Bucking slowdown trends, Leo Burnett keen on strategic acquisitions in India
Close on the heels of Leo Burnett India being declared Agency of the Year 2008, the agency’s top management – Tom Bernardin, Chairman & CEO, Leo Burnett Worldwide and Jarek Ziebinski, President, APAC, Leo Burnett – are in India to celebrate the agency’s achievements here. exchange4media caught up with the two senior honchos to find out about their India plans and focus areas.
Both Bernardin and Ziebinski are upbeat about India and consider the country as one of developed and growing markets in the region. They said that Leo Burnett India had performed very well and had grown nearly 20 per cent year-on-year for the past few years. Commenting on the slowdown, Bernadin said, “As for 2009, I will not say that the growth will be at the same high rate, but we will still have very respectable growth in India for 2009. I am excited about the opportunities that we have here in terms of doing even more.”
The agency is confident of doubling its size in the next 3-4 years and is eyeing some strategic acquisitions in the areas of digital, design and retail.
Sharing the India plan of action, Ziebinski explained, “Traditionally, Leo Burnett is a company that is growing organically. We are also interested in acquisitions, but will do it very strategically, and which complement our business and not just add another unit or another company or agency to the collection of our company. We do not collect companies, but believe in having complementary strategic acquisitions. So, working to this aim, we are interested in certain areas like digital, design and retail.”
He further said, “I am extremely excited about my new job and moving to this region with a lot of hope and ideas on how to take advantage of all the opportunities that are there across the APAC region. We are very proud of the operations and have reasons to believe that the agency and operations within India and the Sub-continent will grow dynamically.”
According to the officials, India had tremendous talent and thus, they plan to outsource the best of the ideas worldwide and export to the other markets of the region. Ziebinski added, “We see exporting great ideas from India to other markets in the areas of digital and TV production.”
For Ziebinski, besides Japan, India, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam are also his focus areas and sees growth coming from these markets.
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