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Gowthaman Ragothaman exits GroupM after 23 years to join blockchain industry

Gowthaman Ragothaman (pictured), WPP’s global client lead and GroupM’s global blockchain solutions lead, is moving on from his roles. In a statement to Marketing, Ragothaman said he will remain in Singapore and that his next role will be in the blockchain space.

According to his LinkedIn, he was appointed to his current roles in 2018 and was responsible for assembling the talent and technology required to aid in digital and marketing transformation. Ragothaman also led the development of blockchain solutions to the group’s clients, demystifying the distributed ledger technology and its application in media, marketing and advertising.

Before that, he was the global client lead for PepsiCo for about five years. Prior to assuming global roles, Ragothaman was with Mindshare for about 18 years, according to his LinkedIn, helming roles such as chief development officer, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, global chief strategy officer of FAST and leader, South Asia. He also worked at Ogilvy and BBDO. Marketing has reached out to WPP for comment.

Ragothaman told Marketing that while blockchain technology is at the nascent stage, he strongly believes that its application to the business across media, advertising and marketing is “immense”.

“During the past year or so, I have been involved in quite a few projects which led me take a plunge full time to check its applications. I thought at the age of 50, I should give myself one last shot at doing something like this, which is slightly ahead of the curve, but has a lots of promise,” he said.

Ragothaman is also a firm believer that blockchain, specifically the distributed ledger technology, has “huge potential” in clearing the adtech value chain. According to him, transparency can be construed negatively and blockchain will enable proper and real-time visiblity of the entire process, agreed and aligned by everybody across the value chain.

This will in turn “immensely improve” the campaign and build trust on the digital ecosystem, which is now under a lot of cloud on its efficiency,” he said.

When asked how the digital media scene has evolved over the decades, Ragothaman said digital media is at a “major point of inflexion”, especially with the internet of information gradually transforming into the “internet of value”. The internet of value essentially means that consumers can transfer value such as currency and property shares to one another without the need for a middleman.

“We are entering into the age of true borderless personalisation. And it comes with it lots of challenges – be it privacy, security, needless intrusion or perhaps even over communication or unwanted communication,” he said.

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