Most recently senior vice president and head of the technology practice for Asia-Pacific at Weber Shandwick, Patel-Zinzuwadia will also be a member of the Asia-Pacific leadership team and reports to Patrick Ford, Asia Pacific regional chair.
The appointment represents a significant opportunity for the company to build its technology capabilities, and Patel-Zinzuwadia will also help the company serve the MNCs who use Singapore as a hub, Ford told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
Ford acknowledged that the market leader role in Singapore has been vacant for almost two years due to an "unfortunate series of coincidental events". Steve Bowen was the prior market leader. Efforts to fill the spot, by both Ford and former regional CEO Bob Pickard, had fallen through for various reasons, he said. However, the Singapore office did well despite the vacancy, for which Ford praised Danny Phan, managing director, who leads the corporate and branding practices in Singapore.
The office's performance afforded Ford the luxury to search for the right person, and he believes Patel-Zinzuwadia's experience on both the client and agency sides, as well as in multiple sectors, makes her that person.
The company has also hired Ben Evetts as director and head of technology for Burson-Marsteller Singapore. Also most recently with Weber Shandwick (in London), he has more than 14 years of experience.
Regionally, the agency had a solid year and is now well positioned to build on that success in 2014, Ford said. He cited growth in Japan and especially in China as strong indicators. In the latter market, Burson-Marsteller went from having four seven-figure accounts at the beginning of 2013 to eight today, he added.