The coming year is a tough one since it is Election year. It is a year where one has to have nerves of steel, you have to be stable; a lot of policies are going to be announced, one has to realistic about one’s ambitions, in my opinion, you cannot be very aggressive. We will continue making inroads into new clients and be cautiously optimistic, and will be watching what happens in the political scenario that impacts the economy.
Prasoon Joshi started his career in advertising with O&M Delhi, and after working there for over 10 years, he joined McCann-Erickson in early 2002. By 2006, he was Regional Creative Director, South and South East Asia, and in December 2006, he was elevated to Executive Chairman for McCann Worldgroup India and Regional Creative Director Asia Pacific.
Joshi is no stranger to accolades and achievements. In 2006, he was chosen a 'Young Global Leader 2006' by the Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum. In 2008, he was invited as the Cannes Jury Chairman and in 2009, he was named amongst the exclusive 10-member Cannes Titanium & Integrated Jury 2009 at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2009. He is also the first Indian to edit the Gunn Report, which is a global index of creative excellence in advertising.
Besides being an ad guru, Joshi is also a much awarded lyricist, having made his debut as a film lyricist with Rajkumar Santoshi’s film ‘Lajja’. He has bagged two National Awards for Best Lyrics – for his song ‘Maa’ from ‘Taare Zameen Par’ in 2009 and the song ‘Bolo na’ from the film ‘Chittagong’ in 2013.
Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman and CEO India and President South Asia of McCann Worldgroup, talks to exchange4media’s Priyanka Mehra about the agency’s approach to talent retention, the thought behind ‘Truth Central’, gearing up for a tough year in 2014 and more...
Q. What are the integral factors that contribute to talent retention?
A combination of new talent in surges and a stable team that keeps nurturing them – there is a kind of balance. We are not an agency in a hurry, we are not an agency that believes in doing things half-heartedly, we measure it and then do it and do it well.
Our people know why they are here. They are here because of intellectual connect, we have a very fertile atmosphere. It has to go beyond work, you have to feel you are growing with your peers and getting enriched and learning everyday.
Yes, I do face a challenge from time to time on talent at the middle level leaving; it could also be due to entrepreneurial ambitions of people. I take pride that a lot of people have gone out after their training in McCann and have done well. Whether it is Raghu Bhat and Manish Bhatt, Pratik and Punit, Ashish Khanzanchi or Ramanuj Shastry.
Everything cannot be hunky dory when people leave, they have some dissatisfaction in their minds, which will always be there. They needed something much ahead of time, or something we could not provide them, so you need to let them go at that time.
Q. What are the agency’s areas of focus for 2013-14?
The coming year is a tough one since it is Election year. It is a year where one has to have nerves of steel, you have to be stable; a lot of policies are going to be announced, one has to realistic about one’s ambitions, in my opinion, you cannot be very aggressive. In the past few years, McCann has been very aggressive in growth, we really grew exponentially with some big accounts such as Nestle and General Motors, a lot of new business was our focus, which will continue. In Mumbai, we have the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians and we love working with them, they are extremely passionate and we are very proud of our work on it.
We will continue making inroads into new clients and be cautiously optimistic, and will be watching what happens in the political scenario that impacts the economy.