Advisor, Senior Journalist, Columnist, Author and News presenter, India Today Group
54 year old Rajdeep Sardesai is a senior journalist, columnist, author and news presenter. Starting his career as an assistant editor at the Times of India in 1988, Sardesai has worked across print and television over the last 31 years. In 1991, he became the city editor of The Times of India's Mumbai edition. In 1994, he joined NDTV as political editor and eventually became managing editor here, overseeing the NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India news channels. In 2005, he set up the Global Broadcast News company and tied up with Network 18 and CNN to set up CNN IBN, and later IBN 7 and IBN Lokmat news channels as founder-editor in chief . In 2014, he joined the TV Today group as consulting editor and prime time news presenter. During his three decade old career, Sardesai has reported on several major stories, specialising in national politics, and has several important news breaks to his credit.
Sardesai has also authored books, including the national bestseller 2014: the Election that Changed India which has been translated into half a dozen languages, Democracy's XI: the great Indian cricket story which was shortlisted by MCC Lords as the cricket book of the year. He has contributed to several edited volumes including a book on the 1992-93 riots "When Bombay Burned' and one on the 2002 Gujarat riots. He also has a fortnightly column on politics in the Hindustan Times, Dainik Bhaskar and half a dozen regional languages since 2005.
Sardesai is the recipient of several awards for journalism including the Ramnath Goenka award for journalist of the year (2007) for his election reporting, the international broadcasters award for coverage of the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Asian television award five times, the Indian Television Academy news anchor on ten occasions and is a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2008. An alumnus of St Xaviers College Mumbai where he studied economics and Oxford university where he studied law, Sardesai lives in Delhi.
CEO - India & South East Asia, Havas Media Group
Anita Nayyar is a veteran of the Indian media industry. As CEO, she took on the mandate of expanding the Havas Media Group footprint in the emerging South Asia markets in 2006. In 2018, she was promoted to be the CEO – Havas Media Group, India & South East Asia.
Under her leadership Havas Media Group in India has grown exponentially. It has expanded its offerings as an integrated communications group for traditional, digital, mobile, performance marketing and out-of-home. The agency has grown 18 times in 13years.
Havas Media was ranked as the No.1 Indian Media Agency by R3 New Business League from April - September 2017. It was ranked among the Top 10 Media Agencies by Brand Equity Agency Reckoner 2017-18-19. It was ranked both in 2016 and 2015in the Top 5 India Media Agencies by RECMA, Qualitative Evaluation 2015 and 2014 respectively. Havas Media was rated outstanding (A-) in the Agency Report Card 2017 &ranked as the No.2 Indian Media Agency in 2014 by Campaign India. In 2013, RECMA graded Havas Media at No.1 in Compitches in both their preliminary reports. RECMA rated Havas Media Group as the fastest growing media agency in India at 43%, 3x the industry in 2012.
Anita has been voted the 14th most influential person in Advertising by the Brand EquityAgency Reckoner 2017-18 and has been on Impact’s Top50 Women in Advertising, Media and Marketing for the past 8 consecutive years. Anita was awarded Vision Leader of the yearat Campaign Asia’s Women Leading Change Awards 2019 and CEO of the Year in 2018.She was theonly Indian to be appointed as the Media Jury President for 2018 D&AD Awards& Media Jury for Cannes India Young Lions 2019, on Campaign India’s A List every time it was published; conferred with Navabharat’ Iconic Award for Inspirational Women in Advertising 2018 by Maharashtra CM’s wife, Smt. Amruta Fadnavis; awarded Women Super Achiever Award 2018 at the 5th World Women Leadership Congress & Awards by Femina, won the Women Leadership Award for Excellence in Advertising & Marketing at CMO Asia 2016 in Singapore;won Women Achiever in Advertising & Marketing 2016 at the Indian Women Convention; won The Most Innovative Conceptualizer at the GLOBE Platinum Awards 2016 at World Business Conclave, Hong Kong; won the Women Leadership Award-Advertising & Media 2014 by World Marketing Congress, conferred with ‘Woman of the Decade in Media & Strategic Communications’ award by Women Economic Forum (WEF) 2017 and has been voted as Women Leaders-Advertising & Marketing by New Delhi Institute of Management (NDIM).
Under her leadership Havas Media Group India was selected as the Top 10 Full Service Advertising Agencies - Most Promising Marketing Companies 2016 by Silicon India Magazine; won the Creative Communicator award at the GLOBE Platinum Awards 2016 at World Business Conclave, Hong Kong;won Best Media Agency 2014 at the Asian Brand and Leadership Summit, Outstanding Office Initiative Of The Year for #HavasTenOnTen at Havas Media APAC Awards 2016 and Office of the Year in 2014.
Her 30+years in the industry have seen her manage a portfolio of brands across sectors. A prominent speaker, moderator, panelist and judge at all the major events and awards year on year; her views and opinions are sort by the media.
She has led top agencies in India including Sistas, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Initiative Media, MediaCom, Mudra Communications and Starcom Worldwide.
Anita’s area of expertise includes media, digital, mobile, entertainment, OOH and sports with a keen understanding of brand and marketing across sector.
She holds a Bachelors degree in Microbiology and has done her Post Graduation in Advertising and Marketing with a Masters in Management.
Head - Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability, Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd.
Sonia Huria, as Head - Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability at Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. drives the media conglomerate’s communications, network marketing and social impact agendas. She oversees brand communications for Viacom18 across all its five lines of businesses – broadcast entertainment, filmed entertainment, digital entertainment, experiential entertainment and consumer products – as well as leads one of the industry’s most decorated marketing communication functions.
Opening newer avenues for increased brand recall of Viacom18, Sonia has been driving the company’s corporate marketing agenda by creating synergies and opportunities within the media & entertainment industry and also across the larger corporate ecosystem in India. She identified Viacom18’s brand philosophy of Open New Worlds and leveraged it to establish the network’s brand identity.
In her role as the leader of Viacom18’s social impact agenda, Sonia has been successfully channeling the company’s commitment towards its primary focus areas – health and sanitation, promoting education, preservation of art and culture and women’s empowerment. Sonia is the force behind crafting the identity of Viacom18 as ‘the network with a humane purpose’ through Viacom18’s partnerships with various government and industry bodies and social impact organizations.
Sonia began her journey with Viacom18 in 2008, as part of the team that nurtured Hindi GEC – COLORS, as it launched. Her understanding of television, entertainment domain and the consumer space via her previous stints at Genesis Burson Marsteller and Weber Shandwick, helped her create a distinctively strong image for the channel. Sonia has not only spearheaded the launch of some of the biggest shows known to Indian television audiences, but has also supervised sustenance of their interest by adopting innovation every step of the way.
Sonia's innate awareness of the organization’s ethos and her finesse in positioning Viacom18 as one of the country’s foremost media organizations has yielded in several prestigious wins for Viacom18 in India as well as globally at PRWeek Asia Awards, South Asia SABRE Awards, GoaFest Abbys and Indian PR & Corporate Communications Awards (IPRCCA). She leads one of the most awarded Communications teams in Asia today which was recognized as the ‘Team of the Year’ at IPRCCA 2017. Sonia has been featured as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Indian Media, Marketing & Advertising Industry by Impact Magazine for 2016. She is also one amongst the only four Indians to be featured in the PR Week Global Power Book 2017. As an industry thought leader, Sonia serves a managing committee member at The Advertising Club and has served as a jury member on IPRCCA, SABRE Awards and PRWeek Asia.
A post-graduate from Xavier School of Communications, Sonia’s inner spirituality guides the wanderlust within to lose herself often, in the process leading her closer to self-awareness.
Director – Public Relations, Amazon India
Currently heading Amazon India PR, I have more than two decades across different aspects of communication. My work experience straddles copy-writing, journalism, corporate communications and film writing. Working across brands and industries as well as across Asian markets, I am passionately convinced about the power of communications to make a difference for organisations in how they are perceived and therefore with clear brand as well as business impact. We have seen a consistent increase in the role and sphere of influence on business.
I believe this is among the most exciting times in communication and what drives me is the dynamic industry where technology is bringing in disruptive changes. It is imperative to apply known insights while experimenting and growing into the new ways of communications to make it more effective, holistic and powerful. The other abiding interest is to ensure we nurture talent as this industry (in India) has grown too fast in recent years, causing excellence to sometimes take a back seat and to mentor for women leadership across companies.
I hold a Masters Degree in International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Bachelor of Arts in History from Stella Maris College, Madras University.
Country Group Head –South Asia, Communications & Public Affairs, Bayer Group in India
MD and Country Head, Corporate Affairs, India., Standard Chartered Bank
SubhayudrivesCorporate Communications, EmployeeEngagement,Sustainability, Media & Communitysponsorship, industry/trade engagements, and thought leadershipinitiatives for the Bank in India.
Subhayu has over 23 years of experience driving brand and marketing, communications and CSR for leading Indian and multinational brands in banking, capital markets and financial services.
In his previous roles, Subhayu headed brand and corporate affairs at Barclays, India, and has handled similar roles in his career including heading Communications & Channel Marketing at Tata AIG & External Communications for the AIG Group in India.
Across his career, he has led large media initiatives for build-out / transition of brands, business & products, and set up globally benchmarked message house, documentation and process controls. He is experienced in cross leveraging communications, Sustainability and digital platforms.
His interests include literature and art, ecological conservation, mountaineering and trekking.
CEO and Director, Zirca Digital Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
A visionary in digital media and advertising, Neena has more than 20 years of experience building organizations that lead the charge on effective and efficient communication.
After a decade at BBC, where she led the advertising sales and spearheaded the launch of BBC.com in India, Neena today heads Zirca, her entrepreneurial brainchild, started with a singular purpose to bring global brands and customers closer, by facilitating meaningful conversations between them.
Zirca is today a strategic business partner to several global majors in India that include The Economist, Microsoft, Outbrain, INC., Fast Company, TubeMogul, Ad Form and MediaMath. Zirca’s flagship native advertising management platform ContentdB, and its proprietary audience intelligence tool, ContentiQ, have birthed from her vision and ability to gauge the disruptive evolution of the market and respond with agility.
It is this ability that earned her the nick name of “The Sixth Sense” during her stint at BBC. Her strong thought leadership also sees her as a regular speaker at key industry conferences.
Her aim to facilitate meaningful conversations between brands and consumers through content and advertising, leveraging a powerful combination of smart technologies and relevant data, has seen Neena steer Zirca towards its growth into a 100-people strong multi-million dollar enterprise.
It also makes her one of the few women to have successfully made their mark in the digital industry. This fact has been recognized by the industry with Neena being featured at No. 33 on IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising List, 2019, making her one of the only two women entrepreneurs to make it to this list.
She was also chosen the winner of the Female CxO Trailblazers award by Tech Trailblazers for 2018, among an esteemed group of female CxOs representing many global majors.
A strong advocate for women in the workplace, Neena’s efforts for pay parity and equal work opportunity have led to her being invited by UN Women to speak at a Stakeholder’s Consultation to promote economic empowerment of Women at Work in Asia in September 2018 in New Delhi, India. She has also newly been conferred with the Women Super Achievers Award by World HRD Congress.
A BA (Honours) in Economics, an INSEAD Alumni and mother of two, Neena’s advice to professional women is: value yourself and love yourself. Don’t let others tell you who you are, what you should do, and where you should be in life. Make your own choices and be courageous to live with any outcomes they bring.
Chief Operating Officer (COO), Shemaroo Entertainment Limited
As Chief Operating Officer, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited, Kranti heads the revenue function of the company to drive extensive and sustainable growth. Kranti leads many strategic business initiatives that have had positive impact on multiple business areas - increasing revenues and improving overall performance of various business units. She is also responsible for controlling diverse business operations and oversees functioning of key verticals like digital media, domestic and international business.
Kranti joined Shemaroo in 2006 after a successful stint in marketing at Pepsi Co. Under her leadership, Shemaroo has not just successfully set up the mobile business but also established itself as a leading Mobile VAS player in India. Her understanding and clear vision of the digital future for content enabled Shemaroo to become one of the early adopters of YouTube for monetization of its content. She successfully launched many online propositions for Shemaroo.
In early 2015, Kranti created a new vertical – which was a team of specialists specifically handpicked to focus and identify new revenue streams for Shemaroo, christened as ‘New Business Division’. Some of the noteworthy accomplishments under this initiative have been the launch of Shemaroo Gujarati app, DTH VAS business and cable & licensing biz amongst others. She was instrumental in incubating the company’s expansion into the Direct to Home (DTH) segment.
A business post graduate from NMIMS, Mumbai, Kranti continues to drive multiple business initiatives at Shemaroo Entertainment Limited. She has also attended the women in leadership program called TANMATRA at IIM Bangalore. Kranti has been recognized as one of the young leaders at the recently concluded BW (Business World) Disrupt 40 under 40 ceremony.
Global Head of Communications, OYO
Prasidha is a seasoned Communications Professional with 15+ years of experience working with some of the most exciting and challenging brands in the country. Currently, she is leading global communications for OYO Hotels & Homes.
One of the youngest communications leads in the country, Prasidha Menon has mastered the art of delivering results in some of the world's most challenging operating environments.
In her current role as Global Head of Communications at OYO Hotels & Homes, she is leading both internal and external communications for the brand, globally. She is responsible for driving OYO's reputation forward and delivering against the company's mission of upgrading all forms of real estate and thereby providing quality living spaces to travelers around the world, through sustained corporate reputation management programs and targeted brand-building campaigns. A key member of the leadership team, Prasidha is a thought partner to every OYOpreneur, enabling them to share their side of the story ultimately adding value to brand credibility. In a span of less than a year, Prasidha has established and nurtured a full-fledged, high performing global communications team and defined the role of the function within the company driving some high performing campaigns.
Prior to OYO, Prasidha was heading communications for Uber in India and South Asia, where she built a global brand via corporate narrative development and storytelling, leadership positioning and executive communication, driving communication for several business milestones, strategic partnerships, executive visits, geo expansion, product launches, including market entry for the UberEats business and its expansion in over 20+ cities in India in less than 15 months. During her stint at Uber, she has managed several global issues and crisis situations with the goal of ensuring the brand is given its due by the local media houses.
Prasidha has also worked with leading PR agencies including Edelman India as the technology account director, where she crafted communications strategies and consumer campaigns for some of the biggest technology brands and Fortune 500 companies. During her stint with Edelman, she won Edelman’s coveted D.J.E. Fellowship Program, conceptualized and sponsored by the President & CEO Richard Edelman, which gave her the opportunity to work for Edelman Digital in San Francisco for two years. During her fellowship, Prasidha worked on the global communications campaign for the separation of HP into two companies, HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and worked on the corporate reputation campaign, brand positioning exercise, employee engagement initiatives, supported investor relations asks, managed social footprint, and assisted in the development of owned assets. She has also worked on several crisis communication projects during this period.
Prasidha specializes in integrated communications campaigns, with a strong focus on content and creative visualization, amplified through earned, owned and paid media outlets. She is known to be solution focused, self-driven, process-oriented, and a proactive and responsible professional, with strong logical reasoning skills, media and influencer relations and a positive attitude. She strongly advocates for women in technology and PR industry and believes that as communicators one should always be open to challenges and learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Prasidha holds a BA of Commerce (Honours), an MBA in Marketing & Finance.
Achievements, Accolades & Awards received
Speaker, Mentor, Author & Blogger
Ms Richa Anirudh- a Journalist, is a well-known face of Hindi television. She is best known for hosting the talk show ‘Zindagi Live’ previously on IBN7, then on ETV Network which won the Best Talk show award in all its 6 seasons. Zindagi Live was a powerhouse of emotions and raised many burning social issues. Now she brings the show on Youtube with the name “Zindagi with Richa” She also hosted a show called “Betiyan” on India News where she interviewed women achievers who have braved odds, fought the system, broken the glass ceilings and fulfilled their dreams.
For last 4 years, Richa has been an RJ on 92.7 BIG FM. From 2014-2016, through her breakfast show "Dilli Meri Jaan" she used to highlight the civic and social issues of Delhi. Presently she presents a show called “Big Heroes” where she interviews unsung heroes of the society. Also, she is leading a campaign on women safety on 92.7 BIG FM. Richa has started an NGO called “Meri Laadli” where she works to empower young girls through education and skill development
She is also the Editor in Chief of “School LIVE” magazine, an exclusive monthly magazine for the school community. This magazine encourages teenage students to express themselves through reviews, blogs, poems, stories. This is a magazine by the students for the students. Richa has been appearing as the Expert Advisor since 2011in the much acclaimed TV Quiz show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” hosted by superstar Amitabh Bachchan. In 2012, she was selected for U.K. Govt ‘s prestigious CHEVENING GURUKUL SCHOLARSHIP. which is offered to Only 12 Indians every year. Richa has received various prestigious honours and awards
Founder & CEO, POPxo
Priyanka Gill is the Founder and CEO of Luxeva Limited, the company that’s behind three of the biggest digital brands: POPxo, Plixxo and Luxeva. POPxo is India’s largest multi-lingual digital community for women with over 42 million users. POPxo has also launched its private e-commerce label with lifestyle products designed for millennials. Plixxo is the largest influencer marketing platform with over 39,000 influencers currently. Luxeva is a digital-first luxury content platform that covers all lifestyle categories with a strong affiliate product sales component.
Priyanka lives in Delhi and is the mother of two energetic kids. She enjoys cooking healthy food that complements her passion for fitness.