Even though the speculation has been around for a while, it had come as a surprise to many when, on June 7, 2011, JWT India announced Rohit Ohri’s decision to step down from his role as Senior Vice President and Managing Partner, JWT. Ohri is joining Dentsu as the Executive Chairman, Dentsu India Group.
As Dentsu enters a new phase in India, Ohri will lead the company's ambitions in this market, and Ohri tells exchange4media, he is looking forward to that. As is known, Dentsu India agencies include the likes of Dentsu Communication, Dentsu Marcom, Dentsu Creative Impact and Dentsu MediaTech and digital agency, Clickstreamers.
Elaborating further on why he decided to quit JWT at this juncture, Ohri said, “I have been with JWT for 21 years now, of which I have spent the last seven years as head of Delhi office. JWT will always be special for me, but it was time for a new challenge.”
JWT Delhi had just seen the exit of Adrian Miller, who had joined the agency last year, as it Chief Creative Officer. Will two back-to-back exits of this stature affect the agency? Ohri replied, “The key thing about JWT is that it has always been much stronger than any individual. Unlike other agencies, JWT is not built around any one individual, it is much bigger than that, and it would continue to grow from strength to strength.”
And Dentsu India comes with its own set of challenges. Not only has the agency seen a slew of senior exits but it is also seeing key businesses being reviewed. For Ohri, however, everything happens for a reason. He observed, “The Dentsu DNA is very entrepreneurial. It does not operate like a network but like an agency. And it is the largest advertising agency in the world. What impressed me most about Dentsu is their fantastic track record of creating integrated communication solutions for brands.”
Ohri added, “If you look at some of the work they have done, you can see they have been path-breaking in their thinking. For instance, The Dentsu Group is partnering Apple for iAd mobile advertising network in Japan. Dentsu is very advanced in their understanding for new age communication. We all speak about how big digital will be in our industry as we move forward, but if there is expertise anywhere in the world in that, it is in Japan - they are way ahead of the others, and now they want to import that expertise to India.”
India has emerged as a big and important market for Dentsu Inc. Ohri reiterated that, and said, “The leadership is looking to re-launch brand Dentsu in India. They want to bring The Dentsu Way to India to create true value for clients. I am looking forward to being a part of this.”
Ohri’s move to Dentsu has been seen as a positive one by industry observers. A senior former JWT creative head said, “Rohit understands the business part of the agency, and he understand our industry. This is one of the best things to happen to Dentsu in a long time.”