MARLS TRUTER Co-Founder and Managing Director
Marls is a proven agency leader with over 15 years of award-winning experience, managing some of Africa’s biggest local and international brands. Starting out in her beloved South Africa, Marls honed her skills and quickly rose through the ranks at agencies like Ireland/Davenport, Net#workBBDO, JWT, TBWA OpenCo and Avatar; championing industry leading work for BMW, Vodacom, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, South African Airways, Brand South Africa and Campari among others. In 2019, she was tasked with spearheading Ogilvy Africa’s key accounts in the region, where she was central in augmenting the agency’s scale and creative reputation. A firm believer that the ‘idea’ trumps all, Marls is also an ardent advocate of basic education for all. Even more keenly so when engaged over a nice single malt.
YASH DEB Co-Founder and Creative Partner
12 countries, 4 continents and whole lot of awards and accolades in between. Yash’s experience and reputation as a creative leader belies his age. Learning his trade and craft at agencies like Hakuhodo, TBWA and Dentsu, Yash created memorable campaigns for blue-chip brands such as Nike, P&G, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Diageo, Standard Chartered, Safaricom and Toyota. He then setup Isobar in the region, an agency he led to the Agency of the Year gong within 5 years. Next came the opportunity to head Ogilvy Africa’s creative department where he created history being the tour de force behind Lesso Lessons; a campaign that won East, West and Central Africa’s very first Gold Lion at Cannes and a coveted Yellow Pencil at D&AD. This apart, he also has wins at The One Show, Clio’s, Loeries, Spikes Asia, Ad Stars and CAG, served as jury member at the African Cristals, Loeries, LAIF Awards and APA, and even featured in The Business Daily’s 40 under 40 list. Yash believes that to bring great ideas to life, one must first fall madly in love with a problem. His wife is unimpressed.
SHOUNAK GUHATHAKURTA Co-Founder and Creative Partner
Shounak started his creative career over-embellishing embarrassing quips about his friends in school. Come graduation, that knack saw him get a foot in the door at JWT Mumbai; one of India’s biggest agencies, where he worked on leading brands like DeBeers, The Times of India, Reliance, Unilever and Godrej. After short, yet fruitful stints at Y&R and Bates, Shounak returned to his alma mater as Senior Creative Director, producing industry-acclaimed work for Sony ESPN, Tata Motors, Fiat, Colgate, MTV, Indian Cancer Society and Taj Hotels in that time. In 2019, he hopped across the pond to Ogilvy Africa driving work for some of their flagship clients, most notably Airtel in the region. A consistent winner of awards at every agency he’s been at, his work over the years has been recognized at the likes of Cannes, D&AD, New York Festivals, Spikes Asia, Abby’s, WARC and featured in annuals like The Work, Luerzer’s Archives and Campaign Brief Asia’s Hottest Creative List. Shounak insists he can convince people the world is flat, as long as there’s enough media budget.
ANIMESH DEB Co-Founder and Director
Animesh has over 30 years of experience in the advertising, marketing and services related industry, 20 of which have been spent building brands in the Kenyan and East African region. In that time, he has donned many hats. From leading senior teams at agencies to running his own production house. Launching start-ups and new products to helping once-stagnant brands find their mojo again. As such, he is seasoned in all aspects of film production, above and below the line campaign deployment, digital, shopper marketing and route-to-market strategies, making his repertoire and breadth of experience unique in the market. Animesh likes to sketch and paint in his free time, but regrets there are only 24 hours in a day.