Sunil John, CEO, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller --- For over two decades, Sunil John, the founder shareholder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, has served as a trusted advisor to public and private sector decision-makers. With a client portfolio that includes both regional heavyweights (such as Emaar, Dubai Expo 2020, Emirates NBD and DEWA) and multinational firms (like American Express, Ford, General Electric, McDonald’s, Beiersdorf, Nestle, Accenture and Total), ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is today, by far, the largest public relations consultancy in the MENA region and part of the WPP Group. It has 11 wholly owned offices and 150 staff, stretching across the Gulf, Levant and North Africa. Since 2008, John has been instrumental in conducting the annual Arab Youth Survey, and in April 2013 launched its fifth edition. The survey is one of the most quoted independent public opinion research work by media across the world. He also serves as a director at DAR Motion Pictures, an India-based movie production and distribution company.
Aneez Haiyoom, managing director, MediaVest UAE --- Aneez Haiyoom owes much of his success as managing director of MediaVest UAE to a strong understanding of consumer needs and media habits – knowledge he has acquired from living in the Middle East for more than three decades. With 20 years of media experience spanning various fields including FMCGs, tourism and sport, Haiyoom has managed to launch groundbreaking initiatives during his time at MediaVest. In line with the company’s core values, Haiyoom continues to place people, product and partner at the forefront of every decision.
Avi Bhojani, Group CEO, Bates PanGulf --- A big year for the PR superstar. In May this year, global agency Cohn & Wolfe has announced that it has bought a minority stake in one of the Middle East’s leading public relations firms, Bates Pan Gulf (BPG). The size of the deal, which is undisclosed, will see Cohn & Wolfe tie up with BPG’s public relations unit, BPG pr. The partnership – called BPG Cohn & Wolfe – will be based in Dubai, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Doha, Jeddah and Kuwait, with affiliates in Cairo and Muscat. It employs 34 professionals from thirteen countries. BPG Cohn & Wolfe will provide public relations and marketing services to a number of blue-chip clients, including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Visa International and the Alshaya Group.
Mukund Cairae, CEO, Zee TV --- Everybody loves Zee TV, so it was little wonder that last year Cairae won the “Most Inspiring Indian in Media” award from Arabian Business. A veteran TV management professional, Mukund Cairae is the CEO — Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan of Zee Entertainment Enterprise LLC. Associated with Zee for over eight years in senior positions, he has expertise in broadcast media business and a proven track record in setting up businesses right from inception.
CV Suvi, managing director, Newcast MENA --- CV Suvi was born to a family that traded in diamonds, but surely he had other plans. After graduating with a major in chemistry, he had a brief stint in the family business. Soon enough he realised that he wasn’t cut for the diamonds. He studied advertising and PR in one of the leading institutes in Mumbai, India. His first foray into advertising was through a job as a client servicing executive in an agency in Mumbai that specialised in IPOs. He later moved to Dubai, where, within a few days of arriving, Suvi was lucky enough to land a job at Zenith, then part of Saatchi & Saatchi, which had just been set up as a result of them winning a global account. He has remained with the company since then and has worn several hats from being a group head to general manager of Dubai operations. Apart from his role as the head of strategy for MENA, Suvi also heads the newly formed content division of Zenith called Newcast. In his 16-year stint so far, he has worked on several multinational and local clients viz. Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser, BMW, Red Bull, Puma, Nakheel, Mashreq Bank, ADCB and Wataniya Telecom.
Shefali Munshi, founder, Unimode Event PR and Consulting --- A big player in the glamour industry, her company is behind the Bollywood IIFA Weekend & Awards event. Just 39 years old, she has taken the brand to several countries including the UK, Thailand, Macau and Sri Lanka. Many experts are tipping her for great things thanks to her business skills — we tip her to climb high up the list in the coming years.
Padma Coram, managing partner, Talent Brokers --- It was back in 1996 when she quit her job at Channel V to join her husband Richard at the Talent Brokers. She has helped it become one of the UAE’s best known events and entertainment companies. She has also launched a new lifestyle company Joyful Living. This is Padma Coram’s first time on the list — watch out for a big rise next year.
\nMohan Nambiar, CEO, MEC MENA --- Mohan Nambiar began his advertising career in the UAE at Matco, one of the oldest advertising agencies in the country. Today, he heads up MEC MENA, a subsidiary of Menacom, the holding company in which global giant WPP holds a 60 percent share, whose operations stretch from Morocco to Afghanistan. In his role as CEO, Nambiar has been responsible for launching MEC and its specialist divisions in the MENA region.