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Havas appoints first Group CEO for India as plans progress for Vivendi collaboration

Havas has flagged plans to ramp up its business in India after naming its first group chief executive to spearhead the operation.

The appointment of Rana Barua as CEO of Havas Group India has been described as a “major first move as part of an aggressive growth strategy”.

Vishnu Mohan, left, with Rana Barua

It forms part of Havas’s “Together” global move to integrate its creative and media divisions.

Barua, who will report to Havas Group, India & Southeast Asia chairman and CEO Vishnu Mohan, joins the agency from Creativeland Asia where he was CEO for just over a year. He was previously CEO at Contract India after spells at radio station and agencies.

Mohan said Barua will help build deeper relationships with Vivendi companies, a key aim for the group across the region.

Havas APAC chief growth officer and chairman and CEO of North Asia, Levent Guenes, told Mumbrella in August of the opportunities that lay in its ownership by Vivendi, which he said could create a “powerful” force in the region.

“Rana’s appointment is a key milestone in the Group’s ongoing efforts to build agile teams and integrated structures to deliver the most impact for clients,” Mohan said. “Rana is an ideal candidate as his expertise will build on what we have already achieved in India and take Havas Group India forward in its next phase of growth and expansion.

“Not only will his leadership strengthen our integrated product but also facilitate the collaboration between Havas Group and other Vivendi companies – Universal Music, GameLoft, Daily Motion –  to create a powerful marketing force, unique only to Havas Group in the market.”

He added that the appointment is the “first of a number of significant appointments and developments to move us ahead in that direction”.

Barua said: “The growing complexity of platforms and channels calls for a multi-dimensional approach to marketing and advertising and the Havas Village model of collaboration and integration is exactly what clients are looking for.

“I am extremely excited to be a part of Havas Group’s futuristic agency model and looking forward to working with the team to start a new chapter for Havas Group in India.”

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