Around a year and a half ago, Rohit Ohri, the newly appointed executive chairman of Dentsu India, had gone for one of the first pitch presentations for GlaxoSmithkline's pain relief balm Iodex – a brand which had been with Ohri's former organisation JWT for decades. It's not everyday that the executive chairman of an agency is present at a pitch, but what was even more unusual was what happened there. “The first day when I went to make the presentation, I was astounded because till date I never had to oversell the credentials of the agency I represented. Convincing the client that why this agency needs to be considered was a different experience,” said Ohri. Dentsu lost that battle to Leo Burnett which won the creative duties for Iodex.
That incident was an eye-opener for Ohri. It revealed the cracks in the Japanese agency's operations in India and how it had fallen far behind its competitors. Dentsu Inc. is Asia's biggest advertising agency and the world's fifth largest advertising group but its India story hasn't been much to write home about. Most clients that came their way were because of their Japanese ties, and even here it was getting difficult to
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