Leo Burnett India ropes in Saraswathi Laxman & Gaurav Dudeja for Delhi ops

Leo Burnett India has strengthened the senior leadership in its North operations. The agency has appointed Saraswathi Laxman and Gaurav Dudeja as Executive Vice Presidents. Based in New Delhi, the duo will report to Samir Gangahar, President - North, Leo Burnett India. Their last stint was as marketers – Laxman comes in from ABP News, where she was the Marketing Head; while Dudeja’s last role was as Head of Brand and Marketing at Fortis Healthcare. 

Leo Burnett India has made these key hires at a time when the New Delhi operations are undergoing a strategic restructuring to leverage the strength of Publicis Groupe’s Power of One strategy. Power of One offers real business solutions and drives growth through integration across all the offices in the Groupe’s network. Operationally, the Delhi office will transition to a two-unit structure with Saraswathi and Gaurav heading a unit each. 

Welcoming the new leaders on board, Samir Gangahar said, “It is wonderful to have Saraswathi and Gaurav on board heading the two units within the Delhi office. Both being seasoned advertising and marketing professionals, they understand the need to solve clients’ business problems and will work together with our vast pool of specialists across media, digital, experiential, innovation and production to drive integrated solutions.” 

Apart from ABP News, Laxman has also spent a significant amount of time with retail brands such as Tata International Wolverine Brands, and Trent. However, she is no stranger to advertising, having worked at J. Walter Thompson, Publicis, Lowe Lintas and McCann Erickson. Her body of work on brands such as Hindustan Unilever, Johnson &Johnson, L’Oréal, Caterpillar, and Merrell, among others, is vast as it is compelling. 

Speaking about her new role, Saraswathi Laxman said, “As the environment of communication and clients’ marketing needs is going through a dramatic transformation and evolving dynamically, I felt it was the right time to come back to advertising. The Power of One philosophy being driven by Leo Burnett and the ambition of integration is where the future lies. That excited me the most and made me want to be a part of that journey, and to be part of the team to drive Leo Burnett India to the next level.” 

In the past, Dudeja has headed the marketing function at consumer durables giant Philips India, apart from Fortis Healthcare. Like Laxman, he, too has spent several years in advertising agencies, the longest stint being with DDB Mudra as Vice President. In his career, Gaurav has worked on leading brands like Volkswagen, Wrigley, HBO, Philips, ESPN, Star Sports, Boost, and Reebok, among others. 

Said Gaurav Dudeja about his new innings, “This is going to be my second stint in advertising, and it looks like an exciting time to make a comeback in the industry. Especially at a place like Leo Burnett, where I see an honest attempt to not only drive integration, but also a conviction to develop ideas that come alive in real acts and not just conventional ads. This makes advertising as rich and as interesting to me as marketing has been, with in fact a larger canvas of opportunity across multiple categories and brands. I feel that my time in marketing has added a new dimension to my thinking process, and I’m genuinely excited at the prospect of leveraging it for our brands to create work that’s integrated, effective and memorable.”


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