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Big wins propel Dentsu Aegis Network into top league

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Big wins propel Dentsu Aegis Network into top league

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network talks about 2014 turning into a dream year for the agency. Bhasin comments on Aegis Media Group’s leap on the back of huge wins like General Motors, Nokia, and Microsoft and shares that the group has bagged business of Rs 1100 crore to Rs 1200 crore on an annualized basis in the last few months…

What are the factors that have led to huge wins for the Aegis Group of nearly Rs 700 crore, including the large wins in the last six weeks like General Motors, Nokia, and Microsoft?

We have bagged business worth Rs 1100 crore  to Rs 1200 crore on an annualized basis in the last few months.

We have around thirty wins in the last six months, including Jet Airways, British Airways, C&S Electric, Allied Blenders, Integrated Network Solutions (INS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom18 Media and many more.

The process which we started around five years ago with the revamping of the Aegis Media Group in India, has in a sense culminated in the last eight weeks as a result of the decisions we had taken to create an organization that is best by global standards. We didn’t want to benchmark with India, because I believe our managers are as good as anywhere else in the world. So we made those investments well before time, we hired people best in their class in each of their fields, we made a lot of investment in our research as well. Our definite advantage is our people, tools and systems.

On the media side the focus is on transparency and professionalism. There are very few agencies that are transparent and professional and we score much better than anyone in that area.

Our one P&L philosophy has been very effective for us. It doesn’t matter where the business comes in from; what the client really needs is a specialist, he doesn’t want to be dealing with generalists, he doesn’t want the hassles of silos. Most of our competitors are legacy agencies and therefore they have got silo-ised. Clients wants specialism but without the headache of dealing with twenty people, one P& L helps us do that, and is working brilliantly for us.

This has changed the Indian media landscape which tended to be dominated by a few agencies, from nowhere we have now come into the top three.

Were Nokia, Microsoft and General Motors won purely on the back of global alignments?

As far as General Motors goes, we didn’t have it in India for the last two years and are now very happy to have it.

Nokia has been a global account for the last four or five years, but in India we have just received the account. Microsoft moved to the Dentsu –Aegis network earlier this year and we are happy to get it in India as well.

Is the rest of the year going to carry the same momentum?

The rest of the year looks very exciting. We are very optimistic about announcing some more wins; the momentum has now built up and is only going to grow. We are recruiting heavily and this process will continue. When you have so much expansion so fast, it is critical is that your support systems and departments also keep pace. Having foreseen this, we had started this process much earlier in the year.

The year is looking good for all our creative agencies as well including Dentsu, Taproot and Webchutney collectively looking good for the entire Dentsu Aegis Network.

For the second year in a row we have become the fastest growing group in the company, which is two to three times the market growth rate.

From where we are sitting right now, it looks like the rest of the year is going to be even more exciting than the first half. For us this is turning out to be a dream year.

What are the new media tools being leveraged for optimization of client spends at the group?

In whichever sphere we are operating, we have taken the best tools in the world.

Not all tools can be used in India, we customize them for our markets here.

For example, Posterscope has the Prism suite of tools. We picked six out of them which work for our market. Digitally we have two kinds of syndicated tools due to our global tie-ups and our customized tools, these are shared between all our digital companies.

For instance, iprospect Communicate2 has specialised tools for SEO and SEM, Isobar and Webchutney have their own tools.

Our typical marketing budget is usually 10 per cent of the topline spend

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