afaqs!

It's business as usual for GroupM's Kulshreshta

By , agencyfaqs! | In | June 09, 2004
Handling the Rs 80-crore LG Electronics is no cake-walk as Rajul Kulshreshta discovers after taking over from Sai Nagesh as head of the LG business at GroupM


There are no prizes for guessing that from an advertising professional's point of view, the challenges of heading the LG Electronics account are massive, given the size and scale of the Korean chaebol's operations in India. That the account is pegged at Rs 80-crore is by itself a huge reason why LG Electronics is taken very seriously by the ad world.

So, when Sai Nagesh, the former head of the LG Electronics business at GroupM, quit - there was a lot of interest as to who would take up Nagesh's position.

Enter Rajul Kulshreshta, erstwhile vice-president, media services at Universal McCann, Delhi.

Back in India after an overseas stint with Zenith-Optimedia, Indonesia and later with CNBC, Singapore for one-and-a-half years, Kulshreshta has spent thirteen years in the media business; eleven of which were at Universal McCann.

Kulshreshta told agencyfaqs! that his single-most objective is to make the LG brand "meaningful and effective in media". "The visibility for LG exists.....what is required is to be meaningful and effective," he elaborated.

Prior to GroupM, the media duties of LG Electronics were discharged by Initiative. Early this year, LG had called for a pitch and subsequently GroupM won the account in February 2004. Following this victory, the agency set up a separate unit to manage the affairs of the account. The GroupM-Team LG unit currently has twenty members on board.

Now, given the fact that LG has set its sights at achieving an ambitious turnover target of Rs 7,000 crore for the current year -- up from Rs 4,500 crore during last year, and since the role of advertising and marketing in achieving this objective cannot be ruled out, isn't GroupM looking at hiring more people?
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Kulshreshta maintains there is no "immediate need" for hiring. "The size of the unit is fine for now," he says. "When needed, we will hire more people."

This year, LG has set aside a total media spend of Rs 125 crore, of which Rs 45 crore will be dispensed through LG's branch offices for BTL (below-the-line) or POP (point-of-purchase)-related activities, stationary et al. This spend is basically earmarked for local, region-specific work.

The company had also realigned its panel of creative agencies with McCann-Erickson in custody of the product portfolio called Digital Display Media (colour televisions, audio and plasma display products), while O&M is in charge of the Digital Appliances Company (home appliances) and rmg david has the GSM mobile phones business.

Kulshreshta declined to spell out his plans for LG. He, however, seemed confident of maintaining consistency of delivery on the business, despite being absent from the thick of the action in the Indian market for about 18 months. "The media landscape hasn't changed much," he says. "The people managing the operations are the same." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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