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Healthcare communication strengthens in India; McCann Healthcare intensifies focus

29-March-2006
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Healthcare communication strengthens in India; McCann Healthcare intensifies focus

Healthcare communication is strengthening its base in India and the aggression shown by players like Lintas, FCB Ulka and Sorento Grey Healthcare Communications is only adding to the momentum. More news is coming from McCann Healthcare, as the agency is all set to introduce its global application, Complete Medical Communications (CMC) in India.

Richard Nordstrom, CEO, McCann Healthcare Worldwide believes that the coming in of CMC will take healthcare communications to the next level in India.

The Indian market has already seen a host of developments in the healthcare sector when Grey India acquired 25 per cent equity in Sorento Healthcare Communications in January 2006, which led to the merger of Grey’s healthcare division and Sorento Healthcare Communications, and the new agency called Sorento Grey Healthcare Communications.

Healthcare as an industry discipline has been operating independently for quite some time and with players in the segment announcing new business wins, it is emerging as a good revenue model as well.

Nordstrom sees the scale of operations speeding in days to come. Speaking on McCann Healthcare India, he said, “The level of desire to move markets and brands will get higher in India because of the recent legislature that will encourage international pharmaceutical companies also to look at India closely.”

He further said, “And as that happens, advertisers can avail more of the services we offer. To do that, one of the things we have decided to do is launch our global medical communications company, CMC in India. We are doing this to drive the knowledge of data and the ‘neutral zone’ activities in pre-launch and post launch activities of the client.”

Elaborating more on his point as to why the healthcare communications segment looked promising, Nordstrom said, “The market has become much more developed. Unlike a time when a drug was developed by someone and 50 other companies imitated it, players will have develop and shape categories and the market itself. Companies would spend more over the wider lifecycle of a brand, because the brand has a development period now. They would have to educate physicians on evolving trends and treatments and that is what medical communications does. It is evidence based data dissemination, which requires you to work very closely with government officials, efficacy groups and thought leaders in medical centres. All these programmes put together is medical communications and that is what we do at CMC on a global basis and now are going to do it in India.”

When will CMC launch in India? “We are in the planning process now and I can tell you that we are launching it this year. We are still deliberating on various details, not ruling out options like JVs or moving some body into this market and so on. We really look at this market as one with enormous capabilities that we at McCann Healthcare would like to leverage across the globe and we think there is an opportunity to do that,” Nordstrom replied.

In regards to other plans for McCann Healthcare India, he said, “The biggest focus right now is CMC. With that, we will get tools, consultancies, templates and various such expertise for the Indian clients. We are concentrating more on the people power as well by adding more people and training people and training them in an in-depth way to be able. So that they become experts in comprehending the market, the need gaps it poses and the solutions. Over the last year we have completely reorganised the creative groups and that is an on-going initiative and we recently added the strategic planning unit. We are one of the elite healthcare agencies, the largest or second largest depending to what you are comparing us to. If you are just looking at agencies, we are by far the largest.”

Throwing more light on McCann Healthcare, he said, “We are the only wholly owned agency and we have command a certain scale of operation. All McCann agencies have healthcare verticals. They work independently and synchronised depending on the need of the hour. This makes McCann Healthcare second to none on a global level in terms of services.”

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