Debraj Tripathy, Managing Director MediaCom India talks about new business wins worth over Rs 500 crore this year so far, winning 52 metals, growth target, focus areas for 2015, the agency’s ‘people first’ philosophy and promises to make announcements of ‘significant large’ business wins in the next couple of weeks…
On 2015 so far …
The first half of 2015 has been one of our best in the last few years both in terms of new wins and awards. We have won 8 new businesses in the first half of the year. These include Subway, Bose, SAB Miller, Urban Ladder, Mango, Mydala.com, Dainik Bhaskar and Welspun. In billing terms these are worth over Rs 500 crore . What is more heartening is that about 35% of the Rs 500 crore worth of new business billing is in the digital space. That is not all… we will be making a few more announcements about significant large wins in the next couple of weeks. On the awards front, we have bagged 52 metals till date and a few big awards are scheduled in the second half of the year. So the going has been very good and there is more to come.
Moving ahead with a billing growth of over 39%....
I cannot state what the target is but with half the year gone we are at a billing growth of over 39% (Compared to 2014 overall growth of 42%). Digital and content continues to grow disproportionately. Our new business wins have definitely helped.
Highest share of digital revenue in the country at 34% of overall revenue…
Digital has been a focus area for us and has been one of our key growth drivers since 2011. Of the new business billings for the first half of 2015 more than a third has been from digital. Led by Latish Nair, the new business component, combined with our digital growth from our current clients – Dell, P&G, VW Group, Mars, etc. makes us the fastest growing digital media agency in the country. As per RECMA we have the highest share of digital revenue in the country at 34% of overall revenue.
Investment in Branded Content paying off…?
Content has been another area, apart from digital, where we have invested heavily. Almost all our award winning work across clients is either wholly or partially driven by content that we have conceptualised/ created. Much of our work on P&G and VW group has been applauded and has been showcased as best in class content-led work across the world. Soldier for Women, Gillette Shave India Movements, My Story My Ariel, VW Polo’s content on "Shaadi Ke Side Effects” , Vespa MTV Mod Club are some of pieces that are testament to the high quality work that we have been doing in this domain.
Enhancing Product and Talent moving forward…
Apart from digital and content which continue to be important focus areas, we will focus on further enhancing our product and talent in 2015. On the product side our 20|20 Connections approach has been the basis of our offering to our clients. This is a common global approach, completely online, data driven hence platform and media agnostic and is outcome based. It is a collaborative platform and helps us provide our clients with the same high quality of inputs across the world and at scale.
On the talent front we have started bringing in more depth and experience to our leadership. Rathi Gangappa, who has had experience on both media (digital and off-line) and the technology space has been brought in as the COO of the company. We have brought in Hariharan Vishwanathan as the lead for our business in the south. He has more than 20 years of experience on technology clients and in the digital space apart from being an excellent buyer. Piyush Sharma has joined us as the lead on Capability Building. This is a new initiative aimed at building new areas of specialisation at speed.
After a period of silence earlier the agency seems to have picked up momentum since last year , with wins like Tata Docomo and Future Group’s TV business, what has got this momentum going for the agency ?
Yes, 2014 has been very good for us on the new business front. I think there are four things that we have done well that have helped.
We have very successfully leveraged our unique position in the industry, that of being a JV between Madison and GroupM – both are by far the largest in the country and together manage more than 53% of India’s AdEx. We have effectively used both their strengths and scale to offer the best value to clients.
We have successfully applied our global 20|20 Connections approach to provide outcome based solutions to clients. This outcome based media agnostic approach makes us accountable and works very well for clients who are savvy enough to understand that Reach/ GRP/ click figures are not as important as final business outcomes.
We zealously protect the interests of our current clients and make sure that our service standards are the best. This has really helped… almost 50% of our new business wins happen because of references from current and ex-clients.
Our disproportionate investment in both digital and content has played a big role in our success on new business front.
How does MediaCom India live up to its “People First” philosophy ?
We believe that people are as the centre of everything we do. Our focus hence, is on our people, and people at our clients’ and partners end. This is what “People First” philosophy is in a nutshell. I am inclined to believe that we are the most people-friendly agency in the country. Why do I say that?
We have an excellent employee engagement programme and what we call “Freshness” initiatives which are both entertaining and learning oriented.
We are the only agency (as far as I know) who have a standard work from home policy. We introduced this in 2015 and it has been a big success.
We ensure that people in MediaCom India have good work-life balance – We do not encourage a “working late” culture.
We started the YCO concept in India where a group of young talent work independently along with the MediaCom India EXC0. This helped us get a completely new perspective on how our staff believes we should be run as a company and what they believe is important for the future of the company.
We have weekly webinars aimed at training people on every aspect of our business.
So how does it help us and our clients ? We have very high engagement scores among employees. 95% of our people state that they are happy to work in MediaCom and would like to continue to do so. About 50% of our new hires are based on internal referrals. Highly engaged employees lead to a stable team. We are proud of the fact that our attrition level in the last 5 years has consistently been below 10%. This stability results in a team that knows the softer aspects of our clients’ business better. We have consistently been evaluated with “exceed expectations” scores across all our clients. Our clients cite our stable talent as one of the key factors that help us achieve these scores.