The lady returned to main stream media business last January. There were apprehensions and expectations both within the agency as well as in the industry. Later in the year came Maruti win followed by a few others, that quietened the critics, However, a couple of recent account losses for various reasons again led to a few raised eyebrows.
Lynn de Souza, Director, Media Services and Healthcare, Lowe is unruffled. As per her, as far as organic growth goes Lintas Media Group, India has grown much more than any other media agency in the country. She says, "In January - December 2003, we grew by 52%. And, April march 2003-04 has been even better — we have grown by more than 60%. This effectively means that though the base is continuously getting bigger, we would be growing by 45 to 50% this calendar year as well."
The Lintas Media Group agency that has grown the most is Interactions. De Souza states, "Interactions just turned one on 1st of April. It has proved to be the most productive of our media agencies and shown more than 100% growth."
Initiative also, she indicates, has grown in a big way. And this is by and large, as per her, because the agency's clients have grown. "We have grown with our clients. We have been servicing them well and have not diverted our attention and strengths into going after every account that comes up for a pitch. We have put a theme for Lintas media Group: 'We win when our clients win'. And we really believe in it," she is emphatic.
But can organic growth be the most important factor in an agency's growth. Are new businesses not important? "Yes they are, but organic growth plays a pivotal role. It is not only an indicator of the agency's financial health but also, how its clients have grown," she explains, "The role organic growth plays depends on which sector your clients are in. Fortunately, A number of our clients are in the growth sector — telecom, auto and financial categories are continuously going to grow."
Talking of the clients Lintas Media Group wants to be associated with, she states, "We want to work with the clients who are comfortable with us emotionally. The criteria is clear — financially they should make business sense and there should be certain comfort level for both us and the client."
She says, " I believe in servicing the clients to the optimum and giving our 100% to building the brands that are building us. I firmly believe that over promising and then under delivering is not the right way to do business. " She adds on a softer note, "We are actually reviewing a couple of our accounts."
Moving on, is she also looking at strengthening her team to keep pace with the growth and client requirements? Replies de Souza, "Yes, we are planning to hire five high-mid to senior level people in the next two months in Mumbai and Delhi. In Bangalore we are already very well entrenched and have a strong team."
What are her expectations from the immediate future? "Next few months are going to be really interesting for us. Insight, our new agency is also going to grow. We are very sure in which direction it needs to move. However, it would pitch for new accounts only after three-four months", she replies with a smile.
De Souza indeed appears happy to have returned to the media side of the business — the passion is unchanged from what it was six - seven years back. She is guiding Lintas Media Group with fond care and is sure that it is headed towards the right destination.