Amith Prabhu: 15 people to watch out for in 2015

27 Jan,2015

By Amith Prabhu


This should have ideally been the first column of the year but it is able to make it in the first month of the year, nevertheless. This is in my humble opinion the list of 15 people in consultancies and in-house in organisations to watch out for in 2015. Most of them donned new hats in the last 12 weeks and are in interesting profiles within their organisations.


Valerie Pinto – One of India’s few employed female head honchos. By that I mean, most other women at the helm of large firms are founders (Prema, Nandita, Archana). But what makes Valerie stand out is that hers was one of the biggest movements in 2014 when she exited Perfect relations after a very long stint to join Weber Shandwick.


Amit Misra and Chetan Mahajan – These two low profile gentlemen were in the limelight after the exit of Jaideep Shergill as they were appointed to co-lead the Publicis Groupe’s flagship PR firms in India. It will be interesting to see how Chetan and Amit take MSLGroup to the next level.


Dilip Cherian and Bobby Kewalramani – Both these pioneers made news throughout 2014 for a proposed sale of Perfect Relations, a company they founded two decades ago from the house of a member of Parliament. One won’t be surprised if they sell out this year.


Rakesh Thukral – Rakesh was appointed Edelman India’s first Indian CEO in October and continues to build on the legacy that Robert Holdheim leaves behind. 2015 will be interesting for this company in India which is the world’s leading firm in revenues as it consolidates some great wins and deals with the absence of two pillars of the Mumbai office – the late Allwyn Fernandes and Roger Darashah.


Madan Bahal – Madan’s is a rags to riches story that very few know of. His 17 year old company is India’s number one firm in revenues. One needs to watch closely if Madan will be the first Indian PR firm that will make inorganic inroads into the Americas this year.


Nikhil Dey – Having spent a decade at Genesis Burson Marsteller, it will be interesting to see how Nikhil under the guidance of Prema Sagar takes the WPP flagship firm to greater heights in the year ahead.


Manish Kalghatgi – Manish is establishing himself as the aviation communications specialist. After stints at GVK managed Mumbai airport and GMR led Delhi Airport Manish moved to Jet Airways to lead its communications function. With Etihad infusing new lease of life into India’s iconic private airline one needs to see how they handle reputational issues in the months ahead.


Chhavi Leekha – After a fair amount of time spent in traditional companies Chhavi began the new year by joining Uber Technologies to be the first Director of Communications to this start-up which is in great need of strategic communications support.


Rohan Vyawaharkar – Rohan became Twitter India’s first head of corporate communications when he moved on from Red Bull late last year. How Rohan, a former journalist brings his learnings to this social networking company will be watched closely.


Neha Mohanty – Neha will have a daunting task to build a stronger reputation for Air Asia after one of its aircrafts in another market crashed in the Java Sea in the last week of December. Instilling traveler confidence and positioning airline safety will be top on every airline’s agenda, especially those that have faced recent disasters.


Paroma Roy Chowdhury – As Head of Communications at Google India, Paroma has one of the most challenging and interesting jobs. How Google continues to build on its strengths and conveys that will be important as it expands and grows through numerous ways.


Sukanya Ghosh – This will be the first full year for the new CEO of Infosys. Handling global communications of the IT giant will be a herculean task after various phases it has gone through during the leadership changes. Sukanya is the only Bangalore based professional to feature in this list.


Girish Huria – Girish made an exciting transition from Delhi to Mumbai late last year. A transition from Avian Media to eBay India to head the e-commerce portals India communications remit. In an age where Amazon and Flipkart are the flavor of the season positioning and promoting eBay will not be easy but Girish could be the right person for the job.


Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.