Integrated communications veteran Rekha Rao has been named Managing Director, Zeno India, responsible for overseeing the agency’s operations in Mumbai and Delhi.
With more than 24 years of experience in advertising, corporate and marketing communications and public relations, Rao will focus on driving agency growth and delivering innovative, insight-driven work across the full marketing spectrum. Rao, who has joined Zeno in January, will report to newly appointed Regional President, Zeno Asia Pacific, Paul Mottram.
“This is a pivotal time for Zeno in India as we build on our strong client base and diverse, specialized talent pool. Rekha’s broad experience complements all we are doing and she is poised to supercharge our growth and further expansion. Rekha’s integrated experience will be key when counseling clients on a range of issues and provoking new ways of thinking about the power of modern, integrated communications to deliver tangible business impact,” said Barby K. Siegel, CEO of Zeno Group.
Rao comes to Zeno from 20:20 MSL (Publicis Groupe), where she contributed to the growth of the agency’s largest clients including P&G (Vicks, Pampers), Marico (Saffola, Nihar, Parachute, and more) Skechers, Cipla, Mahindra, Nissan, and more. Earlier in her PR career, Rao worked at Weber Shandwick, Hill and Knowlton, while spending early years in her career as a creative writer with Leo Burnett, Lintas (now Lowe), Triton Communications and her own consultancy Versatile Communications.
Rao’s campaign work includes: Shave India Movement (Gillette), #Touch of Care and Cheer for Champions (Vicks), Smile India Movement (Oral-B) and Thank You Mom (P+G), Healthy Hoga Hindustan (Lifebuoy), #IamCapable (Nihar), Saffola World Heart Day and more.
Beyond consumer brand work, Rao has extensive experience in advocacy including conceptualising and executing the first-ever National Child Health Symposium for Unilever’s Lifebuoy. She has driven many influencer programmes, both online and offline, to help build equity for health, women empowerment, education and diversity focussed brands. Her understanding of brand objectives and marrying these to social responsibility has resulted in creating many successful social responsibility initiatives, like Lifebouy’s hand hygiene programme, Fair and Lovely scholarships, and the globally recognized Vicks #TouchOfCare campaign.
“My focus will be on delivering equity, value and impact for clients, with campaigns that transcend outreach channels and platforms. In this next chapter of my career, I am excited to be part of Zeno’s ‘fearless’ culture, that inspires us to new heights every day,” says Rao.
In her spare time, Rekha passionately works for Katha Kathan, an intiative started by her husband focused on keeping the diverse languages of India alive while reintroducing and reviving the love for Indian language literature.