New Delhi: Publicis Groupe owned media agency Zenith India on Thursday announced the appointment of Jai Lala as chief operating officer (COO).

As a part of his mandate he will oversee operations, structure and expansion in addition to the scaling up of specialised, future-facing offerings for the agency. The focus will be on areas such as data, dynamic content, tech, analytics, performance and programmatic.

Lala joins Zenith from GroupM owned MediaCom where he was serving as chief strategy and growth officer. In addition, Zenith has elevated its managing partner and head, West and South, Ajit Gurnani to the newly created role of chief client officer.

Tanmay Mohanty, group CEO of Zenith India said, “Jai Lala needs no introduction and has over 20 years’ experience in media planning and buying. He will aid me in client deliveries, keeping up the scale and momentum of operations, integration of existing talent and new hires and the expansion in overall footprint for Zenith. Ajit brings in huge expertise and value to every client conversation. He has transformed the way we deliver to clients and will shape our client relationships further. Both these appointments will help Zenith put out passionate, exciting and compelling work."

Lala has over two decades of experience across across media planning, buying, research and sales. He has worked in organizations such as UTV, ESPN Star Sports and media agency groups. He has created multiple and unique trading practices in the industry. Lala is also a visiting faculty at Indian School of Business (ISB) and Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA).

On his new role Lala said, “I am delighted at this opportunity. Zenith has market-leading expertise in data, technology and innovation. Offering a strong, long-term consultative approach to clients, Zenith is already working on what lies at the corner tomorrow; whether it is automation, machine learning or artificial intelligence. Its pedigreed A-list clients, outstanding work and motivated teams make me excited about the possibilities."

Meanwhile Gurnani, who has been with agency for the last three years, will continue to interface with key clients, bringing in new and critical perspective on businesses and enhancing Zenith’s overall strategic product and delivery.

He has over 20 years of work experience across client leadership, brand management and media investment management.

Zenith is part of Publicis Media. The agency has over 5,000 specialists across 90 markets. In India, Zenith’s key clients include consuner goods firm Nestlé, Parle Products, Toyota, HDFC Life, Honeywell air purifiers, fast fashion brand H&M and Bombay Dyeing among others.

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