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Merissa Himraj. Picture: SUPPLIED/WAVEMAKER
Merissa Himraj. Picture: SUPPLIED/WAVEMAKER

A pioneering strategist and exceptional leader, Merissa Himraj has served as the chief strategy officer (CSO) of Wavemaker SA since early 2019. Now, just over a year later, she has been appointed to the executive committee of Wavemaker’s parent company, GroupM.

Wavemaker is the world’s fifth-largest media agency, with international clients that include British Airways, Huawei and Netflix. Wavemaker is part of the largest advertising media company in the world, GroupM, which is headquartered in New York City. Both Wavemaker and GroupM also operate under WPP, a British multinational conglomerate and the world’s largest advertising company.

Himraj first joined Wavemaker SA in August 2014 as a business unit manager, where she led the Vodacom account for five years. Her CSO appointment brought with it the provision of strategic and solutions-driven oversight both internally at Wavemaker and among its many clients.

Himraj will continue in this role and take on her GroupM responsibilities, which will enable her to offer guidance on and be actively involved in projects that take place at a broader, sector-wide level, including retail, FMCG and ICT.

“I am still new to the GroupM team, so my short- to medium-term goals involve assessing where I can add value, and driving synergistic projects that propel GroupM’s agencies forward. In the long term, as always, I want to do meaningful work that benefits the group and its clients, and offer support to our internal teams in any way I can,” says Himraj.

Himraj’s appointment comes at an unprecedented time and her experience, expertise and agility will undoubtedly serve her well as she navigates this uncertain period. “As I look forward, I plan to use my knowledge and industry experience, together with the many insights and data tools at my disposal, to offer guidance and counsel to our clients,” she says.

To clients looking for strategic advice during the Covid-19 era, Himraj’s answer is simple: “We partner with clients to ensure their businesses succeed — even under the most impossible circumstances. At this time, ask us difficult questions, involve us in your brainstorming sessions as you decide what to do next, and let us help you solve bigger problems than we might have done previously. We are part of WPP, an established and robust organisation that gives us access to an enormous range of services, skill sets and insights. You are invited to use this resource.”

Himraj’s executive position will certainly ensure that businesses working with Wavemaker and GroupM receive only the best strategic marketing support — support that is perhaps more critical now than it has ever been before.

This article was paid for by Wavemaker.