TBWA Group India roped in Govind Pandey from McCann Worldgroup India to helm its India operations as CEO TBWA India from Jan 1 2016. Pandey reports into Philip Brett, President, TBWA Asia.
“This is a rejuvenation for TBWA India and I say this with complete confidence. It was also reflected in the confidence that the agency felt when we told them that Govind Pandey was going to become the new CEO. Govind has the right attitude and I really believe he has got a good plan for what he wants to do. “said Brett who indicated that TBWA had been on the look- out for a new CEO for India for over a year, and Pandey was one of the earliest candidates approached by the agency for this role .
Brett talks about the agency’s India strategy and plans to steer the agency under the new leadership of Govind Pandey………..
While it is great to hear about the disruption model the agency hasn’t been at its best in the last two years, how are you going to get things back on track?
In India, it takes one piece of work, one interesting piece of work that people start talking about; you need a bit of evidence. And once that happens they start to see. We are not saying we would dominate the market, that’s not our goal. Our goal is to be the best agency we can be in a measured time.
What are your objectives for the next one year?
We are a business and we want things to move. For me, Asia Pacific will start to perform better if India starts to perform better, 100 per cent better.
Step one is--don’t go backwards. I do believe that if we get the qualitative pieces right, the money will come. And the one thing I do admire about India is that clients love good work and they pay for that. So, my expectation from Govind is to build a plan together and then to live that plan. I don’t want to set people up to fail; we need to get the people right, to get the product right, to get the proposition right in the market, find your fate, find your place and make the clients we currently have enjoy working with you.
My goal is to keep going north. In two years I believe, we will be a better agency and be discussing TBWA India on a whole new level.
What do you think of the Indian market right now and which are the agencies you think are genuinely doing good work?
Lowe is doing well, McCann; Prasoon is a strong creative person, they are very good at story-telling. We have always been impressed with the guys at Taproot, they are shaking things up.
The more interesting question is; what does an agency need to be? It’s not about not doing TV, it is about coming in and creating brand stories which cut across channels.
Without being critical of the Indian industry, it is I think one of the early markets of the world where this industry (advertising) really matters. It has real influence in culture but without challenging that, India doesn’t need another advertising agency, what it wants is a creative house that can deliver great solutions to clients, that’s what disruption does; it doesn’t help you write better TV commercial, it doesn’t tell you that radio is what where you want to be. But it does tell you how do you put an idea in the middle and then you decide how you communicate, how you reach your audience.
What is your sense of the Indian market when it comes to technology, what are the conversations you are having with clients on this front?
I think one of the challenges that I found is that it is still TV based and it has not fully embraced technology yet, which is again ironic, because India is such a technologically literate country.
I think it will reach a new point and I am very optimistic about India, though it takes a while, but it is an advantage.