A decade-long McCann veteran and most recently chief strategist and innovation catalyst of Greater China at McCann Worldgroup, Thakar (pictured) handed in his resignation in February and left the agency this month.
Grey stated that Thakar's appointment clearly shows the group's ambition for this critical market, and the agency hopes he will bring similar strength and a much-needed competitive edge to Grey's Greater China operation.
Thakar has worked with Peng since 2007 and is highly regarded for his new business performance, integrated creative strategies and a strong advocacy for branded content when handling major clients like L'Oreal Group, Shanghai GM, MasterCard, Nestle, Bank of China, Coca-Cola and Haier.
Before moving to China, Thakar was deputy managing director and chief strategy officer at McCann Worldgroup Malaysia. His 18 years of experience covers stints in India, Southeast Asia and Greater China for Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB Mudra and Lowe Lintas.
He has also won multiple global awards at Cannes Lion, One Show, D&AD, Asian Marketing Effective Award, EFFIE and CLIO and has been a judge at the prestigious Jay Chait Awards for Strategic Excellence (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and Asian Marketing Effective Awards for Advertising Marketing Effectiveness (New York Festivals).
Peng, who came on board in Grey in mid March, comments, "I have seen Pratik connecting dots in new ways. He knows how to engage CMOs with business solutions and inspire a creative person with powerful ideas. He can seamlessly connect brand story with an engagement idea or digital content. He is a multifaceted strategist and he got good chemistry with clients and among colleagues."
"I won't say much here, very soon action and results will speak for itself, Jai Ho!" Thakar said to Campaign Asia-Pacific prior his new appointment. He will remain in Shanghai.
Grey Group is highly regarded globally for creating effective strategic work for bluechip clients including Proctor & Gamble, GSK, Sony, VW Seat, Tencent, British American Tobacco, Diageo, Eli Lilly, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Cerebos and 3M.