IN-Network, the global network of integrated marketing communications agencies that are independently owned and led by entrepreneurs, has India up on its agenda in 2010. The Network will be holding its annual convention for the year 2010 in Delhi. In all probability, the convention would be held in mid-April. Recently, the Network roped in Atul Hegde, CEO, Ignitee Digital Solutions, in addition to the already existing 11 board members from various parts of the world.
The convention would address India specific issues and harness marketing opportunities. The gathering, which will see the participation of agency heads and marketers from all over the world, will also look into how independent global ad agencies can play a role in building Indian brands globally. Previously, such conventions have been held in New York, Argentina and London, among other key markets of the world.
In conversation with exchange4media, Michel Goddet, Managing Director, IN-Network, who is currently visiting the Sub-continent, was optimistic about the opportunities that lay untapped in the country. He said, “India being a key market makes it pertinent for us and our network agencies to understand the economy and life of the country. India is a key player in the global economy, so much so that it is even important than China. Some of the reasons for are – more Indians speak English than the Chinese, as well as the long term visions that Indians garner as compared to the Chinese. We want to understand how the country is turning from socialism to capitalism.”
Commenting on the structure of the Network, Ignitee’s Hegde said, “To be a part of the Network, the agency first needs to be an independent set-up run by entrepreneurs and free from any affiliation to other conglomerates like a WPP or IPG. Secondly, the agency needs to have an expertise, be it in PR, direct marketing, OOH, branding, designing, a specialist in automobiles, etc. Finally, the agency needs to have scale. On meeting these criteria, the agency is selected to be a part of the group. The agency also has to pay an annual subscription to the Network.”
Once part of the group, the agency can share knowledge, expertise and gain footprint on a global scale. Goddet maintained that IN didn’t acquire agencies, but acted like a facilitator. “We cooperate, coordinate and communicate within the Network and its partners,” he added.
Citing an example from his own experience, Hegde said that the Incredible India campaign that was executed out of Ignitee among others, enjoyed a global visibility across 22 countries with the help of IN-Network.
Established in 1992 by Goddet, the Network has around 95 privately held advertising agencies with 6,500 employees and revenues of $652 million. It is spread across 90 countries and 150 cities. Apart from IN, around five such independent networks currently operate globally, including ICOM, TAAN and Worldwide Partners, among others.
At present, two agencies from India are part of the Network – Arms Communications and Ignitee Digital Solutions, the latter being the latest addition. VGC, which joined the Network in mid-2006, pulled out a year back.