Analysis: Will Omnicom upset the applecart?

01 Nov,2011

By Tuhina Anand

Now for years, Omnicom has been trying to gain a greater share in the Indian market, but it has finally managed to get it right with the Mudra acquisition.

It has been making moves recently to gain a foothold in the Indian market by debuting in the country its media agency OMD and then by bringing creative agency BBDO. Omnicom also acquired 100 per cent stake in TBWA but the coup is definitely getting Mudra and the talks of majority stakes turning to 100 per cent stake, Omnicom will in one sweep manage to pocket a sizeable chunk of the advertising pie in India.

In fact, the seriousness of India as a market could be gauged from the fact that Tim Love , the Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom, Asia Pacific India Middle East Africa (APIMA) region has always pointed to his business card which puts India separately and not club as part of Asia or APAC as is the norm. He had stressed during his meetings that this showed how important is India as a market for Omnicom and its commitment to the country.

Many youngsters in the agency have applauded Omnicom’s present move in Mudra, hoping that it would give the agency a fresh lease of life. Not to forget that Mudra has been on an overdrive in the last two years, with the agency winning awards at the national festival. Recently the network (DDB) also won at SpikesAsia so there has been a buzz. Its sub-brands Water, its strategy and design consultancy unit and Terra, bottom of pyramid marketing had also been launched earlier with much fanfare.

In fact, with Mudra’s acquisition, Omnicom gains in getting hold of a fully integrated advertising services agency which otherwise would have been difficult if the latter had gone doing things on its own. Currently, Mudra has- Mudra India, DDB Mudra, Mudra Max and Ignite Mudra and each of these have their own strategic business units like Mudra India has 5 SBUs including Mudra West, Mudra South and Mudra North & East. Water, a strategy & design specialist, and Maatra, a localization & pre-media specialist. DDB Mudra comprises four strategic business units, DDB India, Tribal DDB India, RAPP India and DDB Health & Lifestyle. Mudra Max consists of 16 strategic business units that provide clients seamless solutions across a wide array of media touchpoints.

In the months to follow, it would be interesting to see how Omnicom would try to bring its own flavour to Mudra. Also how would its other agencies like BBDO, TBWA and OMD be placed in the scheme of things and continue as independent units would be worth the watch. But one thing is sure with this move Omnicom has suddenly leapt in the big circle as there is no denying that Mudra has the pedigree that can give Omnicom though a late entrant, a name and grip in the industry that it has been trying for long but had not succeded ealier.

More importantly, will this move shake the WPPs who have well-settled in the Indian industry? After all, any new player comes with the big intentions which if not shakes the sedentary life of the oldies but definitely puts them on their edges. Only time will tell.

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One response to “Analysis: Will Omnicom upset the applecart?”

  1. Mulchand Dedhai says:

    Amazing article.