SMG Digital makes two key appointments

MUMBAI: SMG Digital, Starcom MediaVest Group’s digital arm, has made two key appointments. While Sharon Aneja is named as Earned Innovation director & business head West, Gautham Pingali joins as Digital Improvisation director.

Aneja will be based out of Mumbai, while Pingali will work from the Bangalore office. Both will report to SMG Digital national director Arnab Mitra.

SMG Digital was formed in recognition of how Search, Social, Mobile and Display play a role in the rapidly changing landscape of Marketing, Communications & Media.

"With the Social media reach scaling up and earned media gaining a strong ground with big advertisers, Aneja’s appointment is in sync with SMG Digital’s focus in investing on people, processes and technology to boost client visibility and engaging consumers on an interactive platform," the agency said.

Aneja recently shifted to India after working in London for the last 12 years. Prior to joining SMG Digital, she was working with UKTV (the commercial arm of the BBC) as the head of Digital Entertainment, where she was primarily responsible for developing a creative and commercially focused multi-platform vision for the company’s core entertainment brands. She has a longstanding experience advising the business on key online and social media trends.

She began her career in 1991 with Conde Nast and has since then held important positions with organisations like Virgin Media, National Geographic, and Sky. She completed her education from the Queen Mary University of London.

SMG also continued to strengthen its South operations where it has a substantial client base. With the appointment of Pingali, SMG added to its talent pool in the South after several recent appointments. "This move denotes the high interest levels in Digital in the southern markets as well," the agency said.

Pingali has over six years of experience in multiple verticals across industries. He joins SMG Digital after a three-year stint with Havas Media. He initially started off with the group’s center of excellence to drive operational efficiency and organisational growth and quickly moved into managing projects for global & regional clients. He was last working as associate director, Strategy & Business Development, with Havas Digital India where he also managed the businesses in North.

Pingali started his career in 2004 with AIESEC Hyderabad and has since then led teams at Myrmidon Consulting and ABN AMRO Central Enterprise Services. He is a B.Tech graduate from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University in Hyderabad.

Confirming the appointments, Mitra said, " We are thrilled to have Sharon and Gautham on board. While Sharon has huge global exposure and a very solid creative experience in her kitty, Gautham has a sharp inclination towards business development and strategy. I am sure both will immensely contribute to the success of SMG Digital."

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