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Suraja Kishore is new BBDO India CEO

The CEO position at the agency was vacant post Ajai Jhala's exit last year

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MUMBAI: BBDO has appointed former EVP and general manager of McCann Mumbai national and planning head at Truth Central, Suraja Kishore, as its new CEO, effective 21 May 2019. The CEO position at the agency was vacant post Ajai Jhala’s exit last year.

Kishore comes with 21 years of experience in developing creative strategies, building partnerships and establishing exciting approaches to developing campaigns. His client list includes major brands such as Unilever, Marico, P&G, Nestle, Godrej, Tata, Idea Cellular and Citibank, to name a few. He has been at the helm of some of the most memorable campaigns, including ‘What an Idea, Sirji’ for Idea Cellular and ‘Tata Tea - Jaago Re’.

Prior to this, Kishore had a long association with McCann, where he started working in 2013, initially as the executive planning director. He was then handpicked to lead the McCann Mumbai office. Earlier, he has worked with Publicis Worldwide, Lowe Lintas and Mudra DDB.

BBDO Asia chairman and CEO Jean Paul Burge said, “We welcome Suraja Kishore to BBDO as we start a new chapter of great Indian creativity – BBDO India 2.0. This is what will make our clients’ businesses stronger as we continue to build BBDO India into one of the most influential agencies in the world. Suraja is all that we are looking for in a leader. His appreciation and passion for creative cultures will mesh well with our focus on The Work. The Work. The Work.”

Speaking about his appointment and new role, Kishore said, “What got me really excited about this role is that JP (Jean Paul Burge) and Josy were not trying to fill a particular position; they were looking for someone who can transform and grow BBDO India. I felt that the last ten years have been a great run for BBDO India, but what got us here won’t get us there. In fact, I believe it’s our focus on share of the future rather than just share of the market that will drive growth for clients and us. One of the most important ingredients for success is ‘chemistry between key stakeholders’ and that is what I discovered with JP and Josy. Shaping the future is very much like love; you have to have deep faith together to make it happen.”

BBDO India chairman and CCO Josy Paul said, “It has taken us more than nine months to find Suraja. In our journey to find a suitable partner, we met some outstanding candidates. With Suraja, it was love at first sight. When JP (Jean Paul Burge) and I first met Suraja, we knew he had the emotional energy and strategic depth that comes with great leadership. His clear vision about the future of brands and demand in an age of evolving media and tech interface is so attractive. It felt like he is not just a CEO, he is also our 'chief evolution officer'. I am delighted to welcome Suraja Kishore as CEO as we embrace this exciting change together." 

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