Mumbai: Ashish Bhasin, a veteran of the Lintas Group, will be moving to Aegis Group Plc. as chairman (India) and chief executive officer (South Asia), say people familiar with the development, who did not wish to be identified.

The hiring of Bhasin, a 21-year veteran of Lintas, who is executive vice-president at Lowe Worldwide and Asia regional director for integrated marketing, is a sign of Aegis’ desire to strengthen its presence in India.

Bhasin is expected to expand Aegis’ different businesses in India

Carat has not had an easy time growing its business in India. Charles Jenarius left as group CEO of Carat India some months ago and Richard Halmarick, CEO of Aegis Media (South Asia), also left this year.

On a recent visit to India, Patrick Stahle, CEO of Aegis Media (Asia-Pacific), had told Mint that Aegis would launch, before the end of 2008, local arms of its outdoor and digital advertising companies, Posterscope Worldwide and Isobar Communications Plc. Aegis is also expected to launch the Indian arm of its search engine-marketing firm, iProspect, which is present in 30 markets, under the Isobar banner soon.

Stahle had also admitted that there was a crisis in leadership at Carat Media Services India Ltd, but added that this was being filled by promoting P.V. Narayanamoorthy, director (strategy and operation) at the company as its managing director.

Bhasin’s mandate will be to launch the new businesses and also help grow business at Carat India.

Bhasin is the second senior executive to leave Lowe after the retirement of Prem Mehta a few months ago.

Another Lintas Group veteran, Pranesh Misra, director (marketing accountability) at Lowe, recently left the agency after more than three decades with the group to start a marketing consulting and data-mining firm, called Brandscape Worldwide, in partnership with technology entrepreneur Jerry Rao.

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