Women in Marketing: Executives who are building brand narratives

Shamita Islur
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Women in Marketing

Social Samosa highlights the achievements of women in marketing who are leading brand narratives across sectors.

Women are generally under-represented in leadership roles in the media and communications sector, according to data, with India (23%) falling at the end of the spectrum having the lowest proportion of women leaders.

Yet, there are women in leadership roles paving the way for others and building brand narratives and representation in the advertising and marketing industry. 

Social Samosa has curated a list of women marketing executives. This list is in no particular order.

Deepali Naair - CMO, IBM India & South Asia

Starting her career in 1993, Deepali has led a diverse leadership experience in marketing and digital by working with Tata Motors, BPL Mobile, Draft FCB-Ulka, Saffola, IIFL Wealth group of Companies and more.

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Aparna Bhawal - CMO, KFC India & Partner Countries (Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives)

A marketing leader with close to two decades of experience, Aparna has led marketing for prominent consumer brands. Prior to joining KFC India, she was the Vice President for Marketing at Hindustan Times Media Ltd where she repositioned the legacy news brand for millennial audiences.

Shwetal Basu - Chief of Marketing & Communication, Shoppers Stop

Joining Shoppers Stop in 2021, Shwetal brings a deep understanding of the consumer across demographics and geographies, to create successful marketing strategies in sync with the brand’s vision. In her previous stints, she was associated with Metro Brands Ltd., Aditya Birla Retail Ltd., Gemological Institute of America and HDFC Bank.

Aanandita Dutta - CMO, Pizza Hut India

Aanandita is a marketing veteran with close to 17 years of experience who studied at St. Xavier’s and SVKM’s NMIMS. She previously worked as Global Brand Director, Unilever, based out of Netherlands and has worked with brands such as Lipton, Kissan, Taaza at Unilever along with Corporate brand Unilever, Horlicks and Sensodyne at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer HealthCare and Whirlpool Refrigerators. 

Deepika Warrier - CMO, Diageo India

Deepika is a transformative commercial leader with 25+ years of experience, including 10+ years of being a Chief Marketing Officer. She has managed a portfolio of 22 brands and supports causes for animal welfare and children. 

Somasree Bose Awasthi - CMO, Marico Limited

Prior to Marico, Somasree started her professional journey with Godrej as a management trainee in 2003, initially as part of Sara Lee business and then continued with Godrej Consumer Product post the merger.

Anurita Chopra - Head of Marketing, CMO - Indian Sub Continent, Haleon

With an ability to drive impact cross-culturally in a global scenario, Anurita’s 22 years of career journey in business leadership across lead brands - Sensodyne, Philips, Nokia, KurKure (PepsiCo), Bru (HUL) and more has led to high growth.

Pragya Bijalwan - CMO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals

Starting in 2004, Pragya’s career spans over lubricants, paints and oil sector with focus on marketing domains like strategy, category management, digital transformation, ATL/BTL, brand management, media planning, product portfolio management, influencer advocacy, pricing, loyalty programs and communications.

Neha Ahuja - Director, Head of Marketing, Spotify

Neha started her career in 2002 and led FMCG and Telecom companies - Gillette, P&G and Vodafone before moving to Spotify India. She has built big global brands as well as establishing new brands. She supports causes for children, education, human rights, social services. 

Manasi Narasimhan - Vice President & Head, Marketing & Communications, South Asia at Mastercard

A marketing professional with 18+ years of experience spanning fintech & payments, FMCG, media and a multi-category corporate brand, Manasi has led diverse teams to drive results, brand and business growth.

Sapangeet Rajwant - Senior Vice President, Head - Marketing & Digital, Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18

Sapangeet has worked at Viacom18 for eight years with previous experience at Zee Enterprises Entertainment Ltd. With her experience in the leadership position, she has launched a few flagship channels such as Zee TV and Zee Next.

Ranjani Krishnaswamy - General Manager Marketing, Titan Company Limited

Ranjani’s learning curve in the industry has been shaped by working with brands like Dove (Hair & Skin), Yardley London, Hindustan Times, Lever Ayush, Santoor, Giffy, Carrie Junior, Wipro Lighting. Starting her career in 2000, she has gained consumer understanding by working across various markets - India, SEA, Japan, US, EU, Middle-East. 

Sujata V Kumar - Head of Marketing - India & South Asia, Visa

Sujata's career has spanned 28 years across key areas like Brand development, Launch strategy, Category Management, Retail strategy and promotions, Creating Advertising, Media, Consumer behaviour, Client Engagement, Market Research and In-market implementation of Programs. She has worked with brands like P&G, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Google and more.

Chandrika Jain - Director Global Marketing, Lenovo India

Based in Bengaluru, Chandrika leads Lenovo’s marketing functions across the consumer, commercial, tablets, and solutions and services portfolios and is also responsible for the overall corporate Lenovo brand in India. She has previously worked at companies like EURORSCG Advertising, Contract Advertising, ING India.

Sheena Kapoor - Head - Marketing Corp Comm & CSR, ICICI Lombard

Sheena has been responsible for many achievements including driving marketing strategy & corporate branding across Edelweiss Group, for driving INR 400 Cr of revenue across companies like Unilever, VW and Tata Motors. 

Pooja Sahgal - CMO, Raymond Consumer Care

A successful business leader with 20+ years of experience as CMO, Ecommerce and category leadership roles across MNCs and Indian companies, Pooja is a marketing leader with a passion for building brands and transforming businesses and building brand purpose to deliver growth.

Swati Rathi - Head of Marketing, Godrej Appliances

Swati has spent 17 years at Godrej Appliances and has been responsible for the marketing strategy and its implementation across all categories - Domestic & Medical Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, Washing Machines, Air Coolers, Dishwashers, Microwave Ovens and Thermo-Electric Solutions.

Poulomi Roy - CMO, RSH Global

Poulomi has gained 16+ years of experience by working with companies like Asian News International (ANI), GroupM and Madison World and a brief stint at Star TV Network. She used to work at RSH Global as Head of Marketing Communications from 2014-17 and later came back to the company. 

Alisha Malik - President - Ecommerce & Marketing, Metro Brands Limited

Joining the family business in 2010, Alisha has learnt everything there is to know about Metro Brands from the ground up - store-level management to e-commerce and now marketing & digital transformation.

Naseeb Puri - Senior Marketing Director, Flavours, PepsiCo India

Naseeb Puri has been working with PepsiCo for 7+ years. Under her leadership, Pepsico’s #StingMachaDe campaign garnered over 4 billion views on Moj.

Saakshi Verma Menon, Marketing Director, Kimberly-Clark India

Since she joined Kimberly-Clark in July 2021, Saakshi has steered the relaunch of Kotex in the market, led the ‘Sahi Wali Feeling’ campaign for Huggies, and overseen another relaunch within its nature care range. A former marketer with Nicobar, Uber, Pepsi and Colgate-Palmolive, she is the executive sponsor for the women inclusion group at her company and has led the launch of the first-ever mentorship programme for women employees. 

Sophia Sinha - Global Head Marketing Business Planning, Operations & Insights, Hennessy 

Sophia has had brief stints at Infosys and Western Union, before moving on to the alcobev industry. Her work at United Breweries Ltd. led to the product launch of Kingfisher Ultra. Later, she joined luxury spirits company - Moët Hennessy India as Head of Marketing for nine years before moving on to a global role at LVMH’s subsidiary - Hennessy. 

Aparna Mahesh, CMO, Great Learning

A digital and brand specialist with a track record of building Indian and global brands across industries, Aparna’s clientele includes Quikr, Freshmenu, Appy, MasterCard, Microsoft and Royal Mail. She is a recipient of the Excellence Award given by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Philadelphia in 2002.

Ruchika Varma, CMO, Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited

Ruchika’s experience spans 20+ years across varied industry sectors and international markets like BFSI, Content, Media, Hospitality, etc at companies like BBC Worldwide, Marina Bay Sands, IDFC FIRST Bank and more.

Sujala Martis - Director - Consumer Marketing, Platinum Guild International

With years of experience working at agencies like DDB Mudra Group, McCann Erickson, Grey Group and more, Sujala is now using her marketing expertise at Platinum Guild International as Director of Consumer Marketing.

Kanwalpreet Walia, Marketing Head, Fragrance and Accessories Division, Titan Company Limited

After graduating with a PGDM in Marketing and Finance from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Kanwalpreet started her career in 2001 at TVS Motor Company. She has worked at Titan Company Limited for the past 12 years in the watches and wearable division before moving to fragrance and accessories.

Charu Malhotra Bhatia - Vice-President & Head of Marketing, Hindware Limited

Charu has an extensive experience of 18 years and has worked at companies like Citi, Amway, Somany Ceramics Ltd. and more in the marketing sphere.

Deepa Krishnan, Director - Marketing, Category, Loyalty, Digital, Tata Starbucks

With a career spanning over 28 years, Deepa has worked at companies like JWT, Godrej Appliances, The Futures Company, Diageo India, Kantar, and more before joining Tata Starbucks. Her clientele includes Unilever, Kraft, Wipro Consumer Products, Indian Hotels Ltd., Shoppers’ Stop, Lux franchise, Philip Morris, Diageo, ITC (foods), Mondelez International, Akzo Nobel Paints, Times of India. 

Mohua Das Gupta - Head of Marketing, Tata CLiQ Luxury

Mohua is a marketing leader with over 15 years of experience in building and leading brands across industries. She has extensive experience in leading strategic marketing and has worked with brands like Myntra, Arrow, and Amante. She also has worked with ad agencies like Ogilvy and McCann.

Sonali Dhawan - SVP, Fem Care, P&G Asia Middle East Africa

Sonali joined Procter & Gamble (P&G) India in 1998, directly out of business school. She joined Marketing and has worked in regions that include ASEAN/India/Australia.

Anjali Mehra - Chief Brand Officer and Senior VP Marketing, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

A seasoned hospitality brand marketing and communications professional with over 35 years of experience across geographies, Anjali has worked with several hospitality brands like Taj Group of Hotels, Marriott International and more to bring a good understanding of today’s evolving luxury hospitality landscape and the needs of the discerning global traveller.

Shilpa Desai - EVP & Head, Marketing, HDFC ERGO General Insurance

Shilpa brings to the table an experience of 18+ years across manufacturing, product management and service organizations, including an extensive experience in the BFSI sector. During her previous stints, she has held leadership roles in Marketing and Digital Business and has developed and repositioned Marcom strategies for brands like ICICI Bank, IDFC Bank and Fullerton India Credit Company Limited.

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