Assessment Jury

Aalok Bhan
Director and Chief Marketing Officer
Abhishek Madhavan
SVP, Growth and Marketing
B Krishna Rao
Sr Category Head
VP Marketing
Devarshy Ganguly
VP - Marketing
Sr. General Manager and Head – Marketing and Product Management
Kunal Malhotra
Category Head Marketing – Mainstream Chocolates and Confectionary
Nitesh Chhapru
VP - Marketing & Business Innovation
Nikhil Mittal
Vice President Marketing
Rajesh Pantina
Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific
Richa Sharma
Director - Brand Marketing
Ryan Fernandes
Head of Marketing & E‐Commerce
Sarika Naik
Chief Marketing Officer & Chairperson, Diversity, India
Shirish Agarwal
Head- Brand & Marketing Communication
Smita Murarka
VP – Marketing & Ecommerce
Sugato Banerji
Corporate Head of Marketing
Sujatha V Kumar
Head Marketing for India and South Asia
Sudhanshu Nagpal
Associate Director – Marketing (Biscuits)
Tarun Bhagat
Director- Marketing, Hydration and Cola

Rajesh Pantina
Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific, InMobi

Rajesh Pantina leads the marketing for InMobi across the Asia Pacific region. In his previous roles at InMobi, Rajesh has led product marketing for InMobi's Performance and Monetisation solutions across Asia Pacific and as Founders' Staff in the marketing function. Rajesh is an alumnus of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

Sarika Naik
Chief Marketing Officer & Chairperson, Diversity, India, Capgemini

Sarika is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chairperson for D&I at Capgemini Technology Services, India. She bears nearly two decades of rich and diverse industry experience, with a rare combination of global marketing, sales & corporate functions.

At Capgemini, she is responsible for enhancing the Brand amongst customers, employees and industry at large. She has been also playing an active role in shaping the organization’s diversity practices, and is committed towards building a more inclusive workplace at Capgemini. Sarika is also a Capgemini Expert in Corporate Functions, Front Line Sales, and Global Marketing.

Sarika is also appointed as the Head of the Center Head Organisation (CHO) at Capgemini in India. The CHO is the nerve-centre of the 100,000+ organisation with presence across 12 locations in India and plays a pivotal role in creating a uniform, consistent, sustainable and scalable Capgemini experience for all stakeholders - both internal and external - across all locations.

Prior to joining Capgemini, Sarika was the Global Head of Marketing for Infrastructure and Cloud Computing business and Customer Experience Head for Dell Services, India. While leading the marketing function, she has pioneered initiatives to enhance organization’s brand presence through integrated marketing programs and was part of Dell India Employee Welfare board.

Prior to Dell, she was with Wipro for over 15 years having worn many hats in roles spanning sales, process excellence, customer advocacy and marketing for Global Infrastructure Services and Wipro InfoTech. As CMO for Wipro India business & Head - Marketing for Global Infrastructure Services, she led Wipro’s brand enhancement globally through integrated marketing programs, sales enablement and client pursuit strategies, influencer relations - Analyst, Advisors and Media, demand generation and lead nurturing, Digital Marketing and Account Based Marketing and large scale Joint Partner Programs.

Sarika was also the Ombudsperson & Head of PSHC (Prevention of Sexual Harassment Committee) based on the credibility & high integrity demonstrated over the years at Wipro.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering and a Master’s degree in Marketing Management. Sarika is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt in DMAIC, LEAN and TQSS Methodologies.

Nidhi Gulia
CMO, Hero Cycles

Coming soon...

Sudhanshu Nagpal
Associate Director – Marketing (Biscuits), Mondelez

Sudhanshu Nagpal is Associate Director – Marketing (Biscuits) at Mondelez India Foods Private Ltd. His role includes delivering the strategy and landing the overall innovation and communication agenda on the brands and delivering the P&L for this category, in India.

Sudhanshu joined Mondelez India in January 2005 as a Management Trainee and has worked across sales, brand/category management, innovation and customer marketing functions in categories like Chocolates and Biscuits. He is part of both, the Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA) Biscuit Leadership Team and the India BU Leadership Team.

Sudhanshu was recently featured in Impact’s 40 Under 40 List, the listing that identifies the top 40 achievers in the Indian Media, Marketing and Advertising domain who are under 40 years of age.

Sudhanshu holds a PGDM in Marketing from IIM Calcutta.

Aalok Bhan
Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Max Life Insurance

A leader with long standing expertise of over two decades in financial services and banking, Aalok Bhan leads the Marketing function at Max Life as Director and Chief Marketing Officer. In his role, Aalok oversees the company’s Product, Branding and Corporate Communication strategies towards strengthening Customer-Oriented Product Design strategies, Brand Positioning and Marketing, as well as managing all Corporate & Internal Communications.

Aalok joined Max Life in 2012 as part of the Executive Management Committee and later transitioned to establish Max One in 2013. After a brief stint as the Head of Product, Marketing and Corporate Communications, in October 2016, he assumed the responsibility of Chief Distribution Officer. Under his leadership, Aalok led the company's distribution footprint across the nation with the responsibility of managing and driving Agency and all bank partnerships, further strengthening the company’s multi-channel distribution architecture and growing its market share.

Prior to joining Max Life Insurance, Aalok was briefly with Dresdner Bank AG, India as the CEO (designate) and Managing Director, before establishing FAB Advisors in mid-2009. He also worked with ABN Amro Royal Bank of Scotland (post buy over of ABN) from 2001 to 2008 and with the Standard Chartered Bank for a decade (1991-2001). Aalok is a Post Graduate in Business Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi.

Devarshy Ganguly
VP - Marketing, Dr.Oetker India Pvt Ltd

Devarshy has over sixteen years of experience across strategy, marketing, media and B2B with leading Indian and International F&B brands.

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and TAPMI, Manipal, his body of work includes managing large brand portfolios, being part of the core team of an FMCG start-up and launching some iconic global brands in India. Amongst the many brands he has managed, certain worthy mentions are M&M’s, Snickers, Galaxy/Dove, McDowell’s No. 1, Teacher’s and Del Monte.

Currently, he is Vice President with Dr. Oetker India leading the marketing team with an ambition to scale up the portfolio and drive growth. He and his team have been instrumental in launching the recent brand campaign “Iska taste mile, to sab milein” for brand FunFoods by Dr. Oetker

Devarshy is a foodie and an avid traveller who loves to explore new cultures and cuisines. He strongly believes in building businesses by nurturing brands and people.

Smita Murarka
VP – Marketing & Ecommerce, Duroflex

Smita leads the marketing and ecommerce function at duroflex- India’s leading Sleep solutions brand.

With over 17 years of rich experience in Brand building, Business Strategy, E-commerce, Product Management, she was instrumental in building brands like amante, Lifestyle, bossini and many other consumer brands. Smita has been the recipient of the Women Super Achiever Award 2019 (World Woman Leadership) and Star Youth Achiever Award (CMO Asia), a testament to her expertise and success.

She is also a Certified Personal Branding Coach, and took to the added dimension in her career, due to her passion and experience in making people highlight their true potential & present themselves in their best avatar.

Smita is an avid traveler and a foodie, with an interest to understand cultures and consumerism across the globe.

Ryan Fernandes
Head of Marketing & E‐Commerce, Pantaloons

An award winning eCommerce and Marketing professional with a career spanning 20 years in FMCG, mobile phones & retail across 3 continents with Nestle, GSK, Nokia, Microsoft & the Aditya Birla Group.

Marketing & Digital thought leader with proven successes in digital transformation, brand building, Omni-channel, digital marketing, CRM, influencer, social engagement & performance marketing. Currently leads Marketing & eCommerce at Pantaloons at ABFRL.

Nikhil Mittal
Vice President Marketing, White Hat Jr

Nikhil Mittal is a firm believer in the power of early adoption of an emerging business category, and to dominate the market during its popularity.

With that vision, he joined WhiteHat Jr as the 1st marketing employee of the company, which is now India’s second-largest ed-tech company at a revenue run rate of $150 Million in just 18 months of inception.

As an early member of the core team at WhiteHat Jr, he spearheaded the growth of the company. Under his leadership, WhiteHat Jr grew from a user base of zero to 7 million in 18 months and counting, creating a completely new category with a strong NPS>60. WhiteHat Jr emerged as a cash flow positive business, with marketing cost accounting for less than 20% of the total revenue m-o-m. This gave the business enough leverage to grow multifold without any dependence on external capital.

Nikhil started with deep product-led growth-marketing at WhiteHat Jr powered with the hardcore performance-driven approach. The goal was to make the word of mouth incredibly strong with exceptional product experience and enough triggers and opportunities to amplify virality and referrals.

Under Nikhil’s tutelage, WhiteHat Jr produced its first TV Ad and a series of endorsements by celebrities such as sportspersons Mary Kom, Virender Sehwag, Vijender Singh, film personalities like Sonu Sood, Farah Khan and many others.

With the brand’s international expansion underway, he is now actively involved in positioning the company as a truly global platform. WhiteHat Jr platform is currently available in 7 countries and expanding to over 20 more in the next 3 months.

Since teachers are the heart of WhiteHat Jr’s family, Nikhil also created a robust supply mechanism to hire highly qualified women workforce of 6000+ educators and counting to over 20000 by the end of this year.

Nikhil graduated from Goa Institute of Management and has extensively worked in the field of data and tech/product-driven growth marketing at Vodafone, Zain Telecom, Tata Docomo, Google and Ericsson across India and international (Africa, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, rest of Middle East).

Apart from his contributions in the corporate marketing field, Nikhil has volunteered for teaching and education awareness programmes for slum dwellers in Goa, India.

Abhishek Madhavan
SVP, Growth and Marketing, MPL

Coming soon...

Nitesh Chhapru
VP - Marketing & Business Innovation, Diageo India

As Chief Innovation Officer, Nitesh is currently driving inorganic revenue growth for Diageo India by leading cross-functional business teams. He is responsible for core brand relaunches and variant/line extension innovations on core brands. An important aspect of his role also includes devising new format and delivery innovations, new-to-world category and new-to-world brand innovations.

Nitesh has also led the Premium Core & Reserve portfolio from July 2015 till end of 2017 driving marketing, innovation and annual business performance on Scotch Whisky, Malts, Premium Vodka, Gin & Rum

In 2014 as Head of Innovation for Diageo India, Nitesh built the Innovation process, talent & capability program & successfully relaunched core brands like McDowell’s, Royal Challenge, Signature and Antiquity.

Nitesh joined Diageo India back in 2006 and was responsible for marketing the Johnnie Walker portfolio, after which he moved to Global Innovation based out of India leading the Innovation pipeline strategy and setting up the Innovation function in the country. In 2010, he moved to the Diageo South East Asia business in his innovation role, managing markets like Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, where he led the creation of the Ready-To-Drink Innovation pipeline and turnaround of Smirnoff ICE business. 

Prior to Diageo USL, Nitesh has worked across Strategy & Marketing roles with The Bennett & Coleman Group and Asian Paints. He completed his Master’s in Business Administration in 2003 from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. 

An innovator by disposition, his key expertise lies in simplifying business problems and delivering performance at PACE. In his spare time, Nitesh likes to play sports, explore travel and gourmet foods and work on ideas for a sustainable future.

Richa Sharma
Director - Brand Marketing , PhonePe

Coming soon...

Sujatha V Kumar
Head Marketing for India and South Asia , VISA

Overview: Sujatha has over 20 years of working experience in the field of Marketing. She has worked extensively in all key areas, such as Brand Development, Launch Strategy, Category Management, Retail Strategy and Promotions, Creating Advertising, Media, Consumer Behaviour, Client Engagement, Market Research and In-market implementation of Programs

Current Position and Responsibilities: Sujatha is the Head of Marketing for Visa for the India and South Asia region. She is responsible for driving the overall marketing strategy and execution, including consumer, retail and digital marketing initiatives for India and the emerging markets of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Maldives.

Previous Positions: Prior to joining Visa, Sujatha was leading Marketing & Strategy at Google as Head of Brand & Reputation. Sujatha started her career at Procter & Gamble and, over the years, has gathered rich experience in sales and marketing across strong consumer marketing companies such as Gillette, Nokia, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Coca-Cola.

Other Information: Sujatha is a graduate in Psychology and holds an MBA in Marketing. She is also the lead singer of a band "Mid Life Crisis” (a band comprising people from the corporate world who have a passion for music), and they have been performing in concerts for the last five years.

Sugato Banerji
Corporate Head of Marketing, Videocon D2H

Sugato Banerji is the Corporate Head of Marketing at D2H, Dish TV India Ltd, India’s first and pioneering DTH operator.

With over 32 years’ industry experience at his disposal, Sugato has a wealth of knowledge in service marketing having worked with large service brands in the past. He started his career in sales in Xerox and then spent 8 years in leading advertising agencies, JWT and Lintas, where he worked on brands like Tata Steel, ITC and HUL. Thereafter, he shifted to marketing and rose to become the head of consumer marketing in Standard Chartered Bank has successfully launched several innovative credit cards and the iconic Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, a benchmark in event sponsorship in India. He was in the core team that launched Airtel Digital TV, which became the brand leader in DTH within 18 months of launch. Before being a part of Dish TV, as head of marketing Videocon D2H, he was associated with the Harvard case study on In Film Branding in the movie Sultan. Currently, he is leading the D2H marketing and customer experience retention teams within Dish TV.Sugato’s greatest strengths are his passion for work, creativity drive, and leadership. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach.

Sugato is an alumnus of IIT BHU and IIM Bangalore. When not at work, he can often be found as a guest lecturer in leading business schools or busy with his camera.

Karthik Yathindra
Sr. General Manager and Head – Marketing and Product Management, Jockey India

Mr. Karthik Yathindrahas over a decade’s experience inSales, Retail, Marketing and Business Management across consumer brands in the fashion and lifestyle space. In his current stint at Jockey India, he has played an instrumental role in building Jockey to be amongst the most respected and aspired brands in the country. In addition to creating some memorable marketing campaigns, he is credited for having successfully steered the brand to enter new product categories and catering to new consumer segments in India. In his words “Most of my day is spent working closely with teams, nurturing functions to make Jockey in India future-ready.”

He started his career with Titan Company Limited in the Watches and Accessories Division. During his stint at Titan which lasted over six years, Karthik took on various roles including Sales and Distribution, Retail Operations, Product Management and Marketing across brands like Titan, Fastrack, Sonata and Zoop.

Karthik is a gold medalist from T. A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal and holds a bachelor’s degree in Academic Law. In his free time, he enjoys travel and indulging in adventure sport.

Prachi Mohapatra

Coming soon...

Shirish Agarwal
Head- Brand & Marketing Communication, Panasonic India

Shirish Agarwalis the Head - Marketing Communications and Brand at Panasonic India, overlooking operations across the country.He is responsible for devising marketing strategy for new and existing products/services and driving sustainable and profitable growth for the company.

With over 16yearsof industry experience, he specializes in brand media andcommunication strategy, digital advertisement optimization, consumer insights, trade and channel marketing with a strong business & ROI focus.Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Shirish thrives on challenges.

At Panasonic, Shirish is credited with many successful campaigns from the launch of Connected Living platform – Miraie, to numerous consumer durable campaigns. Some noteworthy campaigns include - #BakeMeHappy for Microwaves; #IntelligentHAI for the new range of AI enabled refrigerators; #KapdoKiImmunity for the Washing Machine range.

Shirish is an alumnus of Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) Graduate School of Business, Seoul, South Koreaand holds a MBA degree in Management & Marketing. In his free time, Shirish likes to travel and explore new places andenjoys adventure sports.

Kunal Malhotra
Category Head Marketing – Mainstream Chocolates and Confectionary, Nestle South Asia Region

An Experienced Marketing and communication Professional with over 19 years’ experience in the Food and Beverage industry of leading brands and categories like Real Activ Juices, Maaza, Kinley, NESCAFE, Munch, POLO, and Milkybar. Also worked on the Nestle business in Africa as well as for the Foods category in Zone AOA as a part of the international assignment with Nestle Headquarters in Switzerland.

An avid runner, I have participated in Half Marathons in India and Switzerland. Love Cricket and follow Manchester United.

Tarun Bhagat
Director- Marketing, Hydration and Cola, PepsiCo India

Tarun Bhagat is the Director – Marketing for Hydration and Cola category at PepsiCo India. He has been associated with PepsiCo India for more than a decade now.

An alumnus of Symbiosis International University, Tarun brings with him a rich experience of over 14 years in accelerating company`s growth by marketing & innovation across power brands.Prior to his appointment at PepsiCo India, he was associated with United Breweries. Tarun is highly experienced in overseeing the planning, development and execution of an organization's marketing, innovation and advertising initiatives while outlining long term strategic vision and short-term goals. He has led various marketing campaigns for brand promotion, increase in sales and volumes of businesses and strategic positioning of brands and sub-brands.

Tarun started his journey at PepsiCo India from being an Assistant Brand Manager Brand Manager for Pepsi and Tropicana to managing brands such as Mountain Dew, Quaker India, and Lay’s India. His expertise in marketing and communication has played a pivotal role for the brands that he has been associated with.

Charu Malhotra
VP Marketing, Hindware

Charu works at Brilloca Ltd, a leading building products company as Head of Marketing & Vice President. She oversees the entire marketing gamut for the iconic bathware brand HINDWARE along with steering the new age super-premium ALCHYMI and the luxury brand QUEO.

A dynamic Marketing professional with over 20 years of managing marketing and sales functions across varied sectors like FMCG, Banking, and Building material industry, Charu played a pivotal role in growing brand equity and leading all aspects of Brand Strategy at her last assignment at Somany Ceramics.

Suman Varma
CMO, Hamdard Laboratories

26+years of experience in partnering brands and businesses in India , with the WPP group – JWT , Rediffusion Y&R..

I have worked across categories on leading brands both multinational and local : ITC –tobacco & personal care, Surya Nepal, Projects for BAT Srilanka , GSK , Hamdard , Tata Steel Emami , Big 92.7 FM, Zee TV , Circuit work for Pepsi,Airtel& USL , Dr Reddy( Mynmar project ) , Jagatjit Industries, GPI, Tea Board of India, Coffee & Spice Board of India, Amway, IFFCO, Resurgent Rajasthan Summit , Unicef ,Videocon and all local jewellery brands of Bengal.

I am involved in mentoring programmes and am on the Advisory Board for NGO’s.& on the Board of a Retail Jewellery brand

B Krishna Rao
Sr Category Head, Parle Products

A postgraduate in Management from North Maharashtra University and currently based in Mumbai, Krishnarao Buddha has over 25 years of work experience in the FMCG sector across several leading companies such as Parle Products, Uncle Chipps, Maxwell Apparels and Excelcia Foods. Over the years, Krishnarao has also grown to become one of the key opinion leaders within the industry on several aspects such as business strategy, branding, marketing, advertising, distribution, manufacturing and sales to name a few.

In his current role as Senior Category Head, Krishnarao is responsible for Parle’s entire Snacks, Confectionery, Cakes and Rusk portfolio. He works closely across teams within the company to drive need gap identification and new product launches, pricing and profitability, advertising and media management, building brand equity and imagery and budget management. Over a period, he has developed a passion for turning round ailing brands.

In the 19 years that Krishnarao has spent at Parle, some of his landmark achievements includes the launch Parle’s Kachha Mango Bite to be the leading candy brand in the category, and launch of Magix cream biscuits to be a market leader in a span of three years of its introduction. Besides, he is the man behind the entry of Parle into the snacking category with a portfolio comprising brands of Parle’s Wafers, Chatkeens, FullToss and Mexitos. He has scaled newer heights in the respective categories. He is driving the rusk and cakes portfolio to contribute significantly to the Parle portfolio.

A strong believer in work-life balance, Krishnarao enjoys playing word games, reading, watching Bollywood movies and listening to retro music during leisure.

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