Byravee Iyer
Oct 8, 2013

SMG picks Mindshare’s Yasir Riaz to lead Indonesia operations

SINGAPORE - Starcom Mediavest Group has poached Mindshare’s Unilever lead for Southeast Asia and Australia, Yasir Riaz, to head its Indonesia office.

SMG has appointed Yasir Riaz to head its Indonesia office
SMG has appointed Yasir Riaz to head its Indonesia office

As technical advisor, Riaz will be responsible for the expansion and future-proofing of the agency’s positioning in Indonesia while enhancing client relationships, SMG confirmed to Campaign Asia-Pacific. He will be based in Jakarta. 

The 16-year media veteran takes over from Ravi Bhaya, who will pursue regional projects within the Publicis Groupe. Riaz will report to Jeffrey Seah, country chair for Vivaki SEA and chairperson for the SMG Asia Digital Leadership team.

He will also be tasked with replicating the success he had at Mindshare, which has dominated several award festivals. At Mindshare, Riaz was responsible for agency targets, identifying opportunities and creating bespoke ideas across the Unilever brand.

Riaz was previously with Mindshare Pakistan and then moved to GroupM in Indonesia to manage clients such as Unilever, Danone, Sampoerna and Nokia. His past experience also includes stints at Geo TV and Grey in Pakistan.

“Yasir [Riaz] has broad and deep skillsets in digital, trading, analytics, strategy and talent management, which are important to a convention-defying growth market like Indonesia,” said Seah. “Coupled with his market experience and determination to succeed, Yasir is truly a liquid talent who has worked in Indonesia, Pakistan and Singapore.”

Bhaya has been with Starcom for eight years, six of which were in Indonesia as the office’s lead. Under Bhaya’s leadership, the Indonesia business quadrupled and won the global business for Garuda Airlines and other big local clients including Bank Mandiri and Bank Negara Indonesia.

His new designation hasn’t been formalised, but he is expected to remain in Indonesia until the year end.

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