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Marketing Mavens: The Women Who Founded Their Own Marketing Agencies.

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A world where marketing is ruled by fierce, fabulous, and forward-thinking women. A world where ideations and concepts are deemed and created from a women’s perspective. This world is not a distant dream, but a reality shaped by the incredible women leading the way in the marketing industry. From quirky creative directors to bold branding experts, these women are disrupting the status quo and bringing a much-needed dose of diversity and inclusivity to the industry.

Women in marketing are paving the way for others through their vision, talent, and determination to drive discussions on diversity and inclusivity. They are changing the narrative of how the world sees gender through their campaign-driven communications for brands.

Here is the list of top influential Women who are paving successful foot in marketing :

1. Shradha Agarwal – Co-founder & CEO, Grapes

Shradha Agarwal is an accomplished business leader and entrepreneur who co-founded Grapes in 2013 and established Grapes’ marketing vertical in 2015, after leaving her corporate job at Bharti Airtel Limited. She has been instrumental in steering Grapes to great heights as the co-founder and CEO, with her sharp business acumen and creative vision. Shradha has an extensive track record of working with leading brands such as Maruti Suzuki Nexa, Alpenliebe (Perfetti Van Melle), Mankind (Acnestar, Ringout), Blackberrys Menswear, Lacoste, Red Tape, Videocon World, Homeshop18, Kelvinator, Volvo Eicher, and OLX. Her commitment to delivering excellence and driving innovation in marketing sets her apart from others in the industry. In 2022, Shradha was appointed as the CEO of Grapes, cementing her position as a leading businesswoman and entrepreneur.

2. Pooja Jauhari, CEO, The Glitch

Pooja Jauhari, the former CEO of The Glitch, is a prominent figure in the Indian advertising and marketing industry. With over two decades of experience in the field, she has been recognized for her leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. Under her guidance, The Glitch became India’s leading digitally-led advertising and creative agency, working with prestigious clients such as Netflix, Unilever, LinkedIn, and Diageo. In May 2021, Pooja embarked on a new venture by founding Seat At The Table India. This organization aims to provide unbiased investment and advisory services, promoting diversity and inclusivity. Pooja’s vision for Seat At The Table is a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to creating a more equitable society.

3. Rajni Daswani, Director, SoCheers

Rajni Daswani is the Director of Digital Marketing at SoCheers, a full-fledged digital marketing agency based in Mumbai that was established in 2013. What started as an idea between two friends working from home quickly grew to a 3BHK flat, an office, and eventually a 4000 sqft office in a swanky building with over 100 team members within just 7 years. In October 2019, Rajni became the director of the company, leveraging her expertise to guide teams in crafting impactful campaigns for the agency’s cross-industry clients. With a management degree from Smt. M.M.K College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai, and a post-graduate degree from Mumbai University, Rajni started her career as an Associate Research Analyst in Macro Economics & Commodity Markets with Anand Rathi Financial Services. At SoCheers, she takes charge of building the company’s market share in a cluttered industry and shaping a positive work culture through effective communication strategies. Today, SoCheers is a full-fledged digital marketing agency based out of Mumbai, servicing clients all across sectors like banking, automotive, fashion, hospitality, F&B, technology, pharmaceuticals, retail, e-commerce, real estate, music & entertainment, home appliances, consumer durables, and human resources.

4. Sowmya Iyer, Founder & CEO, DViO Digital

As the founder and sole owner of DViO, Sowmya Iyer started the agency in 2006 with a group of investors and eventually bought them out to take full control of the company. DViO is a digital-first agency that focuses on crafting experiences to connect brands with their consumers through integrated strategies. With her background in English Literature and Arts and previous experience in managing digital and technology companies, she has successfully built an agency that focuses on the convergence of creativity, digital channels, and technology to drive business growth for its clients. In addition to her role as a start-up investor, Sowmya is also a TEDx speaker and Chief Mentor at MAD-Tech Incubator, a marketing incubator that supports start-ups in advertising, content, and marketing technology.

5. Ashwini Deshpande, Co-founder & Director, Elephant Design

Ashwini Deshpande, a National Institute of Design graduate of 1989, is one of the co-founders and leaders of Elephant Design, an independent integrated design consultancy. Working alongside her two partners, Ashwini has led the agency to deliver exceptional work for a variety of well-known brands such as Unilever, Daimler, P&G, Gillette, Britannia, Piramal, Titan, Godrej, and Paper Boat. Her talent and experience have been recognized by her selection as a jury member for prestigious industry awards like Cannes Lions, Young Guns, Global ReBrand 100, D&AD Awards, Spike Asia, and Design for Asia Awards. Ashwini has been recognized as one of the top 50 influential women in media, marketing, and advertising in India by IMPACT magazine. She has also been featured in Forbes India’s list of Women Business Leaders in 2020. Her leadership, creativity, and vision have been instrumental in Elephant Design’s success in the industry.

6. Karishma Mehta, Founder & CEO at Humans of Bombay

Karishma Mehta is a talented individual who has made a significant impact in the digital world. She is the founder of Humans of Bombay, a popular website that documents the inspiring stories of individuals on the streets of Mumbai. She started the page in 2014 at the age of 21 and has since interviewed countless people and shared their stories with the world. The project began with Karishma walking around the streets of Mumbai, asking strangers if they would be willing to share their stories. Since then, Humans of Bombay has evolved into a multimedia platform that documents the experiences and struggles of people from all walks of life. Through the powerful stories and images shared on Humans of Bombay, Karishma has created a space for people to connect and inspire each other, showing the resilience and humanity of the people of Mumbai. Through Humans of Bombay, she has not only documented stories but has also helped several people through crowdfunding. Her platform is now not just limited to the people of Mumbai but also includes businessmen, celebrities, and many more.

7. Neha K Puri, Founder & CEO, Vavo Digital

Neha K Puri is the founder and CEO of VAVO Digital, a dynamic influencer marketing agency. Prior to establishing VAVO Digital, Neha had a passion for entrepreneurship and a talent for developing solutions to problems arising from unforeseen situations. At the young age of 24, she founded her first startup, a food delivery platform called “Cyber Chef,” which she later sold after two years of operations. Seeking to explore the world of marketing and operations, Neha then worked as the head of franchise and business development for Movenpick ice cream India. She suggests that influencer marketing is the key to running successful campaigns in today’s digital landscape.

8. Swati Nathani, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer, Team Pumpkin

Swati Nathani is a resilient woman who has achieved remarkable success as the Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Team Pumpkin. Hailing from a small town in Patna and being brought up in a conservative family, Swati has overcome numerous obstacles to achieve her career aspirations. Swati has over 16 years of experience in retail marketing, branding, operations, research, analytics, and social media. Her remarkable leadership skills and business acumen have helped establish Team Pumpkin as one of the most sought-after marketing agencies in India within a decade. Today, the agency works with several leading Indian brands such as Swiggy, Tata Steel, Mamaearth, and ITC Foods, where they have helped develop impactful campaigns and content.

9. Unmisha Bhatt, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer India & MENA, Tonic Worldwide

Unmisha Bhatt has been working in the field of brand communication and strategy for over 20 years. She is currently the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Tonic Worldwide for India and the MENA region. In her role, she is responsible for leading the strategy for brands across various consumer touchpoints. Her expertise lies in enabling global expansion for brands, and she has worked with well-known brands such as Ponds (HUL), Bajaj Electricals, Tata Sky, and Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd. She has been instrumental in developing and executing successful marketing campaigns that have helped her clients achieve their business objectives.

10. Chandni Shah , Founder & COO, Kinnect

Chandni Shah is a prominent figure in the digital marketing industry and the COO of Kinnect, which was recently acquired by FCB Group India under the IPG Holding Company. She co-founded the agency with Rohan Mehta at the age of 22 and grew it to a team of over 500 digital experts across Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru. Apart from leading the agency’s operations, Chandni is a frequent speaker at industry events and an avid supporter of driving change and innovation in digital marketing. In just over 10 years, the co-founder helped build the agency’s impressive client roster, including top-tier clients such as P&G, Intel, Google, Amazon, Coursera, Disney+Hotstar, HDFC Bank, and TVS Motors. Kinnect’s dynamic rise even caught the attention of IPG and FCB, leading to the agency’s acquisition.

These women entrepreneurs have paved the way for women to create their own success in the competitive field of marketing and advertising. By taking the leap of faith and starting their own agencies, they have demonstrated that determination, perseverance, and hard work can help shatter the glass ceiling. They have not just broken the glass ceiling, they have shattered it with their determination, grit, and unwavering passion. These women have shown that with a strong vision, a clear strategy, and the ability to adapt to change, anything is possible. Their success stories inspire us to break the mold, think outside the box and create our own paths toward achieving our dreams.

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