VML announces Babita Baruah as Chief Executive Officer of India

  VML has announced Babita Baruah will join as Chief Executive Officer of India from March 1, 2024, and will partner with Saurabh Saksena, who has been elevated into the role of President.

 With an accomplished career spanning 25 years in marketing and advertising, Baruah joins VML India from a dual role working across WPP's Ford International Market Group as Regional Client Lead and Executive Director at VMLY&R Thailand.  Baruah's journey began at JWT/Wunderman Thompson India, where she spent two decades leading global and local brands such as PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Godrej, Kotak Mahindra, Reliance, and Aditya Birla. In 2017, Baruah joined the GTB business in India as Managing Partner and moved to Bangkok in 2021 in a dual capacity role as WPP Lead for the Ford business across India, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Middle East, and South Africa, and Executive Director, VMLY&R Thailand.

As a British Chevening Scholar and speaker at various Indian and international forums including the India Conference at Harvard Business School in 2016, she is driven by diversity and inclusiveness. She is also one of the super mentors for WPP Stella India.

 Regarding the new role, Babita Baruah commented: “It’s an honour to lead a market like India for VML. I look forward to working closely with Audrey, Yi-Chung, Saurabh, and the whole team in India to make sure that we connect creativity, experience, data and technology, to be the preferred destination for India’s ambitious brands and talented individuals.”


Audrey Kuah, Co-CEO of VML APAC added: “Babita is no stranger to India, and we welcome her home as the new VML India CEO. With her vast experience in delivering innovation and growth for clients and a passion for building a high empathy and performance culture, I look forward to working with Babita to take our India business, already one of the strongest in the region, to new heights in 2024.”

Yi-Chung Tay, Co-CEO of VML APAC added: “Saurabh and Babita will be a driving force for growth in India. I’ve watched Babita grow the Ford and VMLY&R Thailand businesses over the years and I’m confident that she will do the same for our clients in India. Saurabh’s elevation is founded on his record of successfully integrating VMLY&R India’s offices, building culture and increasing profitability. I can’t think of a better duo to lead India, which is a key market for VML in APAC.”

 Saurabh Saksena has been elevated into the role of President of VML’s India operations and will partner with Baruah on the leadership of the agency. Over the past 30 years, Saksena has delivered business growth, managed change and transition, and built deep internal capabilities across the five agencies including a decade at Wunderman Thompson and most recently VMLY&R. Over the years, he has worked with ambitious brands in diverse categories such as, CPG, retail, finance, technology, automotive, e-commerce and QSRs.

Saksena added: “I’m very excited to continue this journey of building a strong and successful VML with Babita by orchestrating innovative growth solutions for our clients that sit at the intersection of creativity, experience, data and technology.”

As one of the leading creative companies globally, VML India been responsible for some of the markets most successful campaigns and connected brand experiences; awarded globally for work such a Maxx Flash ‘The Killer Pack’ and The Times of India ‘Unplastic India’. With a principal office in Mumbai, the market brings together 1400+ Brand Experience, Commerce and Technology experts across Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon.


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