MullenLowe Sri Lanka appoints top professionals to its Board of Directors

  • Global CMO for Meta & Former WPP Grey Advertising UK, FD also named.

MullenLowe Sri Lanka, one of Sri Lanka’s game-changing brand communication companies has appointed top professionals from Sri Lanka and overseas to its directorate to transform and lead the company into the future.

On board are Dr Sohan Dharmarajah, Mr Eshan Ponnudurai, Mr Marc Santi and Mr Harendra Uyanage. Marc and Eshan replace outgoing directors Mr Virat Tandon and Mr Vivek Kamath from MullenLowe India whilst Sohan and Harendra are new additions to the board. With these appointments, the new board at MullenLowe Sri Lanka will consist of Mr Dilshara Jayamanne – Sr. Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Mr Nasser Mohammed – Vice President & Finance Director, Dr Sohan Dharmaraja – Vice President & Director MarTech Services, Mr Thayalan Bartlett – Director & Chief Executive Officer, Mr Marc Santi– Non-Executive Director, Eshan Ponnadurai – Non- Executive Director and Mr Harendra Uyanage – Vice President & Executive Creative Director.

The above appointments at MullenLowe are strategic in nature and key to drawing on global & local expertise to prime the company to meet the transitionary phase of the industry which is rapidly evolving with technology at the core of its offerings. The company is already ahead of the game in Sri Lanka and will soon be looking at exporting some of its services to overseas markets.

Commenting on the appointments, Thayalan Bartlett Chief Executive Officer of MullenLowe Group Sri Lanka said, “As a company, we have been divesting our identity as an “agency” and investing in being an idea-centric and tech-driven business accelerator for clients. We will be increasingly dependent on data to make time-sensitive and mission-critical decisions for brands in the future and we want to be prepared for it. The journey has just begun, the people are in place and we look ahead with much anticipation as we begin to make these changes to our offering."

Dilshara Jayamanna, also known as Dilly, is an unconventional creative with a diverse background in music, filmmaking, and advertising. As the Chief Creative Officer at MullenLowe, he has led the agency to win multiple prestigious awards, including Effie Sri Lanka Agency of the Year and Campaign magazine’s Rest of South Asia Creative Agency of the Year.

Dr Sohan Dharmaraja is a mathematician by training and an innovative problem-solver with advanced degrees from MIT and Stanford. He leads marketing technology at MullenLowe Sri Lanka. His work gained global recognition, featured by BBC and NPR. His previous roles include algorithmic trading at Goldman Sachs and US Defense projects and to his credit he has developed and sold technology to Apple.

Marc Santhi is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and is the CEO of Eleanor Healthcare Group of Companies, a leading social care provider in the United Kingdom. Before this, Marc was one of the youngest Finance Directors at WPP's Grey Advertising Group and GCI, both in the UK. He later founded his own successful accounting and business consultancy, APT, which has now grown to become one of Southeast London's largest firms. Under Marc’s leadership since 2005, Eleanor Healthcare Group has evolved into a group of companies that provide a range of health and social care services, including Care Homes, Home Care branches, Patient Transport, and Hospital Logistics that offer vital support to major London hospitals. With over 1500 employees, the group now stands as London’s largest provider of community care services.

Thayalan, an accomplished advertising professional has steered and transformed MullenLowe into a highly successful company through very challenging times. He established autonomous strategic verticals and championed the cause of gender diversity and employee empowerment. Under his leadership, MullenLowe achieved consistent growth and has been rated Globally, in APAC and Locally with MullenLowe being the only agency to win Agency Of The Year consecutively for 3 years in Sri Lanka. Before being appointed CEO of MullenLowe, Thayalan was CEO of WPP’s J Walter Thompson (JWT) Sri Lanka and was subsequently appointed to lead J Walter Thompson Indonesia. During his time at JWT, he led the company to many successes in awards and business recognition and was awarded WPP’s Atticus Award for advertising by Sir Martin Sorrell.

Eshan is the Global Marketing Head for Meta based out of New York. He is a highly respected Business Leader who has thrived in growing businesses from startups to giants like Uber, Airbnb, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Before his foray into the Marketing Tech space, he held regional roles for P&G based out of Singapore. Currently, he holds dual leadership roles at Meta Platforms while advising startups and serving a non-profit and was named in the TOP 50 Entrepreneurial CMOs by Forbes Magazine in 2023.

Nasser is a proficient controller with a strong financial background in advertising. He has excelled in his role as Vice President and Finance Director at MullenLowe. His amiable personality is no cover when it comes to demonstrating sound expertise and a high level of integrity in his area of work. Before his appointment at MullenLowe, he was the Vice President & Finance Director of J Walter Thompson in Sri Lanka (JWT)

Dedicated to continually raising the bar, Harendra is a uniquely creative individual who ardently admires the art of filmmaking. His profound understanding of the language of film has facilitated the creation of iconic works for the country's most prominent brands. His work has also earned recognition through numerous awards and accolades, including his key contributions to MullenLowe, which led to the agency winning the Agency of the Year at the Effies over the years.

The MullenLowe Group (MLG) is one of Sri Lanka’s largest marketing communications groups. The company, which until recently was owned by the US-based Interpublic Group (IPG) and transitioned to local ownership, is a full member affiliate of MullenLowe Worldwide and part of a network of 95 global offices across 65 markets. MullenLowe Worldwide employs, 6400+ people around the world with the Sri Lanka office alone staffing close to 90 employees and is set to expand further. The Sri Lanka Office is well represented across categories covering FMCG, Banking & Finance, Insurance, Leisure, Mobile & Broadband, Fintech, Enterprise Solutions, Milk based foods, Beauty & Personal and Home Care, Carbonated, Energy and Fresh Drinks, Packaged Foods & Biscuits and Sanitary Pads to name a few. This extensive portfolio comes together to dominate 80% of the top 10 and 50% of the top 20 advertised categories in the country. By the sheer representation of diverse industries, the Group draws on a vast amount of category knowledge making it the most influential brand communications group in the country.

Top L to bottom R: Mr Dilshara Jayamanne – Snr. Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Dr Sohan Dharmaraja – Vice President & Director MarTech Services, Mr Marc Santi – Non-Executive Director, Eshan Ponnadurai – Non-Executive Director, Mr Harendra Uyanage – Associate Vice President & Executive Creative Director, Mr Thayalan Bartlett – Director & Chief Executive Officer, and Mr Nasser Mohammed – Vice President & Finance Director.