Realigned DDB Mudra ups ante for APAC push

29 Feb,2012

By A Correspondent

 

After a realigning and restructuring exercise that stretched through to 100 days plus and with several key appointments and a few exits later, the DDB-Mudra alliance presented itself in a new avatar as the DDB Mudra Group at an event in Mumbai yesterday. The event was made interesting by having the APAC, Japan and India Chairman & CEO of DDB, John Zeigler announce the key milestones to the gathering.

 

While the top-level realigning at the group was made known earlier to one and all, the event also witnessed a couple of other key announcements from the group. These included the entry of TracyLocke, one of the world’s most awarded shopper marketing agencies into India and the decision to make Water, the strategic branding and design consultancy to join the Interbrand network and represent Interbrand in India.

 

With a client roster that boasts the likes of HP, T-Mobile, Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, Gatorade, Tropicana, PepsiCo, Sony and Unilever’s Lipton, TracyLocke will be managed in India by Pratap Bose, Chief Operating Officer of DDB Mudra Group. According to Jim Sexton, Global Chief Marketing Officer of TracyLocke, “Once we saw the level of retail expertise and comprehensive knowledge of the India consumer and shopper at DDB MudraMax, we knew we had the perfect fit. We look forward to delivering to our clients a unique brand of shopper marketing relevant to each segment of the Indian market. Additionally, we hope to share proprietary marketing tools that we can take from India to the rest of the world.”

 

As for the revitalised DDB Mudra Group, the network in India will be split as DDB Mudra, Mudra and DDB MudraMax. Accordingly the group has adopted a new structure, brand identity, colours and architecture that will drive forward the change. The new structure will comprise eight branded agencies as follows: DDB Mudra – the Influence & behavioural change agency with a pan India presence across Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai; DDB MudraMax – the Experience & Engagement agency which offers Media, Out-Of-Home, Retail and Experiential; Mudra – the partnership for entrepreneurs agency with a pan India presence across Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai; DDB Health & Lifestyle – Health & Lifestyle Solutions practice; RAPP – data driven marketing services agency; Tribal DDB India – interactive & new media agency; Water – Brand & Design consultancy and Maatra – localisation & pre-media services agency.

 

Elaborating on the proposed management structure, Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO and MD, DDB Mudra Group said that while he was proud of Mudra’s past, he is equally excited about the future. According to Kamath, the executive board committee will comprise of Sonal Dabral, Chairman & CCO, DDB Mudra Group, Pratap Bose, COO – DDB Mudra Group, Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO & MD, DDB Mudra Group, Dilipkumar Upadhyaya, CFO and Ajit Menon, EVP – DDB Mudra Group. Excited about the largescale realigning, Kamath said that the new venture would see DDB Mudra emerging amongst the fastest and topmost agency in a few months from now. He was also in praise of his clients of whom he said that about 40 per cent of them access more than one business service of the Group, which speaks volumes of the solutions and services that the group has to offer.

 

Earlier, John Zeigler began by highlighting the growth of DDB Worldwide and how it is looking at Asia Pacific, led especially by India, to drive its expansion into the region. “Current figures suggest our growth split as 44 per cent from Europe, 38 per cent from North America, 6 per cent from Latin America and 11 per cent from Asia Pacific. Our core focus would be to increase the pie of Asia Pacific to a large sum going forward and this would be driven by India which is being seen as a leading market in marketing communications by most agencies.” In a one-on-one conversation with MxMIndia, Mr Zeigler was hopeful of deriving a modest growth across APAC as he said, “With the kind of businesses we have in India we should be able to achieve a growth rate of 25 per cent plus. As for our other agencies across Asia Pacific, we had a compounded growth rate in excess of 30 per cent year on year.”

 

Mr Zeigler further highlighted how DDB’s model was unique in the sense that it captured both local and global sentiments of its clients and offered services that were unmatched in nature. The idea, according to Zeigler, was to be seen as an agency offering local solutions to international clients who wanted to tap outside markets as well as offering international solutions to local clients who wanted outside exposure to derive local growth.

 

On getting TracyLocke to India, Mr Ziegler said, “As one of the leading shopper marketing agencies in US andEurope, TracyLocke brings vital shopper insight and great creativity into our future. The launch in India is its entry intoAsiaand will be providing vast opportunities for the entire DDB Asia Pacific group.” The summit is to be conducted next month and will showcase the experience, skill sets, global practices and learning of the entire DDB Asia Pacific region which has distinguished itself in 2011 with several impressive wins including Spikes Asia’s Network Agency of the Year 2010 and 2011, and AdFest Network Agency of the Year. The summit will be attended by Chuck Brymer, President and CEO of DDB Group Worldwide; John Zeigler, Chairman & CEO, DDB Asia Pacific, India & Japan; and Patrick Rona, Tribal DDB Asia Pacific’s President and Chief Digital Officer for DDB Group Asia Pacific, as well as an overseas contingent of senior agency personnel from across the Asia Pacific region.

 

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