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Who is Devika Bulchandani, the new Indian-origin Ogilvy CEO?

Akshata Kamath
Akshata KamathSep 09, 2022 | 12:56

Who is Devika Bulchandani, the new Indian-origin Ogilvy CEO?

Devika Bulchandani is the first ever woman of color to lead a global ad agency network. (Photo: Twitter)

Calling her ''one of the giants of our industry'', advertising giant Ogilvy appointed India-born Devika Bulchandani as its Global Chief Executive Officer on September 7, 2022.  She is an 'industry giant' because of four reasons: 26 years of experience at McCann; leading Mastercard's global marketing campaign 'Priceless'; leading McCann to be 'The US Agency of the Year'' for three years as McCann's President; and becoming Global CEO of Ogilvy within 2 years of joining joining the agency

Devika's work experience: As the Global Chief Executive Officer, Devika Bulchandani will be responsible for Ogilvy's business across 131 offices in 93 countries where she will head the Advertising, Public Relations, Experience, Consulting, and Health units. As she is now the Global CEO, she will now also join WPP’s Executive Committee since Ogilvy is a part of the WPP Group.

But before she became the Global CEO and the first woman of color to lead a global ad agency, here's what her work experience looked like.

  • Devika is a veteran of the McCann group and she spent 26 years in McCann. From 2012 to 2014, she was McCann's Managing Director of Global Strategy and Chief Strategy Officer of McCann XBC (McCann XBC stands for ExtraBoldCondensed which is McCann World Group’s agency dedicated to MasterCard).
  • In 2014 she became the President of McCann XBC and in 2017, she became the President of McCann New York. Her McCann stint ended in March 2021.
  • Post McCann, she joined Ogilvy as President and CEO of North America in March 2021.
  • Within 1 year and 7 months of joining Ogilvy, she is now the Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Her predecessor Andy Main will now serve as a Senior Advisor until the end of the year.
Devika has had a historic career in McCann. Photo: Getty Images

Why is she a well-known face in the ad world?

Devika Bulchandani is the Global President of Ogilvy, making her the first-ever woman of color to run a global agency network.

  • In 2022, Ogilvy won Global Network of the Year at Cannes.
  • In 2019, she was recognized by Campaign Magazine as US Advertising Agency Head of the Year. 
  • In 2017, she helped bring life to the iconic Fearless Girl, making McCann one of the most awarded agencies in the world.
  • Devika is also a founding member of Times Up Advertising, where she has championed equality for women in advertising.

You might have seen Mastercard's ads from its 'Priceless campaign', which made Mastercard famous all over the globe for its tagline: 'for everything else, there's Mastercard''. Devika was one of the creative geniuses behind that ad campaign during her tenure at McCann. 

She was known in the advertising community as “Dev” and is well known because of her pivotal role in the success of Mastercard's 'Priceless' campaign. Apart from Mastercard, she has worked on ad campaigns for brands like Kraft and Unilever.  

Devika's link to India: Bulchandani was born in Amritsar and spent her early life there before attending Welham Girls’ School in Dehradun. She got a degree in English and Psychology at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai and then moved to the University of South California for a master's degree in communications. 

Last updated: September 09, 2022 | 12:56
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