Type of agency: Media
Company ownership: Publicis
Key personnel: Ravi Kiran, CEO, South East & South Asia, Ambika Tiku, business director and country lead, Starcom IP, Sandeep Lakhina, MD, India- West & South, Tarun Nigam, executive director, India – North, Nikhil Rangnekar, executive director, India-West
Accounts won Future Generali, Diageo
Accounts lost P&G (communication planning), ING Vysya Life, Bharat Matrimony
By its own admission, 2008 was a mixed bag of sorts for this Publicis subsidiary. It won some, its lost some and most importantly it retained most. Big wins at industry award events also eluded the agency this year. And some of its key personnel such as Hari Shankar and Sindhuja Rai also quit.
The biggest asset of Starcom Mediavest India, its head, however stayed. Ravi Kiran, who was handed additional responsibilities of the South East Asia region as CEO D Sriram moved on, kept the India office’s spirits high.. However, Starcom focussed on consolidating businesses it had won in 2007: Future Group; Jet Airways; Kotak Group and Samsung.
The agency invested considerably in growing its specialist units: Navia; Xpanse; Enhance and Relay Worldwide, while relaunching Starcom Entertainment as The Bridge.
Most importantly, two developments that particularly would have made the agency proud were: Introduction of ‘Intent’ as the new measure of marketing accountability and ‘Starburst’ – agency’s new Academic Outreach Program. It implemented several new proprietary tools such as Abacus and Amigo and their TV suite ‘Tardis’ became even more powerful with its 14th upgrade in three years.
The agency managed to hire people from different industries including Sandeep Lakhina who came as MD-West & South from Coca Cola and Ravi Balakrishnan of Brand Equity who joined Xpanse as associate director.
Campaign Score: 8
How STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP rates itself: 7
2008 was a mixed year for Starcom MediaVest Group in India. We consolidated a lot of accounts we had won in 2007, which meant we got more selective in pitching for new businesses. While some key people quit, several senior managers joined us including Ambika Tiku , Anand Krishnan and Sandeep Lakhina. Strong focus on succession planning led to effective leadership transition in our Mumbai and Bangalore offices. One thing very close to my heart is introduction of ‘Intent’ as the new measure of marketing accountability and our demonstration of that conviction by unveiling the break-through proprietary and ongoing study ‘Intentrack’. But it’s not as if we didn’t have our share of setbacks. We lost the Procter & Gamble communication planning business after eight years. Big wins at industry awards such as the Emvees and the GoaFest eluded us and thus, the score: 7.