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IAA Leadership awards 2021: RS Sodhi honoured with Business Leader of the Year award, Raj Nayak inducted into Hall of Fame

Bobby Pawar was given the Creative Agency Leader of the Year award. Nandini Dias got the Media Agency Leader of the Year award and NP Singh was felicitated with Media Person of the Year award at the eighth edition of the Leadership Awards

The International Advertising Association’s (IAA) India Chapter announced the winners for the eighth edition of the Leadership Awards at Taj Lands End Hotel, Mumbai. Zee was the presenting partner, Good News Today (GNT) was powered by partner and Viacom18 was the associate partner for the event.

RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul) was honoured as the IAA Business Leader of the Year. IAA India inducted Raj Nayak into the IAA Hall of Fame for investing a lifetime in the marcom industry and for his role in directing the India Chapter of IAA towards its ongoing role in being the voice of sustainability.

Other prominent recipients were: Bobby Pawar (Creative Agency Leader of the Year), Nandini Dias (Media Agency Leader of the Year), NP Singh (Media Person of the Year), Raj Kamal Jha (Editor of the Year), Palki Sharma Upadhyay (TV Anchor of the Year). Actor and film producer Anil Kapoor received the IAA Brand Endorser of the Year.

The complete winners list of IAA Leadership Awards 2021 is placed below:

Sr No.

Category Name

Winner Name


Marketer of the Year - Auto

(Passenger Vehicles)

Shakti Upadhyay

Head of Marketing & PR

Kia Motors  


Marketer of the Year - Auto

(Two Wheelers)

Ranjivjit Singh

Chief Marketing Officer

Hero MotoCorp


Marketer of the Year - Consumer Durables – Electronics (TV)

Abhiral Bhansali

Product Head - Television Business

LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd


Marketer of the Year - Consumer Durables - Others

Asim Warsi 

Sr VP & Chief Marketing Officer

Samsung India


Marketer of the Year - Mobile Devices

Jaskaran Singh Kapany

Chief Marketing Officer

Xiaomi Technology India Private Ltd


Marketer of the Year - Telecom

Rohan Khanna

Head of Marketing - Jio

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd


Marketer of the Year – Retail

Ravi Nagar

Chief Marketing Officer

Avenue Supermarkets Ltd (DMart)


Marketer of the Year - FMCG -Food

Jayen Mehta

Sr GM, Planning and Marketing,

Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul)


Marketer of the Year - FMCG - Beverages

Anjana Ghosh

Director - Marketing and CSR

Bisleri International Pvt Ltd


Marketer of the Year - FMCG - Personal care

Rajesh Krishnamurthy

Business Director - Consumer Products Division

Himalaya Wellness Company


Marketer of the Year - FMCG – Homecare

Rahul Gyanchandani

Joint Managing Director

RSPL Limited


Marketer of the Year – Banking

Dinesh Kumar Khara


State Bank of India


Marketer of the Year - Insurance

Shyam Sunder

Executive Director – Corporate Communication

Life Insurance Corporation of India


Marketer of the Year – UPI


Sameer Nigam

Founder & CEO



Marketer of the Year - E-Commerce

Ravi Desai

Director, Mass and Brand Marketing


Marketer of the Year – EdTech

Atit Mehta

Marketing Head - Think & Learn Pvt Ltd



IAA Business Leader of the Year



 R S Sodhi

Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul)


IAA Creative Agency Leader of the Year


Bobby Pawar

Havas Group



IAA Media Agency Leader of the Year


Nandini Dias

Lodestar -UM



IAA Media Person of the Year

N P Singh

Sony Pictures Networks India



IAA Editor of the Year

Raj Kamal Jha

The Indian Express



IAA TV Anchor of the Year

Palki Sharma Upadhyay




IAA Brand Endorser of the Year

Anil Kapoor



Hall of Fame

Raj Nayak


The chief guest at the event was the Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari. He said “I think all of you are so prevalent, which is why I will speak only one name, anant. I think all of you are anant. There is no end to any of you. So I will say only one word anant and the other word avinash. Aap me se kisika vinash nahi hona hai.”

IAA President, Megha Tata said, “It is so rewarding to see the best in the business taking the time to be here and accepting these awards tonight. While we were planning the awards for 2021, we wanted to highlight leaders that have established new-age businesses. We wanted them to share the stage and form a balance between those that have run the country and the world.”

She said, “For one thing this year has taught us is to be agile. In the year 2020 we have used and misused the terms unprecedented times quite a few times. We use the term to showcase the problem, the troubles, the challenges but it also led to unprecedented growth, unprecedented opportunity and unprecedented victories. We have seen time and again that change or unexpected situations often lead to some brands or organisations and people succeeding while some may collapse. The difference between the two begins right at the top with the leader. And while I can describe our leaders tonight in many ways, I would just like to say that these unprecedented times call for unprecedented leadership and our leaders today definitely delivered on that.”

Nandini Dias, Co- Chair, IAA Leadership Awards, said, “We often talk about the glass half empty or half full, about optimism and pessimism, about positivity and negativity. But the truth is it doesn't matter if the glass is half empty or half full. What only matters is how thirsty you are. Which brings us to the definition of leadership. True leadership is often about perspective, inner perspective. And for men and women with vision it is not always about different things, but sometimes it's about the same things differently. That’s when one understands what leadership is actually made of. Leadership is not a talent, an art form or a science. It is simply about taking the first step in spaces where there are no written rules. So you make your rules because you make your own limits.”  

Sodhi said, “I am honoured to receive the Business Leader of the Year Award 2021 from the International Advertising Association. This is the most prestigious award in India for marketing and advertising. So I feel very privileged and honoured. I have learned a lot from people right from my retailer to the people sitting here because we interact with the best in the advertising and marketing industry. I would like to tell you one thing: in today’s time the advertising and marketing field has garnered a lot of importance. There are so many retailers coming into the market. The pressure is growing. In order to prove yourself, you have to be creative, and when you bring that creativity into the local language, you will be closer to earth and you will be relevant in the industry.”


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