Ken Mandel (pictured) has joined GrabAds as regional head, where he will work with GrabAds' clients to create hyper-personalised experiences for consumers and grow Grab's advertising offerings including fleet advertising and in-app customer engagement. Grab's spokesperson confirmed the appointment to Marketing.
He left his role as president, innovation and commerce, Asia Pacific at Publicis Media earlier this year and told Marketing then that it was an interesting and rewarding ride to be the founder and president of Publicis Media’s foray into e-commerce and deliver a diversified capability beyond traditional media. Mandel was Starcom's president of global network solutions in Asia Pacific before that and also worked at Hootsuite, Salesforce and Yahoo.
In August this year, Grab launched its advertising business unit, GrabAds, to offer brands with an online-to-offline platform to engage with millions of Southeast Asian consumers. Among the list of brands it works with include Pepsi, Unilever and Shopee. Nasheet Islam, head of GrabAds, told Marketing then that GrabAds reaches one in six people in Southeast Asia, and takes a "hyperlocal approach" through the diverse region.
Grab has been aggressively establishing partnerships in the past year to cement its position as an every day super app. Recently, it tied up with United Overseas Bank to accelerate the use of digital services among ASEAN’s growing base of digital consumers. It also counts Mastercard, Fave and Ping An Healthcare, among others, as its partners. Meanwhile, Grab stunned consumers and the industry with its acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia operations in March this year.