Indian media agencies can lead in the technology game

Part two of our build-up to Media360 India. Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India presents his viewpoint

Oct 06, 2017 07:49:00 AM | Article | Shashi Sinha

We are living in a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.  Nothing is as it was and the fast changing media landscape is a testimony to that.  Technology enables us to decipher and navigate, as well as leverage it for success. The increasing importance of tech in advertising and marketing is evident from the share of conversations in our industry. Even at Cannes, there has been a dominant and ever increasing presence of tech companies like Instagram/Facebook, Snapchat, Google and others in the last few years.
Technology has changed how people communicate, connect, experience and discover.  Media and Technology are intertwined and have a symbiotic relationship – one needs the other to grow and be successful.  And to my mind this is the best thing that can happen to our industry.
Both industries cannot exist in isolation and we cannot grow and change if we don’t work in collaboration. Since technology is changing society faster than we can imagine, businesses need to evolve at an equal speed.

The conventional definition of media agency has changed and we are augmenting the traditional media business by building the future around 5 pillars – Data Analytics, Mobile & Digital Tech, Social, Partnerships & Content and Creativity. It is technology that is at the core of each of these 5 pillars. However, while these tenets are crucial to build the network of tomorrow, it is also important to look at these objectively.
It is my firm belief that Indian media agencies can lead in the technology game and not just duplicate the west. And that’s what we should strive to achieve as an industry. In a recent interview, Sundar Pichai said how insights from India are helping Google create global products. Two products, Youtube Go and Google Tez were tested and launched in India first and were then taken global. Most of you know about Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant. IPG Mediabrands India has developed a technology in-house that is equally big and is poised to provide great solutions at a global level. Ansible, our full service mobile marketing agency  has launched the first chatbot for one of India’s biggest FMCG companies, which the company’s US counterpart is now taking global. It’s not just a huge milestone for us as a network but a breakthrough moment for the industry. Such momentous and innovative work can set us apart from the rest of the world and help us carve a niche for ourselves and for the world to follow.