Mallikarjundas joins as media director, Rangnekar as account group head Starcom

MUMBAI: The prodigals return. Two executives who'd left Publicis Groupe owned Starcom Worldwide for other opportunities have "returned to the fold."

CR Mallikarjunadas, currently with Asian Paints as media manager, is coming aboard as media director. Nikhil Rangnekar joins as account group head in the Mumbai office.

That Starcom is on an aggressive head-hunting drive is borne out by the fact that some more executive appointments are expected to be announced soon.

Talking about the new appointments, Ravi Kiran, managing director, Starcom Worldwide, India-West & South, said the fact that people wanted to return to the company was indicative of the heightened value proposition Starcom offered in today's competitive market.

Mallikarjundas will head one of Starcom's seven key business units in India and will look after the media portfolio of clients such as Heinz, Sony Columbia Tristar AOR, SPE Films of India AOR and Parle Bisleri. Currently heading the media function at Asian Paints, he has also handled diverse functions that include market research, marketing PR and corporate initiatives. Mallikarjundas is expected to join Starcom next Monday (4 August).

"Malli has been very active in many industry research and technical bodies and he will certainly help us consolidate and grow our strategic planning and research capabilities, working closely with Puneet Arora, our director, research."

"As part of our brain trust and head of one of our key business units, Malli will play an important role in our new business efforts and will be an active contributor to Starcom's future in India."

In his capacity as media director, Mallikarjundas will also oversee at least one agency function, the details of which are expected to be decided shortly.

Rangnekar, meanwhile, will look after the media portfolio of accounts such as the Balsara AOR, the Principal Group, Raymond Apparels and Hitachi Home and Life Solutions amongst others. Rangnekar will report directly to Kiran.

Rangnekar left Starcom in June 2000, to take a break from media and joined his brother in his family business.

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