Fleurot was in the city recently and spoke to Campaign India about what his new role will entail on a global level in general and India in particular. Prior to joining Publicis, Fleurot was with The Financial Times in London as CEO. Talking about the role of India in the current context, Fleurot says, “India is a key market. This decade is the Chinese decade in the way that the next decade should logically be the Indian one.”
Fleurot says that Publicis Groupe is keen on looking at acquiring strategic assets in the PR space in India. “We are looking at potential developments in this space. Maurice Levy has made it clear that at the management level there are two priorities: Digital and the BRIC countries.We recently acquired Razorfish from Microsoft, which was a big step in that direction. I would say about 25% of all our business is now digital. India and other economies in Asia present enormous growth potential.”
“The proof of our interest in this market lies in the fact that 18 months back, we acquired Hanmer and relaunched it as Hanmer MS&L. We are learning to work together. Hanmer has been growing very fast, they were a team of about eight people in 2003, and they have grown to about 400 employees currently,” he adds.
Fleurot admits that while Publicis may have been slow in acquiring assets in segments like PR in India, compared to other holding companies, he sees their potential for growth as an advantage.
“Compared to other holding companies, I would think there is an opportunity for us to grow in areas like new media faster. Not being the biggest then, would actually work as a competitive advantage as we will need to move more quickly. Being leaner would help us in being more nimble. I am currently on a world tour to assess all our PR assets within the company globally,” adds Fleurot.