Ajay Gupte
Ajay Gupte

Kartik Sharma quits Wavemaker, Ajay Gupte promoted as South Asia CEO

  • Ajay Gupte will continue to be based out of Wavemaker Gurugram
  • Kartik Sharma has been associated with Maxus (now Wavemaker) for more than a decade in various positions

NEW DELHI : Wavemaker, the media agency owned by GroupM, on Wednesday announced the promotion of Ajay Gupte as chief executive for the South Asia market. Gupte, currently serving as chief operating officer (COO) of Wavemaker India, takes over the role from Kartik Sharma who steps down to pursue other opportunities in the industry.

Sharma has been associated with Maxus (now Wavemaker) for more than a decade in various positions. He became managing director of the agency in 2017 before taking over South Asia CEO role in 2018. With over two decades of experience in the media industry, Sharma has worked with Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Lintas, Mindshare and Madison before joining Maxus.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kartik for his contribution over the years and wish him all the very best," said Prasanth Kumar, chief executive, GroupM South Asia.

Gupte will continue to be based out of Wavemaker Gurugram and will report into Kumar and Gordon Domlija, president Wavemaker Asia-Pacific and China CEO.

“At GroupM, we always believe in building on the hard work and passion of our people and it gives me great pleasure to see Ajay take over as the new CEO of Wavemaker South Asia. He comes with vast experience working in multiple markets and categories. He is a well-rounded professional, and I see him bring in distinctive and increasing value for our clients and the overall ecosystem," said Kumar.

Gupte joined Wavemaker India in 2018 from his previous role in Wavemaker Indonesia where he was serving as managing director. He comes with more than two decades of industry experience, having worked across diverse brands and markets such as India, Africa and Indonesia. Since 2011, under his leadership, Wavemaker Indonesia saw exponential growth winning several clients. Before this, in India, Gupte was Maxus Delhi’s (now Wavemaker) general manager, leading clients such as Nokia and Hero among others. Prior to joining Maxus, he held various roles in sales and marketing with TVS Motor Company.

“I am humbled and very excited to take over the role of the CEO of Wavemaker South Asia. It is an exciting time for the Indian market as the Indian advertising industry is also having a global impact, and I see lots of opportunities for growth," said Gupte.

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