Ashish Bhasin promoted to new role of CEO DAN APAC – Singapore absorbed into Greater South cluster

Ashish Bhasin has been appointed to the new role of CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia-Pacific. Bhasin will be based in Singapore and will join the global executive team, reporting to DAN Asia Pacific executive chairman Takaki Hibino. 

Bhasin was recently given the mandate of CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Greater South in a reorganisation that was announced earlier this year which brought the number of regional clusters down from five to three. He will continue to maintain his role as chairman of DAN India, and oversee the Greater South cluster until a successor is appointed.

Under the current structure, Singapore too will be absorbed into the Greater South cluster at DAN. It had previously been a distinct entity given its role as a regional hub, headed by DAN’s deputy chairman and chief growth officer for Asia-Pacific Masaya Nakamura.

Prakash Kamdar

Isobar Singapore CEO Prakash Kamdar has now been promoted to CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Singapore. Nakamura will return to Tokyo in a new role as CEO global solutions. He will remain on the global executive board.

Bhasin was hired as the head of Aegis in India in 2008, after a two decade long stint at Lowe Lintas. He quickly scaled the operation which at the time had 50 people and was reportedly making losses, and negotiated the merger with Dentsu.

In 2015, Bhasin claimed DAN would be the No 2 network in India, second only to WPP, and in early 2017, he said this goal had been reached ahead of schedule, much to the consternation of his peers in the business. 

The growth of the network has been on the back of several significant mergers and acquisitions. On Bhasin’s watch, it has also made an impact at local and international award shows. The network recently appointed one of India’s most celebrated creatives Agnello Dias of Taproot Dentsu as its creative chairman.

Speaking to Mumbrella, Bhasin said: “There are certain inherent strengths we have as network that none of the competition has – the biggest one being our one P&L approach. We have deep specialisms available in almost every part of the marketing communication services setup and we have them all under one P&L able to deploy best talent resources and solutions as needed by the brand. 

“We had a head-start here compared to the competition, who are struggling with legacy structures and silos. As a group, we are also digitally ahead. In these times of need for digital transformation, we have a distinct advantage. Our approach is going to be to ensure that every market in Asia-Pacific utilises these strengths to its benefit.” 

Commenting on Bhasin’s elevation, Takaki Hibino, Executive Chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network APAC said: “Ashish’s appointment is critical for the region; enabling the markets to focus on client needs and growth opportunities while delivering operational rigour for the business.

“He was a clear candidate from the start with a proven track record of delivering long-term and consistent growth. Under his leadership, the business in India is now the second largest advertising and media organisation by revenue in the market. His long-term vision coupled with his acumen for identifying an opportunity is one of the best in the business, and I am delighted he will join me in leading the business in Asia-Pacific.”

Bhasin added: “I am thrilled to be taking on this new role within the region. There is never a more exciting time to be in this business; our competitive landscape is becoming more complex and fragmented while our clients are crying out for long-term vision and simplicity.

A note from DAN said: “This move further cements the recently announced cluster structure: Greater North, Greater South and ANZ in APAC, giving the markets and their leadership teams greater focus on identifying and moving into key growth opportunities.”

Bhasin’s promotion has also resulted in changes to the management structure in India. Anand Bhadkamkar, erstwhile COO and chief finance officer for South Asia, has now been promoted to CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network India. He will continue to report to Bhasin.

Anand Bhadkamkar

Bhadkamkar said: “I am extremely excited and honoured to take on this new responsibility. I look forward to embarking upon a new chapter in my career and work with Ashish as the chairman of India to continue building DAN into the country’s most innovative, future-proofed market-leading network.

“Our One P&L philosophy and our leadership status in Digital sets us up in the best position versus our competitors.”


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