Dentsu has announced the creation of a new cluster for Southeast Asia appointing a team of veteran industry leaders Sanjay Bhasin, Prakash Kamdar and Bharti Agrawal to lead the fast-growing market for the network in APAC. The newly formed SEA cluster will include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
As the fifth largest economy in the world, Southeast Asia is experiencing exponential growth and tremendous transformation. Its advertising spend growth is anticipated to outpace Asia Pacific, and with current combined GDP of USD$3.1 trillion*, it’s expected to be the fourth largest economy by 2030.
Sanjay Bhasin, CEO Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, dentsu, is promoted to CEO Southeast Asia, dentsu effective immediately. A veteran of the industry with 30 years of experience across APAC and SEA region, Bhasin was formerly CEO of Y&R SEA from 2012 to 2018. Thereafter under Bhasin’s leadership as CEO, Myanmar & Vietnam, dentsu in 2018, dentsu’s Vietnam business was the most successful integrated agency in the market, delivered double-digit growth and profitability year-on-year, was awarded MMA Vietnam’s Network of the Year in 2020 and Creative Agency of the year for three years. He was subsequently promoted to CEO Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, dentsu in 2021.
Rob Gilby, CEO APAC, dentsu, said: “It’s well documented that SEA is experiencing exponential growth and tremendous transformation. Aligning with this is a natural progression for the business and will support significant investment in and commitment to our people, our clients, our partners and our competitive capabilities in this important growth region. I could not be more excited about the proven leaders in Sanjay, Prakash and Bharti leading our over 4,000 diverse talents to accelerate our clients’ and our growth in SEA.”
Bhasin said: “SEA has been my home for the best part of my professional life and I have had the privilege of working with some of the most ambitious businesses and leading some of the most talented teams in just about every market in this incredibly exciting and diverse cluster. Us coming together as one borderless team to realise the promise of SEA in the decade of SEA is quite simply the right next step in dentsu’s and my journey. Personally and professionally, I have also known Prakash and Bharti for several decades and we have built an exceptional chemistry during the years of working together. I could not ask for a better, more collaborative and talented team to embark on this new and exciting era together with.”
Prakash Kamdar is promoted to CEO, Clients & Solutions, Southeast Asia, dentsu effective immediately and Bharti Agrawal is CFO, Southeast Asia, dentsu having been in the role for some months already. Bhasin and Kamdar will continue to have a close pulse on the ground as they concurrently lead their respective markets within the cluster.
Kamdar brings with him 27 years of expertise in digital marketing and digital transformation and has a strong track record in client-centricity and creating transformative solutions. He joined the digital industry back in 1997 and has been CEO, Singapore, dentsu since 2019 and concurrent CEO, Indonesia, dentsu since January 2022. Kamdar was recognised as Executive of the Year (Advertising) in the Management Excellence Awards by Singapore Business Review in 2021 and Agency Leader of Year at the Marketing Interactive Agency Year of the Awards in 2022.
Prakash Kamdar, CEO, Clients & Solutions Southeast Asia, dentsu, said: “Since joining dentsu in 2012 as CEO of Isobar Singapore, I have seen the business through its transformation, and I have been truly humbled by the responsibility and confidence that has been given to me. I have played various different roles at dentsu in the last 11 years, however my deep love and passion has always been for using the combined power of creativity, design, data, media, and technology to create transformative solutions that help businesses and brands achieve their growth and good ambitions. I am eager and excited to work with Sanjay, Bharti and the rest of our SEA leaders and colleagues to transform the fortunes of businesses and people’s lives through our very best integrated growth solutions.”
Agrawal is a proven leader with over 20 years of extensive financial experience together with operational, commercial and M&A expertise in listed and private organisations across the UK, Brazil and Southeast Asia. She has been in the role for some years already while MaryAnn Puthussery, General Counsel Southeast Asia, dentsu and Yvonne Tan, Group HR Director, Southeast Asia dentsu have been in Southeast Asia roles for the past year and are also strong members of the dentsu Southeast Asia leadership bench.