- The Indian American executive is confronting big challenges and pushing the marketing discipline into new technologies.
Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar is among Insider magazine’s most innovative CMOs of 2023, a list of 25 top marketers who are “confronting big challenges” including “volatile economy, and testing generative AI,” and are “pushing the marketing discipline into new technologies.”
Rajamannar has been the CMO of Mastercard for 10 years and “helps keep the brand on the edge of innovation,” Insider says. In April, the Indian American launched a Web3 program called Mastercard Artist Accelerator “that helps consumers discover new music creators, who then monetize their work using Web3 and AI tools,” the magazine said. According to Rajamannar, “more than 100,000 people signed up for the program.” Noting that “there’s been “a rollercoaster in terms of Web3 technology,” he told the magazine that the company has “been trying to see the relevance of it within the context of our business.”
He has also been instrumental in launching Mastercard Gamer XChange, a loyalty program in the Asia Pacific region “that gives consumers gaming points in exchange for unspent rewards points.” He told the magazine that the program “is intended to reach consumers beyond the younger, male audiences that are typically considered gamers.”
He joined Mastercard in 2013, after serving as chief transformation officer of the health insurance firm Anthem (formerly WellPoint). Prior to that, he also served as Chief Innovation & Marketing Officer and Chief Executive of International Operations at Humana. In his role as president of Healthcare, he has overseen the creation, development and successful scaling of Mastercard’s healthcare business across multiple regions. Earlier in his career, he held a number of leadership roles. Before that, he spent seven years with Unilever in sales and product management roles. He began his career with Asian Paints in India.
Rajamannar received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Indian Institute of Management, in Bangalore, and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. He is a member of the Board of Directors of PPL Corporation, a Fortune 500 power generation and distribution company, and Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the major hospital systems in the U.S. He serves on the boards of Cintrifuse, a Cincinnati-based public/private startup catalyst organization, the ANA, and the New York City Ballet.