Havas Media has been working on strengthening its India presence. After an action-packed 2010, that saw Havas Media’s flagship media service brand MPG engaged in a fierce battle to retain its top client and eventually form a buying alliance with the Percept India group, the company is now in the process of expanding its India offering.
Alfonso Rodés Vilà, Global CEO, Havas Media, divulged that Havas Media’s India agenda for 2011 included the launch of specialised media agency Arena, and the launch of mobile marketing agency Mobext that comes from the Havas Digital stable.
Arena is a key brand from the Havas arsenal that is already functional in Spain, the UK, Latin America and Southern Europe. Alfonso explained that Arena’s USP are the tailor-made services that they provide for key clients. He was quick to clarify that Arena was not a second brand but an alternative offering that would be competing with MPG as far as media services were concerned.
Havas believes that the time is right to launch Mobext in India, given the growth of mobile in the country. Speaking on the mobile domain, Alfonso said that while the age of mobiles was here, the question was which was the best market for mobile as a media vehicle? Citing the example of Mexico, he said that mobiles had worked brilliantly in the context of advertising in the country because the operators, the agencies and the consumers were functioning on a mutually inclusive way that allowed each party to get their bit out of the ad-deal. He said, “Mobile is very personal to the user, and so it must be developed with proper care.”
Alfonso admitted that since India was one of the most important markets in Havas Media’s international growth plans, the year 2011 would see Havas Media in an aggressive mode in its course of becoming a stronger entity in India.
India was top priority as a market, but as far as revenues and returns were concerned, it stood at third position as compared to other markets, Alfonso added. While Havas has big plans for India, they want to step slowly and steadily. India needs new players and new companies, explained Alfonso, for they would be the ones to add volume, increase competition and thus improve the scope of the market.