Shreyas Kulkarni

The decision to bring back Webchutney & Isobar under Dentsu Creative is not a reversal of our previous strategy: CEO Amit Wadhwa

Dentsu had absorbed its creative agencies for good, here’s why they brought two back.

Webchutney and Isobar, two acclaimed agencies, have been revived after they and their sibling creative agencies were merged to form Dentsu’s global creative network—Dentsu Creative.

It was a move that caught many by surprise because, after a tumultuous couple of years, Dentsu had managed to unite all its agency brands under one vertical in 2022.

In India, Dentsu Webchutney, Taproot Dentsu, dentsuMB, WATConsult, Isobar, Dentsu Impact, and Perfect Relations were the impacted agencies.

Dentsu Creative in the recent past has won several new clients like Motorola, Aditya Birla Capital, Bharat Benz, Sony Entertainment Television, Sony Sab, Popeyes India, Skore, and Gemini Oils, among others.

The decision to bring back Webchutney & Isobar under Dentsu Creative is not a reversal of our previous strategy: CEO Amit Wadhwa

However, Dentsu Creative CEO Amit Wadhwa maintains that this decision is not a reversal of the company’s previous strategy. He explains to afaqs! what prompted them to make such a move, the leaders who will helm these agency brands, and why he sees competition among the two as an opportunity, and not a threat.

Edited Excerpts:

What prompted Dentsu India to bring back Webchutney and Isobar as separate brands after consuming them and other agency brands to form Dentsu Creative?

The decision to bring back Webchutney and Isobar under Dentsu Creative is not a reversal of our previous strategy, but a smart and pragmatic way to optimise our brand portfolio. 

We are not diluting the Dentsu Creative identity but enhancing it with two sub-brands that have established trust and recognition among our clients and partners. Webchutney and Isobar are no longer independent brands, but complementary pillars of Dentsu Creative. 

This way, we can offer our clients more flexibility and value without confusing them with new and unfamiliar names like Dentsu Creative A and Dentsu Creative B. 

This is the clear and compelling rationale behind this decision.

"It is one P&L for Dentsu in South Asia, regardless of the agency."
Amit Wadhwa

Why did you choose Webchutney and Isobar and not the other creative or digital agencies that were part of Dentsu India?

Dentsu Creative Webchutney and Dentsu Creative Isobar have an exceptional track record of excellence and leadership within the market.

Their impressive portfolio of work and numerous awards attest to their outstanding performance and innovative approaches. They boast a loyal client base that recognises and values their expertise and collaborative partnerships.

Additionally, Dentsu Creative Webchutney and Dentsu Creative Isobar possess a team of talented individuals who are passionate about driving change and shaping the future of the industry. 

Leveraging their legacy and reputation, we aim to enhance our overall offering and solidify our competitive edge in the industry. We have full confidence that their inclusion will further fuel our growth potential and reinforce our commitment to delivering exceptional results for our clients and partners.

Amit Wadhwa
Amit Wadhwa

Which kind of leaders will now head these agency brands, and will they report to you?

Each sub-brand will be headed by a distinguished leader in their respective domains. Indrajeet Mookherjee will lead Dentsu Creative Webchutney, Sahil Shah will spearhead Dentsu Creative Isobar and Sanjeev Anand will oversee Dentsu Creative PR. 

Moreover, Dentsu Creative Webchutney and Dentsu Creative Isobar will each have their respective chief creative officers (CCOs). Surjo Dutt will oversee the creative output for Dentsu Creative Webchutney, while the announcement of Dentsu Creative Isobar's creative head will be made soon.

All these leaders will report directly to me, ensuring a cohesive and unified strategic direction across our creative agencies.

How will you manage the competition that will brew between Webchutney and Isobar because they will compete against each other?

We do not see competition as a threat but as an opportunity. Competition drives us to be better, to challenge ourselves, and to deliver the best solutions for our clients. 

Dentsu Creative Webchutney and Dentsu Creative Isobar are two distinct brands that will bring different strengths and value propositions to Dentsu Creative’s portfolio of services. 

Dentsu Creative Webchutney will focus on the craft of digital creativity, delivering ideas that are innovative, brand-building, and have never been done before. Dentsu Creative Isobar will not just focus on creativity but on the entire digital experience. 

They will help clients create engaging and meaningful interactions with their audiences across all touchpoints. There is an overlap, but also a differentiation, between the two brands. They will collaborate and complement each other when needed, to offer the best solutions to our clients. 

Together, they will strengthen Dentsu Creative’s position as a leader in digital transformation and modern creativity.

Are there plans to bring back other agency brands that Dentsu Creative absorbed?

We believe our current sub-brand portfolio, consisting of Dentsu Creative Webchutney, Dentsu Creative Isobar, and Dentsu Creative PR, along with our overarching Dentsu Creative brand, provides the ideal mix of capabilities to effectively serve our clients and partners. 

Each of these sub-brands offers distinctive positioning and specialised services, contributing to our ability to deliver value and excellence. We are confident that this carefully curated brand portfolio aligns with our strategic goals and will continue to drive success in our endeavours.

Will there be a different P&L for Webchutney and Isobar, or will it come under Dentsu Creative?

Yes, it will be one P&L. We operate under one P&L for all markets. Therefore, it is one P&L for Dentsu in South Asia, regardless of the agency.

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