VMLY&R India, the digital marketing, advertising and transformation agency, has appointed Ajay Ravindran as Director, Strategy and Planning. Ravindran will work closely with Saurabh Mathur (Head of Strategy & Planning) and Anil K Nair (CEO), to drive strategy and growth of the agency.
Ravindran will head the brand planning function for VMLY&R in India. His mandate is to ensure strategic thinking is at the core of all the offerings of the agency across all verticals, including brand stewardship (campaigns and content), commerce, and experience and technology. He will also spearhead the brand advisory practice here.
Anil K Nair, CEO, VMLY&R India, said, “Ajay will be working at the intersection of Brand Strategy and Technology so that VMLY&R is at the forefront of defining how brands would need to evolve in this new, emerging, complex, post-digital world. Having helmed senior roles, Ajay will be a trusted advisor for our clients — current and potential — a responsibility I am sure he will cherish.”
Ravindran said, “In their eagerness to become the agency of the future, I feel most agencies are forgetting being the agency of the present. At VMLY&R, I saw not just an agency but a holistic marketing services firm — with cutting-edge solutions encompassing content, commerce and platforms. It seemed to me that it could answer all the questions clients are seeking answers to ‘today’, but don’t know whom to ask.”
He added, “But beyond all this was an X factor that escaped words — the palpable chemistry with the team, the richness of conversations and the vibe of the place itself. The more I interacted and learned, the more urgent was the question, ‘Okay, so when do we start?’”
Ravindran has around 14 years of work experience across media planning, market research and account planning, and hence brings a holistic view to brand strategy. He has handled blue chip clients, including Britannia (Marie Gold, 50-50, Nutrichoice, Cake and Rusk), Unilever (Kissan, Knorr, Annapurna, PureIt), Zee Group, Flipkart, TVS (Scooty, Radeon), Titan (Skinn, Sonata), 3M (Scotch Brite), Aditya Birla Group (Louis Philippe), Tanishq and Gold Plus.
Some of his campaigns have gone on to win awards, including Effie (Tanishq & Flipkart), Indiaa Awards (Dell & Scotch Brite) and CMO Asia Marketing Awards (Dell). He has also been a finalist at Warc (for Britannia Cake).
Ravindran’s last assignment was with Lowe Lintas, Mumbai, where he was Vice-President, Strategic Planning, leading the brand strategy mandate on Zee, PureIt, Unilever Foods and Setu. Previously, he led the same mandate for Flipkart, Britannia, TVS, Titan at Lowe Lintas Bangalore. He has also worked with Ogilvy, JWT, Grey, and L&K Saatchi & Saatchi.
He is an MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. Ravindran loves reading, quizzing, motorcycling and is an aspiring author.