International: Publicis Groupe has appointed Ajay Thrivikraman to the role of Chief Creative Officer for Southeast Asia reporting to Amrita Randhawa, CEO of Publicis Groupe Singapore and Southeast Asia, and Natalie Lam, Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA.
Prior to this appointment, Thrivikraman was Chief Creative Officer Global Clients leading the creative work for Publicis Groupe’s dedicated units across P&G and Tiger Beer.
Thrivikraman will champion creative thinking and the power of ideas for over 3,000 staff in Publicis Groupe Southeast Asia across all business lines of the Groupe’s business. From a Groupe standpoint, there has never been a better time for Ajay to step into this role. There is new data, technology and possibilities with machine learning that are emerging every day. There are more platforms, more signals, and more data sources to inform the creative process than ever before. The ambition behind the appointment is to unleash the creative spirit no matter where it sits in the business to embrace a modern definition of creativity and make a mark in the market, making Publicis Groupe a leader in creativity in Southeast Asia.
Speaking on the appointment, Amrita Randhawa, CEO of Publicis Groupe, Singapore and Southeast Asia said: “Ajay’s appointment at a Groupe level is purposeful in its definition of going beyond the creative department. Increasingly creative thinking and ideas are coming from across all lines of our business and I want to see more of that! But to be able to see more of that kind of work you need a leader who not only is a master in creativity itself but has the collaborative spirit to bring people together, the mentorship skills to identify and build great talent across the business and the humility to continue to be curious and learn. And the minute you say those things out loud, well, that’s Ajay!”
Thrivikraman will work closely with Laurent Thevenet who recently joined the Groupe as the Head of Creative Technology for APAC and MEA and is also based in Singapore. Both have already begun to chart a course on key clients and built a solid partnership melding big brand thinking and modern creative breadth and depth.
Thrivikraman is one of the foremost creative thinkers in the region. Under his charge, Publicis has created work that has significantly impacted popular culture across brands such as Vicks, Olay, Safeguard and others in the APAC region; work that has not only driven business growth but been a force for social change and championing diversity, equality and inclusion. The work has made headlines in global media publications and news sites around the world and been highly awarded at Cannes Lions, Spikes, ADFEST, the Effies, WARC, D&AD, The One Show, Clio and more, over the years.
“In my one year with the Groupe, Ajay is my go-to when I need a sanity check, or when I have questions if an idea is big, pure and meaningful enough. In a day and age where the industry tends to act schizophrenically and be overwhelmed by all the new toys and distractions, having Ajay as the creative anchor to continue delivering powerful, meaningful work for our clients, while partnering with Laurent in the most innovative solutions, will be unstoppable for a high potential market like Southeast Asia. I’m thrilled to see Ajay taking on this role!” said Natalie Lam, Publicis Groupe’s Chief Creative Officer for APAC & MEA on Ajay’s appointment.
Consistently recognised as a creative force in the region, Ajay has been named among Campaign Brief’s Asia-Pacific Creative Directors of the Year twice, one of Singapore’s Most Influential Creative Directors, and APAC Creative Person of the Year at the 2018 Campaign Agency Of the Year awards. He is a regular on the juries at Cannes Lions, Spikes, the Effies and country-specific awards shows.
Commenting on taking on this role, Ajay Thrivikraman said: “Everything I know about our business, I’ve learnt here in this region, from the ground up. I see this as a great opportunity to put everything I’ve absorbed from the rich talent, culture, and creativity all around me to work; to help our clients’ brands grow, lead and be a positive force in people’s lives.”
The creative leadership for BBH Singapore under Chief Creative Officer Sascha Kuntze remains unchanged with Sascha continuing to work with newly appointed Global CCO of BBH, Alex Grieve.