APAC is a high interest, high focus, high growth area: Ashish Bhasin

Bhasin is now CEO Dentsu Aegis Network APAC

by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Published - Sep 6, 2019 8:58 AM Updated: Sep 6, 2019 1:14 PM
AshishBhasin

With two back-to-back promotions, 2019 has been a year Ashish Bhasin has much to rejoice about. Barely five months after being promoted as CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Greater South, Bhasin on Thursday added a new feather to his cap. He is now CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network APAC.

Bhasin is believed to be the first and the only Indian ever to join Dentsu Aegis Network’s Global Executive Team. As he relocates to Singapore soon to take up his new role, exchange4media catches up with him within minutes of the big announcement.

Excerpts of the interview:

Your first thoughts on being promoted as APAC CEO

 It's a big opportunity and I'm grateful to have got it. APAC CEO is a big position, and so is being in the Global Executive team.

APAC, for most clients & agencies, is a very high interest, high focus and high growth area. I'm honoured to have got this opportunity. Of course I will also continue to retain my position as Chairman of India. I hope to spend significant time in India and will be accessible to all our clients, partners, media and everybody else at any time. In any case, I was travelling quite a bit in my Greater South role. 

Key moves in new role as APAC CEO

 There are many markets that I'm currently running in my role of Greater South CEO, but there are several others in APAC that I'm not directly involved in running. So I will have to get in and understand those markets better.

As a group, we have some inherent strength areas, one of which is our one P&L approach; One Dentsu, One DAN. Another is that we are digitally far ahead.

Indian moves that can be replicated in APAC

Every assignment, every solution, every country is different. It is not necessary that what works one time, in one circumstance, will work in all circumstances. The one common thing that we have in our company with respect to whichever country is that we believe in one P&L philosophy. We implemented that in India very successfully, and I would definitely like to make sure that it gets implemented across markets and across APAC.

New markets you are most excited about

There are some very large markets where I haven't been directly involved in the past, such as China, Taiwan, Australia, Hong Kong and Korea. So I am quite looking forward to learning about those markets. This would be a good learning experience for me.

His successor

We have a very good CEO in Anand (Bhadkamkar) who has worked with me for many years. The only difference is that he will now be running the country. I will be there to guide them on our clients on media or industry or any other issue.

Shifting base to Singapore

I will be shifting my base to Singapore. As the APAC CEO, you need to be in Singapore because a lot of regional clients sit there. The geography is pretty wide; there is Australia and New Zealand at one end, and China on the other, along with East Asia and India. Therefore, Singapore is the logical place for me to be.

Closing thoughts

I think this is all thanks to the fantastic leadership team and to the 3,700 professionals we have in India who have been delivering an outstanding performance, and I'm lucky to get the credit for that. I'm very proud of the business that we have built in India and I'm sure Anand, together with me as the Chairman, will take it to a different height in years to come.

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