Essence names new MD in Singapore

Essence, a data and measurement-driven media agency which is part of GroupM, has appointed Monica Bhatia as managing director for Singapore. As part of Essence’s APAC leadership team, Bhatia will be responsible for driving continued client-centric innovation in data, analytics and technology, as well as business growth and company culture for Essence in Singapore. Bhatia will be part of Essence’s APAC leadership team, and will report to APAC CEO, T. Gangadhar, who was appointed in earlier in September.

Alongside her new position, Bhatia will continue in her current role as Essence’s senior vice president, client partner, APAC, leading the agency’s Google business across the region and reporting to Dave Marsey, Essence’s president, global client partner. Prior to joining Essence in 2017, Bhatia headed the digital practice for GroupM’s Maxus in APAC, building its product proposition across 14 markets. With over 17 years of experience in the industry, Bhatia has worked on the brand side at L’Oréal and Godrej Group in India, and Dabur in Nepal. She has also held client services and strategic planning roles at creative and media agencies in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and India.

Gangadhar said: “Bhatia’s impressive experience in marketing, advertising and media, and her deep understanding of Essence’s business, clients and culture, makes her the best person to lead our Singapore office. A believer in true partnerships as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace, she constantly strives to nurture strong collaborative relationships with both clients and employees. I am really excited about our next stage of growth with Monica’s steady strategic leadership and direction, as she continues to champion our clients, work and people in Singapore."

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead the highly talented, entrepreneurial and dedicated team at Essence in Singapore. Having worked closely with the team over the past three years, I am truly proud of the industry-leading capabilities we have built in data, analytics and technology. Brands today are increasingly looking to achieve transformational data-driven growth, and I am looking forward to leveraging our unified approach to media and creativity to deliver breakthrough work for our local, regional and global clients in Singapore,” said Bhatia.

Since Essence’s entry into APAC with its first office in Singapore in 2013, the agency has expanded to seven countries and 11 offices across the region. Essence’s portfolio of clients in Singapore includes the Financial Times, Google, and NBCUniversal. Earlier in March, Scoot appointed GroupM’s Essence as its global media agency, following a pitch initiated in October 2019. The appointment is for a period of two years, with an option to renew for a further two years to March 2024. Essence is tasked to provide Scoot media strategy, planning and buying services for its global business, including in Mainland China which makes up a significant part of Scoot’s network.

Further away from home, South Korean social leisure activity platform Frientrip (Frip) recently appointed Essence as its integrated media agency. Led out of Essence’s Seoul office, the agency’s mandate includes media planning and activation for Frip’s brand and performance marketing campaigns.

“We decided to appoint Essence as our integrated media agency of record to help drive massive growth for the Frip brand in the leisure industry in South Korea. Likewise, Essence has grown rapidly over the past few years and we are impressed by the team’s deep understanding of our service offering to consumers," said Sooyul Im, CEO of Frip.

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