Dheeraj Raina joins dentsu MY as media CEO as Yap Chee Weng moves on

Dentsu Malaysia has named Dheeraj Raina media CEO to lead all media brands under its wing - Consider iProspect, Vizeum, Carat, dentsu X, Amplifi, Posterscope, and Amnet. Raina (pictured left) was most recently with Mindshare for two years, rejoining the agency as MD in 2018. The appointment follows dentsu international's new brand evolution and simplified business model integrating key capabilities, technology, and investment functions within three lines of businesses - creative, media, and CRM. 

Meanwhile, head of media brands Yap Chee Weng (pictured right) is moving on after nine years with the agency. Yap first joined in 2011 as chief media officer, according to his LinkedIn, setting up the agency's media arm back when it only had creative operations. When the Aegis name was incorporated into the Dentsu network in 2013 to form Dentsu Aegis Network, Yap then moved to head up Dentsu X and subsequently led its media brands of Carat, Vizeum and Dentsu X. An industry veteran of over 25 years, Yap also served as president of the Media Specialist Association from 2016 to 2020. Dentsu Malaysia's spokesperson thanked Yap for his support and wished him all the best for his next adventure.

In a statement to A+M, Raina said his vision for this role is to deliver growth for its clients through integration and simplification. "We have to be client centric but people first. Clients need an integrated approach to media, data, tech and content and we have to create simple seamless structures to deliver on their business growth. And while doing so, always keep the wellbeing of our people first and provide them with a thriving open culture," he added.

Raina also explained that 2021 will see further acceleration in advertising as most brands have become digital-first and also embraced eCommerce as a key channel for sales. According to him, this has removed the inertia in the industry and we should see bolder initiatives and business decisions in this year and an enhanced consumer experience across categories.

With more than 16 years of industry experience, Raina has worked with brands including Friesland-Campina, Digi, Tesco, Celcom Axiata, Awesome TV, Clarins, and Kimberly-Clark. Before returning to Mindshare in 2018, Raina was the MD of Axiata Digital's ADA (then known as AdParlor) for more than a year. According to his LinkedIn, he oversaw Malaysia and Cambodia and was responsible for developing the creative, tech and data capabilities within the agency. Prior to that, he was the GM and head of strategy at Mindshare Malaysia. A+M has reached out to Mindshare for details on Raina's replacement and Yap on his next move.

Dentsu Malaysia said Raina is recognised for his proprietary IPs for retail, telecommunications and travel industries in marketing planning, and for his contributions as a mentor to the fintech, SME, and startup scenes in Malaysia. "Today, media agencies sit at the centre of unlocking growth for clients and with such power brands at dentsu, I am looking forward to building cutting-edge solutions and teams," Raina said.

Dentsu Malaysia's CEO Nicky Lim said it is fantastic to welcome Raina as the agency's new media CEO and drive its ambitious business growth plans forward. "With his impressive track record of growth, I have no doubt he will accelerate dentsu international onto an exciting path and ultimately, help us deliver on our business objectives," Lim said. Announcements for the creative and CRM heads will be made at a later date.

Lim told A+M that it is doubling down on accelerating its transformation plans so that it can continue to champion meaningful progress for clients and brands. "For 2021 and beyond our business growth will be intertwined with being a force for good - having a clear social impact strategy will be central to how we partner our clients, involve our people, and educate consumers towards sustainable growth," he said. He added that the agency will centre its offerings and product development around customer identity showing that it knows customers better than anyone else in the market.

In 2019, dentsu realigned its international business into creative, CRM, and media to accelerate its ability to deliver integrated solutions to its clients, and ensure its services are easier to navigate and set up for success in the mid-long term. The agency is currently led by global CEO Wendy Clark, who joined from DDB earlier in 2020. Meanwhile on the sustainability front, dentsu international also committed to become a net zero emissions business by 2030. The commitment includes a new science-based target to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 46% and offset all unavoidable emissions through certified greenhouse gas removal projects by 2030.

Last July, dentsu hit its carbon reduction target one year early, reducing emissions per full time employee by 43% since 2015. According to the agency, this significant cut in emissions was enabled in part by its switch to 100% renewable electricity across its operations worldwide. 

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