Nandini Dias has moved on from Lodestar UM after being its CEO for close to a decade. Dias joined the group as a young media person 27 years ago and has since gone on to acquire the top position, leading the organisation to several ‘Media Agency of the Year’ recognitions over the years.
Dias said, “I leave Lodestar UM in the hands of a strong, capable, and empowered team that has stayed vested and bonded with me for a long time. In fact, almost all of the top 30 have been with me throughout my tenure as CEO – something that I am particularly proud of. So it was with a heavy heart that I had to break the news to them about my decision to move on. It is rare that one gets the opportunity to hand over the reins after an organisation's best years, but this year was one of Lodestar UM’s finest. Over a dozen new businesses, over 20 international awards, Campaign’s Agency Of The Year - Silver, RECMA recognized it as the agency with highest Vitality and personally, my being recognised as the Media Agency CEO Leader Of The Year by the International Advertising Association (IAA) and feted by the Governor of Maharashtra. I couldn't choose a greater milestone year in which to hand over the baton and go out on a high.”
Over the years, Dias has been recognised with numerous honours by several bodies - starting with being the Media Planner of the Year in 1998 to going on to be the Media CEO of the Year on various platforms in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2021. She’s also been recognized by platforms like The World Leadership Congress and made it to The Times of India’s coveted list of Times Power Women, among others. Not to mention the fact that she’s been on the Economic Times Most Influential list for several years now, the first woman leader to make it there.
In 2018, she piloted a pan-industry citizens’ initiative - WorkToLiveToWork - that pushed a radical solution to save commuter lives on their way to work, for which she was awarded the prestigious ‘Gamechanger Of The Year’ award. She’s won over 100 awards at Asia-Pacific Spikes, Festival Of Media Global and APAC, Creative Media Award, several Cannes Lions and many, many local awards. It is widely believed that her focus on innovative solutions transformed the culture of Lodestar UM into an award-winning one which led to the company being one of the most respected media groups in the industry today.
Shashi Sinha, CEO, Mediabrands India, said, “Nandini has been my partner, ally, and friend for 27 years. She has led from the front to build Lodestar UM ground up to make it what it is today. A dynamic, vibrant top three agency in the country. Passion is what defines Nandini, whether it is creating business solutions, building strong media properties for her clients or making a difference to our society and communities or just bringing her teams together to celebrate a festival or a win, Nandini did it all with remarkable fervor. At a personal level, I will miss her terribly. But I have always believed that a good leader is defined not by what has been built but by what is left behind. Nandini leaves her indelible mark on Lodestar UM in the solid and hugely capable leadership team that she has nurtured and I can say with all confidence that they will only continue to build on her legacy.”
While not having taken a decision on the future yet, Dias said, “I started out with a fledgling agency and am handing over the Media Agency of the Year as I move on. So I am looking forward to taking a well-earned break for the first time in my life and am excited to see how things will unfurl.”