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Location of agencies has ceased to matter: Vikram Sakhuja

06-March-2013
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Location of agencies has ceased to matter: Vikram Sakhuja

After Vikram Sakhuja was elevated as the Global Chief Executive of Maxus, it became clear that borders on the global map are just for namesake. With consumers and brands going glocal, now so are the media agencies. Sakhuja believes that structures come out of strategy. “We decided to go through the global network of local agencies route. We need to empower the local markets and it doesn’t matter where they are based.” He further said, “A physical headquarter is an archaic concept. Leadership today is so much more about rallying teams around a cause; and our cause is to deliver 10 out of 10 for clients, everything else follows.”

Maxus came together as a global network four years ago with a strong network of 55 markets. One strategic call that Maxus has taken is to reinforce them as a global network of local agencies. Sakhuja explains the reason, “We understand that even for global clients, individual market realities vary and must be respected. This also takes the focus from the mythical centre or HQ to the local leadership. If we can strengthen the local leadership and can articulate a client proposition at a global/ regional level, we believe we will deliver what we promise.”

If media agencies are working on the grass-root levels, so are the brands, but Sakhuja believes that the word ‘global’ needs to be used carefully. “It is misleading, lazy and inaccurate. So you can’t have a singular globalised media strategy to talk with consumers. Ideas need to be activated on the ground. They need to be localised to be effective,” he stressed.

From running a group operation in the sub-region to handling the overall global operations, how has life changed for Sakhuja? “Here it is much more strategic and trying to drive an agenda rather than getting deep into anything,” he said, adding that the global job is to make it simple.

But is it that simple as it may sound as there’s huge body of work that Sakhuja’s predecessor, Kelly Clark, has left behind. With challenges like complexity in the digital space, managing portfolio brands and markets, how does one go about doing things correctly? “Our belief is that there isn’t one solution for any of the problems. Clients are different across the globe and we at Maxus go market by market. There is a body of knowledge built in the center, but actually adapted at the local level,” concluded Sakhuja.

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