NEW DELHI--Papri Dev Sharma is ending her 12-year relationship with Genesis Burson-Marsteller to join Zeno India as managing director.

Sharma replaces Amit Misra, who has left Zeno less than one year after launching the firm in India. Misra, who previously held senior roles at Zeno sister firm Edelman, is understood to be exploring his options.

Robert Holdheim, who heads Edelman across South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, told the Holmes Report that Zeno required a "younger, more consumer-oriented" focus. Sharma is best known for her consumer marketing expertise, having served as GBM's consumer chair for the past three years.

Holdheim also admitted that Zeno's Indian expansion, part of the agency's global rollout, has not been easy, noting that the Edelman association serves as a "double-edged sword."

"The point here is that this becomes independent like it is in the US," said Holdheim. "I think there’s reluctance to go with a startup - we’ve seen that for a lot of firms. We hope that with some of the additional benefits we can provide such as locations around the country we can pick it up with the right team."

Current Zeno India clients include include BPO company Vertex, hotel chain Lebua and fashion college Pearl Academy. Holdheim confirmed that Zeno India does not currently have any retainer relationships with the firm's major global or US clients.