Staff Reporters
Nov 21, 2022

Women to Watch 2022: Shivani Maharaj, Wavemaker

Early on, Maharaj married her creative calling with passion. And the result is a stellar career marked by upward trajectory.

Women to Watch 2022: Shivani Maharaj, Wavemaker
Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms

Shivani Maharaj

Chief content and partnerships officer, AUNZ

Always ready to learn and inspire, Shivani Maharaj has championed the power of influencer marketing to great success, winning both pitches and devotees along the way.

As chief content and partnerships officer at Wavemaker Australia, Maharaj has not only overseen the ongoing and continued growth of content and partnerships, but ensured during Covid that they thrived. More of Wavemaker’s brand clients are seeking media solutions that go beyond traditional advertising, so Maharaj is tasked with driving addressable opportunities across the agency and for clients, building out the agency’s capabilities, and embedding content solutions into the planning process.

After completing a double major in communications, advertising and PR, Maharaj joined Australia’s largest magazine publisher, ACP Magazines. But after witnessing the power media agencies wielded with the advertising department, she quickly jumped to MediaCom in 2006. For the next decade, she honed her skills and sharpened her acumen to leave a mark in successful campaigns with Volkswagen-Audi Group, Yum Brands, Canon, and PharmaCare among others. She also received multiple Media Federation of Australia Award wins.

After a successful 10 years with MediaCom, Maharaj moved to Maxus Global which later became Wavemaker, where she led content creation across six offices: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Auckland. One of the first few people in the industry who completely grasped and employed influencer marketing, she helped make it the agency’s fastest-growing product, quadrupling revenue year-on-year.  

Responsible for leading the agency’s creative hub, Maharaj regularly pitches against creative, digital, social and PR agencies. She played a key role in the win of the L’Oréal in August 2021, as well as Danone and Audible in 2022.

One of the biggest assets is her relentless 'child-like energy' and ‘can do attitude’. This is evidenced by the fact that Wavemaker employees choose to follow her wherever she moves within the agency, as do clients. PharmaCare, a multi-million-dollar pharmaceutical client in Australia, has followed her from MediaCom to Maxus to Wavemaker, while Airbnb has asked for Maharaj to stay on their account as the Essence-MediaCom merger happens in Australia (she led the account win for Essence and Wavemaker).

Beyond work, Maharaj has judged at Cannes Lions twice since 2021—last year, as the only Australian judge for the Social and Influencer category; then for the Digital Young Lions in 2022. Within Wavemaker and GroupM, Maharaj dedicates herself to mentoring staff with generosity and consistency. She has guided countless careers over her 16 years at GroupM and her mentees have grown to be senior members in agencies across Sydney and overseas.

Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms


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