Putting all speculations to rest, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) has finally announced the team that would be leading the agency in India. The BBH Mumbai office would commence operations from November 17, 2008, with Managing Partners Priti Nair, Subhash Kamath and Partha Sinha at the helm. The trio would look after the creative, business and strategy functions of the organisation and would report directly to the BBH headquarters in London.
BBH Mumbai is the latest opening in BBH’s independent network. In addition to the London headquarters, the agency has offices in North America, Latin America and Asia. BBH officials had explained that the need for the India operations emerged from the fact that BBH’s global clients had been increasing their presence in India in recent years. Although the agency has produced some campaigns for India out of its Singapore office, it was felt that the bigger opportunity creatively and commercially merits presence within India.
Simon Sherwood, CEO, BBH Group, said, “This feels like putting down the final piece of the jigsaw. When we started building our global model 12 years ago, we weren’t sure how many locations we would need to provide a footprint that basically matched our global clients. What’s become increasingly clear is that India absolutely has to be one of those places. More and more of our clients are anticipating future growth coming from this exciting and rapidly developing market. So, we’ve been looking very closely at the options open to us.”
Nair, Kamath and Sinha are prominent names in the Indian advertising industry with significant years of experience. Prior to this, Nair was with Grey Worldwide as its National Creative Director. Previously, she was Executive Creative Director at Lowe Mumbai and Delhi and also spent time at Chaitra Leo Burnett. Throughout her career Nair has worked on over 40 brands, including GreenPly, Camlin, and Idea Cellular. She has won several national and international awards, including wins at Promax, Asia Pacific Advertising Festival, New York Festival, as well as Abby and Clio Awards.
Kamath has over 20 years’ experience in the industry. He joins from Bates 141 India, where he was Group CEO. Kamath led the group through three mergers and acquisitions over the past three and a half years. His career also includes stints at Ambience Publicis, Trikaya Grey (now Grey Group) and Ogilvy. Sinha joins from Publicis, where he was Chief Strategy Officer for South East Asia.
Sherwood added, “We feel more comfortable with starting a BBH office from scratch, so the challenge has been to find a group of people who can present our values and DNA in building a company, who can work together to provide the brand of leadership we need, and who can build a business with an enviable reputation for creativity and innovation. And in finding Priti, Subhash and Partha we feel exceptionally confident about our prospects. All three are very highly talented and are exceptionally likeable people. It’s a very exciting time for us. I now believe we can better support our global clients and more effectively compete as a future facing creative business.”
In the past, BBH offices have been opened by a mix of existing repatriated BBH personnel with recruited local talent. Examples of this include New York (1998), Singapore (1996) and Shanghai (2007). In Latin America, BBH bought a share of the highly successful and like-minded agency Neogama to form Neogama/BBH (2004). In the Indian market, the Mumbai operation marks the first time that BBH has sought an all-local management team to launch an office. The search for the right team has been led by Sherwood.
BBH, founded in 1982, is an independent, full-service advertising agency with a 49 per cent share owned by Publicis Groupe. Global clients include Levi’s, British Airways, Unilever, Diageo, LG and Vodafone. 2008 award highlights for the network include Effies, British Television Advertising, Cannes Lions, ANDY and American Association of Advertising Agencies awards for a variety of global clients.
Bartle Bogle Hegarty targets last quarter of 2008 to launch India operations