Genesis Burson-Marsteller Announces Leadership Appointments For 2016


Nikhil Dey’s role expands as President, Public Relations & Public Affairs

Atul Sharma promoted as Chief Operating Officer; Ajit Sahi is Director, Public Affairs; Sanjay Arora is now India Practice Chair, Corporate & Financial; Piyal Banerjee is now Managing Partner, Telecom & Technology (B2C) & Business Leader, Step Up; Shivaram Lakshminarayan is Managing Partner, Telecom & Technology (B2B) and Corporate & Financial (South)

December 21, 2015: Genesis Burson-Marsteller has announced senior leadership appointments, which will be effective from January 1, 2016.


Prema Sagar, Vice Chair, Burson-Marsteller, Asia Pacific & Principal/Founder says, “Over the last twelve months, the consultancy has reinvented itself into a new-age communications firm to meet the growing requirements of our clients. As the year draws to a close, I am happy about the great leaps we have taken in 2015 and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. To support the continuing growth of our firm in 2016, we are promoting our talented and experienced leaders who have demonstrated that they make a difference to our clients business. I am confident that these leaders will further strengthen our India leadership team.”

Nikhil Dey is now President, Public Relations & Public Affairs. He will continue to play a key role overseeing the firm’s client growth strategy in addition to scaling up the recently launched Centres of Expertise and will now also focus on mentoring the public affairs business.

Atul Sharma has been promoted as Chief Operating Officer and will now be a part of the India Management Team at Genesis Burson-Marsteller. Having spent over twelve years at Genesis Burson-Marsteller, Atul has counseled diverse businesses, Indian and multinational, on corporate reputation and brand reputation programmes. In his new role, Atul will focus on improving the operational excellence of the firm while continuing to serve as India Practice Chair, Telecom & Technology.

Vandana Sandhir, currently India Practice Chair, Corporate & Financial, is moving to a new leadership role in the WPP network after ten years with the firm. Sanjay Arora, who has been with the firm for over six years, will take on the India Practice Chair role from Vandana. With a total of sixteen years of experience, Sanjay has led corporate reputation management campaigns for many of the firm’s Fortune 500 companies. As the India Practice Chair, Sanjay will be responsible for ensuring business growth of the Corporate & Financial business in line with the firm’s strategy, providing leadership and guidance to the teams to ensure high quality of service delivery and customer satisfaction.

Former journalist Ajit Sahi, who joined the firm last year as Director, Thought Leadership will now take on the mandate of Public Affair. With nearly three decades of in-depth and extensive experience in journalism, ranging from being an investigative reporter to heading newsrooms at TV news stations, newsmagazines, news agencies and newspapers, Ajit brings with him a thorough understanding of the Indian and international political environment. This experience is crucial as the requirements of clients pertaining to government relations, advocacy and stakeholder outreach continue to grow with the maturing of the regulatory and compliance environment in India.

As the firm is strengthening its focus on the Technology domain, it will now have two separate leaders driving Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) Technology domains in 2016. Piyal Banerjee and Shivaram Lakshminarayan have been appointed as the new domain leads.

Piyal will be Managing Partner with a focus on B2C Telecom & Technology Practice, nationally, as it is a fast-growing area. In addition, she also takes on the mantle of Business Leader, Step Up, a unique offering focused towards helping start-ups to take the next leap by narrating their story through creative communication campaigns. With over twelve years of experience, Piyal has brand and corporate communications experience across top Asian markets including India, China, Malaysia and Singapore. She brings strong leadership skills to this new position given her credentials in the Consumer Technology space. Piyal will continue to co-anchor the Corporate & Financial Practice for West.

An old Genesis Burson-Marsteller hand, Shivaram has been with the firm in Bengaluru for over a decade and has served as the technology lead in the southern markets. Shivaram will now be the Head of the B2B vertical of the Telecom & Technology Practice, nationally, given his strong credentials in the IT & ITeS space. In addition, Shivaram is also taking over the stewardship of the Corporate & Financial Practice for South and will be working closely with Sanjay Arora.

Commenting on these appointments, Nikhil Dey, President says, “Atul has been a trusted advisor to our clients across sectors and his proven expertise is a great asset for us, both as a Chief Operating Officer as well a key member of the India Management team. Sanjay, Shivaram and Piyal have consistently demonstrated strong leadership skills and clear vision for their clients and team. In their new roles, they will continue their contribution to the firm. We will certainly miss Vandana and wish her well as she moves onto a new chapter in her life.” He adds, “These are exciting times for the Public Affairs business and we are very optimistic as we go forward given that we have an experienced person like Ajit leading the charge.”


About Genesis Burson-Marsteller:

Genesis Burson-Marsteller is a leading public relations and public affairs consultancy that delivers integrated communication services to some of the best global and Indian companies. Our focus is on creating real measurable impact on our client’s business through evidence based, ideas driven and result oriented campaigns. We have created a network across South Asia which includes wholly owned offices in seven of India’s key metros and a strong affiliate footprint in over 200 cities across India and in neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.


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