Addressing the media in Mumbai on 7 October, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP, announced the launch of WPP India Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation, and the entry of WPP's Data Alliance into India.
The founder of the world's largest communications services holding company also revealed details on the formation of Geometry Global | Encompass Network, besides inaugurating the ISDI WPP School of Communication's campus in Mumbai.
WPP India Corporate Responsibility Foundation
Through ‘WPP India Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation’, all CSR activities of all WPP companies in India have been consolidated under one umbrella. The foundation's vision is to 'Enable children and youth from vulnerable and marginalised communities to achieve their full potential through holistic child development with a focus on education, life skills and health'.
To achieve this, it is launching a Rs 33 crore (USD 5 million) education, life skills and vocational training programme targeted to reach 20,000 children aged 11 to 18 years over the next three years. WPP India CSR Foundation has partnered with Genesis Foundation, Hope For Children and Magic Bus as implementation partners. The programme will engage multiple stakeholders, working with children and teachers besides interacting with local government bodies.
Sorrell said, “India has today established itself as one of the fastest growing world economies enjoying positive growth, however the country continues to be challenged with a large number of unemployed youth, posing as one of the biggest threats. We believe that a challenge of such magnitude requires a programme to be built on the principle of effective partnership. The WPP India CSR Foundation believes that by collaborating with knowledgeable and forward-looking not-for-profits we will ensure the programme's success and sustainability in the long run.”
Prema Sagar, founder trustee, Genesis Foundation, said, “Before education, skills and employability comes the basic right of the child to live a healthy life. To ‘Give Life A Chance’, we provide financial support for life-changing medical intervention for critically ill under-privileged children so that they can learn, play and earn to build a future for themselves. With the support of the WPP network, we look forward to reaching out to and garner more participation from individuals, organisations, hospitals and other NGOs for the cause. This way, we will be able to extend critical support to even more children, who, once they are leading healthy lives, can be educated and skilled to realise their potential."
Ian Correa, director development, Hope for Children, said, “What I appreciate about the WPP approach is that their thought process strives to be considerate, compassionate and complete. It ties into Hope foundation's 'Cradle to Career' strategy of helping children complete school before joining college and acquiring employable skills. We look forward to the children of the programme areas being able to realise their potential as a result of the WPP-Hope foundation partnership."
Pratik Kumar, CEO, Magic Bus, added, “We are honoured to be partnering with WPP towards bettering the lives of over 20,000 children and youth from some of Delhi NCR’s and Mumbai’s poorest neighbourhoods. Our project will work on delivering impact around improved learning outcomes and employability skills, in partnership with local NGOs and organisations.”
The programme will be launched in the last quarter of 2015 and will be rolled out across schools and communities in and around the National Capital Region and the greater Mumbai area.
Data Alliance launched in India
Sorrell also announced the launch of Data Alliance, the WPP company that supports data business, in India. The Mumbai-based operation is the first in the Apac region and will draw upon WPP’s global network to harness data sets.
It will be supported by GroupM (Mindshare, Maxus, MEC, Mediacom, Motivator, Xaxis and Madhouse), Kantar (IMRB, Millward Brown, TNS and Worldpanel), Wunderman and Ogilvy. Data Alliance in India replicates models in United States, United Kingdom and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Anas Ghazi, director of global partnerships, Data Alliance, said, "Data Alliance has successfully implemented ‘data horizontality’ by helping WPP companies access and leverage data creatively and optimally across multiple verticals and geographies. Growing in India is an exciting opportunity for WPP to scale enterprise data assets and partnerships for e-commerce, mobile and social data-driven marketing."
Tushar Vyas, CSO, GroupM South Asia, said, "We are thrilled to help bring Data Alliance to India. Data is forming the foundation layer of smarter decision making and with strong emergence of digital channels data is becoming an increasingly critical part of the conversation with our clients. Data Alliance is a powerful way to help us shape the market and provide competitive advantage to all our clients across a very broad range of data requirements."
Anas Ghazi and Tushar Vyas will drive the India operation, while a local team is being set up.
Mark Read, global CEO, Wunderman, added, "There is a tremendous opportunity for Wunderman in India to work with Data Alliance to bring a much richer set of data into everything we do for clients, from generating insights to targeting our work, to measuring results."
Hemant Mehta, SVP, IMRB International, said, "In today’s complex environment we need to deliver consumer understanding from multiple lenses to our clients. Data Alliance offers the ability to leverage diverse datasets for rich insights across multiple data sources to better understand motivations behind consumer behaviour to help clients transform consumer insight into business impact."
Todd Cullen, chief data officer, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, added, "Ogilvy is excited to be partnering with Data Alliance as we continue to use data to help our clients create seamless experiences for their customers” said . “In particular, the ability to access new data sources in robust, growing markets like India will help us better serve our clients’ ability to achieve this ambition."
Geometry Global | Encompass Network formed
The WPP CEO also revealed the formation of what he labelled as India’s largest experiential marketing network – Geometry Global | Encompass Network (GGEN).
The collaboration between Geometry Global and Encompass will look to leverage global and local strengths of the two experiential marketing companies. The new company will have more than 400 employees across Mumbai and Delhi, and its management and advisory board will comprise senior executives from J Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, Encompass and Geometry Global. The business will be aligned with J Walter Thompson South Asia.
Heading GGEN as chairman will be Encompass MD Roshan Abbas, while CEO Sukrit Singh will assume the same role at the new company. Geometry Global president for India Rahul Saigal will be COO of the new entity.
Sorrell said, "When WPP decided to set up a horizontal activation platform we combined OgilvyAction, G2 and JWT Action (North America) to form Geometry Global. Today, Geometry Global is working for some of the world’s best brands in almost 60 markets around the world. Through this collaboration in India, we’re following up on one of our key global objectives of offering best-in-class full-service experiential marketing services that can help our clients sell more."
GGEN will also work with GroupM through a partnership called Geometry@GroupM. A joint team will use GGEN’s proprietary tools and category and channel understanding to deliver shopper-marketing solutions to GroupM’s clients, informed a WPP statement.
Over the last year, Encompass and GroupM have operated Team1, a partnership delivering a combination of media and on-ground solutions to a few common clients through a single team.
GGEN will extend its reach through collaborations with Go Bananas in Ahmedabad and Showspace in Chennai.