One of Ogilvy’s brightest strategists has left Singapore to return back to her home country of India.
Sonal Narain, an award-winning regional planning director for clients including Health Promotion Board, The Economist and Kotex, calls time on an seven-year stint at Ogilvy to join Cheil’s Gurgaon office as chief strategy officer.
Narain replaces Atishi Pradhan who left the agency in April 2015.
Shiv Sethuraman, group president, Cheil South West Asia, said, “Sonal understands the intersection between media, technology and popular culture and has done impressive work in areas far beyond the limits of conventional advertising. That is what makes her the perfect choice to lead Cheil India’s planning and strategy function. We’re aiming to transition into an agency that is ahead of the curve and Sonal will be a big part of that. She understands technology but at the core, it’s her understanding of human behaviour and her focus on effectiveness that set her apart.”
Sonal Narain said, “The opportunity to marry human insight with technology and create fundamental change only comes along once in a while and few agencies are as well placed to take advantage of this as Cheil India is. As a dynamic and young organisation that’s shown steady growth in both size and reputation, Cheil seeks to up the ante and I’m hugely excited to be part of that.”
Sonal Narain was promoted to regional planning director and joint head of planning for the Singapore office two years ago. Narain also led Ogilvy’s behavioural sciences unit, Ogilvy Change, which launched in Singapore last July.
Sonal Narain started off her career as a planner at Publicis Ambience in India before moving to McCann. She has also worked on the media agency side of the business with a year at Mindshare Singapore. She joined Ogilvy in 2008, where she stayed except for a four-month stint at Iris Worldwide Singapore before moving back.
She has won numerous planning awards, among them an IPA Effectiveness Award gold for the Health Promotion Board campaign ‘I Quit’. Last year she was named planner of the year at the Institute of Advertising Singapore Hall of Fame Awards.