The year seems to be seeing its share of reincarnations. Earlier, it was Everest Integrated re-launching itself as Everest Brand Solutions and now it is coming from the WPP domain. O&M’s younger brother now drops rmg from its name to be now called David. The new entity will be a region-wise phenomenon with 10 offices across Asia Pacific. No surprises in the fact that Josy Paul will head the India operations as Chairman and National Creative Director.
The change in name took place on October 12, 2005. The new Davids are full-service agencies. In India, the offices are in Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. In addition to Paul, Kumar Subramaniam is the President, while K S Gopal is the Joint National Creative Director for David. The other markets include Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Bangkok Jakarta, Taipei and Tokyo. More offices are expected later in the year.
Will life be different for David now in comparison to rmg david? “It’s not like an overnight change,” replied Paul, adding, “And it is not as if we are trying to bring any cultural change in the organisation. What we are trying to do is build individuals. People who were working for a small agency now have broad based themselves and we will be speaking to a lot more people.”
People power seems to be right on top of the agenda. Paul divulged that David would be on a major recruiting drive. “People constantly speak about the dearth of good talent. We are getting to the grass root levels to bring new talent in the system.”
The route the agency has taken is an interesting one. The idea is to get talent directly from the fresh catchment areas and one of the things that David will do is to make noise in colleges. “We will have interviews at bus stops itself rather than in offices,” said Paul. For the record, the announcement of the new name and the changes thereof was also made on a bus top.
The rechristening holds much more significance for India. An official communiqué quoting Miles Young, Chairman, O&M Asia Pacific, said, “David was born in India, past through adolescent all over Asia and I am happy to see it maturing so well in its home turf.”
Paul added to this, “Full credit has been given to the idea coming from India. What I can say is that we converted the spirit of David into a full fledged agency.”
What began as a small second agency has started, what officials call, a movement and has become a new regional agency network, which will be called David. The network comes from the merger of three existing entities – rmg, Results (which operates in Taiwan and Bangkok) and rmg david. David will operate with a flexible network-up-market approach and not centre down.
When asked what the spirit of David was, Paul promptly replied, “The maverick who challenges”, and our mavericks are challenging the ways of the past.