BBDO has strengthened its leadership team in India by bringing on board Nikhil Mahajan as general manager for the Delhi office and Akashneel Dasgupta as chief creative officer. Nikhil Mahajan has also been appointed chief growth officer for BBDO in India.
Nikhil joins BBDO from Lowe Lintas where he was executive director. His experience, gained over 16 years, covers various industries including music, banking and advertising. His approach to business and client work has always been about pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, ultimately leading to the very best creativity. As a result, he has helped create, manage and grow some of the biggest brands in the world, from FMCG to Technology, with clients such as Unilever, Google, Walmart, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp and Pernod Ricard. Previously, Nikhil has worked at leading companies including GE, Standard Chartered Bank, JWT and Lowe Lintas.
Talking about his shift to BBDO India, Nikhil said: “As storytellers we need to not merely adapt but stay ahead of the tide while the others learn to ride it. When I met Josy and Suraja, there was an almost intuitive connect and excitement, on how we can shape the future. To find that kind of chemistry with key stakeholders is rare, and it’s critical to the success and growth for our brands. As the Delhi lead and the added responsibility of chief growth officer for BBDO, my key mandate is to discover new paths and ways to grow and I can’t wait to get going.”
Akashneel comes with more than 15 years’ experience in the advertising industry at agencies DDB Mudra, Lowe, Dentsu and ADK Fortune. Akashneel found his creative calling following a short stint as an account planner, where the creative lead recognised his potential and quickly placed him in the team. His work spans across many categories, from FMCG and automobiles, to healthcare, lifestyle and F&B. In his previous role as national creative director at ADK Fortune, he led the agency’s growth from 5 people to 55 people.
Regarding his move to BBDO India, Akashneel had this to say: “I have been keenly watching the work they have been doing in India for the last few years. It always resonated with me. So relatable, so every day and yet so powerful. Even at ADK, I was lucky to be part of work which was similar in nature and here I could see synergy. I’m excited to be part of the team keeping the creative legacy of BBDO alive alongside Josy and Suraja.”
Commenting on Nikhil and Akashneel’s appointment, Suraja Kishore - CEO of BBDO India - said: “At BBDO we believe the future of advertising is ours to shape, and in Nikhil and Akash, we have discovered co-creators for our exciting new chapter. From the first meeting, Nikhil came across as someone who has a compelling drive and responsibility to do what he can to shape the future. Akash on the other hand impressed us with his ability to imagine and execute a future that he envisions. Together, they will help take our business to great new heights, as well as for our clients.”
Josy Paul, chairman and CCO BBDO India, added: “Nikhil and Akashneel are natural born seekers. Nikhil is highly talented, with strong business acumen and an eye for creative storytelling, given his background in music and songwriting. And Akashneel is a creative enthusiast who is deeply rooted in the nuances of mass India. They speak the language of Gen Z and represent where advertising and marketing is going. Along with our young diverse talent at BBDO, we firmly believe they will create greater value for our clients as they push the industry forward.”