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WPP expects double-digit growth in India this year, says CEO Mark Read

The creative transformation company is confident of having the same percentage of growth as in 2019 despite the continued slowdown. WPP’s prime focus is to make itself more client-centric and strengthen in data and technology space

Mark Read, CEO, WPP with CVL Srinivas, India Country Manager, WPP

India has been one of the standout markets for WPP in the past few years and they expect a 10% revenue growth from their business in the country in 2020, says Mark Read CEO, WPP.

Speaking at a press conference, Read and CVL Srinivas, India Country Manager, WPP, India, shared the network’s latest development and strategy for their future business.

“We see really strong growth around the world. Our business in India grew by more than 10% in 2019, and I am thankful to our entire Indian team. India is one of the standout markets for WPP in the past year and we hope and expect to see the same growth in 2020,” he said.

“While it’s going to be a tough year, we are pretty much confident that the fantastic team we have here is going to deliver what we have expected,” Srinivas said.

According to Read, India is the fifth-largest market for WPP by revenue globally.

“The Indian market has a growth potential with more and more Indian brands expanding in the country and across the globe,” he pointed out.

By keeping creativity at the heart of WPP, the company will focus on embracing new technology and data in India.

WPP’s new positioning is to be the greatest transformation company and a creative force that can help transform its client’s business—a company that works as one together.

According to Read, the company will embrace technology to win the new business in future. Making the organisation more client-centric and simpler will easily fetch new business.

Clients’ centricity, capability building with data and technology, talent and culture agenda and simplifying company structure are the four strategies for WPP’s growth in India.

“Apart from these, we want to be seen as a very responsible corporate and we have our strong focus on sustainability and social impact,” said Srinivas.

“WPP is now very much a technology company as it is a creative company and that’s really critical to our growth in the future,” he said.

Srinivas said in India, WPP is not well-known for its data and technology services and the focus is to strengthen that space.

“We are not very well known for data and technology we have in India. We have our capabilities across different areas of the marketing value chain, ranging from marketing automation to content production, analytics, performance marketing. We are focused to leverage capabilities centres across India that we built over the years,” he said.

WPP’s campuses will have innovation hubs, partnering with established technology enterprises and start-ups. These hubs will drive the adoption of new and emerging technologies and co-create innovative solutions for brands. This will be coupled with capability centres with specialised offerings in martech, content, production, commerce, data and analytics. To build a culture of innovation, the hubs will also host learning and develop workshops, hackathons and demo days.

A 50-seater innovation hub is in the Mumbai campus and one will come up in Gurugram. By the end of this year, WPP’s Gurugram campus will get ready with all the service agencies working under one big roof. “Before the end of the year, we will have 8,000 people across two campuses,” Srinivas shared.

“With WPP’s partner and start-up connect programmes we will be able to get a lot of benefit not just across different disciplines of our businesses but also in upscaling our talent,” said Srinivas.

WPP will also have integrated country operations.

“Once we get everyone under campus, there will be a lot of shared services within specialised agencies coming into play, which will bear fruit in the years to come,” Srinivas said.

“Today we are rolling out models for all kinds of clients. We are getting people to work a lot more collaboratively. We have different models which are merging on the common principle where creative, media, data and research all sit together and we get one brief from the client and the client gets back one response from us. The model is different from the past where we had four, five, eight operating companies servicing the clients. We are simplifying it and getting it all together,” he said.

“We have found that where ever we are doing this, we are moving up the value chain, getting more strategic adding value at a more macro level,” he said.

According to Read, a strong purposeful organisation is critical to clients.

“The purpose is critical to our clients. I want WPP to be the company that clients want to come to when they want to know purposes better in the world. If you work with us, you will think much more about purpose than you working with any other agencies,” he said.

“Purpose is also an important part of our culture. WPP’s culture is open, optimistic and extraordinary in terms of the people we have. WPP has an open and collaborative culture,” he said.

Srinivas said that 2020 is going to be a tough and challenging year and the country is up for the challenge. “We have a pretty strong foundation as it is WPP. The work we have done over the last one year in terms of building on our traditional strengths and getting teams to work a lot more closely for clients is going to help us,” he said.

“Our purpose is to use the power of creativity as creativity makes WPP special to build an effective future for our clients, people and communities. Creativity differentiates us from other professional services firms,” Read said.

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