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Decoding FCB India’s strategy to become digital ready

FCB India has integrated its digital capabilities for the group agencies and appointed Vikas Parihar to lead the Digital Integration as President

In a bid to up FCB India’s digital game, the agency is forming common centre of excellence, to introduce future digital practices and strengthen the digital capabilities of respective agencies. To lead the Digital Integration and transformation, FCB India has appointed Vikas Parihar as the President, Digital Integration.

Vikas Parihar

In his new role, Parihar will drive digital transformation and business, partner individual CEOs, implement global digital practices and provide strategic leadership for digital integration – paving the digital way for FCB India. Parihar will be based in its Mumbai office, reporting to Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman & CEO, FCB India.

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With this new thinking, there won’t be a separate digital team but everyone will be digitally equipped at FCB. Parihar explained, “There have been a lot of examples of failures of integration in larger companies. The primary reason has been separate P&L and hence capabilities. Integration can’t be done with sitting outside the mainline teams it has to change from inside. Therefore, we decided not to have a separate P&L for digital. At FCB we are looking at a seamless integration, instead of separate team doing digital. We need more people doing digital, fewer people in the Digital team.”

Although creative will remain the core at the agency, it will be digital first consumer agency for the new connected world.

Rohit Ohri

Commenting on the agency transformation and Parihar’s appointment, Ohri said, “FCB India has embarked on a cultural transformation journey 15 months ago. Digital transformation is the key part of this cultural transformation. I’m delighted to have Parihar on board to lead the digital transformation of FCB India. Our vision is to be a truly integrated ideas company. With his vast experience, Parihar will be a great partner and make this happen for FCB India."

With over a decade of experience, Parihar has lead digital business and marketing for OgilvyOne Africa, Havas Worldwide India, Magnon\TBWA, Internet Moguls, Sofitel Luxury Hotels and Resorts India, Hinduja Interactive and Hotel Leela Venture.

The agency’s objective with this restructuring is to enable everybody to be digital ready. Parihar added, “The objective is not about making the team sit together, it’s about enabling every person in all the agencies to think digital first. It’s about aligning to evolved digital practices, technology understandings, data support and making every person to use data as fuel to create big ideas and personal experiences to win more customers and make them more valuable.”

He elaborated, “Social media is highly used and abused word in this space. For me, social media is not just a team or a function but a practice which has to enable not only people working on social media but even the people on the business and planning side, account directors and creative people. It is about digital-first thinking, which is more consumer-oriented than just product or service oriented.”

FCB is also keen at acquiring a digital agency in order to up the digital game at all the agencies. Parihar said, “We are working aggressively towards becoming the largest digital first team in the creative space. In one year down the line, we intend to become the Tier 1 digital team like we are in creative, in India.”
“Now that FCB India across its agencies will be digitally equipped, the agency will be able to offer digital solutions to the clients with an evolved service portfolio, making the clients benefit from the media agnostic knowledge they pass on,” said Parihar.

“The client won’t have to run to 132 different agencies to have a social and technology piece. It will be under one team. They don’t need to speak to different people when it comes to having some solutions in the digital space,’’ he added.

Isn’t FCB India a little late in hopping on to the digital bus? Pahirar agreed and said, “We are late and I agree with you. My role here is to do a complete turnaround which I should be doing in three years, I am supposed to do in one year. It’s easy to bring in people and create business around them, but it’s not easy to change the mindset and to make people think differently and that’s the big task. People at FCB are amazing and highly capable, they just slightly need to get more inspired by real time data, technology oriented and think about always on dynamic communication to become a digital-first creative company which is never finished.”

Parihar finds wide gaps in the digital space around data and technology and to fill that space, FCB also intends to make a few more senior level hiring to introduce more global practice. “The future lies a lot on artificial intelligence, technology solutions and consumer oriented approach, whether we accept it or not. We have to be future ready. At FCB, we will be more focused on larger waves to ride on like omnichannel and consumer-oriented programmes backed by amazing creative ideas backed by intuitive technology solution and data intelligence,” he concluded.

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