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MPW 2023: Devika Bulchandani is directing Ogilvy’s worldwide triumph

In the realm of advertising, where creativity reigns supreme, Devika Bulchandani stands as a beacon of innovation and leadership, steering Ogilvy’s global ship through the ever-changing currents of consumer consciousness. Despite her lofty title of Global CEO, to those who know her well, she’s simply “Dev” – a testament to her approachability and humility amidst towering achievements.

Having traversed the American landscape for over three decades, Devika’s journey from student to stalwart in the advertising world is a testament to her resilience and tenacity. Her foray into the industry began with a Master’s in Communications from the University of Southern California, a decision that laid the groundwork for her ascent to the pinnacles of success.

Leading a global powerhouse like Ogilvy, with its presence felt across 131 offices in 93 countries, might seem daunting to some, but for Devika, it’s simply par for the course. When asked about the challenges of her role, she responds with characteristic stoicism, emphasizing the importance of leading with an Indian ethos, a philosophy that has evolved over time.

Devika’s tenure at Ogilvy began in March 2021, initially as Global President and CEO of North America, before ascending to the coveted corner office in September 2022. She spent more than 20 years honing her talents at McCann Worldgroup before joining Ogilvy. Her critical contribution to the development of Mastercard’s global marketing platform is evidence of her strategic acumen.

In an industry where diversity in leadership remains a rare sight, Devika’s position as a woman at the helm of a creative powerhouse like Ogilvy is nothing short of revolutionary. With a fluid approach to overseeing advertising, public relations, experience, and consulting, she deftly navigates the complexities of the industry while championing the cause of gender equality.

Yet, for Devika, being a woman leader isn’t just about personal achievement; it’s about paving the way for others. She remains steadfast in her belief that women deserve a seat at the table, advocating tirelessly for their inclusion and empowerment. And while her identity as a woman of color is undeniable, she prefers to let her actions speak louder than words, embodying the spirit of leadership and excellence without the need for labels.

Sadhna B

Sadhna B

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