After months of speculation, BBH has put the finishing touches to its India plans and has finalized its three member core management team to lead its Indian operations: former NCD of Grey, Priti Nair, former chief strategy officer of Publicis India, Partha Sinha and former group CEO, Bates 141, Subhash Kamath.
Having decided not to structure the agency along separate disciplines like planning, creative and business, BBH will not have siloed departments. The three have chosen to take on the title of managing partners rather than titles like CEO, creative head etc. Nair says the agency will be operational by end 2008, the three partners will own an equity stake in the Indian operations. Simon Sherwood, global CEO, BBH says, “It became clear to me that, if we needed to attract the best people, build a proposition for them that would be motivating and incentivising, then sharing in the equity participation would be a significant factor. BBH will have a substantial majority but there will be equity participation from all three.”
Explaining the need for an India office at this point of time, Sherwood says, “It’s always been our ambition to be an effective global business and we have been looking to cut a global footprint that matches that of our clients. It’s impossible to say that it’s a job well done without having a presence in this market. So, in order for us to be competitive, it’s been apparent for a while now that we would need to have a presence here. It’s been on the agenda for a couple of years and now we are about to go live with a presence in this market. It’s like a piece of the jigsaw that fits in.”
Kamath says that, along with global business, they would be pitching for local businesses. “We are very clear that we cannot be dependent only on global businesses. We will certainly start with global alignments. A few years down the line, I can see a fairly good balance between global and local clients in our agency.”
Adds Sinha, “To create something meaningful itself is challenging. It’s easy to be sitting in an existing system and try to “grow” in terms of designation rather than try and create something original. Creating something original is always challenging. If anything, the time is right for a startup.”