Following Publicis Groupe's announcement about its acquisition of Indigo Consulting, which will operate as a unit within the Leo Burnett Group in India, Campaign India spoke to Leo Burnett's Sharma about the development:
CI: What is the background to the development? How long was the conversation on for?
Arvind Sharma (AS): Our view is that all agencies will need to become digital. It may be alright for the next year or year and a half, nut we're beginning to hear from clients that digital can't be an afterthought. We know from the West, that in many cases, digital leads, and other forms of media follow. More importantly, there is a lot of integration and conversions in terms of what we do for campaigns.
We have been scouting around for an outstanding digital agency and we've been wooing for a while, I would say, more than a year.
CI: Why was Indigo selected?
AS: Our choice of Indigo is based on three factors. Firstly, the leader of the agency. Vikas Tandon is an IIM-A graduate with a very broad set of strengths in understanding what clients are trying to do in their business, not just in terms of a campaign. Secondly, Indigo's range of skills is what we were looking for, as well. Thirdly, we were looking for a large agency, with a strength of 150 plus.
CI: How did Leo Burnett deal with digital briefs earlier?
AS: We have a digital team within Leo Burnett and they have worked with a number of clients like P&G, Delhi Daredevils, McDonald's, HPCL and others. But we were looking to scale up and upgrade our expertise, insights and capabilities dramatically.
CI: Are all of Leo Burnett's clients to become Indigo's? Will Indigo also pitch independently?
AS: We live in an 'and' world. Indigo already has an impressive roster of clients and they will continue to service them with the same passion. Their resources and expertise are available to all our clients, and we will be pitching independently and jointly for additional clients.
CI: Purely for logistics, will Indigo be housed within the Leo Burnett office now?
AS: We're very happy to be together and enjoy working together. Indigo will be moving into Leo Burnett's building in Mumbai and Delhi.
CI: Could you tell us more about any acquisitions in the pipeline for Leo Burnett India?
AS: Both, Publicis Groupe and Leo Burnett, have aggressive ambitions for growth in India. So, we are constantly looking for acquisitions. Some conversations are going on. But, there is nothing yet to be announced right away. The moment we are clearer that the strategic fit is good and the benefit to combined portfolio of clients are going to be better than what is being delivered today, we will make the announcements.