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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

Dentsu launches Amplifi in India

Dentsu Aegis Network has announced today the launch of Amplifi in India under the Executive Sponsorship of Kartik Iyer, President Media Agencies and Amplifi.

​​​​Amplifi is the media investment arm of The Dentsu Aegis Network, comprising four specialisations – Investment Management, Global Media Partnerships, Amnet and The Story lab.

Speaking on this launch, Ashish Bhasin Chairman & CEO South Asia said, “We are excited to launch Amplifi in India under Kartik’s leadership and bringing together the four key capabilities under one structure. In today’s world, our media partners have much more to bring on table for our clients, than just media inventory. Amplifi’s is uniquely placed to drive this supply-side convergence by harnessing data, technology, insight and content to help all members of the Dentsu Aegis Network operating model.”

As part of this launch, Sujata Dwibedy is taking over as the Group Buying and Trading Head from Harsha Joshi who has decided to explore options outside the company. On Harsha’s association with the group, Ashish Bhasin said, “Harsha, with her vast experience, has been a huge contributor in the growth of the media group. We wish her all the very best for her future.”

Kartik Iyer, President Media Agencies and Amplifi said, “Our constant endeavour has been to bring best in class solutions for our clients that enable their business growth. The launch of Amplifi is another step in that direction and I am very excited with this opportunity.”

Further, speaking on Sujata’s appointment, Kartik said, “Sujata, with over 20 years of media trading and strategy experience, has extensively worked across sectors such as FMCG, telecom, airlines, finance, alcohol and beverages and has led teams in the areas of planning, research, buying and strategy. Her holistic perspective will enable a better integration of all buying and trading functions across the group, in both online and offline media. Sujata will be supported by Prashant Nandan who has over 10 years of expertise in strategic digital marketing, media planning, media buying and content marketing across agencies like Isobar, Maxus and Motivator. Over the past 3 years, he has been leading buying for Isobar and now moves to Amplifi to deliver the digital buying and trading expertise to the group.”

Speaking on her appointment as Group Buying and Trading Head, Dwibedy said, “I am delighted to have been chosen for this responsibility to drive ROI and deliver value to Dentsu Aegis Network clients. In today’s rapidly changing media marketplace, I look forward to working with our agencies and media partners to deliver this value across media to our clients.”

Amnet, the programmatic capability of Dentsu Aegis Network, continues to grow from strength to strength and will now be a part of Amplifi.

The Story Lab, launched in 2015, will continue to operate as part of Amplifi under the leadership of Sunil Kumaran.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

SHEROES Expands Leadership Team

Onboards Deepti Beri, Ankoor Dasguupta, Vikrama Dhiman and Merril Diniz

SHEROES, the women’s network has expanded its leadership team as the company hits a high growth trajectory. Close on the heels of its successfully concluded multi-city flagship series, the SHEROES Summit, SHEROES, the largest network for women, gears up for its next leap as the definitive high trust, growth space for women on the internet.

Joining the team are industry veterans – Deepti Beri, Vikrama Dhiman, Ankoor Dasguupta and Merril Diniz.

Deepti Beri joins SHEROES as Chief Commercial Officer to lead commercial strategy, customer relationships and finance. Deepti also doubles up as company’s CFO.A hands-on professional, Deepti brings with her a stellar understanding of finance, fund raising, commercial strategy and commercial partnerships in technology led environment. With over 18 years of experience in IT/ ITES, media and consumer businesses, Deepti has worked with leading brands like Exlservices, Apollo Hospitals Group, Tangerine Digital and American Swan.

In her previous role, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Channel Partnerships at American Swan. Deepti outlines her vision, “We at SHEROES wish to associate with progressive organisations bringing in educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for women. Businesses and institutions creating new formats on women’s inclusion will be our long-term partners."

Previously an advisor to the company, Vikrama Dhiman, joins the team to scale product and growth as Head – Products and Growth.Vikrama brings with him 10+ years of product management, data science and leadership experience from MakeMyTrip, Hike, myAirtel, Zeta and WizIQ.His vast experience as a premier Agile Consultant will also see him contribute to strengthening the #SHEROES cultural advantage. A voracious reader and a speaker on Product Management and Lean Startups, Vikrama has a long-standing relationship with SHEROES. “Having known Sairee for years, and hanging around as a friend and supporter of SHEROES, this feels like coming home. SHEROES is a purpose driven tech-startup and resonates deeply with my values of a world with empathy and opportunities,” shares Vikrama.

Ankoor Dasguupta, joined as Vice President - Brands & Events, bringing with him a pedigree of 17 years across the full spectrum of brand solutions across print, digital, mobile and event productions. Having worked with brands like GENPACT, The Times of India, India Today, Yahoo! India, Quasar Media, Networkplay Media, Platformplay Media and Opera Mediaworks, Ankoor will help strengthen SHEROES Brand Solutions. Previously, Ankoor headed content and special projects at Comexposium India, the Indian arm of the French company. A core pilot team member for international event projects like TechCrunch, ad:tech, iMedia Summits, Modern Marketing Summit, Ankoor was an integral part of the pilot that launched ‘The Next Big Thing’ in association with Nestlé India in 2017.

“The mission that SHEROES is driving, pivoting each day, in a fast-paced environment is what enticed me to join the high energy SHEROES team. I strongly believe in the mission along with two things – ‘what we do’ and ‘why we do’. SHEROES products create high value, and with a cohesive team enveloping product, technology, mentors, counsellors, design, content, digital and our own set of events, I am sure this is going to be an exhilarating journey,” says Ankoor.

Joining this team, Merril Diniz, former Executive Editor at Careers360, leads the Content and Communications at SHEROES, bringing her experience of digital media, content strategy, brand campaigns, and communications to the table. Having started her career at Zee Interactive, she has worked with brands like Network18, Rediff.com, BC Webwise and Youth Ki Awaaz, wearing multiple hats. “I have followed SHEROES since inception. It is a brand that carries deep trust and faith among women in India. As the narrative expands to include a cross-section of women across class lines, I am excited to be a part of SHEROES’ growth story,” shares Merril.

Starting out as a career destination for women, SHEROES has developed into a multi-modal, multi-channel network for women with over 3 million members who benefit from its stack of communities,champions, content, conversations and companies.

Founder and CEO of SHEROES, Sairee Chahal says, “SHEROES is a unique proposition that can impact women and their journey very positively. As a platform, we are just getting started and will be a 100 million women network in the next 60 months or so. A strong high empathy team, generating high business value is crafting the SHEROES story. Building deep commitment to technology, consumer centricity and market focus will create an unparalleled story for consumer internet. We are making early investments into machine learning, artificial intelligence, sentiment analysis and fintech to build this platform as a global product out of India.”

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 00:00

ET Money's Big Billion Feat

Crosses transactions of Rs.100 crore within just 9 months

Times Internet’s personal finance management App, ET Money, India’s top finance management and investments app, has seen its users purchase mutual funds worth Rs.100cr. within nine months, a senior company executive said.

"We have seen huge inflow of money invested in mutual funds through the app in a short span of time. While 100cr is no where close to our real ambitions, its more of an indicator that our proposition of "simplicity on mobile" is resonating well with the new age Indians”, said Mukesh P Kalra, Founder & CEO, ETMONEY

The app which was launched two years ago has been downloaded by 2.5 million users. Initially conceived as a platform to help users maintain a roster of their daily and monthly spends, the app enabled transactions of mutual funds and insurance products few months ago. Its ability to digitally create the financial profile of its users & provide easy to understand simple solutions for such users has proven to work till now.

ET Money also tied up with Reliance Mutual Fund to create SmartDeposit, an investment solution that allows users to park surplus funds in liquid debt funds (very low risk mutual funds) that yield returns higher than bank deposits and allow instant withdrawal when required. On the back of such innovations, the company claims that today its the largest app based based investing platform in India in terms of monthly SIPs, AUM and New investors added per month.

Almost 70% of the transactions undertaken on the platform were in the form of investments in equity-linked mutual funds, according to company provided data. The app has attracted investors from outside the top 15 cities that traditionally account for a majority of mutual fund investments, Kalra said, and added that ETMONEY was acting as a catalyst for deeper penetration of financial products due to its super simple experience.

After helping users grow their money through Investments and protect it with Insurance, ETMONEY is working to make things affordable for its users through a unique data-led loan solution which will be launched soon. ETMONEY aims to eventually evolve into a full-stackfinancial services firm that is deeply tech, data-enabled & can be accessed on any mobile phone.

Mobile shopping growth is dialing up in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets, outpacing their more developed counterparts, according to the latest Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey.

Consumers in the Philippines (53.5 percent) and Malaysia (55.6 percent) top the region with the highest year-on-year growth in mobile shopping, recording increases of 12.6 percent and 10.1 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, consumers in India (75.8 percent) retain their crown as the region’s top mobile shoppers for the second consecutive year, having made at least one purchase through their mobile phones in the three months preceding the survey. China’s mobile shoppers remain a close second at 71.4 percent, followed by Thailand at 65 percent. On the flipside, more advanced markets like Japan (31 percent), Australia (26 percent) and New Zealand (26 percent) are keeping their mobile purse strings tight.

Asia Pacific’s penchant for mobile shopping has also fueled a steady increase in digital wallet adoption, with more than one in five consumers (22.3 percent) using such payment methods. The region’s consumers are also embracing QR code payments. Over one in ten consumers use QR code payments with the most avid users hailing from China (42.6 percent) by a wide margin.

“Consumers in many of Asia Pacific’s emerging markets are mobile-first users, having leapfrogged the traditional payment evolution. Their governments are making significant efforts to push the development of the e- and m-commerce landscape as well as its supporting infrastructure, which has in part contributed to the growth we’ve seen in the latest survey results,” said Benjamin Gilbey, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

“Today’s consumers have shifted from simply being one-device users to one-app users, as they demand more seamless payment experiences. This calls for greater collaboration between public and private sectors and industry players, to facilitate interoperability among the plethora of payment options available today. Recent progress made in this direction, such as the standardizing of QR-based payments in India and Thailand, has been encouraging. We see many opportunities for further growth and remain committed to working with industry partners in enabling commerce for every device,” noted Mr. Gilbey.

Key findings from the Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey:

Over the past five years, shoppers in India tracked the largest increase in mobile shopping by 45.5 percent across Asia Pacific. Following closely were the Philippines with a growth of 32 percent and Malaysia with 30.2 percent.

While shoppers in India (45.5 percent) and China (38.2 percent) lead the pack as the region’s most avid digital wallet users, Malaysia recorded the largest growth in usage with a 14.8 percent increase from 11 percent the previous year.

Majority of consumers across the region (53.6 percent) cite convenience as a key reason for shopping on their mobile devices, particularly those in China (70.9 percent), Thailand (60.8 percent) and Taiwan (59.2 percent). Contrary to the rest of the region, majority of consumers in Malaysia cited the ability to shop on the go as a key reason, as opposed to convenience.

Clothing and fashion accessories (34.9 percent), personal care and beauty products (21 percent) and movie tickets (20.2 percent) are the top purchases made by Asia Pacific’s mobile shoppers. Interestingly, this was not the case for mobile shoppers in Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, whose top purchases include books, CDs and DVDs; toys and gifts; and personal and beauty care products, respectively.

Consumers in China (27.8 percent) and Korea (26.8 percent) lead the region when shopping for items from supermarkets and superstores via their mobile devices.

Preferences for in-store shopping continues its steady decline across Asia Pacific, dropping to 45.9 percent from 48.6 percent two years ago. Consumers in India record the sharpest decline of 10.3 percent from 54.7 percent in 2015, likely due to the significant progress in developing the country’s e-commerce industry and supporting infrastructure.

WPP announces that its wholly owned global digital agency Wunderman has acquired a majority stake in Pierry, Inc. (“Pierry”), an industry-leading marketing software integration and solutions company specializing in optimizing campaigns on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Pierry’s revenues were US$14.5 million for the period ended December 31, 2016. Clients include LifeLock, Louisiana Tech University, Major League Soccer team the San Jose Earthquakes and YETI Coolers. Pierry is based in Redwood City, CA, with offices in New York City, Kyoto and Boulder, CO. It employs approximately 100 people and was founded in 2008.

A recognized leader in creating technology-driven consumer experiences using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Pierry’s mission is to help companies optimize their digital marketing initiatives through a unique combination of technology expertise and creative excellence. Utilizing its proprietary MaaS™ (Marketing as a Service) approach, Pierry helps clients design, develop and execute customized marketing programs that dramatically improve efficiency, impact, and increase ROI. Pierry is a Salesforce Platinum partner and was ranked #6 in the “2016 Fastest Growing Companies” by the San Francisco Business Times.

The investment continues WPP's strategy of focusing on three key areas that differentiate the Group's offering to clients: technology, data and content. WPP's digital assets include companies such as Acceleration (marketing technology consultancy), Cognifide (content management technology), Conexance (data cooperative), Deeplocal (innovation studio founded as a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University), Marketplace Ignition (Amazon-focused ecommerce), Medialets (mobile ROI measurement), Salmon (e-commerce), The Cocktail (digital consultancy) and Hogarth (digital production technology). WPP also has investments in a number of innovative technology services companies such as Globant and Mutual Mobile, as well as ad technology companies such as AppNexus, Celtra (creative management platform), comScore (data investment management), mySupermarket, Percolate, ScrollMotion and Within Unlimited (VR/AR).

The Group has invested in digital content companies like Russell Simmons' All Def Digital, Fullscreen, Gimlet, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), MRC, Mic, Mitú, Refinery29, Uproxx Media Group and VICE. WPP's roster of wholly owned digital agencies include AKQA, Blue State Digital, Essence, F.biz, Mirum, POSSIBLE, Triad Retail Media, VML and Wunderman.

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