Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency that is part of GroupM, today announced new leadership appointments to strengthen its services and presence in India. Based in Bengaluru, Bharati Joshi will lead the agency’s product offering as Vice President, Product, India. Kunal Danda will head the agency’s Mumbai office as Vice President, Client Services, India. Based in Delhi, Vinish Mathews will lead the agency’s partnership with key client Google as Vice President, Client Services, India and Southeast Asia. They will report to Sonali Malaviya, Managing Director, India, as part of Essence’s leadership team in the market.
Joshi brings with her over 17 years of industry experience, joining from Initiative where she was Assistant Vice President, Strategy and Insights. Previously, she held practice and client leadership positions at GroupM’s Wavemaker and Maxus. In her roles, she was instrumental in the development of agendas, frameworks, playbooks and tools, in areas related to data and measurement, integrated media planning and optimisation, content marketing and creativity.
“Essence is currently in a very interesting space with a client roster of established as well as new age brands. Leading their growth charter with our differentiated products, platforms and thinking, all rooted in data, technology, analytics and creativity, is what I am really looking forward to doing. I am excited to head the charge for our product offering in India, along with the most talented and energised bunch of people in the industry,” says Joshi.
Danda comes with more than two decades of media and marketing experience in India and the Middle East, working at agencies such as OMD, Edelman and Digitas, and organisations such as DBS Bank, Energy Central and Arab Insurance Group. Most recently, he served as Principal Partner at Mindshare in Mumbai, heading digital media, integrated marketing and business development.
“Essence’s industry-leading capabilities are rooted in data, analytics and technology. Here, we also have brilliant talent with a special culture of testing and learning, collaboration, as well as integrated media strategy and planning, with client centricity at the core of everything we do. I am incredibly excited to be part of the Essence family, and driving the next stage of growth for our Mumbai office,” says Danda.
With over 18 years of industry experience in China and India, Mathews joins from Mindshare, where he was most recently Managing Director, overseeing teams across Beijing and Shanghai. With a proven track record in leading client relationships across sectors such as ecommerce, fast-moving consumer goods, tourism and vision care, his capabilities in strategic brand management, media investment planning and communications campaign design have helped brands build immersive consumer connections using media. For his work, he has garnered over 100 award wins locally and globally with his teams, clients and partners.
“I am thrilled to return to India to work at Essence at such an exciting time, given the developments in the consumer landscape and acceleration in digital behaviour. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead Essence’s relationship with Google in India and Southeast Asia, and drive the agency’s integrated media offering for all of Google’s business and consumer products in these markets. I am looking forward to collaborating with some of the smartest people in the industry,” says Vinish.
“Bharati, Kunal and Vinish’s appointments are key in strengthening Essence’s India leadership team. I am delighted that we are able to attract exceptional talent who share and are excited about our vision to reimagine what is possible for India. I am looking forward to partnering with Bharati, Kunal and Vinish in their new roles, and driving continued growth for our people, capabilities, clients and business across India,” says Malaviya.
Since Essence’s entry into India in 2016, the agency has expanded rapidly via its offices in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, managing a diverse portfolio of clients across the market.