Raja Rajamannar | Influence 100

Raja Rajamannar 

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer; President, Healthcare 



Raja Rajamannar is responsible for building the Mastercard brand – overseeing the brand refresh that saw the company drop its name from the iconic interlocking circle logo — as well as driving business and advancing sustainable competitive edge for the company.

He joined the financial services giant in 2013, bringing with him more than 25 years of experience as a global executive in the consumer products, financial services and healthcare. Since then, he has overseen the successful rebranding of Mastercard in 2016 – the organization’s first major rebrand effort in 20 years – and led the integration of both marketing and communications to create one global function.

He explained his philosophy for marketing and communications at Cannes in 2018, observing that "consumers hate interruption…. They are paying money to keep these pesky marketers out. We have to realize that advertising is not the way going forward." That belief has signaled a shift towards more sponsorships and expanded experiential marketing.

Prior to Mastercard, Rajamannar served as chief transformation officer of the health insurance firm Anthem. He had also served as chief executive, international and chief innovation & marketing officer at Humana, and earlier spent 15 years with Citigroup including a stint as global chief marketing officer, cards and payments. He has been named one of the “World’s Most Influential CMOs” by Forbes magazine, and was recognized by AdWeek as one of the “Top 50 Most Tech Savvy CMOs in the World.”

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
Absolutely. Mastercard's True Name Card had a tremendous impact on both our partners, brand reputation and business. PR played a central role to this effort.

What are the comms industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
Post-Covid recovery.

What have you most admired about this industry in 2020?
Its resilience.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Daily meditation and yoga.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
An autobiography of a yogi.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A teacher or an archaeologist.

Sum up 2020 in one word.