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Ada unveils regional leads, Mahesh Neelakantan to handle agency partnerships

Mahesh Neelakantan (pictured third from right) has taken on the newly created role of head of regional agency partnerships at Axiata Digital’s integrated digital marketing business, ada. He was most recently the country director of Malaysia and Singapore, a role he helmed when he joined last year. In his new role, Neelakantan will establish a network of agencies as a go-to-market channel for ada.

Helming the role of country director of Singapore is Summer Choo (pictured third from left) who has been with ada since 2018 as client leadership director. In that role, she helmed new business development, and onboarded several regional brands which helped ada cement its presence in Singapore as a data and digital transformation expert.

Meanwhile, stepping up to the role of managing director, Malaysia, is Adrian Burton (pictured second from left), who will be responsible for the overall business in Malaysia, bringing together the entire suite of ada offerings to Malaysian clientele. He joined ada in April 2018 to build its acquisitions unit which has worked with key clients such as Boost and Yoodo to drive outcomes and user growth. Faraz Khan (pictured left), former head of client success and digital services, will now take over from Burton as head of the regional acquisitions team. Khan came on board in 2018 as Burton’s deputy and is tasked to replicate the department’s success in all markets. He brings with him experience from the advertising industry, with key roles in Maxus and Mediacom previously.

In Indonesia, former chief enterprise officer at XL Axiata, Kirill Mankovski (pictured right), will come on board as managing director of Indonesia on 1 July. During his time at XL Axiata, Mankovski also helmed the chief sales officer and VP, head of Axis roles. He was also the CMO at Cambodian telco Smart Axiata. Mankovski has experience across multiple industries including FMCG, consumer goods and high technology services.

Mayi Baviera (pictured second from right), who joined ada in March 2019, has been acting country director of the Philippines and will now formally assume the role. She previously held senior roles in Cheil Worldwide and Digital FCB Manila.

Ada’s CEO Srinivas Gattamneni said one of its biggest strengths is the diverse expertise of its leaders, who bring together a business mindset, outcome-based behaviour, data storytelling and analytics for ada’s clients and employees.

“We continue to mesh talent from diverse backgrounds as we build the ada of the future – which is part consultancy, part data science and part agency. Congratulations to the new leaders as they take on the helm in their respective markets,” Gattamneni said.

Anurag Gupta, chief of agency and COO who joined ada last June, said: “Since ada launched in 2018, we’ve seen continuous growth and evolution as we position ourselves to be the agency of the future. From new data-driven products for the industry, and partnerships with leading players, to significant key wins under our belt, I’m excited to see how our new leaders will achieve even more milestones with us.”

In July last year, ada received a US$20 million investment from global trading and business investment company Sumitomo Corporation (Sumitomo Corp), solidifying its path towards becoming the leading integrated digital advertising firm, leveraging telco core and digital and analytics capabilities in Southeast Asia by 2021. As ada’s strategic partner, Sumitomo Corp will help accelerate it’s growth by leveraging technology to enhance ada’s data management platform, XAct, and drive product innovation.

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