Though India is very important, but from a marketer’s point of view, China is the focus. At this moment, brands are still trying to win in China because they don’t think they have won there. To me, right now I think India should be playing at that level. But that doesn’t mean that India isn’t a priority. For most of our clients, India is a top priority market. For MEC, India is among the top ten priority markets.
As Chief Strategy Officer for Asia Pacific at MEC, Raj Gupta is the agency’s most senior strategist. He also heads up product and product development for APAC regionally and locally. Both the Analytics & Insight and MEC Interaction competencies in APAC report to him.
Gupta has been with MEC for 11 years, starting his career at TME Australia as a planner and leaving Sydney as Director of Strategic Planning. As Regional Planning Director, he has been involved in the communications strategy on clients such as Accenture, Citi, Chanel, Colgate, Campbell’s, Energizer, Mercedes-Benz, Singapore Airlines, and Sony to name but a few.
In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Mehra, Gupta compares the India and China markets, elaborates on MEC’s Momentum offering and more...
Q. How has the India market evolved from your perspective?
There are many economies in the world that are still growing and India is one of them. Although the GDP at the moment is being tempered, we are still seeing GroupM predict 8-9 per cent growth for India from a media point of view. We saw positive growth last year, which we can’t say for a lot of Western European markets. India, to me, is one of those markets where there is still so much untapped potential.
It is still one those markets on the growth path in terms of digital. I know that our teams at GroupM are very much into digital, but it still doesn’t compare to the other markets when you see the percentage of spends.
We are moving more into the mobile space with Dialogue Factory. In my opinion, India will become a completely mobile-focused market because of the number of phones out there, the GSM networks, and the way 3G is being built and expanded. India has latent potential. It is one of those markets that I look at from an APAC point of view. India should be competing with China.
Q. What are your focus areas for 2013-14?
We need to constantly improvise our media planning and buying products. You cannot stand still, otherwise your competitors with catch up with you and take over. Gangs has been very successful in terms of keeping that edge. My focus for Gangs exists in the strategic planning, insight digital areas, and planning space.
From my point of view, it is about how we deploy data into our business more effectively; to be able to plan with at a faster speed with more real time data. In some markets, we use Facebook and search to constantly reiterate the plans and use them as real time response devices to gauge whether an idea is working or not.
Launching Momentum in India and taking it to some of the bigger clients is another area of focus for me next year.
Continuing to grow our digital is also a focus area. I think, at the moment we have a strong digital operation, which is backed by the strength of GroupM. My biggest concern when it comes to digital in some of markets is when we are just planning in silos.
I want to continue to raise the consultancy within MEC going for our clients.