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India is the next winner in the region: Jean-Yves Naouri, COO, Publicis Groupe

20-September-2011
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India is the next winner in the region: Jean-Yves Naouri, COO, Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe is not as late an entrant in India as some of its competitors, but for the company’s COO and Executive Chairman of Publicis Worldwide, Jean-Yves Naouri, Publicis is still younger than other competition, and that requires the company to continue investing significantly in this market.

Speaking to exchange4media, Naouri said, “We are doing well in India but we have started later than competition. We had clients that entered late into this market. They were not like Unilever with a British Empire heritage. Our clients and companies are investing heavily in growing further in India, and we see the progress in our agencies.”

Publicis has been investing across domains including PR, digital and others. Elaborating on what would be Publicis’ areas of focus in India, Naouri divulged, “I don’t want to disclose details but we are investing across domains that would give us a stronger presence and allow us to offer a wider capability range to our clients. It is a known fact that that all fast growing markets are seeing attention from Publicis and India is right on top of that list.”

Naouri, who is the second in the command in the Publicis system after Maurice Levy (Chairman and CEO-Publicis Groupe), is very optimistic on India as a market. He observed, “It won’t be long before India takes over the world, and given the demography and other changes in India, we expect that this is going to be the next winner in the region. Right now, there are a number of things being addressed by the people in India, the parliament in India and all the key leaders in the country, which have so far prevented India in being on the leading edge.”

India’s changing infrastructure is another aspect that Naouri thinks will make all the difference to this market. He explained, “There have been some limitations in terms of building infrastructure, which is very important. One of the reasons why markets like China are doing well is due to the investment made in infrastructure like 3G network and today, this is becoming available in India as well. I was there recently, and there is no chance that you would have a commercial break without three ads on 3G – this is the hottest topic of the day and it is a prerequisite to move to the next level. We have seen that in other markets and everywhere else. It was the case in Russia sometime ago – until you have the right infrastructure, there are certain things you cannot get moving.”

“I see all this coming to India and so I am very optimistic of the fact that we would see the next generation of growth coming to India with the smartest population, English speaking people and global leaders. In the US Universities, there are Indians waiting to come back to the country. So this is a huge potential just waiting to explode. I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t tell you when it will take place but it will happen soon and I can’t wait to see it happen,” Naouri added.

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