MSL Group on overdrive with social media

16 Feb,2012


By Rishi Vora


MSL Group, the Publicis Groupe’s flagship speciality communications and engagement network, is upbeat about its foray into the growing world of social media. Afer it acquired communications major Hanmer & Partners and later PR and social media firms 20:20 Media and 20:20 Social respecitively, it has now clubbed the social media practices of Hanmer and 20:20 Social under the umbrella of MSL Group India Social.


The group has adopted a unique approach towards tapping the social space for clients in India and abroad – it has created three key capabilities: Plan, Build and Engage. Of the two, Plan and Build are the revenue-drivers, wherein a lot of work goes into providing insights, strategy planning and developing web, mobile and social applications; creating content, communities and conversations.


The company recently launched its proprietary tool – The People’s Lab, a global crowdsourcing platform and approach designed to help businesses embrace innovations. It is a platform which works across multiple application areas; provides end-to-end support, including custom design and content creation.


In 2010, Dell India used an early version of People’s Lab platform to create the Dell Go Green challenge for design students and others to share ideas on how to redesign, reuse and recycle gadgets to make them go green. The idea to create Dell Go Green challenge came from the fact that the client owned a recycling programme, besides having conducted several other CSR programmes.


A mini site was created using the People’s Lab and the result was quite pleasing: About 650 ideas got shared, 25,000 members on Facebook and 8,000 votes.


As is known, Gaurav Mishra launched 20:20 Social and now heads the group’s social media business in India. He is Asia Director – Social Media, MSL Group. Mr Mishra told MxMIndia that the company now plans to launch many more tools that will offer clients comprehensive social media solutions. “Our core differentiation in the social media space is in offering tools; we are in the business to create platforms which bring people together and programmes which energise people. We want to create more tools, more frameworks, so that we can go to clients and offer them solutions that’ll contribute in solving much bigger problems.”


Parveez Modak

People’s Lab was created in India, led by Parveez Modak and is now sold to clients in Singapore and Italy. “We’re discussing with clients in US, Poland, Taiwan, and in India,” informed Mr Mishra.


He added: “Once we have developed enough tools and capabilities in India, we will look to educate whole of our network and make efforts to spread awareness to our group companies in different parts of the world.”


MSL Group India Social is now working towards creating a corporate citizenship offering globally. As Mr Mishra explained, it is a network of 150 senior members of the group spread across regions – board members, global board members, regional presidents and others. The idea is to bring forward a thought leadership team that can provide insights, views and opinions on various topics ranging from “How clients are looking at Change Management Differently” to Employee Engagement, Corporate Citizenship, Innovation, business opportunities and so on.


How will the Social space evolve in India? Where is it headed? What kind of solutions are clients seeking from specialists? According to Mr Mishra, the market for social media services will pick up dramatically now, and clients will be on the lookout for companies that possess the talent to develop in-house capabilities, and solve greater and much complex marketing solutions within the social space.


Globally, MSL Group has about 200 professionals dedicated to social media; about 60 of them in Asia and, for now, 30 in India. Mr Modak, who other than social media also leads the integration function at Hanmer and Mr Narendra Nag at 20-20 Social constitute Mr Mishra’s core team for MSL Group India Social.

“Revenue-wise, India is still fairly small, China is becoming increasingly big in terms of size of the market, but there is ample opportunity in India,” concluded Mr Mishra.

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