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India is a priority market for us: Jean Yves Naouri, Publicis Groupe

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India is a priority market for us: Jean Yves Naouri, Publicis Groupe

As holding companies further intensify focus and investments in the India market, Publicis Groupe is all set to take competition in this business, a notch up. After spending time to grow its businesses in China, Publicis Groupe’s number one market of priority right now, where it already has significant presence, is India.

Jean-Yves Naouri, Chief Operating Officer, Publicis Groupe and Executive Chairman of Publicis Worldwide, was in India to reiterate Publicis’ commitment towards this market.

The Groupe’s agencies in India include the Publicis agencies, which are Publicis Ambience and Publicis Capital, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and sister agencies such as Orchard and Black Pencil. The Groupe also has strong presence in media via VivaKi and agency brands such as Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia. In domains like digital, Publicis is present through brands like Digitas. The company also has a substantial offering in domains like PR through MSL Group.

Multi Discipline, Multi Brand Focus
Naouri’s focus is going to be on all these brands, across domains. In a conversation with exchange4media, he said, “We are taking various initiatives to grow our agencies organically and inorganically in India. Our growth plans for this market are in acceleration. You will see progress on all fronts, whether it is creative, media, PR or digital from our agencies and you will even see us launching new ventures in India. Acquisition is on our radar in a big way and while we cannot divulge details, you can expect us to make announcements across domains.”

Digital is an area of interest for many because of the sheer promise that it holds, and Publicis has a good foothold in India through brands like Digitas but the company intends to intensify focus by deep diving into various segments of digital whether it social, search or mobile. There are other segments, such as healthcare, where Publicis is strong globally and is looking to bring that learning and strength to India.

Naouri stated, “There is no segment that excites me lesser than the others. We will continue focus in all areas and meet market and client expectations.”

Collaboration is Key
As one has been hearing from other companies, an integrated approach seems to be high on an advertisers’ ask list from agencies. Naouri gave a perspective here, and said, “We see strong indication from clients that they want holistic solutions, coming on the back of an integrated approach. This is one of the most important things that require agency attention right now. We should look for client solutions rather than agency solutions, and in India, we will look to reorganise ourselves to deliver this. For us, it is important to work seamlessly and meet, or exceed, client’s expectation.”

Naouri informed that all Publicis agencies have grown in the last few years. Publicis’ mandate to its agencies will not only be about the growth of individual agency brands but also the ability to collaborate in the interest of the advertiser.

The India Promise
Naouri reminded that one of the big reasons why India will grow to be a power market in the region, and even globally, is because of the investment that the market is now making in infrastructure. He observed that there are many examples where the right infrastructure has proved to be game changing for that market. Whether it is investment in 3G networks, broadband penetration, digitisation of mainline media, there is a lot happening in India that offers a range of new opportunities to advertisers and agencies in connecting with the consumers. Naouri said, “We are reasonably well placed, and we are working to be extremely well placed to make the most of these opportunities.”

Publicis agencies have already begun to see action that would prepare them for 2012. Saatchi & Saatchi recently saw a change in leadership, where Matt Seddon has been brought to India to lead the agency. Seddon has already shifted base to Mumbai for this role. Commenting on Seddon’s move to the region, Nouri said, “Matt brings deep understanding of various markets in this region. He understands the agency’s philosophy and the application of Love Marks. He is the kind of leader that can inspire the team, has experience in rebuilding and can bring the approach that accelerates the agency’s growth in India.”

Similarly, the road is charted for Publicis Capital and Publicis Ambience. While Nouri is “extremely happy” with the achievements of the agencies, and the manner in which the ‘Lead the Change’ philosophy has enabled agencies to meet client expectations, he is looking for the agency to grow faster and up its market share.

He added, “Even as I say that I am extremely happy with the way our agencies are growing, I must point out that I am never satisfied. Sometimes I am conscious that I ask too much, and so I refrain but we are looking closely at all our agencies here so that we can help them become stronger in India.”

Naouri is very keenly looking at all Publicis Groupe’s agency brands in India, and in his own words, can be expected a lot more often in this market as he puts all these growth plans to action.

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