Alokananda Chakraborty

I don't want Maximize to be seen as a one-man agency: CVL Srinivas, MD, Maximize

The newly appointed agency head unveils his plans two months after taking charge

CVL Srinivas, MD, Maximize, is clear that he would like the media agency to be a "growth engine" for holding company GroupM, which has eight other operating units apart from Maximize in India.

Srinivas, who took over from Bashab Sarkar in January this year, has a five-point agenda for the agency. This, he hopes, will help fructify his vision of making Maximize a media organisation in the "truest sense".

"The basic requirement," he says, "is to have a long-term view of media and the client's business, and to make the system accountable in a professional manner. I do not want Maximize to be seen as a one-man agency, nor do I want to create personalities."

Job rotation is high on his agenda. "One of the most important initiatives for me is to bring in some excitement for the media planner. Typically, a media planner's job tends to be very monotonous, and, if there is no rotation of jobs, he or she will stagnate."

Exporting talent abroad is another key job on Srinivas' list of priorities. "This way, superlative performers get an opportunity to understand international markets and cultures," he says.

The ex-Madison Media hand, who was in charge of the north and south regions in his earlier stint, is keen on seeing a greater synergy of the creative and media functions. "Most mature marketers realise that media should be working in tandem with creative because that is how the brand stands to gain."

The AOR culture, he points out, has been instrumental in isolating media. Though it is difficult to do away with the system, the need of the hour is to ensure a positive rub-off of the creative function on media and vice versa. "There are ways and means of ensuring that. And we are working on it," he says.

With clients such as Hero Honda, Hutch, Standard Chartered Bank, Oracle, Wipro, Himalaya and Pidilite among others, Srinivas is looking to classify the agency portfolio on the basis of individual advertiser requirements. "There are four tasks in a media agency," he says. "Operations, strategy, negotiations and client servicing. If we understand what each client requires and meet their needs accordingly, I don't think we will spread ourselves too thin."

Maximize, along with other operating units in the group, will see the rollout of a new structure, which moves away from the traditional assembly-line operation that characterises a media agency. The new structure will comprise business groups with separate planners, buyers and operations-level executives for each client. There will be two hubs, namely, a Consumer Connect Group (CCG) and Channel Trading Group (CTG), formed at the group level, specialising in strategy and buying.

"The CCG and CTG will be the core units for the entire group for members of individual business groups to tap into whenever there is need for inputs on consumer or channel trends, industry benchmarks et al," says Srinivas. "The objective is to ensure that clients get the best of both worlds, and, specific to Maximize, the aim is to harness these learnings and layer it with innovation and creativity," he adds. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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