Staff Reporters
May 15, 2024

Asia-Pacific Power List 2024: Ravi Santhanam, HDFC Bank

From a ground-breaking merger to memorable partnerships with the IPL, 2023 was a year of significant growth for Santhanam, with only more on the horizon.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2024: Ravi Santhanam, HDFC Bank
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Ravi Santhanam 

Group head, chief marketing officer and head—D2C business
Returning member

2023 was a landmark year for Ravi Santhanam. In one of the largest mergers in Indian history, HDFC Ltd merged with HDFC Bank, positioning the brand among the top 10 global financial services banks.

Under Santhanam's leadership, the merger was executed successfully in-house, with a large-scale announcement in leading newspapers and branding across all physical outlets. The website was operational on the day of the merger. Following the emergence of a new brand entity, Santhanam made a significant foray into the digital realm with the launch of HDFC Bank Now, a platform that consolidates all of the bank’s digital offerings, such as Xpressway and PayZapp. Supported by an integrated brand campaign during the festive season, Xpressway—a highly personalised one-stop destination for customers to access retail assets and services from the bank—achieved a 40-50% contribution through unassisted onboarding for critical products like loans against cards and personal loans.

Following closely was the star-studded, tongue-in-cheek campaign introducing PayZapp, an all-encompassing payment app. Leveraging mainstream cricket and general entertainment channels, the campaign significantly raised PayZapp's profile in a competitive ecosystem dominated by heavyweights such as PayTM, GooglePay, and PhonePe, achieving 10 million registrations in a short period. Santhanam also partnered with Royal Challengers Bangalore to leverage the ongoing IPL season, enhancing PayZapp’s brand visibility and engagement among cricket fans and digital consumers.

In line with the bank's purpose statement—to enable every Indian to make better money choices today and tomorrow—Santhanam actively promoted the adoption of safe digital transactions, which also helped bridge the financial inclusion gap. He continues to lead efforts in fraud prevention through HDFC Bank’s social media influencer, ‘Vigil Aunty.’

Additionally, Santhanam serves on the Mobile Marketing Association board and is a member of the CII marketing committee.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


Campaign Asia

Related Articles

Just Published

43 minutes ago

Whose idea is it, anyway?

Jindal Steel campaign that won silver and bronze at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity sparked a row over creative ideation with Wieden+Kennedy

2 hours ago

SIA retains PHD as media agency of record

EXCLUSIVE: After five years of working with PHD, Singapore's flag-carrier Singapore Airlines has retained the agency for media duties.

2 hours ago

Tech On Me: Can adtech wean itself off MFAs?

This week's edition: The fifth The Media Responsibility Index is out, Snap launches a real-time image model, and TikTok ads now have AI creators, among other tech news in the region.

3 hours ago

How I came out in the workplace

Every LGBTQ+ person has their own choice, timing and path to recognise their sexual identity publicly. Here, the director of HR at DDB Sydney gives her perspective.