Sean Donovan, President Asia, TBWA: Driving a disruption collective with talent, culture, science and gut

February 27, 2023 Pavan R Chawla / Sean Donovan TBWA Season 1 Episode 79
Sean Donovan, President Asia, TBWA: Driving a disruption collective with talent, culture, science and gut
Show Notes

Delighted to welcome, to the 79th episode of our award-winning MVP – The Master’s  Voice Podcast series, a respected leader from global advertising, marketing and more - Sean Donovan, President Asia of Tbwa, which, as ‘the Disruption company’,  prides itself on developing disruptive brand ideas that change culture and drive impact. 

Sean brings a rich and powerful combination of experience, knowledge, strategy, delivery and thought-leadership to TBWA.

He is charged with further advancing TBWA's  position across the Asia region, with the continued ambition to deepen the company's specialist units in analytics, data consultancy and e-commerce,  and continuing to drive creative excellence across the entire brand-experience journey and approach that has paid off with 2021 and 2022 being the best years of revenue growth for the Region.

One word spread across five tenets of leadership: From the get go, Sean’s off with a clincher of a reply to  my first question of what he brings to the TBWA table from a rich, rewarding and proven career: Culture, he says, which he believes is something that's underestimated quite a lot.

Sean swears by the power of 'purposefully building culture in organizations'. Culture, across five primary facets, which are: a culture of community, a  culture of product, a culture of talent, a culture of performance, and a culture of change

Sean believes in agility, versatility, and not only  embracing change, but  embracing it quickly.

TBWA – The Disruption Company: Sean speaks about how 'disruption thinking' and delivery is a 30-year-old commitment for TBWA.  He tells me how disruption fits into a landscape where the industry seems increasingly commoditized. 

And while disruption is a process in which data is a very important input as are other aspects like analytics and  the mind that works on disruption, he also revels on being asked how important and strong the TBWA culture allows the gut to remain in that disruption mix.

 Sean also speaks of the TBWA pillars, brands and more, and how TBWA’s India operation fits into the collective’s global strategy. He is excited about the infusion of senior talent at TBWA India, with K Russel having joined TBWA Delhi as Chief Creative Experience Officer, or CCEO rather than CCO, as also Ranjeev Vij having joined them as COO to lead operations in Delhi.

Sean also speaks about how brands seem to be moving to scale back on ad spends in tough times. He shares his views on awards shows and their relevance, and speaks about his favourite ads from very recent times. And much  more. 

Do listen in. Thank you, s always, for your time. 

Want to pitch someone to be featured?

We have two podcast series
: MVP - The Master's Voice Podcast, and MediaCast. Both are published by

So, if you want to pitch someone to be considered for our podcasts, here's how you can do it:

  • First, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram.
  • Then, write to us at pavan [at] mediabrief dot com and alliances [at] mediabrief dot com, and also share links to your profiles that are following us.

Connecting socially is something we believe in and advocate. So go ahead. Reach out. We're happy, social souls.