Mediaedge:cia (MEC) has drawn up some aggressive plans for the Asia Pacific region, and India is high on its agenda in 2008. The global chiefs of the agency – Charles Courtier, Global CEO, and Alistair Aird, Global COO – were in the country for two days to take stock of the operations here, and discussed the various steps that they had undertaken in course of their commitment to this region.
Courtier explained, “MEC is the fastest growing agency, and Asia is one of the fastest growing regions. China and India are both very important. India especially is really contributing both on counts of global ideas and revenues to MEC’s growth.”
Aird added here that some of the areas that were key priorities in the region included focus on Communications Planning and Integration (CP&I). He said, “In all of our markets, including India, we focus on the communications planning function because clients are increasingly asking us to offer integrated solutions.”
The Chiefs are clear that the road is to strengthen the MEC brand in India and to drive further the agency’s proposition of ‘Active Engagement’. Another area of focus is talent. Some of the moves here have been the various appointments in the region that include Joost Dop as CEO for the region; Peter Vogel as CSO; Jon Wright leading MEC MediaLab; Thorsten Nolte at MEC Interaction; and Mike Jackson to head the recently launched MEC Access.
MEC Interaction and MEC Access are high on the agenda for the Indian market – MEC Interaction was launched in India in January 2008 and MEC Access is the next on the cards. Courtier informed that the APAC region had seen over 35 per cent growth in the last couple of years. Aird added, “We have seen a growth of 16 per cent in billing in 2007.”
Both the heads asserted that MEC was on the right track, and the expectations from India were high going forward. Speaking more on the changing role of India in MEC’s growth graph, Courtier said, “We have an internal awards for global ideas, and APAC contribution has really been increasing in the last couple of years. And in that, last year, ideas from the Indian operation have been increasing in the top 10 ideas. India is really punching its way ahead on every count.”
He didn’t rule out acquisitions as another area of growth in the region. He said, “We are always on the lookout for interesting aspects, especially in the new media space. We are clued in the market in that sense, looking at the various possibilities.”
Courtier also said that at the centre of the MEC thought process was the consumer. “That is our approach. If you need to be able to foretell the needs of the clients, you have to be one step ahead of the consumer – not more, not less – as that might take you off the course, but you have to know where the consumer is headed in advance.”
The officials also spoke about the strengths that being a part of GroupM brought to the table. Aird elaborated, “There are various counts where GroupM brings inherent strengths – the work force and sheer skill that is available help in diversification – from a technological viewpoint and needless to say the size itself.”