Four significant announcements were made at a press briefing at DDB Mudra House in Mumbai yesterday.
The new DDB Mudra Group organisation structure
Renamed as DDB Mudra Group, the network in India has adopted a new structure, brand identity, colours and architecture. The Group will now comprise eight branded agencies as follows: DDB Mudra, DDB Mudra Max, Mudra, DDB Health & Lifestyle, RAPP, Tribal DDB India, Water, and Maatra.
The executive board will comprise Madhukar Kamath (group chief executive officer and managing director), Pratap Bose (group chief operating officer), Sonal Dabral (chairman and chief creative officer), Dilip Upadhyaya (chief financial officer), and Ajit Menon (executive director – organisational development).
As per the senior management restructure announced last week, where Rajiv Sabnis, Vandana Das and Ranji Cherian were given mandates for Mumbai, Delhi and South respectively, Kamath said, “Worldwide, DDB functions as city agencies, complete in themselves, but bound by the network.”
On DDB Mudra and Mudra being positioned as differentiated offerings in the same space, he said, “Mudra will remain the agency for partnering with entrepreneurs. DDB Mudra will handle larger clients and the network clients.” He added that part of the reason the two will stay separate is also to solve the problem of competing client businesses.
The launch of Tracy Locke in India
Jim Sexton, global chief marketing officer, Tracy Locke, announced the setting up of the shopper marketing agency in India as a “gateway to Asia”. Tracy Locke, part of the DDB Worldwide Network, will fit into the DDB Mudra Group in partnership with Mudra Max. Tracy Locke India will be managed by Pratap Bose.
John Ziegler, chairman and chief executive officer of DDB Group Asia Pacific, India & Japan, said, “Tracy Locke brings vital shopper insight and great creativity into our future. Tracy Locke is one of the world’s leading shopper marketing agencies having led the industry in both the US and Europe. The launch in India is its entry into Asia – providing vast opportunities for the entire DDB Group Asia Pacific group.”
Sexton said, “Once we saw the level of retail expertise and comprehensive knowledge of the India consumer and shopper at DDB Mudra Max, 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.”
Bose said, “The entry of Tracy Locke complements the DDB Mudra Max ‘feet-on-the-street’ strengths and given our huge footprint in India, I believe that the Tracy Locke India model will certainly add huge value to both our global and retail brands.”
Water becomes part of the Interbrand network
DDB Mudra Group’s strategic branding and design consultancy, Water, will join the Interbrand network and will represent Interbrand in India (Interbrand is a part of the Omnicom Group). Water will continue to be led by Ashish Mishra, its chief strategist and head.
Simon Bailey, chief executive officer, EMEA & LatAm, Interbrand, said, “It is clearly an exciting development that Water will shortly become Interbrand in India. I join Jez Frampton, global chief executive officer, Interbrand, in extending a warm welcome to the team and in conveying our excitement at the prospect of accelerating the growth of Interbrand in India. This is an extremely positive development and Jez and I both see a bright future ahead.”
Kamath said, “Water is no stranger to Interbrand and, in fact, Ashish Mishra has worked closely with Interbrand on some of its projects in India. We are very excited that the best in India is teaming up with the best in the world in order to provide best in class business solutions to our clients in India.”
It is learnt that Viren Razdan, who was managing director of Interbrand in India, has opted out of the new arrangement. Further details from Interbrand about their operations in India can be read here.
DDB Group Asia Pacific to host regional summit in India
The fourth announcement was that DDB Group Asia Pacific will host its regional summit from 26 to 28 March 2012, in Mumbai. It will be attended by Chuck Brymer, president and chief executive officer of DDB Group Worldwide, Zeigler, 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.
Zeigler said, “The summit is going to be a gathering of our senior management from across the region focusing on the greater opportunities of what DDB Mudra Group brings to the network. It will also be a time for us to share our successes and best practices from across our offices and disciplines.”
(CI Note: This article has been updated with a link to a conversation with Interbrand's global CEO Jez Frampton on Water becoming a part of the network)