Omnicom stake hike in Mudra to hone India focus

| | Updated on: Nov 02, 2011
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The hike in stake in the Anil Ambani-owned agency, Mudra Communications, by global network Omnicom to a majority one will allow it to invest more in services, support and people. While refraining to confirming what stake it has in Mudra now, nor what it paid for the stake, Mr John Wren, President & CEO, Omnicom Group Inc, said, “This is more about a partnership, the talent and increasing our reach in the marketplace so we can grow faster and create more opportunities in India.”

Asked what events lead to the stake sale at this juncture (Omnicom held a 10 per cent stake for the past 20 years), Mr Wren said, “I can’t point to one event that triggered it, we have had an interest for a long time, it’s just that the stars aligned now. The primary thrust of agreement is furthering the partnership we’ve had all these years. Obviously, I am very happy and that’s why I am here.”

Mr Wren, who is here for the AdAsia, said this will deepen its partnership and hone its India focus and help Omnicom leverage India and build more capabilities as well as develop a deeper relationship with Reliance “and with all the people Mudra has assembled.” “ We are just pleased as punch , it’s probably the difference between having a steady girlfriend and getting married, some requirements may change a bit, much else may not change,” explained Mr Wren, grinning broadly, adding that the management in India will not change.

Mr Wren said he sees tremendous opportunity in India here and a lot of global clients who also see the attractiveness of India will come here. “And I need world class talent here as I do in any other part of the world. The group that he, (Madhukar Kamath, MD & CEO, who was present at the interview), has assembled gives me immediate access to a number of talented people and with the increase in profile we will be able to attract more talented people and in turn we will get more clients. It’s worked for me almost every place elsewhere in the world.”

The ventures that work the best are those that keep a balance of good local clients and international ones. Over a period of time if an agency has serious domestic companies making up the majority of one’s client base they would be successful, he emphasised.

Asked if Omnicom is on the hunt to acquire digital expertise in India, Mr Wren said, “Two years from now, no one will be making the distinction if it’s digital or not because evertything is going effectively digital. We use digital as a channel. It is another way of reaching consumers and doing things. When you look at the demographics of our agencies around the world, most of them are populated by young people and they drive us too. So,we have a great complement of digital people. Some of our competitiors have spent a lot of money in acquiring digital only companies. That is their strategy, but our strategy is to make all our employees digitally aware.” Mr Kamath added that recently MICA conducted a programme to make the whole agency up to speed with the new medium.

Published on March 12, 2018

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