VivaKi India on March 29, 2011, announced the creation of VivaKi Specialist Services (VSS). This entity will become the hub of several specialist service units currently part of the Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), and combined with the Experiential Marketing, and Retail/ Trade Marketing services of Solutions Integrated.
The integrated hub will comprise brands Enhance (Experiential & Retail/ Trade Marketing); Xpanse Asia (Rural Marketing); and Navia and Vector (out-of-home units).They will continue to be managed by their respective heads, who will currently report to Srikant Sastri, Country Chair – India, VivaKi.
Speaking about this development, CVL Srinivas, Chairman, Starcom MediaVest Group - India, said, “Aggregating and scaling the specialty service structure will benefit clients and help them get closer to consumers in more ways than before. SMG created these units over the years, which are today brands in their own right. This realignment will help these units expand further within the VivaKi community. The mainstream media planning companies will continue to work closely with these units.”
Srikant Sastri, Country Chair - India, VivaKi – India, added here, “VivaKi is an accelerator and aggregator of the media, digital and marketing services we offer clients. Our aim is to help clients be the first, best and only. The creation of VivaKi Specialist Services will increase the ambit of these offerings and act as a force multiplier for all VivaKi agencies; going beyond being practices within just SMG or Solutions Integrated, and helping all VivaKi clients achieve their performance goals more than ever before.”
The out-of-home, rural marketing and retail branding units were created over the last decade to service clients of Starcom MediaVest Group. They evolved to support clients of sister agencies ZenithOptimedia and Digitas, besides some clients of the creative agencies within the Publicis Groupe in India. The units have helped marketers in their quest to reach audiences in the rural hinterland through Xpanse; in the out-of-home and ambient environment through Navia and Vector; and at the retail branding space through Enhance. Simultaneously, significant Experiential Marketing and Retail/ Trade Marketing capabilities were created at Solutions Integrated.
The creation of VivaKi Specialist Solutions stemmed from the need to derive synergies, and capitalise on growth opportunities across a much-broader canvas, where these brands can service clients outside the home agency. SMG will focus on its core product and look at scaling up Digital, Content and Insights verticals.
The small town and rural marketing arm (Xpanse Asia) will continue to be led by Sandip Bansal as its Country Head. The retail/ trade marketing & experiential marketing unit (Enhance), and out of home companies (Navia and Vector) will continue to be headed by Kaushik Chakravorty as the Chief Operating Officer. Barinder Bahadur Mathur, Executive Vice President at Solutions Integrated, moves to the hub and will partner with both Chakravorty and Bansal, focusing on developing new businesses and in maintaining commercial compliance.