India is seeing a lot of action in regards to advertising and marketing communications agencies. With Omnicom and Lowe Worldwide completing their share of news hogging, now it is market leader WPP in the limelight once again. After a gap of almost one-and-a-half years, Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive, WPP is visiting India again for his regular check on the India operations of the various WPP companies.
Sorrell’s India visit commenced on November 23, 2005. All WPP agencies, which include media units like the GroupM agencies, The Media Edge and creative units like O&M, JWT, Contract and so on – are in queue to present their state-of-affairs to the WPP chief.
Grey Worldwide too is on the list this time. The visit will see a dinner planned on November 24, 2005 with key clients and staff, and finally Sorrell’s participation at the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, which is planned from November 27 to 29, 2005.
Speaking with exchange4media group yesterday Sorrell divulged on how the group has been performing in 2005 so far. He observed, “It has been a good year, better than expected. We are growing around the world at 6 per cent, in India by 13 per cent and China by 22 per cent. For the first half, this is much better than what we expected.”
For Sorrell, WPP is the first agency to realise the importance of Asia and in it, the India market. He said, “What’s great about India is that India is a high growth, high potential market. The country has great people and we have fantastic business here. That is partly an accident, as we happen to get JWT and O&M, who have fabulous positions in these markets. But strategically, we are very different from the Johnny-comes-latelies.”
Explaining some more on this, Sorrell expressed, “All these chat surrounding Omnicom, Publicis, IPG only indicate that strategically they have just woken up to the fact that Asia is significant. We had our first board meeting in New Delhi 10 years ago and in China in 1989. And now all of a sudden people discover where Mumbai is! Good luck to them.”
Known for growth driven by acquisitions, he ensured that in regards to on-going deals like Aegis, he didn’t let out a word more than what was reported. However, it is this calm disposition that explains why the question has changed from ‘If…’ to ‘When…’, whenever it comes to WPP and takeovers.