Simi Sabhaney has worked with Ogilvy India for 23 years and was recently appointed as the CEO, Dentsu Communications. She will be based out of Bangalore.
Q. How have the last two and half months been for you, after your appointment as CEO at Dentsu?
Some words and phrases that I would associate with my first two and a half months as a CEO at DCPL are Jet Airways, Indigo, Air India, Singapore Airlines, rationed sleep, exchanging visiting cards, new faces, new names, new contracts, new negotiations, new recruits, new conference room, new parking lot and of course, a room with a view.
Q. What are some of the new things that you need to unlearn or have unlearnt in your new role?
It’s not so much about unlearning but more about transfer of learning to a new environment. It’s about adopting the new culture and adapting to the new habitat.
Q. What are the changes that you have made since taking charge? What is your business strategy going forward?
It’s important to be patient and observe; assimilate and assess what the ‘new’ has to offer. It’s always wise to operate from the points of strength. The idea is to nurture and consolidate current relationships and territory and then annex newer ones. I am in the process of strengthening our core and plugging the gaps, wherever they exist, with right talent and right skills. Talent that will blend in and yet stimulate the environment and skill that is required to keep pace with the changing face of communication. I want to integrate through specialisations, build a new business momentum and create work that will attract industry notice.
Q. Being based out of South for almost a decade, can we expect more south-based brands opting for Dentsu? How important is the South Indian market for Dentsu?
Of course. DCPL has its hub in Bangalore, so there is a great deal of ammunition lying in Bangalore. There are some hidden gems waiting for their turn. All that is required is to align everyone to a common set of goals, open some doors and then conquer.
Q. After a stint of 23 years with Ogilvy & Mather, what made you move to Dentsu?
Well, the counter question to this would be, if I didn’t do it now, then when would I do it?
I guess, there comes a time when you stop and decide to listen to your inner voice. My inner voice was urging me not to block change out of my life, anymore. I realized I needed to chart a new course for myself. I had to get out of my comfort zone. Dentsu is on a growth path. It is restless, it is energetic, it is young, it is hungry. I wanted to partake in this spirit.