Staff Reporters
Sep 2, 2021

Women to Watch 2021: Sonya David, iProspect

Recently promoted to an integrated role leading strategy for Dentsu's media service line and iProspect, David earned her stripes helping the team not only survive but thrive during a tumultuous two years.

Women to Watch 2021: Sonya David, iProspect
Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry

Sonya David

Strategy partner
Dentsu International / iProspect

Enhancing team operations over a tumultuous two-year period earned Sonya David a promotion in April to strategy partner for Dentsu International's media service line and iProspect.

During 2020 and 2021, David stepped up as the acting head of strategy at Dentsu X, where she developed a roadmap for Dentsu/DentsuX, led forecasting for 2021 strategy, and acted as strategy lead for key clients including Toyota, Asahi, Accor, Suntory Beverages, Singapore Life, Netflix and Pringles. She also delivered a Covid research report in 2020; took part in leading strategy for 10 successful pitches at global, regional and local levels, including TikTok, Lark, Facebook, Santen Pharmaceutical, Baxter, Brands Essence and Asahi; and managed licenses and contract negotiation across all local service lines, working with finance and legal teams to achieve 15% savings.

David also took seriously the stewardship of the team, planning and executing agency-wide initiatives during the work-from-home period. For example, she held virtual coffee chats with small, rotating groups of colleagues, which served as mental health checks and re-connection opportunities to ward off isolation. Her mentorship also helped two direct reports take on strategy leadership for new pitches, and she stepped in to manage delivery expectations with clients to help a team that was over-leveraged.

While strategy can be seen as very theoretical, David believes it helps to organise thinking from multiple perspectives, translating into realistic and practical plans that guide clear and successful delivery. As a leader, she invested in mindfulness coaching and believes that collaboration is what makes teams more effective.

David also considers it a duty to develop the next generation of talent and plays an active part in DEI initiatives. Among other projects, she has managed and delivered modules about strategy and tools for both business and media teams; developed an intern development roadmap and served on the committee of [email protected], an internal DEI initiative.

With Dentsu since 2016, David earlier worked as regional digital strategist for McCann and Southeast Asia digital strategist for AdPeople Worldwide.

Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry


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