OMD, the media service brand from Omnicom Media Group, has completed four years in India this week. OMD’s run so far has seen it only win businesses. Some names OMD added to its kitty last year included Multi Screen Media, Ferrero, PUMA, Reliance Communication and Renault-Nissan amongst others.
Even as the agency has lived a dream run so far, the big challenge ahead is to sustain the growth rate. In a conversation with exchange4media, Jasmin Sohrabji, CEO, Omnicom Media Group, explained, “A year ago we invested in a very senior level business development resource; this was done largely to ensure our growth continues but is clearly separated from resources servicing existing business. This year, there is an increased focus on further developing technological efficiencies within the agency to ensure our human resources are used in the most efficient way.”
Sohrabji explained that OMD India has invested in very senior HR resources to further develop and train its people. “We believe all these steps will add value to our existing businesses, as well as attract more clients and talent,” she added.
OMD India did well on its business growth targets for 2010 and perhaps that is encouragement enough for the company to launch PHD India this year. Speaking on the business health of the company, Sohrabji said, “OMD India became a profitable operation a year ahead of global investment plans.”
Does that mean investments from the Network would be restricted now? Sohrabji replied, “India is a very important market for the Network and the manner of investment has changed. We are now seeing more participation, involvement and interaction of global resources across various key platforms. Directionally this is what we need in India - resource involvement and development, not just financial investment.”
Last year was also when OMD’s Global Chief Executive Mainardo de Nardis had spent time at the agency in India. The big discussion at the time was about OMD’s focus, both globally and locally, on bringing digital at the core of the agency’s work. In 2010, OMG India won a host of digital businesses beginning with Hindustan Unilever.
Quoting Sohrabji, OMD India is “extremely proud” of its digital capabilities. She explained, “In Biraja Swain, we have a great resource at the helm of our digital and new media services and his focus has always been to ensure internal talent is well-trained and exposed to new media platforms. At OMD we have conducted internal digital workshops for all our people as well as sent them to training programs organised by the Omnicom Group. End of this February 2011, we have a very senior digital and mobility lead coming to India from OMD global, and he will conduct a workshop on mobile and social network platforms for our people.”
As OMD begins its fifth year in India, it is now going to be about consolidation. Sohrabji observed, “We’ve had heightened growth and momentum, particularly over the last two years; we would like to focus this year on consolidation and talent development. We will soon have on board a senior HR head and we would like to focus on the mid-management level, where we have made some very good hires. It’s now important to nurture and groom them as they are our future. These are our media/business directors and GMs; as OMD grows, their role will become more independent and demanding and we need to ensure we give them all the support to navigate the future.”
2011 should be an interesting year for the industry as well, when OMG’s second brand PHD also launches in India.