Partab was named Strategic Planner of the Year at the Global Women in Marketing Awards in 2023, one of Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2023 and serves as head of IAB SA (DEI) Council.

"Partab is one of the most imaginative and skilled strategy leaders I have had the opportunity to work with," says Jarred Cinman, CEO of VML South Africa. "She brings a refreshing and quite revolutionary mindset to the business and will now be leading the best strategy team in the industry. We are thrilled to have her take on this new role."

Partab describes advertising as "the fusion of creativity and commerce, where artistic expression serves economic progress" and was drawn to strategy as soon as she entered the industry.

"From day one, I was attracted to the strategy side of the business because it offers a unique opportunity to work with clients from various industries and tackle their unique business challenges," Partab adds.

As the first chief strategy officer of the newly formed VML South Africa, Partab's work will lay the foundation for the business's approach to strategy into the future — a responsibility she is embracing with enthusiasm, according to VML South Africa.

"I am extremely grateful and bursting with excitement about taking on this new challenge," Partab says. "Our new business represents a huge depth and vast range of capabilities, making it a powerful offering in the industry. But what excites me even more is the opportunity to work alongside some of the most sincere and skilled experts who share our vision for the future."

"We have approximately 40-plus strategists across the group with a specialised B2B taskforce focusing on B2B and ABM marketing and deep expertise in brand and communication strategy, social and content media strategy, as well as digital and tech. Strategy sits at the intersection of insight and foresight. Consequently, we have dedicated strategists focussed on developing and integrating our AI tools to enable efficiencies for our clients through AI," says Partab.

On building a powerful team, she says she is looking forward to using her position of influence to open the way for others to follow.

"It's not enough to just have diverse representation; we must constantly cultivate inclusivity in conjunction. I approach every aspect of my role through this lens, striving to re-evaluate how I am framing diversity to include diversity of age, gender, skills, expertise, appetite and background," Partab adds. "My intention is to cultivate a culture of collaboration and sharing, where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives." 

"I want to challenge the commonplace notion of strategy as mere output or requiring a singular, entrenched strategist. Instead, we aim to bring the best expertise together to create brave spaces for our creativity and clients to thrive in," concludes Partab. 

For more information, visit You can also follow VML South Africa on LinkedIn, X, Instagram or on TikTok.  

*Image courtesy of contributor