In an important move, Publicis Groupe has decided to split Solutions Digitas into two separate, stand-alone companies under its umbrella -- Digitas India and Solutions India. While Digitas India will specialise in digital creative, technology, strategic planning and CRM services, Solutions India will deal with retail and experiential marketing services.
In other words, the two will continue to function under the VivaKi agency portfolio, but with separate profit and loss statements to account for, and separate set-ups and teams.
According to Stephen Beringer, president, Digitas International, this has been done because the market in India is approaching a technology tipping point, and digital services will increasingly become an in-demand expertise.
Kanika Mathur will head Digitas India as president, and will report to Vincent Digonnet, president of network operations, APAC, Digitas. "Our digital communication in India has reached a point where it needs to be focussed in a specific and specialised entity, to deliver the results expected by both our multinational and national clients," says Digonnet. "By officially declaring the purpose and focus of Digitas India, we are further strengthening our network offering and establishing a clear accountability to ourselves and our clients," he says.
Mathur adds that the team expects a 30-40 per cent year-on-year digital spending growth in India.
To put things into perspective, Solutions Integrated Marketing Services was set up around 15 years ago, and in 2005, it became a part of the Publicis Groupe. In early 2008, it got aligned with global digital agency Digitas and became Solutions Digitas. It soon thereafter set up a separate unit or division in Chennai functioning under it, called Digitas India (simply because the digital team was based in Chennai, but this unit continued to be a part of the larger Solutions Digitas stable).
"With the digital market growing so exponentially, it was time to separate Solutions and Digitas, for us to be able to give focus and attention to our digital offerings," says Mathur. Partho Sinha will head Solutions India for the time being as its national creative director, and will report to Mathur. Eventually, a head for Solutions India will be recruited as well.