Rika Sharma, ASEAN managing director of Publicis' Digitas has taken up the role of head of agency and industry relationships for Google Asia Pacific. She will be reporting to John Lee, head of go to markets, Google.
Sharma joins the company after holding the ASEAN MD role with Digitas for close to three years. As the managing director for Singapore and Digitas’ ASEAN region, she oversaw key capabilities of data, creativity, strategy, technology, and media to deliver end-to-end cross-channel marketing capabilities. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Digitas said in the interim, CEO for media and digital at Publicis Groupe Singapore, Ian Loon, will steward the agency with its senior leadership team. "[Sharma] is leaving us with a well-rounded and talented senior leadership team, backed by the rest of an agency with the same spirit," Loon said.
Sharma worked closely with the Digitas regional team to help establish an ASEAN Hub for data and analytics for the group and region. The ASEAN Hub comprised capabilities such as digital retail innovation, experience design, data and analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) and technology solutions and leverage scalable resources in India to support its clients’ growth in the region. In 2018, Digitas also rebranded globally and dropped the LBi from its name. The move came after five years since its merger with LBi in a bid to showcase a complete unification which reflects the agency's role as "The Connected Marketing Agency". Along with its simplified name, Digitas introduced an evolved, inspiring global brand proposition, to connect with people through "Truth. Connection. Wonder".
Prior to joining Digitas, Sharma was with Ogilvy as its managing partner and regional digital lead, large business. During her time in this role, the content design studio was conceptualised. Sharma built digital customer experiences across key digital touchpoints such as social, video, mobile, involved from the creative briefing process to post-campaign analysis. She also spent several years as the director for Social@Ogilvy, and regional director, digital for Unilever, where she saw responsibilities in the likes of digital strategy and planning, digital deployment, integrated marketing, creating measurement models and scorecards, budget planning, and team management. She worked closely across markets such as Singapore, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, and South Africa.
Sharma ran her own marketing consulting business before securing her position in Ogilvy, and previously worked at Prudential Consulting in Canada as a marketing and communications manager and was a consulting associate with Genesis Burson-Marsteller in India.