Staff Reporters
Dec 12, 2022

40 Under 40 2022: Abhishek Bhattacharjee, Publicis Media

Not one to shirk from a challenge, Bhattacharjee turned around a struggling business and increased morale in the workplace by investing in his people.

40 Under 40 2022: Abhishek Bhattacharjee, Publicis Media
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Abhishek Bhattacharjee

Managing director
Publicis Media

Abhishek Bhattacharjee knew he had a challenging task when he took on the role of managing director at Publicis Media Malaysia because the agency’s largest advertiser had just departed, leaving the agency revenue on the back foot with a steep growth target for 2022. But he pulled up his sleeves and went to work.

Eight months into his managing director role at Publicis Media Malaysia, Bhattacharjee drove new business wins like L’Oréal, PepsiCo, Luno, Darlie, and P&G to achieve 33.5% revenue growth over 2021. With an 83% pitch-win ratio, he transformed the company’s outlook by adding an annualised billing volume of approximately US$35 million.

However, Bhattacharjee did not do this alone. With the help of critical talent he brought into the agency, particularly in digital performance, Publicis Media Malaysia became a SEA performance hub for Publicis Groupe. As a result, the digital performance team grew by 83% in 2022 versus 2021.

When joining, team morale was not ideal, yet Bhattacharjee successfully built a positive culture, resulting in a decline of attrition by almost 50% in 2022.

As a leader, Bhattacharjee takes mentorship very seriously and uses new business pitches and client engagements as practical learning sessions. This ensures early exposure for younger talent, who, knowing they can fail as long as they learn, demonstrate a steep learning graph developing into robust professionals very quickly.

He also introduced a digital acceleration programme to work with fresh graduates regularly to train them in digital performance, with assistance from key partners such as Google, Meta and TikTok. This programme develops talent and moulds them into digital media professionals at Publicis Media Malaysia.

Bhattacharjee is also keenly focused on thriving through diversity. He has onboarded deep domain experts from Malaysia and talent from other parts of the region, such as India, Pakistan and the Philippines. One of the recent additions to the team is a woman ex-Pakistan national cricket player, who will now be working alongside Malaysians on one of the agency’s key clients.

Outside of work, he is deeply involved in media industry bodies in Malaysia, being a Council Member of the Malaysian Digital Association and the Malaysian Media Specialists Association. Bhattacharjee helps elevate media talent through learning programmes at these organisations and collaborates with others to advance Malaysia’s media innovation standards.

Outside of work, he aided in designing the brand vision, story, name, and logo for his fiance’s zero-waste business.

Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 


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