Top Story

Home >> Advertising >> Article

DAN eyeing more than $1 billion in billings in 2018: Ashish Bhasin

05-January-2018
Font Size   16
DAN eyeing more than $1 billion in billings in 2018: Ashish Bhasin

Dentsu Aegis Network India has had one of its best years yet in 2017. Led by its vision to be a future ready and digitally-savvy network, DAN India acquired the SVG Media, Sri Lanka’s Grant Group, and the also Sokrati making the network a leader in the search and performance marketing arena. “2017 has been a brilliant year for us. In a year when the market was struggling, we grew by 60%. Given the market environment, this is an unparalleled record. We grew at almost 6 times the market’s growth, with equal contribution from both organic and inorganic growth,” said Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network. Powered with the strength of its agencies and 3,500 staffers DAN India is eyeing more than $ 1 billion in billings in 2018.

As per the network’s claims, it also accomplished its goal to close the gap between the British holding company WPP early this year, becoming India’s second largest advertising group. The jury is still out on this assessment of who is second largest group, with Interpublic and Publicis disputing the claim. However, DAN is confident of its position. “Becoming the second-largest advertising group in India, we overturned 80 years of history,” noted Bhasin.

Inorganic growth has given wings to the network in India. DAN India has led 12 acquisitions in last three years, of which three key acquisitions happened in 2017. Acquiring SVG Media marked the launch of Columbus (Asia Pacific digital marketing agency of DAN) in India. With the acquisitions of Sokrati DAN brought in the data driven performance agency Merkle to India. “In two years period between 2016 and 2018 we would have doubled the agency,” said Bhasin.

Bhasin hopes that with this expanded base that DAN has developed, in 2018 DAN India should grow at least 2-2.5 times the rate at which the industry is growing. “I would be disappointed with any growth less that 25%. We would like to grow at minimum twice the market’s growth rate,” he added.

The digital focus of the Japanese giant is evident in its past acquisitions: Webchutney, WATConsult, Communicate 2 (iProspect). “In 2018 we are aiming at getting almost 45% of our revenues from digital. I want to make nearly half of the company digital because our vision is that there is no business that will not be impacted by digital. We want to future proof our agency and lay the groundwork so that in the next few of years 50% of our business is digital,” added Bhasin. The soon-to-be published DAN-e4m 2018 report shows that digital is growing at three times the advertising industry, to which Bhasin added. “Therefore, we want to make sure that the bigger part of our business is growing at three times the rate or more. We are about 2.5 times our next competitor in search and performance (led by iProspect, Sokrati and SVG). We will want to maintain that lead.”

Bhasin sees the ad land as an entity which will be driven by digital. “We do not see media as traditional and non-traditional media. Whether it is Outdoor, PR, Creative or ‘traditional’ media everyone of our businesses should be future proofed and future ready. Each of these businesses will be impacted by digital and therefore should be leading in digital,” he said. The network is focussed on making sure that every single DAN employee is digitally trained. “Of our 3,500 staff, 1,600 are in our digital agencies. It doesn't matter where in DAN you are, if you are a part of DAN India you have to be digitally ahead because that is the vision of the company,” added Bhasin.

Bhasin attributes a large part of DAN’s success story in India to the one P&L model. Competitors have been trying to emulate the one P&L model with partial success so far, but DAN has had a headstart in this regard. “We are able to give all the benefits of super-specialisation without the hassles of silos. We want to keep building on the lead that we have and develop the most diversified group,” said Bhasin.

Radhakrishnan Ramachandran of iStream.com is now making a comeback with a regional video network named Studio Mojo

Kartikeya Sharma says that June has been the best month for sales in the 11 years that the brand has been in India

The newly appointed CEO of ZEE5 on how he aims to have the widest appeal in the OTT space amongst Indian consumers

The VP, Marketing and Communications (South Asia), talks about the company's growth strategy, its focus areas, impact of demonetisation on consumer behaviour and much more

right
left
PITCH TOP 50 BRANDS 2018 AWARDS COMPANIES WITH BEST MARKETING PRACTICES TEAM BBDO ORGANIZES AJAI JHALA’S FAREWELL WITH FRIENDS & ASSOCIATES RADIO CITY CELEBRATES ITS 17TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CONCERT, AWARDS AND FUN 5TH EDITION OF TIMES NOW & ICICI BANK’S NRI OF THE YEAR AWARDS GLOBAL INDIANS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BENGALURU SEES TOP INDUSTRY LEADERS AND MARKETERS IN ATTENDANCE DISTINGUISHED JURY COMES TOGETHER TO PICK WINNERS FOR PITCH’S TOP 50 BRANDS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BANGALORE SEES TOP CMOS ACROSS INDUSTRIES IN ATTENDANCE 1ST REPUBLIC TV GULF INDIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT & AWARDS HONOUR STALWARTS OF INDIAN GULF BUSINESS COMMUNITY SONY YAY! CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH PARTY FOR TRADE PARTNERS THOUGHT LEADERS AND TOP DIGITAL MARKETERS SPEAK @ EXCHANGE4MEDIA GROUP’S TECHMANCH 2018 IN MUMBAI EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S IDMA 2018 RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY’S BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS REALTY PLUS UNVEILS COFFEE TABLE BOOK AT 10TH CONCLAVE & EXCELLENCE AWARDS @AHMEDABAD EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK WINNERS OF INDIAN DIGITAL MARKETING AWARDS 2018 OFF THE CUFF SEES ‘SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN’ MAN PARAMESWARAN IYER IN CONVERSATION WITH SHEKHAR GUPTA EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S LOUDEST.IN HOSTS INAUGURAL EDITION OF MUSIC INC. IN MUMBAI EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS PORTER PRIZE & INSTITUTE FOR COMPETITIVENESS RECOGNIZE STRATEGIC ACUMEN IN COMPANIES DELHI AD CLUB-SAARC AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE ACROSS CREATIVE, MEDIA & DIGITAL AGENCIES BSNL & CALL2ACTION COMMUNICATION INDIA LAUNCH MOBILE ADVERTISING PLATFORM, INFOMO IN NEW DELHI CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST KAILASH SATYARTHI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘EVERY CHILD MATTERS’

A recipient of Indra Nooyi Chairman's Award for Innovation, Gupta joins the advisory and consulting firm as founder member

Leigh Terry, CEO APAC, IPG Mediabrands discusses the state of the agency in a fireside chat with BW Businessworld editor, Noor Warsia.

The brand has launched ‘Pretty Har Pal’ campaign which is created by DDB Mudra