Raja Rajamannar is an accomplished global executive with more than 30 years of experience, the last eight of which have been in the role of Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for Mastercard and the President of the company’s healthcare business.
Raja is consistently recognized globally as a highly innovative and transformative leader, with deep expertise in Marketing, Data and Digital Technologies. Some of his accolades include: Forbes Top 5 World’s Most Influential CMOs, Business Insider’s Top 10 World’s Most Innovative CMOs, and one of Adweek’s most tech savvy CMOs. Raja was named the WFA Global Marketer of the Year and ANA Educational Foundation 2019 Marketer of the Year. He was inducted to The CMO Club CMO Hall of Fame in 2018 and assumed the honorary role of President of the World Federation of Advertisers in 2019.
Raja brings an excellent blend of P&L management and functional management – spending roughly half of his career managing multi-billion-dollar P&Ls and the other half managing marketing and communications.
At Mastercard, Raja is responsible for successfully leading the company’s marketing transformation, including the integration of marketing and communications into one function, the development of its Priceless experiential platforms, and the creation and deployment of cutting-edge marketing-led business models into the core of the company. Raja has overseen the successful evolution of the brand’s identity for the digital age, pioneering Mastercard’s move to become a symbol brand and launching its breakthrough sonic brand platform, which was recognized this year as the best sonic brand in the world. Interbrand ranked Mastercard as the fastest growing brand across all industries and categories, worldwide in 2019.
Apart from exceptional brand management, Raja made marketing at Mastercard, from what was a purely creative function and a relative outlier, into a significant force multiplier for the business, stewarding business drivers through the entire sales cycle. The integrated Marketing and Communications function is proving to be a huge competitive advantage for the company and has gained gravitas and stature within and outside the company, under his leadership.
The marketing transformation work led by Raja at Mastercard has been developed into case studies at Harvard Business School and at Yale School of Management, and now taught in most of the top academic institutions around the world.
Raja’s provocative marketing theories and breakthrough strategies are documented in his first book, Quantum Marketing, Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow’s Consumers. Launched in February 2021 and hailed as a “must-read for any marketer who wants to build brands that stand the test of time in the post digital age,” Quantum Marketing is a Wall Street Journal best-selling book and the recipient of Stevie and International Book Awards. Several universities are recrafting their MBA curriculum for marketing based on Quantum Marketing concepts.
In his role as President of Healthcare, Raja has overseen the creation, development and successful scaling of Mastercard’s healthcare business across multiple regions. Today, it is one of the fastest growing business lines for the company, with network volumes surpassing $120 Bn in a short period of 3 years since launch.
Raja has been recognized for driving business transformation across a variety of geographies and industries, including consumer products, financial services and healthcare. Prior to Mastercard, he served as Chief Transformation Officer of the health insurance firm Anthem (formerly WellPoint) and served as Chief Innovation & Marketing Officer at Humana. Earlier in his career, Raja held senior management roles with Asian Paints, Unilever and Citibank. He developed his entrepreneurial approach at Asian Paints, his marketing grounding at Unilever and his financial savvy during the 15 years at Citi, managing various businesses, including being the Chairman & CEO of Diners Club North America and EVP and CMO of Citi Global Cards. Raja also led several M&A activities, both on the sell and buy sides.
Raja is a member of the Board of Directors of PPL Corporation and serves on the boards of not-for-profit organizations including Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the largest catholic health systems in the U.S., New York City Ballet and the ANA.
Raja received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Indian Institute of Management, in Bangalore, India, and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India.