Wavemaker, GroupM’s new billion-dollar revenue, media, content and technology agency created from the merger of MEC and Maxus marks its 3rd anniversary today, the Agency has witnessed many changes, in September they announced key leadership roles, to adapt to the changing industry dynamics and to continue its dominant position in the media industry.
The agency also won notable accounts like Sun Pharma, Chumbak, E-commerce mandate of Mondelez India, Supr Daily and launched the Vodafone-Idea rebranded brand Vi during the lockdown, it was one of the biggest media campaign amidst the lockdown.
Ajay Gupte, CEO – South Asia, Wavemaker, spoke to us on Wavemaker completing 3 years, changes in the management and the account wins during this pandemic.
How has this year been for you? We are seeing an unprecedented scenario in 2020, How do you see the last quarter unfold and vision for the next 3 years?
2020 has been quite different and challenging for most of the industries and media wasn’t an exception either. In the initial phase of lockdown everyone was grappling with the change, trying to adapt to the new way of living, working from home, and not to mention the fear of the pandemic was very high too. But the teams quickly adapted to the new ways of working from home. As an organisation we ensured we were well equipped to work from home with the right connectivity, data support and the transition was seamless.
A huge thanks to our teams for showcasing great agility and acclimatizing with the changes. The year would not have been easy without the support and trust shown by our clients and partners. Despite being such a tough year, Wavemaker India has managed to clock in new business worth Rs.700+crs. What more could we ask for!
As we are towards the end of this year, we are looking forward to end the year on a positive note. The vision for the coming years is to focus on strengthening our product offerings, automation, data & analytics, and investing to up skilling our talent to drive our recently rolled out Operating System to help our clients grow further.
Wavemaker in this pandemic has seen a lot of changes in leadership, any reasons or it has been a strategic move?
2020 has been a roller coaster ride for all of us and for the industry. For Wavemaker, it has been a great year starting with the changes in the leadership team. We were fortunate to get on board, the hugely experienced Premjeet Singh Sodhi as our Chief Strategy Officer, Mac Machaiah, who is one of the strongest client leaders around; joined us as Head ITC and President Special Projects. Kishankumar Shyamalan, our powerhouse leading our South operations took over the additional responsibility as Chief Growth officer. Mansi Datta, who has been a consistent powerhouse, was promoted to head our North and East operations as CCO and Head North and East. Last and not least, Sandeep Pandey was promoted as Global Head of Analytics at Wavemaker which has been a very proud moment for all of us. Personally, I would describe the current leadership as nothing less than a dream team and there couldn’t have been a better time than this. I am grateful to be leading such an outstanding leadership team supported by the army of 550+ extremely passionate and dedicated Wavemakers.
2020 may have been a very bleak year for many, but for Wavemaker it has been a bonanza, can you take us through the wins?
We are quite thrilled to have a great run with new wins in 2020. Winning new business worth Rs.700+ in such market conditions was not easy. Some of the new wins we have added to our basket of some of the new wins we have added to our basket are Sun pharma, e-commerce mandate of Mondelez, Chumbak, Lido learning, Supr Daily, Glance, and some more. I am extremely grateful for these new wins and would like to acknowledge and thank all our existing and new clients for trusting us with their businesses.
Vodafone -Idea finally merged to become Vi, how did this campaign come about and the strategy behind the rebranding?
We have been partners with Vodafone since it was Max Touch. This is a brand every employee of this organization is deeply in love with. The partnership goes back 19 years and we have been the media partners as the brand underwent many changes from Max Touch to Orange to Hutch to Hutch Pink to Vodafone to Vodafone-Idea and now Vi. We’ve seen the transformation of the brand very closely. The rebranding campaign launch of Vodafone-Idea was one of the highlights for us during the lockdown. If someone would have asked us to roll out such a huge campaign sitting from home a few months ago, we would have dismissed the idea outright. But the team made it possible and it was a huge success. Working on the media roadblock campaign and establishing the brand within 24 hours of its launch is a great feat I am extremely proud of our team. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our media partners Zee network, other leading television channels and digital partners.
A huge thank you to our client who supported us and trusted us through all these years.
Wavemaker has also been extremely busy when it comes to creative content, we have seen some notable campaigns during this lockdown, how were these visualised?
Consumer engagement became highly important in absence of original content during the initial phase of lock down. Brands realised the importance of digital content even more during this phase and started engaging on digital platforms. We are committed to taking clients on a path where they are not just riding a wave but authoring their own culture. This is possible only when you have a team that is not just creative but also deeply rooted in their understanding of consumer and cultural truths. That is precisely where our process begins as well. The diversity in the team helps us ensure that we get the cultural nuances right.
Recently you have also ventured into in house production, any reasons for this?
For us content is not just a value addition that we extend to clients. It is one of the most important pillars in our offerings. However, we also believe that.
We have always managed to be ahead of the curve by offering heavily customised offerings to our clients. To live up 100% to this, we are breaking new ground every day.