Job shifts in the advertising industry have begun, with almost 15 senior- and middle-level management people making a move in the first five days of the New Year.
The prominent people who have switched jobs include Sandeep Lakhina, who is joining Starcom MediaVest Group as managing director. He moved from a UK-based digital marketing firm and replaced Manish Porwal, who is set to join Percept Talent Management (PTM) as CEO this week.
Ramesh Srivats, executive vice-president and managing partner of Rediffusion DY&R, has put in his papers. Srivats, who had been heading the agency's Delhi operations since August 2006, is all set to start his own venture in the digital space.
Vishal Ahluwalia, vice-president (client servicing), Contract Advertising, too, is shifting to greener pastures while Sandeep Tiwari, who quit LG Electronics (India) as head (product marketing) late last year, has joined Dish TV, the direct-to-home (DTH) business of Zee Group, as deputy vice-president (marketing).
Gaurav Seth, previously head (marketing and communication) at Essel Group's Indian Cricket League, is the new business head of Vyas Giannetti Creative Sports (VGCS), India's first "sporting concepts" firm. VGCS is part of Mumbai-based Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion) Vyas Giannetti Creative.
According to industry sources, apart from these names, many more in both client servicing as well as in creative departments have put in their papers for better opportunities.
"People movement is a common process in the ad world but what stands out is the number of resignations and job-switching that happened within the first few working days of January," said a senior executive of a leading advertising agency.
Human resource blues started for Rediffusion as the agency saw the exit of its national creative director, KS Chakravarthy, and executive creative director, Ashish Khazanchi, last year. However, Rediffusion managed to get on board two well-known advertising hands -- Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar (of O&M) and Ramanuj Shastry (of Publicis Ambience) as its co-NCDs in 2007-end.
Dentsu Communication's Harish Arora, who had quit the agency in October last year, made a comeback by returning to Dentsu Communications (Delhi) to be part of the national creative team at Dentsu India.
In another move, the national creative director of Orchard Advertising, Thomas Xavier, was given the additional responsibility of chairmanship. Orchard Advertising is an affiliate of ad major Leo Burnett.
Grey Worldwide, Publicis Ambience, McCann-Erickson and Rediffusion DY&R were among the key agencies that witnessed the maximum people movement in 2007. According to industry experts, the advertising sector is likely to be affected by a shortage of skilled manpower in 2008.