Etika's marketing chief Santharuban Sundaram tipped to lead subsidiary firm

Santharuban Thurai Sundaram, Etika's senior vice president marketing and alternate business, is understood by A+M to be seconded to a subsidiary company that’s owned by Etika as the new CEO. A+M also understands that Sundaram (pictured) will continue overseeing the marketing team until a replacement has been named. A+M has reached out to Etika for comment.

In a LinkedIn post, Sundaram said he had the best seven years in his working life heading the marketing team at Etika. According to him, the team launched Wonda from an unknown brand to one that has become the number two player in just a few years. "[We] had the chance to relaunch Goodday Milk and doubled the market share in less than two years and at volumes more than 10 times than when we first relaunched it a few years ago. Calpis also became the number one cultured milk drink in convenience stores and a huge contender of the category," he said. The team also launched Pepsi Black and according to Sundaram, saw it rise to be the number one zero calorie soda drink in Malaysia.

"Thanks a lot to my precious colleagues and agency and media friends who supported me through this journey. I'm blessed to have crossed paths with all of you. My biggest thanks to my boss and mentor Etika Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei CEO, Khalid Alvi, as well as CEO, Philippines and head of international business developments and exports, Hemalatha Ragavan, and Celcom's former head of branded content, Santhana Rajan M," Sundaram said.

Sundaram took on the added responsibility of alternate business in 2019. Before that, he was VP of marketing, as well as group marketing manager at Etika. He also worked at Celcom Axiata as head of communications and planning, group digital services. From 2007 to 2011, Sundaram also worked at Etika as senior brand manager when the company was then known as Permanis. During his time there, he oversaw the launch of a few key brands such as Mountain Dew and Revive.

Separately, Goodday Milk recently made its way to the Malaysia Book of Records, having organised the largest virtual moreh session which recorded a total of 814 participants. This was part of its Kekal Sejahtera, Kekal Selamat campaign. Goodday Milk’s previous mention in the Malaysia Book of Records was for the most number of milkmen on motorcycles for milk delivery where a total of 50 milkmen distributed 34,560 packets of Goodday Milk during the Goodday Milk Fest 2017 campaign.

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