We have achieved double-digit growth in the past 4 years: Amit Misra, MSL

Amit Misra, CEO of MSL, South Asia, talks about his journey in the PR industry, client acquisitions and future plans

by Nafisa Shaheen
Published - Oct 15, 2019 3:28 PM Updated: Oct 16, 2019 4:35 PM

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Amit Misra

With 100 offices in 40 countries and more than 2300 employees, MSL is one network with many parts. An agency built through combination and acquisition; MSL is a specialist in strategic communications and engagement, the company is part of the French multinational conglomerate Publicis Groupe. It evolved as a merger of Publicis Consultants and Manning Selvage & Lee, hence the name.

Amit Misra, CEO of MSL South Asia talks to us about his journey in the PR industry, client acquisitions, the paradigm shift in the industry and future plans.

Edited excerpts:

How has your time in the industry been?

With over two decades in the industry, and having seen the world from both the sides of the coin, roles that span from corporate consulting to public affairs advisory for leading multinational and Indian conglomerates, the journey has been very exhilarating. From traditional routes, to digitally enabled and now to being digitally-led, the industry has come a long way. Today the need for integrated communications and PR is more than ever due to the ever evolving and growing consumers and markets.

The interactivity quotient is rising irrevocably, more and more engagement is being sought after with the new age media. Confronted by the options, clients and consumers often look for innovation, collaboration and diverse scalable distribution. Deploying dynamic content across platforms and channels in sync with the business objectives is the 'always on', new age PR.

 Having said that, not much has changed; PR is still about people and relationships with its more valuable assets at its core. And at its core – it is still about earning credibility.

 What paradigm shift have you noticed in the PR industry?

 This now is an exciting time in the industry with businesses thriving on digital transformation; there has been a focus on integrated PR, as the industry has traversed a long way.

The communication landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, facilitating refreshing work, innovative approaches in tandem with the new age media. Digital technologies are fundamentally altering and enhancing the age-old PR experience making the reinvention of PR a very dynamic practice. There also is a horizontal growth in terms of super-specialised functions to deliver better. This, in turn, is calling for better interactivity, newer modes of communication and a new grammar.

Traditional PR remains, but to meet client ambitions, a heady concoction and understanding of the new-age skills and outreach platforms are needed. It is time to be tech-led, rather than tech-enabled.

 Tell us more about MSL

MSL offers the best-integrated services in the market for some of the world’s most sought-after brands in the region, with India standing out and leading with sustained integrated growth. With 450 colleagues and ability to deliver in above 100 geographies, we are today leveraging the Publicis 'Power of One' model, to offer a spectrum of services that generate optimum reputational capital for our esteemed clients. The validation of our work lies in the fact that we have been recognised as 'Consultancy of the Year', six times in just the past 23 odd months.

 How has the growth rate of MSL been in terms of client acquisition? How can you trace your growth over the years in the industry?

MSL has achieved double-digit growth year-on-year in the past four years. With our focus on integrated communications, the demand of the clients today is to lead creation in a borderless, digital world. We have been catering to specialisations, and super-specialised functions have their blueprint in data science, which analyzes content, videos and all other plausible formats of requirements and challenges.

The three-brand strategy of MSL, 2020 MSL and PCA has come together over the years to deliver the best to our clients and has aided us in talent acquisition. With on-point strategic counsel and expertise in creative thinking we have championed client’s interests through fearless and insightful campaigns that engage multiple perspectives and holistic thinking to build influence and deliver impact. 

  What is your 5-year growth plan in the industry?

With incredible growth opportunities in the South Asia region, fueled by a digital explosion, one needs to have the right set of skills and super awesome talent driving growth. MSL has the best of both and added to this, we have better aligned, more specialised leadership catering to super-specialised functions that would enable us to be the most sought after integrated communications firm in the next 5 years to come.

 How has your association with exchange4media been?

The association with e4m has been always been something that we have valued. It has always been a pleasure to associate with e4m via multiple avenues and platforms. I wish Anurag and his team at e4m the very best, always.

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