Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) may have announced Pratap Bose’s stepping into John Goodman’s shoes as the new Chief Executive of O&M India only two days back, but 2006 is Bose’s year and he has a fair idea of where he is taking O&M in days to come when he assumes his new role.
In January 2006, Bose was given the responsibility of WPP’s newly created out-of-home OOH entity Kinetic as the Managing Director in addition to his responsibility as President, Ogilvy Activation. The big question with the announcement of him being CEO is who would take over from Bose now to dedicatedly steer Kinetic in India.
Shedding some light on this, Bose said, “There is no question about the fact that we are committed to strengthen Kinetic in India. There are two months more until I assume my new responsibility. In this much time, we would arrive on a viable solution for the leadership of Kinetic. This is not to say that I will not be involved in the company at all – I would still be looking after the requirements of the entity, but in regards to the day-to-day operations, we will seek a route out.”
Not that Bose offers much on this at the moment, but the route can be anything from the appointment of a MD for Kinetic to a change in the reporting structure. Speaking more on what he saw as the road ahead for O&M India, Bose observed, “Our first objective was to be a successful and great advertising agency and that we have accomplished. Going forward, we would be looking at different areas like events and sports, where O&M can make a mark in.”
The growth driver, according to Bose, would be from options like mergers and acquisitions on this. “That is one way, the point is to get good talent in the domain to grow it and that can come from hiring right people and grooming people as well,” he said. However, M&A can be seen as an important focus area for the agency in Bose’s agenda as CEO. “I think it is critical to any business and is a driver for growth for any company. We too would be looking at this option very closely,” he added.
Another point that he spoke about was O&M extending its contribution in the sub-continent the growth in the other Asian markets like Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Speaking on this, he said, “I think we would also look at re-engineering the partnerships so that we can provide clients solutions in these markets as well.”
He further said, “We need to go out there and do something to rattle the industry and do something different. To quote Piyush here, not play from the front foot, but go half way down the pitch! I think we need to do two or three things that are significant and really put you in the league that makes it hard for others to catch up.”
Surely, Bose has quite a bit marked up his sleeve already for the way forward. “One thing you can be assured about is that we aren’t going to go out there and just talk about these things – we would be doers rather than talkers, as has been the case with O&M always,” he asserted.