FCB Group India in July 2021 announced the reorganisation of its creative agencies, along with key elevations. It announced three full-service agency brands in India – FCB Ulka, FCB Interface, and FCB India. FCB India was a new addition to the group.
Terming the restructuring a ‘creative transformation’, Chairman and CEO of FCB Group India, Rohit Ohri, said the journey since then has been fantastic. “Over the last four years, we have demonstrated consistent excellence in creative work. This has paid us dividends in terms of our standing in the industry. The fact that we've completely changed the creative perception of FCB, as a group in India, is widely recognised.”
“For us, creativity is not just about winning awards but also being an economic multiplier for our brands and clients. It has to deliver on real business and solve real business issues. We have been able to do that consistently for our clients. That is something that we are truly proud of,” Ohri added.
In August 2021, the group also acquired a minority stake in Kinnect- a digital marketing company. Although the group is currently a minority shareholder, FCB is hopeful about acquiring a majority stake in Kinnect soon.
“We are currently minority shareholder in Kinnect and we are hoping to acquire the majority. Once we do that, there will be an impact on their revenue and profit. Currently, they are pretty much largely independent. We are working on a whole integration plan. Kinnect is going to be a very crucial part of our growth strategy in 2022 and beyond,” he said.
Ohri stated that empowering creativity through technology and data will be a key focus for the FCB group in the coming year. “Kinnect is a big part of this whole strategy of delivering creativity powered by data and technology. They are working with us on most of our big clients and delivering great value to our clients,” he said.
“In the next two-three years, we are going to see an enormous amount of integration. At group level, we are around 500 people in digital. This is a transformation of epic size for an agency group of this stature and size,” Ohri concluded.
According to estimates, ad spends fell by 21.5% during the first wave. While the industry was still reeling from the effects of the first Covid wave at the start of 2021, the second wave hit the industry more severely. With big-ticket events like IPL stopping, spending by brands further decreased.
Despite this 2021 has been a rewarding year for FCB Group India with new business wins.
“We have won large significant pieces of business over the year. We will be shortly announcing four or five new businesses that we have won in the last quarter which sets us up really well for 2022,” Ohri said.
Ohri stated they’ve managed to have a double-digit growth this year. The teams and agencies focused and doubled down on making sure that the momentum that the agency is built upon continues. With the new business wins, 2022 will be a good clear runway for accelerated growth.
While 2021 has been cautiously optimistic, Ohri sounds highly optimistic about 2022. “In many ways, the world has learned to live with the pandemic. Vaccinations have been done at a remarkable rate and it is a feat for India. We have vaccinated almost our entire population with at least one shot of the vaccine, which gives huge confidence to the clients. There was a scare of a third wave of Covid but Diwali has come and gone and we have, touchwood, not seen it yet. I think India is one of the safest places now in the world. I think there is a growing sense of confidence right now.”
“The virus will continue to mutate for a while till it is completely gone. From what we have seen, the Omicron is mild,” he added.