Staff Reporters
Jun 21, 2021

India's Taproot Dentsu promotes Ayesha Ghosh to CEO in management reshuffle

Shashank Lanjekar is promoted to strategy chief as co-founder Agnello Dias ends his association with Dentsu.

(left to right) Ayesha Ghosh and Shashank Lanjekar.
(left to right) Ayesha Ghosh and Shashank Lanjekar.

Taproot Dentsu, Dentsu India's creative shop, has announced key leadership changes as it sees a co-founder exit the business and some executives take up larger remits. Ayesha Ghosh, who had previously headed the Mumbai office, has been appointed as CEO and Shashank Lanjekar, formerly the planning head in Mumbai, is promoted to the role of chief strategy officer (CSO).

Ghosh has been with Taproot Dentsu since December 2015. Agnello Dias, co-founder and CCO of Taproot Dentsu, will end his association with Dentsu international this month. Umesh Shrikhande, the former CEO left in March this year. Taproot's other co-founder and chief creative officer, Santosh Padhi, will stay on as co-founder and chief creative officer (CCO).

The agency also promoted Pearl Vas, who has been with the agency since 2018, to senior vice president (SVP) of strategic planning, from her prior position of vice president. 

As part of the change, the creative team for the Mumbai office has been expanded and divided into four units, each to be headed by a senior creative person. Neeraj Kanitkar, with 14 years of experience (nine of those in Taproot Dentsu) has been promoted from senior creative director to ECD and is the creative lead for Facebook, for which he has won the agency awards at events including Spikes. Yogesh Rijhwani, who has been with the agency for close to five years, handling brands such as Aquaguard and Set Wet, also gets a similar promotion. 

Taproot has also made some external hires to add muscle to its creativity. Abhishek Deshwal and Purva Ummat have joined the agency from Lowe Delhi and Purva Ummat as ECDs. Abhinav Kaushik, who was executive vice president (EVP) on the Honda business, among other brands, has been promoted to head of Taproot Dentsu Gurgaon, while Titus Upputuru remains in charge of creative for the Gurgaon office.

Padhi said, “The average age of the agency coming further down is the right sign for us being future-ready. Creativity is at the core of our business and we are lucky to have got a wonderful variety of creative leaders in the form of Neeraj, Yogesh, Abhishek and Purva Moved this quote down, because yo u had it up higher, at a point where None of these people had been mentioned yet fronting the agency to take it to the next level, along with [Ghosh] and [Lanjekar] in their new national head roles.”

Ghosh said, “It’s as exciting as it is nerve-racking to step into this role. Nerve-racking, because the standards set are very high. And these are tough times for business. Exciting, because we have young blood, hungry to prove a point." 

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