We want Media Direction to be among the top five players within three years. India is a very competitive market, therefore, to accomplish our goals we have to be better than the competition. Being as good won’t be good enough. We will get the right people and the right structure to move forward. Growing in this market is account by account and day by day.
Les Margulis has had a long career in media agency management. He has spent most of his career within the Omnicom Network as the International Media Director of the BBDO Media Department (the predecessor of OMD). In that capacity, he was responsible for the international media operation for numerous multinational such as GE, Gillette, Pepsi and others. He was also involved in international training and business development. In these rolls, Margulis traveled and worked in over three dozen countries.
Subsequent to BBDO, Margulis was a Senior Director of a B2B Internet company in New York and San Francisco, and then Director for Media/ marketing at the hottest Hispanic agency in the US. He had always had a desire to work in Australia and the opportunity presented itself to help run the leading ethnic advertising agency there. However, adventure soon called again and he left Australia to move to Kiev to help run Media Direction there as well as later in Moscow. He then moved over to MindShare Moscow as Client Services Director.
Since the beginning of 2008, Margulis has been training both media and creative agencies across the world. During 2008, he was The Freedom Forum Visiting Professor of Advertising in the School of Journalism, University of Florida in Gainesville and will be a Professor of Advertising at Baruch College in New York City. He also is the instructor for Branding and Strategy for the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) training for member clients.
Margulis is currently President of Media Direction India, part of RK Swamy/BBDO, with offices in all of the capital cities in India. Finally, he is a Contributing Editor to The Internationalist Magazine, where he writes a monthly column. He also guest writes a column for the American Business Media’s (ABM) online magazine. His website address is www.margulismediagroup.com. He maintains residences in New York, Sydney and Mumbai.
In conversation with exchange4media’s Pallavi Goorha Kashyup, Margulis speaks at length about Media Direction’s growth in India, the challenges and opportunities for digital media and tapping the mobile medium to increase reach.
Q. How would you compare the Indian arm of Media Direction with international media agencies?
My bond with the company started many years back when I was involved with the founding of Media Direction 13 years ago. At that time, Media Direction was the start of the whole concept of media independents. Some 13 years ago, I was the International Media Director of BBDO based in New York with the responsibility of managing the international global accounts and opening new offices. This was the beginning of media independents and RK Swamy was certainly at the forefront in India with one of the first. I flew out from New York to meet the press and helped the local staff with the structure and systems.
Media Direction in India compares favourably with other media agencies that I have worked with in other geographies. I have managed other agencies in Australia, Russia, Ukraine, the UK and the US, and consulted to those in Israel, Romania, and South Africa, so I have the broadest perspective and I would put our work up against any of them. Our approach is both strategically based and cost driven; we have sophisticated proprietary evaluation tools, and a high level dedicated staff.