Creativity is the most powerful force in business.
At DDB, we have always believed that creativity is the most powerful force in business. And we know that emotionally-based creativity is a consumer motivator. Emotions, feelings and associations are the main things that drive most human behaviour and consumer choices.
DDB unlocks the power of human emotion to make millions of different people change how they behave, feel, transact, with results that shift the bottom line and transform business performance for our clients.
Our work across DDB Mudra, 22feet Tribal Worldwide, Mudramax, Track, and DDB for Good has built India’s most respected, profitable and fastest-growing brands. It has also made our communities more inclusive and brought about positive change to society’s most pressing issues.
Award-winning initiatives like The Phyllis Project and OPEN Pride reflect our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are also four-time gold winners of the Talent Development Program of the Year at the Campaign Agency of the Year Awards.
The Power To Move
It is who we are. How we work. What we believe. It has been what has made DDB successful since our inception. It is not a tagline.
The Power To Move is our mantra and is the foundation of everything we do.
A small room with a big dream
15 talented people, 500 square feet of room and an insatiable hunger to be the best creative agency ever. That’s how it all started on the 25th of March 1980 when A.G. Krishnamurthy founded Mudra Communications.
An upstart agency with a reputation for daring work that pushed the boundaries of creativity, it didn’t long for it to challenge some of the best advertising agencies in India at that point in time.
Etched in history
Timeless taglines, iconic jingles, and ads that a generation of Indians have grown up watching – Mudra Communications has contributed to the country’s rich advertising history.I Love You Rasna, Dhara Dhara Shudh Dhara, The Mint with the Hole, God’s Own Country, Zindagi Ke Saath Bhi Zindagi Ke Baad Bhi, Humko Binnies Banta, and Only Vimal.
How many of these do you remember?
Mudra Videotec laid the foundation for the brand-content dynamic that we see today. It brought in India’s top filmmakers decades before agencies entered content creation and production.Videotec also pioneered sponsored programmes on Doordarshan and famously co-produced iconic shows like Rajni, Buniyaad, Ek Do Teen Char, Panchee, Udaan, Quiztime, Mr Yogi, Bodyline, The Grammys, The Oscars, Living Legends, Live Aid, Spiderman, Paramveer Chakra and Miss Universe. It also produced India’s first tele-film, Janam, followed by Jeevan Sandhya and Swayam.They also televised the Reliance World Cup, the first global, sponsored live event to be aired in India.
A launchpad for success
Whether it be a multinational company looking to enter the Indian market or a homegrown brand expanding their horizon, Mudra has helped build some of the country’s biggest brands. These include McDonald’s, Samsung, Maxtouch (Vodafone), Nestle Polo, Vimal, Dhara, Volkswagen and Rasna.
Nestle Polo’s ‘Mint with the Hole’ campaign was even recognised as ‘Brand Launch of the Year’. While,‘McDonald’s Mein Hai Kuch Baat’ was instrumental in the brand’s adoption by Indians.Every 90s kid remembers ‘Karlo Duniya Muthi Mein’ which marked Reliance Infocomm’s entry into the communication sector and became the anthem of India’s mobile revolution.
Founded MICA to inspire generations of talent
Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) is the first residential academic institution in the Asia-Pacific region dedicated to meeting the needs of the Marketing Communications industry.
Since its inception, MICA has produced thousands of professionals in the field of advertising, communications & marketing and is considered to be one of the finest schools for marketing communications in India.
Mudra House becomes a beacon for creative work
The Mudra House became home to 450+ Mudraites and was designed to unleash their creative energy. Years before the conversation became mainstream, Mudra House was designed in a conscious, environment friendly manner that makes it Gold LEED compliant.
A new dawn: Omnicom acquires Mudra
The Omnicom Group acquired a majority stake in Mudra Communications. This acquisition made Mudra a part of the DDB Worldwide network and led to the creation of the DDB Mudra Group.
Aditya was born in a military family, where he moved homes every couple of years. The constant travelling, new places and living in villages and towns across the country, helped him develop a deep sense of empathy and an appreciation of culture at a young age.
These early influences translated into advertising as a career choice. He started his journey with the erstwhile Mudra in 2003 as a strategic planner, taking on various responsibilities over the years including that of the Chief Strategy Officer, a role in which he helped shape India’s most successful independent advertising agency into an Omnicom-owned integrated marketing communications group.
He has overseen globally recognized Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives like ‘The Phyllis India Project’ that builds and develops a community of women leaders; and ‘Open Pride’ that focuses on respectful representation in creative work and an inclusive work environment for the LGBTQIA+ community & allies. DDB Mudra Group was the first agency in India to include same sex & live-in partners in medical insurance, the first to offer professional mental health resources years before the conversation became mainstream; and provides best-in-class paternity leave to enable equal parenting.
As a strategist and then as the head of the agency, his work has been awarded at Cannes, WARC, D&AD, Spikes Asia and the Effies across categories including a Gold in 2021 for Audience Insight and Creative Strategy at Cannes. In 2022, DDB Mudra Group was recognised as Spikes Asia’s regional Agency of the Year – a first for an Indian company. In 2023, DDB Worldwide was crowned Cannes Network of the Year, with the India office winning Lions five years in a row, for the first time in its history. Aditya has represented India on global and national forums, most recently as a juror for Creative Effectiveness at Cannes 2023.
Aditya graduated with honors in Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and is a gold medalist from MICA, Ahmedabad. He lives in Mumbai with his wife and enjoys seeing the world afresh through the eyes of his young son.
While he never realised his dream of becoming a professional sports person, Rahul Mathew has lived his life as one. Fiercely competitive, a big believer in teamwork, relentless dreamer, gloats just right about his wins and hurts just enough from his losses.
He considers himself lucky to have led fairytale runs at some of the agencies he’s been at. Currently he’s leading a creative resurgence at the DDB Mudra Group. The work that the company has created over the last couple of years has been applauded and awarded the world over.
Ranked No.1 in Asia and No.12 in the world by WARC, the Group is one of India’s most awarded creative companies with back-to-back wins at Cannes Lions since 2018, Agency of the Year title at Spikes 2022, and golds and silvers at WARC Awards for Asian Strategy. Recently, Indeed’s The Hire won India’s only Grand Prix in the B2B category at WARC Awards for Effectiveness. Works on Project Free Period and Hashtags Don’t Heal were awarded the inaugural D&AD Impact prize fund apart from multiple metals and honours at Cannes, Spikes Asia, One Show and D&AD Impact. The Group is recognized as one of the Top 20 Most Effective and Creative Agencies in the world by Effie Index 2020.
His previous stints include Y&R Kuala Lumpur, where during his tenure, the network won its first ever Grand Prix at the Asia Pacific Adfest. He followed that with McCann Mumbai, where he helped the agency rediscover its creative moorings. During his time, the Mumbai office won close to a 100 metals and honours at local and international shows; including a Grand Prix at Spikes Asia, multiple pencils at One Show and lions at Cannes.
Rahul has ranked 3rd among India’s & 19th among Asia’s Most Awarded Creative Leaders by Campaign Brief Asia Creative Rankings 2021. He has been ranked amongst the top 10 writers in India on multiple occasions.
Rita Verma is a seasoned HR professional with over 20 years of experience in Talent Development. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege of collaborating with the finest creative and strategic minds in India.
In her current role, Rita partners the CEO in driving the organization’s workplace culture, growth for its people, and vision to make the company the employer of choice. Her expertise extends globally as she serves as a key member of DDB Worldwide’s People team, responsible for advancing the organization’s global people mandate.
Under Rita’s leadership, the Group has witnessed multiple victories, winning the prestigious Campaign South Asia Talent Management Team of the Year awards for four years at the Campaign India Agency of the Year Awards.
Passionate about diversity and inclusivity, Rita has been instrumental in driving initiatives such as Omniwomen and OPEN Pride, promoting the advancement of women and LGBTQ+ inclusion, both, within the workplace and the community. Through pioneering efforts like Gender-Neutral Policy, white labelling CVs, and extending medical insurance to cover same-sex and live-in partners, Rita has been pivotal in ensuring equal opportunity and eliminating discrimination within the organization.
Adding to her repertoire, Rita is a certified Life Coach, bringing in her empathetic and humane approach to talent management. Rita is also a passionate traveller, who finds joy in exploring diverse cultures and understanding how people collaborate under varying circumstances. This pursuit of knowledge fuels her ability to drive positive change and create harmonious work environments
Vanaja Pillai is a writer, advertising professional, and a DEI advocate. As an extension of her passion for people and their growth, she took on the role of Head DEI at the DDB Mudra Group, after spending 23+ years in the advertising and marketing industry.
To catalyse the progress happening towards gender parity, Vanaja has spearheaded DDB’s Phyllis India Project, one of the industry’s most comprehensive and intense leadership development programs to help prepare DDB’s women talent for leadership. The program got recognised by Campaign India as the best Women Leadership Program, and Vanaja won the Mentor of the Year Award as the driving force behind the initiative. In 2023, the program has grown to cover other parts of Asia.
She also leads the group’s overall diversity agenda, conceptualising and executing programs aimed at driving diversity and inclusion at the workplace. These include the We don’t know Sh!t series, Open Pride, and Equal Parenting.
As President, 22feet Tribal Worldwide, Vanaja is responsible for managing and growing the team’s impressive client roster. She has also worked as Executive Vice-President at OgilvyOne – Bengaluru and comes with experience in business management and marketing communications.
Vanaja is focused on creating an inclusive workplace by enabling talent acquisition, retention, training, and outreach for talent in underrepresented communities. She enjoys running profitable businesses along with building motivated and talented teams.
Outside her professional accomplishments, Vanaja is a published author. Her deep empathy with women’s struggles and the drive needed to push the envelope on gender equality is reflected in her collection of short stories, Omana, published in 2021.
Anurag Bansal’s journey into the world of advertising was sparked during his teenage years while watching ‘Dream Merchants,’ a captivating show featuring industry visionaries Sonal Dabral and Piyush Pandey discussing inspiring ads from across the globe. This ignited his passion and set him on a path to make a significant impact in the advertising industry, which led him to join Mudra Communications in 2008 as VP, Finance.
With an impressive three-decade career, Anurag has held key leadership positions, including a remarkable 13-year tenure with the Vedanta Group company, where he progressed from a trainee to the esteemed role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In 2014, he took on the reins at the DDB Mudra Group, emerging as one of the youngest CFOs in the Indian advertising industry.
As the CFO & COO at DDB Mudra Group, Anurag is responsible for driving the organization’s financial strategy and operational excellence. He oversees the integrated business, effectively managing the profit and loss (P&L) statements while spearheading the finance and operations functions for the company’s diverse portfolio of employees and assets. Anurag ensures strict compliance with legal frameworks established by the Omnicom network and other regulatory bodies.
Anurag’s leadership has been instrumental in facilitating transformative changes within the DDB Mudra Group. He successfully led the transition from Mudra Communications to DDB Mudra Group following the acquisition of a majority stake by the Omnicom Group. Additionally, the strategic acquisition of 22feet, the country’s most sought-after digital agency at the time, also took place with him at the helm.
Anurag has been featured in the prestigious India CFO Awards’ Top 100 list for three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016.
Born in a family with an artist mother and a paragliding guru cum businessman father, Mehak Jaini saw the best dynamic of both worlds pan out in her life as she took on the world of advertising.
She, who shares her birthday with Mudra’s founding day, knew that this was the place for her to grow professionally and personally. Close to 15 years ago, she joined DDB Mudra as a management trainee, and now heads strategy at 22feet Tribal Worldwide.
Her work is shaped by the belief that great briefs, like great ideas, have a best before date. Driven by curiosity, foresight, and discipline, Mehak has shaped the Effectiveness agenda at the Group, taking the agency from No. 14 at Effie India to Top 3 in the past few years. In 2020, her efforts ensured that Star Network won ‘Client of the Year’ and, in 2022, DDB Mudra Group won Spikes APAC ‘Agency of the Year’. She has also served as jury at Effie India 6 years in a row and has had the opportunity to serve as jury at prestigious shows like AME, PMAA Dragons of Asia, and APAC Effie.
Mehak was selected as Impact Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Future Leaders of Advertising and was part of the Omnicom’s Emerging Stars Program. She was also shortlisted for the highly coveted Economic Times Emerging Women Leader Award.
An adventure junkie and animal lover at heart, when Mehak is not at her workstation, you might find her exploring new depths underwater or volunteering at the nearest animal shelter.
Rammohan Sundaram, fondly known as Ram, has been in the marketing communications industry for over 25 years. Ram heads the media function at the Group. Having had the opportunity to be an early mover in the digital space, he has been an entrepreneur thrice and has successfully exited twice.
Ram won the ‘Marketer of the Year 2023’ title at Adgully DigiXX where he was the only agency-side awardee among the 15 winners. In 2022, he was named among ‘Most Inspirational Leaders of Asia’ by White Page International. He also ranked 39th in ‘Impact Marketing 100 List for India’ in 2020-21. He has led teams that have won at Cannes, World Brand Congress, and CMO Asia in the past.
He has held global leadership positions at organizations like Reliance JIO, Ibibo Group, Jobsahead.Com, and Indian Express. He has been a frontrunner in bringing Ad:tech to India and is credited for launching LinkedIn in India through the JVs formed for NetworkPlay and PlatformPlay.
Ram holds a doctorate in Business Administration, a PGPX from UCLA Anderson School of Management, Double Graduation in Engineering, a Double Master’s in Business Administration and Digital Business, and has completed a residential Executive Management Program from HBS in Strategic Marketing Management. Last year, he was also a part of the high-intensive INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives.
Based in Gurgaon, Ram is passionate about cricket and likes spending his after-work hours playing the sport and working out at the gym.
Observing how passionate agency stalwarts combine creativity and salesmanship is what inspired Ashutosh Sawhney’s career of 20+ years. Today, he helms DDB Tribal – the fully integrated arm of DDB Mudra Group – as the President.
Ashutosh’s fascination with advertising began during an internship at JWT when he had the opportunity to work on the Pepsi Cola brand. Having contributed to creating Pepsi’s strongest and most enduring equity campaigns across its thematic and cricket platforms, Ashutosh experienced a meteoric rise from Management Trainee to Vice President in just six years, becoming one of the fastest-growing account management professionals in WPP India.
Ashutosh has led strategic and creative thinking on iconic global brands across numerous consumer categories. In the past, he has donned leadership roles such as the head of Publicis Communications (Delhi), CEO of Triton Communications Pvt Ltd, and National Brand Strategy head at Brand Capital, a hybrid PE firm owned by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL). Notably, he led the Nestle relationship and built it from a small sized network account in Delhi to the pride of place client for Publicis in India. He expanded the agency’s portfolio from Maggi to Nestle’s dairy business and NHW communications, launching new categories in India, and mentoring the Sri Lankan market’s foods, beverages, and dairy teams.
An alumnus of Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, Ashutosh is particularly passionate about sports and fast cars. He also enjoys his leisure time travelling.
The art of influencing human behaviour drove Ranji to advertising. Today, with over 30 years in the industry, Ranji believes the trick to evolving here is to enjoy the process.
Ranji Cherian is President & Managing Partner at DDB Mudra. He is also a member of the Group Operating Board. As a senior leader who has been with DDB over 10 years, he has been instrumental in building a strong and consistent business and culture in the South office.
True to DDB’s people-first approach, Ranji takes a lot of pride in building a strong team culture that has translated into a strong performance in the South office year on year.
Prior to joining DDB Mudra Group, Ranji enjoyed a 15-year stint with JWT. His last assignment at JWT positioned him as Director in Charge (DIC) on the Ford business. He was also Blue Team Leader with a mandate to drive integration efforts on Ford in the country. Ranji was instrumental in launching the Ford Fiesta in India which was nominated as one among the 3 best integrated communication programs across the WPP network worldwide.
Ranji is a wildlife enthusiast who in his leisure time, makes it a point to safari his way through wildlife parks and reserves.
Originally on a path to becoming an accountant, Vishnu quickly realized that his true passion was in the realm of creativity. Encouraged by those around him who recognized his talents, he took a leap of faith and embarked on a copywriting career.
Today, as the National Creative Director, Vishnu leads the digital creative output at 22feet Tribal Worldwide. He oversees an impressive array of clients, including brands such as Flipkart, Royal Enfield, Mars Petcare, and SlurrpFarm. In his past stints, he has collaborated with brands like Gillette, DHL, Honda, and National Geographic Channel while working with leading creative agencies including RK Swamy BBDO, FCB Ulka, and Grey Worldwide.
Vishnu believes that if you are going to interrupt someone’s life with a message, it better be interesting. This mindset has fuelled his exceptional success, as a two-time Cannes Gold Lion winner who has received over 150 international and national awards. Notably, his work on the Battlegrounds Mobile India campaign for Responsible Gaming earned the Grand Prix and 3 Golds in Spikes (2022), a D&AD pencil, two Bronze Lions in Cannes (2022-2023), as well as a Gold, Silver, and 2 Bronzes in LIA (2022). He and his team created the iconic Suede Gully work for Puma, which was also recognized at Cannes 2018 with 3 shortlists. Most recently, with the work on Indeed’s The Hire campaign, the agency won India’s only Grand Prix in the B2B category at WARC Awards for Effectiveness 2023.
Vishnu has actively contributed to projects focused on behaviour change and social impact. These include a project on AIDS awareness among transgenders with the Tamil Nadu AIDS Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and projects on sanitation with UNICEF.
Beyond his professional achievements, Vishnu finds solace in the world of gaming and cinema. He draws inspiration from his 10-year-old child and delights in the company of his two playful dogs.
Iraj Fraz serves as the Creative Head at DDB Tribal. With an unwavering passion for the industry, Iraj’s journey in advertising began at the young age of 19. Having joined Leo Burnett Mumbai as an Art Trainee, he was inspired by renowned creative Agnello Dias to become an ideas-driven individual, and that’s how Iraj knew he had found his calling.
Throughout his career spanning 21 years, Iraj has thrived on the unique challenges presented by each advertising brief. Embracing the opportunity to activate different parts of his brain and acquire fresh knowledge, he has evolved both professionally and personally.
Although he believes his best work is yet to come, Iraj finds immense fulfilment in his journey so far and values the diverse perspectives and insights gained through his collaborations. His previous stints have been at notable agencies like McCann Worldgroup, JWT, Young & Rubicam, and Scarecrow Communications.
Recognized for his outstanding work, Iraj and his teams have received accolades including Adfest Silvers, WARC Gold, Cannes Spikes Silvers, Goafest Gold and Silvers.
Beyond his professional pursuits, he enjoys woodworking and motorcycling. Iraj is also a proud father to a 12-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter.
Menaka leads DDB Mudra’s strategic offering out of its office in Bengaluru. Her career of 22 years, of which 15 have been in the advertising industry, has seen her manage offices and P&Ls over and above business strategy and design strategy.
She sees advertising as a field with the power to drive change and impact culture. While she found immense success in other industries, the gravitational pull of advertising and strategy influenced her return. A true-blue strategist at heart, she believes in empowering consumers with the right information so they can make the right, informed choice for themselves.
Menaka’s advertising career has seen her work with prestigious agencies like FCB Ulka, Wunderman Thompson (JWT) and Leo Burnett Orchard, where she served as EVP & Branch Head. Outside of advertising she has worked with BIG 92.7 FM, served as Business Head – UTV New Media, and Chief Strategy Officer – Pensaar Design.
In her past stint as Lead – Udhyam Vyapar at Udhyam Learning Foundation, she led a vertical that worked with nano entrepreneurs. The challenge was to scale out a successful pilot with ironing entrepreneurs, wherein a shift from coal to LPG as an input fuel could lead to a 27% increase in their monthly earnings. Solving for this as a market transformation, by working with the retail ecosystem to deliver the push while simultaneously creating a pull among the entrepreneurs, is one of her proudest achievements.
Saad Khan heads the business and strategic function of DDB Mudra Group’s West unit as President and Managing Partner – Growth & Strategy. Saad’s role reaffirms DDB’s positioning, which promises to deliver disproportionate growth and effectiveness on the back of groundbreaking creativity.
In December 1998, during his first advertising stint as an Account Management trainee at Leo Burnett, a conversation with a Senior Creative Director inspired his career. He said, “You are only here to do one thing. GREAT WORK. Everything else follows.” That has been Saad’s purpose ever since.
Over the last two decades, his pursuit of great work has been centred around building people, creating culture and pushing work that is sharp and insightful. Saad has worked with brands such as Coca-Cola, Amul, Reckitt Benckiser, Tata Motors, ITC Foods, Volvo Cars, Honda, and Nerolac etc., during his time with Leo Burnett, Lowe Lintas, Dentsu Creative, and FCB Ulka.
One of his most notable achievements is his strategic contribution to building the Tata Motors brand. His efforts have played a significant role in its success within India’s EV category where it enjoys an 85% market share.
In April 2011, Saad co-founded Marketing Unplugged, a marketing and brand innovation firm that challenged formulaic marketing. Inspired by a fresh wave of thinking in the sphere of behavioural economics, Marketing Unplugged gave him a perspective that was broader than advertising and allowed him to scale ideas and help businesses innovate.
Saad has formally taught MBA students and is also a part of a band. Travelling and reading are passions he pursues in his free time.