Rupak Ved, Chief Operating Officer (COO), LS Digital, highlighted that the agency’s profits have grown at the CAGR of 70% over the last five years and this substantial growth is attributed to LS Digital’s strong emphasis on the global digital marketing transformation framework.
Moreover, with a focus on providing integrated solutions that go beyond traditional digital media spend, the company anticipates substantial growth, aiming for a year-on-year increase of 50-60% in revenue, Ved said.
In a conversation with BestMediaInfo, Ved said, “LS Digital has been growing consistently over the past few years. We have grown at a CAGR of 55% over the past five years, while our profits have grown at a CAGR of 70%. At LS Digital, we have built our capabilities in media, creative and communication, data and insights, Tech and Innovations, UI/UX and CX to assist brands in accentuating their digital journey in marketing through our proprietary digital marketing transformation framework.”
“Presently, we are providing digital marketing solutions to more than 400 clients spread across the globe through our 1200+ digital professionals working from four cities in India, as well as in the UAE and UK. Among the notable clients we successfully acquired this year are Canon, Lakme, Urban Company, Kohler, Ralson Tyres, Aditya Birla Paints, Vero Moda, Innovapptive, Videonetics, Cipla Health, Life Clinics, Kelloggs India, Nokia India, Wipro Consumer lighting, etc,” he added.
Furthermore, he went on to say, "The major growth drivers for LS Digital in the last 18 months include our focus on digital marketing transformation (DMT) framework for the world. We have operations in MEA and recently entered The UK and early next year we will start operations in the US. Integrating our group companies (Langoor Digital, F1Studioz and Social Panga) and group clients, adding multiple skills and integrating digital marketing solutions to give clients holistic DMT solutions."
Ved also highlighted that the acquisitions of F1 Studioz and Social Panga were driven by LS Digital's goal to offer a comprehensive suite of services. F1 Studioz, a UI/UX company, and Social Panga, a digital-first creative company, complement LS Digital's existing expertise in media and UI/UX.
“In future too, we will be looking at acquisitions in similar strategic areas. With the existing partners, we have built strong digital marketing transformation capabilities. In future, we will be looking at acquisitions which will help us build upon new capabilities, and skills to strengthen our solutions for marketers and for furthering our global expansion plans,” he added.
Speaking about the future of digital advertising in India, Ved emphasised that LS Digital envisions itself as a key player in shaping the future of digital marketing in India.
“With a focus on providing integrated solutions that go beyond traditional digital media spend, the company anticipates substantial growth, aiming for a year-on-year increase of 50-60%, surpassing the industry average of 35%,” he added.
Having entered the UK market recently, Ved shared LS Digital’s strategies for further expanding its network globally. He said that the strategy involves setting up local offices in key markets, such as in MEA and now in the UK and soon in the US market.
“Drawing inspiration from India's success in the IT industry in the early 1990s, the company aims to meet the global demand for digital professionals at scale and value. LS Digital plans to replicate the success it has seen in the Middle East region in new markets,” he added.
Since LS Digital previously confirmed plans for filing an IPO, Ved shared his views on what is prompting Indian ad agencies to increasingly consider filing IPOs, and how does LS Digital align with this industry trend?
“We have charted our journey which is to build a global network from India, especially in the DMT space. As part of the growth plans, and to facilitate the expansion, we have looked at multiple strategies, including plans for the IPO. In our plans it’s the stepping stone for our future ambitions for LS Digital Group,” he said.
While agreeing that addressing talent challenges is crucial for growth, Ved explained how LS Digital is approaching this issue while simultaneously expanding its operations.
“Talent and skills are the cornerstones for the success of any business. At LS Digital we have
bifurcated these into three buckets: Senior /Leadership: Group leadership got defined with Co-Founders coming in. Mid/Managers: We have been able to attract great talent with not only our growth story but the entire thought around a challenger brand who thinks differently and
does differently. We truly believe in our mantra #ChallengeTheNow. Good people are hungry for good work and that is something that we as a group have been able to provide. Young minds: Management Trainees,” Ved said.
Furthermore, Ved emphasised that in this era of digital Darwinism, where adaptability is the key to survival, embracing AI is not merely an option. It's a mandate for marketers to stay competitive. Marketers who continue to rely on outdated traditional methods risk being left in the wake of innovation.
The digital landscape is a battleground where brands compete not just for attention but for relevance as well. In this relentless race, AI is the ultimate ally that enables marketers to navigate uncharted territories, engage audiences with unparalleled precision, and craft campaigns that resonate on a personal level, he said.
“To remain competitive is to embrace the transformative potential of AI and recognise that it is not the enemy of human creativity but its enabler. It's the technology and exploration that liberates marketers from the mundane so they can focus on what truly matters - the art of storytelling, the development of authentic brand voices, and the creation of experiences that deeply resonate with their target audiences,” Ved added.
“At LS Digital, we have designed a comprehensive framework to guide marketers in harnessing the full potential of AI in their marketing strategies. It's a roadmap for navigating the dynamic landscape of digital marketing and staying ahead in the game. We help marketers start by leveraging the power of AI to extract insights from data, automate routine tasks, and optimise marketing campaigns. AI can be your ally in understanding consumer behaviour, personalising content, and making data-driven decisions. We assist marketers in crafting a winning communication strategy, where we will use AI to redefine your marketing tactics, from content creation to ad targeting. We help marketers think strategically about how AI can enhance customer experiences, drive engagement, and achieve their marketing objectives.
Finally, we use AI to assist marketers in predicting new trends, finding whitespace and help innovate for the future,” he said.
With Google planning to phase out the third-party cookies in 2024, Ved shared his outlook on the evolution of the digital marketing landscape in the upcoming year.
He said that Google's decision to phase out third-party cookies by 2024 will have a significant impact on the digital marketing landscape. Third-party cookies have been a cornerstone of digital advertising, enabling targeted advertising and user tracking across the web. Their phase-out will lead to a shift in how advertisers target and track users online.
“How it impacts marketers: It impacts the understanding of the consumer on Digital. This extends to targeting the audiences on Digital and understanding the impact or measurement in terms of what has worked or not on digital. Where are brands in India placed: While marketing, India understands the impact, but the momentum is yet to be seen largely. Currently, they are relying on Google / Meta for this. However, the larger brands need to take control and own their audiences by building the right infrastructure internally. Only having a CDP solution is not enough,” Ved said.
Ved highlighted some potential trends and changes we might witness in the digital marketing landscape, including:
Focus on First-Party Data: With the diminishing reliance on third-party cookies, the value of first-party data will surge. Companies will emphasise collecting and leveraging their own customer data obtained through direct interactions. This data will be crucial for personalised marketing campaigns. Privacy-Centric Marketing: The emphasis on user privacy will become more pronounced. Marketers will need to adapt to new methods of targeting and tracking that respect user privacy. Contextual advertising, where ads are targeted based on the content of the web page rather than individual user data, might gain prominence.
Shift Towards Alternate Technologies: Alternative tracking technologies such as Google's Privacy Sandbox, which aims to offer privacy-friendly solutions for targeted advertising, are likely to emerge. New identifiers or technologies that comply with privacy regulations while allowing targeted advertising might be developed and adopted.