Stephen Li, CEO APAC, MEC
Clients are now becoming quite brave in terms of the choices that they might take, but I think it is still a slightly risk averse bravery. Clients are not in a position where they can endlessly experiment, so they need to know that if they are being brave there is a strong likelihood that there is going to be some kind of success at the end of the day
Clients are now becoming quite brave in terms of the choices that they might take, but I think it is still a slightly risk averse bravery. Clients are not in a position where they can endlessly experiment, so they need to know that if they are being brave there is a strong likelihood that there is going to be some kind of success at the end of the dayStephen Li, CEO APAC, MEC, joined the agency in 2005 as CEO for South and South-East Asia. He was named CEO for Asia Pacific in 2010. In addition to operationally overseeing MEC’s offices across the region, Li is also the Senior Client Leader for MEC’s multinational clients in APAC, such as Chevron, Singapore Airlines and Citibank. In 2007, Li launched MEC Access Asia Pacific - the sport, entertainment and cause partnership company. Together with his management team, he sets the vision for the future of the agency in what is the company’s fastest growing region in the world. Li has earlier worked as Managing Director of Lowe Hong Kong for four years, successfully unbundling the Lowe media offering and merging it with the FCB media department to form Initiative Hong Kong. Prior to joining MEC, he was WPP's Regional Director for Team HSBC. Over the years, he has worked on clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Johnson & Johnson, The Coca-Cola Company and Alfred Dunhill.
In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Mehra, Li talks about MEC India’s growth strategy and approach, the agency’s emphasis on e-commerce and rural communications, MEC’s leadership approach, the agency’s contribution at the APAC level and more… Q. Where does MEC India stand in terms of contributions in revenue?
Q. Do you think that clients in India are also taking that step ahead when it comes to experimenting with innovations and new media tools?
Q. What are the best practices in India that the rest of the world could benefit from?
Q. What is the leadership approach going for forward for MEC at the APAC level?
With inputs from Saloni Dutta
Q. How would you define MEC India’s growth strategy and approach going forward, as well as areas of focus?
When I look at 2014 from an MEC perspective and industry perspective, there are huge waves of growth opportunity in India, specifically with regards to the importance of rural communications and how we are taking it beyond the urban centres, and tapping into the vast area of consumers in rural centres.
E-commerce is another area of immense growth, it has already grown a lot in the last three to four years as smartphone penetration increases amongst the younger population. E-commerce is set for an explosion in India, no matter how many shopping malls get erected today, the reality is that the way consumers are responding to brands has changed, convenience is taking over as a driver in purchase decision dynamics. It is no longer about how much money the consumer has, but the time he has during the day, and e-commerce solutions allow for this convenience and preserve their precious time.
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