Staff Reporters
Jan 26, 2024

Women to Watch 2023: Sujatha Maniya, EssenceMediacom

Establishing a new HR team for a major global merger is no mean feat, but Sujatha Maniya not only pulled it off but excelled, resulting in high employee engagement scores for EssenceMediacom, all while leading with her signature style of grace, humanity, and humour.

Women to Watch 2023: Sujatha Maniya, EssenceMediacom
Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms

Sujatha Maniya

Chief people officer, APAC

Growing up in Singapore posed many challenges for Sujatha Maniya. Coming from a minority ethnic group, she was bullied and called names in school along with her friends from underrepresented minorities. But Maniya was determined to stand up for her rights, as well as be the voice for other individuals treated in the same manner. 

Maniya's early passion to be the change-maker eventually led her to pursue a career in HR. Beginning at Millward Brown, she set up the HR department for Southeast Asia. Maniya has since worked in talent management across Starcom Mediavest Group, Publicis Groupe, and KPMG Singapore, before joining Essence as SVP, people partner, APAC, in 2022. She was appointed chief people officer at EssenceMediacom APAC in 2023.

Maniya has played a transformative role at the company, in particular playing a central part in orchestrating the integration of Essence and MediaCom across APAC. This has included driving the embedding of cultural principles by partnering APAC business leaders and talent partners on campaigns, which resulted in a high engagement score in an employee engagement survey.

As a leader, Maniya has demonstrated a stellar ability in assembling a new HR team at Essence APAC, crafting an ideal HR structure to support the business strategy, hiring team members with diverse profiles, and raising the awareness of HR business partnering with stakeholders.

A dedicated mentor, Maniya consistently goes above and beyond to guide and support her team and members of her organisations and the industry. She has also been proactive as a coach to business leaders, driving collaboration between leaders and the HR services unit.

Maniya has been an integral partner in the formation of EssenceMediacom APAC, and the impact of her work is evident in the success of the merger, the engagement of employees, a reduction in attrition, and increased client satisfaction. 

Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms


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