Alokananda Chakraborty

GroupM redeploys senior management; restructures organization

The leading media company in the country has made some key management changes that are tied to the company’s overall objective of evolving with the times

GroupM, the holding company of the WPP media brands, has brought in effect some key management changes that are tied to the company's overall objective of evolving with the times. Uppermost, as indicated by Ashutosh Srivastava, managing director, MindShare, is the need to scale up and fast-track several new projects, calling for the redeployment of senior managers in the company, who will oversee operations on the new ventures. "We undertake the career development of our workforce, attempting to understand their aptitude and inclination," says Srivastava. "Not only does it benefit the organization in terms of beefing up operations in certain areas, it also provides avenues for growth for our people."

Sunder Raman - who was part of the Fulcrum team in Mumbai, managing the categories of oral care, deodorants and herbal products for HLL - will take over from Nitin Jain as the general manager of MindShare, Delhi, on May 1. Raman, an old hand at Fulcrum, has been a key member of the team managing the coordination of the Unilever AOR across the four markets of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. "He helped create and run highly successful local area management programmes for HLL," points out Srivastava, dwelling on Raman's achievements.

Nitin Jain, meanwhile, will spearhead new initiatives in the areas of sports (cricket) and music, while Mario Saldanha, in charge of GroupM Dialect operations in Mumbai (the below-the-line wing of the company), will relocate to Delhi to oversee micromarketing projects on Glaxo SmithKline Beecham (GSK), Frito Lays and various other clients. Tushar Vyas, head of M One, Mumbai (the one-to-one marketing arm of the group), will manage the newly acquired Motorola account in Delhi (for MindShare), apart from discharging his duties on M One. Rajiv Berry and J Sathyan of MindShare, Mumbai and Delhi, respectively, will join M Suku, head of BroadMind (which is largely into acquiring rights of TV programmes apart from creating customized content for clients), to explore TV programming opportunities in the Hindi-language and in the southern markets.

Alongside, Maxus - the third operating unit after MindShare and Fulcrum under GroupM - is beefing up its existing team in Bangalore, following the acquisition of the Britannia and Titan duties. Prashant Kumar of Universal McCann, Mumbai, has moved to Maxus, Bangalore, to look after media buying on Britannia, while, at a broader level, business at the agency has been streamlined into the Himalaya, Britannia and Titan groups, with a dedicated team led by a business director on each account, informs managing director CVL Srinivas.

This model, incidentally, has been adopted by sister concern MindShare as well to enable the agency to provide "tailor-made services to clients". In other words, not only is the agency looking to utilize its traditional media buying and planning function, but also make available its portfolio of specialist services. "We had undertaken a complete audit of the service needs of our clients (who number 327, across GroupM) earlier this year, as a result of which, we have restructured operations at MindShare and Maxus," explains Srivastava. "Each office is now organized by business teams built around a client portfolio and headed by a business director. Resourcing is based on client service needs of that portfolio, and each group is supported by a consumer insights and buying group in a matrix structure," he adds. Specialists units are briefed and brought in when required, and in the end, it is the business director who has to ensure that all needs have been met, states Srivastava. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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