We are looking at greater integration within the group: Jt. President & CCO, Rediffusion

Recently promoted as the Joint President, Rahul Jauhari talks to us on the new developments, and what being no.1 means to him

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 8:58 AM

It was historic of sorts when last week, co-founders of Rediffusion, Arun Nanda and Ajit Balakrishnan, acquired the combined 40 per cent stake of WPP agency Y&R and Dentsu, contending full control of the agency. The agency which was branded as Rediffusion-Y&R, will now go on to being called Rediffusion. This week, the agency also announced the elevation of their CCO, Rahul Jauhari as Joint President of Rediffusion India & Everest Brand Solutions. And the recent SBI mandate win post a rigorously-contested pitch apart from other big account wins like Tata Trusts and Liebherr say a thing or two about how it seems like now is Rediffusion's time to shine.
As it felt like things are picking up steam here, exchange4media caught up with Jauhari on the recent developments, about being No.1 and becoming the new Joint President, and more.

Edited excerpts below:

With your elevation as the Joint President, what will change and what will not?

I'm humbled at one level, and excited at another. The work I do, which is that of creation, does not change. But as my Chairman put it very well, one now needs to also think of every colleague in the company - the responsibility is greater.

Your perspective on WPP selling its stakes in JV with Rediffusion? What can we expect as we go forward?

Actually, the right thing to say would be that Rediffusion bought back the stake. That aside, we are looking at greater integration within the group. A closer relationship with gives us a technology edge few have and this in turn will help us respond faster and better to our clients’ needs in a world that is hyper connected and mobile driven. The road ahead looks exciting, to say the least.

How has this over a decade-long journey been with Everest and Rediffusion?

I have spent almost 15 years in this group, over two stints. From 2000 till 2008 I was in the Delhi and Mumbai offices. Those were crazy times of the telecom boom in the country. Those were also the times when I cut my teeth on huge brands and even bigger challenges. Post a three-year stint with Lintas, I returned to the group in 2011 to lead the creative at Everest. And since 2015, I have been looking after the creative for both Rediffusion and Everest. Rediffusion has always given me the space, pace, learning and backing, whenever I have needed it. Right now, we have so much to do, so much to build and so much love and support of the group. Where else could I find such an opportunity in the Indian market? This is home ground for me and if you ask me there is no better place I would rather be.

Congratulations on winning the SBI mandate. Could you give us a sense of your creative plans for the brand?

It is always a team effort. And it’s not just SBI. We have also won the Tata 150 years mandate, Tata Trusts and Liebherr and each of these is a proud win for us. To answer your specific question - SBI is a massive responsibility for us. The banker to every Indian has evolved and continues to evolve far more than the average person knows. That in itself is a starting point. Our teams are working closely with the SBI brand custodians and our work should start rolling out in a few weeks.

What does being No.1 mean to you; awards, pitch success or simply more revenue?

None of the above. Being No.1 is not as important for me as being my clients most valued partner. That’s what I will at any time want to be and aim to be. The rest is cyclical – awards come and go, pitches come and go, revenue is sometimes good and sometimes not.

So how are client budgets at a craft level?

Overall, tighter.

Integrated agencies or specialised agencies - what do you think is the buzzword in the industry right now?

Buzzword, by definition, means that’s for some time. And then another buzzword will come along. And then another. This debate will continue forever. Let’s stay focused on being useful to our clients.

What is your creative strategy for the agency going forward?

We are here to solve our client’s business problems. The more creatively and smartly and sensibly we do it, the better we are. To do that we need to be insight-driven and culture relevant. We are now in a position to leverage our group strengths better. With deeper integration of, we now have the ability to respond to the clients’ needs for communication solutions in a hyper-connected and mobile driven world. That means solutions that go way beyond the basics of banner advertising, likes and shares.

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