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GroupM: Expanding footprints beyond traditional media investment

18-August-2005
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GroupM: Expanding footprints beyond traditional media investment

The Indian operation of the media arm of WPP, GroupM, is abuzz with more activities than usual, courtesy Worldwide CEO of GroupM, Irwin Gotlieb’s visit to the country. “India is a very important market for us and I make it a point to visit it time to time to see our operations here,” said Gotlieb.

During his time spent here, Gotlieb has visited clients and GroupM offices in key cities like Mumbai and Delhi. He informed exchange4media that in the global picture, where an indicative figure of GroupM’s present annualised billing (based on RECMA) was in the region of $50 billion, India was a key market.

“Asia is the fastest growing region in the world and India has always been one of our fastest growing markets. There are examples like China, which is on a slightly steeper trajectory now, but only because it started later,” noted Gotlieb.

The Asia market continues to see more action with GroupM being involved in active talks of entering Sri Lanka. Gotlieb observed, “We already have a well spread presence in Asia, covering markets like Pakistan and Bangladesh as well.”

Speaking specifically on the Indian operations, Gotlieb said, “The key thing here is now is to manage growth and talent and exploit the Indian talent for global operations more effectively.”

Chalking out a broad roadmap ahead of the plans for India, he added, “We have always defined our business as media and communications investment management. We will maintain focus in three general areas.”

Gotlieb enumerated these as first achieving success in converting global relationships into local relationships in India. “There are very few global relationships that we have in GroupM that don’t already exist in India. The second is by building local businesses, and the third is by expanding our footprints beyond traditional media investment. We move freely into areas like marketing sciences, market structural work on the one extreme and on the other extreme we do work on content.”

The Indian operations of GroupM are set to see more changes in their branding as well. As is known, GroupM brands like BroadMind, which existed only in the Indian market, will soon be phased out.

Explaining that these were necessarily deliberate efforts to duplicate the global structure in the India region, Gotlieb said, “As we advise to our clients, we, too, will be simplifying our own branding. BroadMind will become MindShare Entertainment, and mOne will probably become MindShare digital.”

He elucidated that even as the usage of key brand names like MindShare, MEC and Maxus would be more significant and that there would be a GroupM version as well, in months to come, the changes were only in the branding and not in the functional aspects.

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