Rana Barua

Rana Barua

Havas Group India

'Fireside Chat: ‘How a tech-driven OOH finds a defining role in integrated brand communications’'

Rana Barua is a reputed leader in the Indian advertising industry and is also one of the youngest Group CEOs leading a diverse agency network in the country. Through his career of nearly three decades, Rana is known for being a progressive business leader who has turned around companies, created award winning cultures and built successful corporates across advertising, marketing, and media. He is also known for his close involvement in corporate governance, sustainability, and policy making. 


Currently, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Havas Group India, he is not just leading India’s fastest-growing advertising network but is also growing an entirely new generation of leaders, through collaboration and integration.


Rana oversees the entire Havas Group India network which comprises of over 1,200 people across 15 specialist agencies across 3 verticals: Havas Media Group – Havas Media, Arena Media, Tribes (out-of-home), Havas Marketplace, Havas Content, Havas Sports & Entertainment, Havas Programmatic Hub, Havas Creative Group – Havas Worldwide India (creative), Havas CX, Think Design Havas (design), Shobiz Havas (experiential marketing), Conran Design Group (Branding & Design), Havas QED, Cake India and Havas Health Group with Havas Life Sorento (healthcare). Globally, the Havas Group is fully integrated into Vivendi, which is one of the largest media and communications companies in the world. Rana is also actively involved in the India Vivendi Committee.


With an illustrious career of nearly three decades, Rana has led esteemed organisations such as Contract India (a leading WPP creative agency) and RED FM (India’s leading radio network). He has also held senior leadership profiles in Radio City (as marketing head) and multiple WPP agencies (JWT, Ogilvy & Rediffusion Y&R), where he has spent a major part of his professional life.


Rana is one of the strongest advocates of the Indian advertising industry. This reflects in the various industry initiatives and award shows that he has actively participated in over the years. - including Grand Juror at Afaqs Foxglove Awards 2021, DMA EchoAsia, and AME Awards. He has been Jury Chair at the SAMMIE awards. He has also been a jury member at several key awards including, New York Festivals, Apac Effies, exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards, IMPACT's 50 Most Influential Women List 2020, Radio Forums, and many others. And he is also Esteemed Advisory Member at Indian Telly ADz Awards. 


Rana is also passionate about policymaking and changes in the overall advertising industry and therefore plays a prominent role in several industry bodies. Since 2021, he has been the Vice President of The Advertising Club (TAC) Mumbai, the marketing and advertising industry’s apex body. He is on the Managing Committee of the IAA – India Chapter and is also the Honorary Treasurer of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI). Rana has played a pivotal role in the resurgence of the Abby/One Show and the tie up and was Chairman of the AGC – The One Show Ad Club Abby for 2022. 


As CEO of Havas Group India, he is also part of the governing council of The Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI), which provides its members with a business platform by giving them access to sector-specific information, networking opportunities and exchange of business ideas. 


Havas Group India being part of the UN Women Unstereotype Alliance is another association that Rana has spearheaded as it began its India chapter. It is a groundbreaking take on gender equality where harmful stereotypes in advertising are being tackled. The Alliance’s work is even more crucial as it aims to centre its work in India on broadening the representation of women and girls in non-traditional roles in advertising with a focus on women returning to the workforce. It is a clear indicator of Havas Group’s commitment to driving gender diversity. 


Rana also presides on the board of many leading companies across the Havas Group and is actively involved as a speaker at leading MBA institutions across the country.