BBDO India today announced the appointment of Suraja Kishore as its CEO. Suraja Kishore was until recently EVP & General Manager at McCann Mumbai, and National Planning Head at Truth Central, McCann’s global thought leadership unit.
Hailing Kishore’s appointment, Jean Paul Burge, Chairman and CEO, BBDO Asia, said, “We welcome Suraja Kishore to BBDO as we start a new chapter of great Indian creativity — BBDO India 2.0. This is what will make our clients’ businesses stronger as we continue to build BBDO India into one of the most influential agencies in the world. Suraja has all that we are looking for in a leader. His appreciation and passion for creative cultures will mesh well with our points of focus.”
Taking about his new role, Kishore said, “What got me really excited about this role is that JP (Jean Paul Burge) and Josy were not trying to fill a particular position — they were looking for someone who could transform and grow BBDO India. I felt that the last 10 years have been a great run for BBDO India, but what got us here won’t get us there. In fact, I believe it’s our focus on share of the future rather than just share of the market that will drive growth for clients and us. One of the most important ingredients for success is ‘chemistry between key stakeholders’ and that is what I discovered with JP and Josy. Shaping the future is very much like love — you have to have deep faith together to make it happen.”
Josy Paul, Chairman & CCO, BBDO India, said: “It has taken us more than nine months to find Suraja. In our journey to find a suitable partner, we met some outstanding candidates. With Suraja, it was love at first sight. When JP (Jean Paul Burge) and I first met Suraja, we knew he had the emotional energy and strategic depth that comes with great leadership. His clear vision about the future of brands and the demands in an age of evolving media and tech interface is so attractive. It felt like he is not just a CEO, he is also our ‘chief evolution officer’. I am delighted to welcome Suraja Kishore as CEO as we embrace this exciting change together.”
Kishore was earlier with McCann since 2013, initially joining the agency network as Executive Planning Director. Soon thereafter, he was chosen to lead the McCann Mumbai office. With him at the helm, McCann built a solid reputation, winning ‘Agency of the Year at the local Effie’s in 2018 & 2019, as well as a number of honours at the APAC Effie’s and WARC Awards.
Before his stint at McCann, Kishore worked with Publicis Worldwide, Lowe Lintas and Mudra DDB. He has over two decades of experience incubating and building creative strategies, partnerships, and campaigns.
Among Kishore’s clients were Unilever, P&G, Nestle, Godrej, Tata, Marico, Citibank, and Idea Cellular. Kishore led some memorable campaigns, including ‘What an Idea, Sirji’ for Idea Cellular and ‘Tata Tea — Jaago Re’.
A graduate of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Kishore put together India’s first creative programme with specialisation in Copywriting & Art Direction at MICA (Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad) and is one of the founding members of APG (Account Planning Group) India, and a visiting faculty at Planning Boot Camp at Miami Ad School, Mumbai.