Sandeep Joseph, head of strategy and digital at Zenith Malaysia, has left the company with plans to start his own consultancy. When reached out to by A+M, Joseph declined to divulge more details on his new venture.
Joseph (pictured) was at Zenith Malaysia for about seven years in various capacities. He aided the agency’s push towards digitalisation and told A+M that with his strategic presence, the agency won over 50 local and international awards in the past four years. Under his strategic leadership, the company won several pitches such as BMW, SCA, Domino’s, Maybank and others. It also retained the Petronas account, in two highly competitive media pitches.
“It’s been an honour and privilege to work at Zenith. I have formed lasting memories and friendships: within the agency, with some clients and some media owners. I personally owe a debt of gratitude to Gerald Miranda for his unflinching trust and support,” said Joseph.
Prior to working at Zenith, Joseph was the managing director at XM Malaysia, and national head of Ogilvy Interactive in India. He had also co-founded his own digital start-up (eDeltaC) and sold it to Ogilvy in India, in the early 2000s.
When asked what led to the new venture, he told A+M that the current agency-client model that’s prevalent has a lot of trust gaps, and built-in asymmetry.
“From everything I read, hear and see in the entire agency ecosystem, and from conversations with my counterparts in other agencies, I worry that today our industry is becoming a zero-sum game: usually the client wins or the agency wins and seldom it is both,” said Joseph.
“Our industry needs more discussion about client processes, respect for agency thinking and time, pitch fees, accountability of all parties,” he added. He added that the industry is currently in the midst of a “destructive cycle” that results in talent leaving the industry and as such the industry needs to re-think and revamp this model.