Interview: Consolidation gives you the option of scaling up in a short span – Amit Wadhwa on Dentsu Impact Digital

Dentsu Impact

Amit Wadhwa, President, Dentsu Impact puts the spotlight on the need to be digitally creative and why consolidation is a good option.

A creative agency at heart, Dentsu Impact expanded its portfolio and expertise by recently setting up a new division – Dentsu Impact Digital. With Carlsberg India, Editorji, and the most recent addition being Subway, the agency kicked off 2019 on a high note.

The prowess of digital is not something to be proved since it is out and out there. In a recent interview with Social Samosa, Ashish Bhasin, CEO Greater South, and Chairman and CEO India, Dentsu Aegis Network stated that if you are not digitally ahead and if you don’t have digital at the heart of your product – you are not going to able to survive. “I don’t think there will be anything like a digital agency – every agency will have to have digital abilities and that’s the area where naturally we as DAN have taken the lead in India”.

Taking the conversation ahead with Amit Wadhwa we dig deeper into how the agency plans to strengthen its digital arm, the clients on board and the future of niche agencies.

Excerpts:

What was the idea behind forming a digital wing for Dentsu Impact especially when DAN has one of the leading digital agencies as part of its network?

Dentsu Impact is a brand agency which has creative right at the center of its offering. With the changing times, digital has evolved into a very important medium. If any agency limits itself to just the traditional mediums for communicating their idea then they are shortchanging the brand.

Any and every creative agency needs to master this medium to be really called a creative agency and the one who do not, won’t be able to survive for too long.

With this very objective, we started our digital wing – Dentsu Impact digital. This helps us express our ideas irrespective of the mediums.

Having said that we do have some leading digital agencies within the group and we still do continue to collaborate with them in the domains where we don’t intend to get into. For e.g. when it comes to media buying, planning or technology front we still are and will be collaborating with them. On the creative front, there is more than enough business for us to happily distribute amongst ourselves.

What is the objective and key focus areas keeping in mind Dentsu Impact Digital?

The key objective of Dentsu Impact will be completely brand ownership from the brand core idea to the creative execution whatever the medium be. Specifically to the Dentsu Impact digital, we will be extremely particular about the brand core, tonality and messaging and then basis the medium we will figure what will work best without losing the brand essence. For this specific reason, we have a great mix of people who understand the brand as well as experts who understand the medium. This to me is the perfect mix.

Also Read: Dentsu impact wins creative and digital mandate for Editorji

Any separate set of clients on board for digital or you going with the retainer ones?

Currently, we have onboard existing brands such as Maruti Suzuki, Carlsberg, Subway, Max Healthcare, Roca and more whom we had an existing relationship which got extended to the digital relationship too. But there are many dialogues which are on beyond existing relationships too. Fingers crossed.

How will the agency business and PNL get impacted?

Naturally, the business is getting positively impacted, not just from added revenue from the digital side, but we also become a lucrative option for any client to see how seamlessly we understand the brand as well as the medium. Something that any client would expect for their brand(s).

Of late, we have seen a number of consolidations happening. Is it the only way forward? Also, what do you think is the future of niche agencies then?

Consolidation gives you the option of scaling up in quick time, hence it is a good option for sure. The challenge over there is imbibing the culture into the new entity, which if smartly managed is possible. In short, it is surely an option but certainly not the only option. If we pick the right people around us, we can also build it up from scratch.

Niche agencies will have a role to play but the strength of a niche agency multiplies the moment they get attached to a bigger group that can deliver holistic solutions.


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