Mindshare veteran Deepika Nikhilender takes MD role at ad tech firm CtrlShift

nikSingapore-based ad tech firm CtrlShift, formed at the start of last year from the merger of three companies, has named former Mindshare veteran Deepika Nikhilender as its new managing director.

Nikhilender joins the programmatic trading firm after an 18-year career at Mindshare, the last 11 as Asia Pacific business planning leader.

She was also chief executive of Mindshare Growth and Emerging Market Solutions (GEMS) for the past two years.

Nikhilender will report to CtrlShift chief executive and co-founder Rene Menezes and will spearhead the firm’s Marketer Solutions and Publisher Solutions divisions.

Her arrival will signal an acceleration in growth plans, the company said.

CtrlShift was created from the merger of media trading platform AdzCentral, digital ad services firm Better Digital and ad tech distribution company Asia Digital Ventures.

Co-founder and chairman Reza Behnam, the former MD of Yahoo Southeast Asia, said that since launching it has established a “solid foundation for strong future growth”.

“While we have been relatively tight-lipped about some of the advances we have made to date, that is about to change,” he said. “Our track record of attracting top talent in the industry, as evidenced by Deepika’s decision to join us, is further proof of our strong foundation and ambitious future plans.”

Menezes described Nikhilender as an “innovative and proven leader” who can tackle both the science of building an audience and storytelling.

On its website, CtrlShift proclaims the era of advertising is over, adding we are now in the era of “delightful brand communications”.

shift“With her market and product expertise and leadership, we aim to accelerate our growth plans significantly,” he said. “Deepika’s addition in such a critical role will further strengthen our leadership bench as we continue to build a world-class business, with world-class talent here in Asia.”

The Mindshare stalwart, who joined the media agency as associate director of its Singapore operation in 1998 before rising to general manager and then managing director, said CtrlShift was “charting new territories in helping marketers and publishers reach and monetize audiences at scale”.

“This is evidenced by the impressive list of local, regional and multinational clients they serve,” she said. “CtrlShift has a strong battle-tested platform, a strategically designed product roadmap and an amazingly strong team.”

In further senior level changes, Behnam and joint co-founder and director Pete Yoong will take non-executive positions on the board.

Yoong said the restructure will allow Nikhilender to work closely with Menezes while freeing up all three co-founders to focus on strategy.


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