Following the recent restructuring at Saatchi & Saatchi, Kamal Basu, the newly-appointed CEO for the agency’s India operations, is all charged up about his new role. In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media, Basu shares his plans and dream to put Saatchi & Saatchi in the wishlists of clients and employees alike.
Basu has been associated with Saatchi & Saatchi India for eight years now. As CEO, he now wants to take the agency to another level and has identified some significant areas for investment that have already been chartered under his CEO-ship.
On expectations from him as CEO, Basu said, “It was being discussed with me for the last 18 months. However, I was groomed to take over this job. It’s not an easy job and comes with its own complexities. So, I guess that was a preparatory stage for me to understand the nuances of the job and move into this new post.”
Sharing some of his plans for the agency, Basu said, “I would like to see ourselves as the top rankers in the Brand Equity ratings, where in the last ratings we had moved into the Top Ten. Saatchi & Saatchi is a very young agency. It’s only about 10 years old and I think there is a lot of room for us in the areas of creativity and managing large local brands. So, I have a dream to put Saatchi & Saatchi in the wishlist of most clients and employees.”
He also intends to have significant investments are in planning. The agency has in the past 8-10 months taken a keen interest in appointments in the planning areas in three cities. The agency had brought on board Sai Raghavan for the Delhi branch, Amin Haq for Bangalore, who is also looking at some businesses in Mumbai. The agency has appointed Sajju for Mumbai and Vipasha for planning on the P&G business.
However, the agency in the last one year has lost Adip Puri, National Head of Planning, who has now moved to JWT as Global Planning Director on Radiant.
P&G has been Saatchi & Saatchi’s largest global business, and according to Basu, it has been growing year-on-year.
Basu explained, “Under the P&G business, in the last two years we have launched new brands in India – Pampers and Olay. Global affiliations definitely help in the progress of an Indian agency. The Sony Ericsson business was also bagged as part of the global affiliation, which came into our kitty in January 2007. Under these global affiliations, we are looking forward to other new entrants who are looking at India very positively. We are already in talks with some of them.” He, however, refrained from divulging their names.
With these developments underway at Saatchi & Saatchi, we can expect to hear from the agency sooner than later.
Saatchi & Saatchi India rejigs top management; Shantakumar made Chairman, Kamal Basu is CEO