GroupM: We expect advertising industry to grow 11.6% in 2014

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SummaryGroupM is putting in place fresh strategic plans to sustain the firm’s leadership.

GroupM, a leading media investment planning conglomerate in India, is putting in place fresh strategic plans to sustain the firm’s leadership in the Indian media buying industry. GroupM currently serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies, including Mindshare, Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Motivator, in India. At present, GroupM India’s agencies handle media accounts of Hindustan Unilever, PepsiCo India, Vodafone, L’Oreal India and Mercedes Benz, among others. GroupM India has recently released its ad forecast for the current year. CVL Srinivas, chief executive officer, South Asia, GroupM, says,”We estimate a 11.6% growth of advertising in 2014. In an exclusive interview with FE’s Lalitha Srinivasan, he talks about the firm’s growth plans.

What were your key priorities when you took charge as CEO of GroupM India last year?

As a key priority, we simplified our organisational structure to bring more focus and accountability, to start with. Over the years, GroupM has scaled up its offerings in digital, content, experiential marketing, analytics and trading. These units, which were earlier referred to as the ‘non-core’, have now become the new core of our product, philosophy and strategy. At the heart of the new core is digital.

Another focus area was aligning our talent initiatives with our new core vision. We launched the Y-Co (Youth Executive Committee) to compliment the Exco (Senior leadership team). The Y-Co is a committee of 15 young stars all in their twenties.

How significant is GroupM India’s role in the group’s global operations? Has GroupM set up any hubs in India to serve global clients?

India is one of the key markets for GroupM worldwide, not just because of its size and growth but the fact that a lot of best practices have been coming out of India. We have a few practices in India that work for clients in other markets as well. Meritus, our analytics unit headed by Sunder Muthuraman, is providing cutting-edge solutions to clients across geographies. We have 90 people in Meritus.

Dialogue Factory, our experiential marketing unit, not only works with a range of clients in India, including top FMCG players, but has spread its wings

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