VML, the global brand, customer experience, and commerce company, has announced the appointment of Babita Baruah as the Chief Executive Officer of VML India, effective March 1, 2024. Bringing with her a rich experience of 25 years in marketing and advertising, Baruah transitions to VML India from a dual role at WPP’s Ford International Market Group, where she served as Regions Client Lead and Executive Director at VMLY&R Thailand.
Baruah embarked on her professional journey at JWT/Wunderman Thompson India, dedicating two decades to leading global and local brands such as PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Godrej, Kota k Mahindra, Reliance, and Aditya Birla. In 2017, she assumed the role of Managing Partner at the GTB business in India, and in 2021, she expanded her responsibilities to Bangkok. There, she held a dual capacity role as WPP Lead for the Ford business across India, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Middle East, and South Africa, along with serving as Executive Director at 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.
“It’s an honour to lead a market like India for VOL. I look forward to working closely with Audrey, Yi-Chung, Saurabh, and the whole team in India to make sure thot we connect creativity experience, data and technology, to be the preferred destination for India’s ambitious brands and talented individuals,” she said.
Audrey Kuoh, 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.”
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.
VML India been responsible for some of the markets most successful campaigns and connected brand experiences; awarded globally for works such a Maxx Flash ‘The Killer Pack‘ and The Times of India ‘Unplastic India‘. With a principal office in Mumbai, the company brings together 1,400+ brand experience, commerce and technology experts across Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon.