorough understanding of the Indian and international political environment. This experience is crucial as the requirements of clients pertaining to government relations, advocacy and stakeholder outreach continue to grow with the maturing of the regulatory and compliance environment in India.
As the firm is strengthening its focus on the Technology domain, it will now have two separate leaders driving Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) Technology domains in 2016. Banerjee and Lakshminarayan have been appointed as the new domain leads.
Banerjee will be Managing Partner with a focus on B2C Telecom and Technology Practice, nationally, as it is a fast-growing area. In addition, she also takes on the mantle of Business Leader, Step Up, a unique offering focused towards helping start-ups to take the next leap by narrating their story through creative communication campaigns. With over twelve years of experience, she has brand and corporate communications experience across top Asian markets including India, China, Malaysia and Singapore. She brings strong leadership skills to this new position given her credentials in the Consumer Technology space. She will continue to co-anchor the Corporate and Financial Practice for West.
An old Genesis Burson-Marsteller hand, Lakshminarayan has been with the firm in Bengaluru for over a decade and has served as the technology lead in the southern markets. Lakshminarayan will now be the head of the B2B vertical of the Telecom and Technology Practice, nationally, given his strong credentials in the IT and ITeS space. In addition, he is also taking over the stewardship of the Corporate and Financial Practice for South and will be working closely with Arora.
Commenting on these appointments, Dey, President, said, “Sharma has been a trusted advisor to our clients across sectors and his proven expertise is a great asset for us, both as a Chief Operating Officer, as well as a key member of the India management team. Arora, Lakshminarayan and Banerjee have consistently demonstrated strong leadership skills and clear vision for their clients and team. In their new roles, they will continue their contribution to the firm. We will certainly miss Vandana and wish her well as she moves onto a new chapter in her life.” He added, “These are exciting times for the Public Affairs business and we are very optimistic as we go forward given that we have an experienced person like Sahi leading the charge.”