Daniel Morel is the chairman and CEO of digital and direct marketing company Wunderman.
A WPP entity, Wunderman's operations in India were split into two last year: one catering to global clients and the other focused on Indian businesses.
Morel, who was in India recently, spoke to Viveat Susan Pinto and Priyanka Singh.
Wunderman is the largest digital and direct marketing company in the world. Where do your Indian operations stand?
It's a growing business.
We have six offices in India with a work force of about 360 people.
Given the pace of growth, our headcount will grow in the next two to three years. I find India to be an interesting market.
There is an amazing pool of talent here, a population that is young that understands technology.
Mobile phone penetration is high, so that provides the scope to drive digital communication.
Digital advertising and communication is still a small portion of the advertiser's budget here. Do you see this changing?
Clients such as Nokia, Microsoft and Ford have embraced the digital revolution.
So I would beg to differ that digital is a small fraction of their communication agenda.
In Nokia's case, for instance, their adoption of digital communication is almost 100 per cent.
Microsoft too is nearly there, at about 95 per cent. Ford is about 70 per cent.
Where the problem lies is with the fast moving consumer goods industry.
This is a trend not restricted to India alone.
It is visible everywhere.
FMCG advertisers are slowly but steadily opening up to the prospect of digital communication.
But to expect them to switch their media preference overnight would be foolish.
Traditional agencies are also using digital media effectively. How different are you from them?
While advertising is about creating awareness about the brand, we speak directly to consumers.
In the past, this manifested itself in direct mailers, which is why the term direct marketing.
But the space has evolved now.
The digital revolution has taken personalised or one-on-one conversations with the consumer to the next level.
You can have a meaningful dialogue with the consumer with the help of modern mobile devices.
It has begun happening in India.
Over time this will grow.
What are your expectations from India?
We will continue focusing on growing the business here.
Post the economic turmoil which began in the third quarter of 2008, most international companies realise the importance of emerging markets.
We are no different. Markets such as India and China are key.
Martin Sorrell recently described Wunderman as WPP's best-kept secret. Are you happy with the compliment?
There's a reason why he said that.
Our global revenues our over a billion dollars.
But we have never created the hype that most advertising agencies do when they bag a new piece of business.
Our approach has been to do good work and win the appreciation of the client. This way our chances of getting more business grows.
What is the split of your revenues region-wise?
Half of our total revenues come from North America.
A third from Western Europe.
The balance comes from emerging markets located in Asia and Latin America.
Ideally, we would want the split to be even, with a third of revenues coming from each of the three regions, that is, North America, Western Europe and the emerging markets group.
Image: Daniel Morel