SMX CEO Hari Shankar heads to video publisher iVideoSmart

Hari Shankar has left his role as chief executive officer at Singapore Media Exchange (SMX) to join video publisher platform iVideoSmart. Shankar (pictured) takes on the role of chief revenue officer at the startup, and will be leading the charge for independent video adtech in making positive differences for publishers, according to his LinkedIn.

Former head, sales development at SPH Michael Chng has been appointed as the new general manager for SMX. Shankar first joined SMX, the digital alliance between Singapore’s publishers Mediacorp and Singapore Press Holdings, in May 2018 as the marketplace went officially operational. He brought more than 15 years of experience in media management to the CEO role at SMX. 

Under his leadership, SMX expanded across Southeast Asia and partnered with seven media publishers and marketplace owners. These included Carousell, Viu, Astro, Blaze Digital, Mudah, Sanook Thailand, GMA New Media and Kaidee. With the new partnerships, SMX aimed to solidify its position as the preferred programmatic platform in Southeast Asia to reach quality audiences at scale. According to SMX, the marketplace will also have more opportunities to combine its own first-party data with those of its partners, creating richer audience data for more precise and effective targeting. 

Shankar previously mentioned that these regional partnerships will aid SMX in propelling towards a strong regional offering that reinforces its ability to provide buyers with rich audiences, precision targeting and innovative ad formats while making the supply accessible with more buying options and across bidders.

Prior to joining SMX, he was the managing director at Ecselis, the digital performance unit of Havas Media Group. According to his LinkedIn, he was tasked to build, strengthen and scale the operations of the outfit, both from a core practice perspective as well as commercial perspective. This included designing and establishing a ground-up framework to shape the future of the operations across Southeast Asia markets and India in addition to creating a domain excellence center in the regional headquarters and an operations excellence center in India.

In addition to this, Shankar's remit also extended to establishing a sound paid digital media practice for Havas Media Group across the region, working with the stakeholders vertically and laterally in the regional markets. He was previously the head of digital acquisition APAC at PayPal. At PayPal, he established and drove the digital media acquisition strategy, marketing and associated analytics across Asia Pacific markets while also fostering the creation of an internal agency model to power the organisation's overall customer base captivation goals.

Meanwhile, Shankar also helmed a general manager role at Performics in Asia Pacific back in 2009 for more than four years. He was the founder and head of the APAC excellence center in Singapore and the APAC client services lead for Performics, previously a Google-DoubleClick brand and now, a Publicis company. Some of the clients he previously worked with directly include Singapore Airlines, Marriott International, Scoot, Airbnb, PayPal, Malaysia Airlines, and DiGi Malaysia to name a few. Shankar has also held several leadership roles with agencies such as Mindshare and Havas Media.

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