Senior staff at Rethink depart to begin a new agency

Joel Holtby, Dhaval Bhatt and Niki Sahni will be launching a new venture backed by the co-founders of No Fixed Address.


Joel Holtby and Dhaval Bhatt – partners and creative directors at Rethink – along with group account director Niki Sahni have left the agency in order to start their own new venture.

On Friday afternoon, all three of the senior talent posted fond farewells to Rethink and the work they’ve accomplished while there. Sean McDonald, the shop’s national managing partner and CSO, confirmed that today was their last day in an email to strategy, though did not say what plans the agency had to fill their positions.

Bhatt confirmed to strategy that the group left Rethink in order to begin a new agency. The new venture will be backed by Dave Lafond and Serge Rancourt, who previously co-founded No Fixed Address.

More details about the agency and its structure will be forthcoming – Bhatt says it is still very early days, adding that plans the trio has made have been on top of “going pretty hard full time at Rethink, because we had some big clients to look after.” For now, the group will be taking a “mini pause” before hitting the ground with their new venture.

Holtby joined the agency in 2012 from Grip, rising up the ranks to be named creative director in 2014 and made a partner in the agency in 2016. During that time, he has worked across many of the agency’s clients, though more recently has been involved with much of the agency’s work with Kraft Heinz and its Philadelphia brand.

Bhatt joined the agency in 2018 after stints at NFA and Cossette, and was later also named a partner at Rethink, contributing to the agency’s IKEA, Molson Coors and Scotiabank accounts.

Sahni came to Rethink in 2019, coming off of nearly three years at Bensimon Byrne, leading the agency’s Molson Coors account in addition to participating in the pitch that won Scotiabank at the end of 2020.