Anita Nayyar is the CEO of Havas Media Group for India and South East Asia. Under her leadership, the company has grown exponentially while expanding its offerings as an integrated communications group for traditional, digital, mobile, performance marketing and out-of-home. Her 30+ years in the industry have seen her passionately manage a mega portfolio of brands across sectors. A prominent speaker, moderator, panelist and judge at major events and awards, her views and opinions have been sought by both Indian and international media.
During her visit to the capital, Ankita Jain of B360 connected with her to understand current advertising trends and Havas Media’s strategic collaboration with V-Chitra. Excerpts:
As a media veteran, what are some of the key changes you have witnessed and consider critical to how advertising and branding work today?
I have been in the industry for almost three decades now. Things have changed and change is the only constant. We started with a full-service advertising agency where the media used to be just a part of it. Later the advertising agency split and the media consolidation happened. Today again the whole agency integration is coming back to power. Talking about our agency, we have Havas Village where we have integrated the entire disciplines of Havas into one agency.
Media is becoming extremely complicated today and there is far too much of fragmentation in the industry. Because of digital media, we have to keep in sync with what is happening. For instance, in India the generation is all millennial; there is a whole lot of youth out there. The way they are consuming media is very different.
What are the core strengths of HAVAS Media?
We differentiate ourselves from the fact that we are an agency that brings a lot of meaning to businesses. Today Havas is owned by Vivendi which is the world’s largest media and entertainment company. By virtue of this, we not only have Havas, an advertising agency but also Universal Music, Gameloft, Studio Canal, Canal+ and many more. It is bringing together of all these entities which makes us far more quotient as compared to other agencies.
Growth in South East Asia is your focus, what are the brand triggers for this region?
More than brand triggers, it is what the market really offers in terms of expansion. Once you focus on a market, brand trigger automatically happens. What is extremely important in the market is also to look at a lot of domestic brands. When you enter a market, a combination of the global and local brands gives the best results. After all, if you help the local brands grow, the industry grows and ultimately it’s the economy of the country that grows.
According to you, which platform is best suited for markets here?
There’s no one size that fits all. It completely depends on the marketers’ objective and what category, market and audiences you are looking at. But today digital is really catching up quick and it is making a difference in the way marketers are looking at plans, and agencies are recommending it.
What is the one thing that every brand manager must know about working with an advertising agency?
It is very important for a brand to know how meaningful the agency to them is. Well, this works both ways. For instance, as per the research work at Havas, 70% of the brands which will vanish tomorrow, the consumers will not even care about, unless it brings a difference in their life.
How did the tie-up with V-Chitra come about and what are your expectations?
We were wanting to enter the Nepal market for a very long time. The market is growing and I think there’s a lot of potential here. After the recovery from the earthquake, there are several global brands in the market here. And I believe companies like us will bring huge relevance to them. Similarly, the benefit will be shared by all the industries associated. Also, many of our clients want to enter the market and a few have already entered. Overall, as an agency, it is also important for us, to have markets on the map. For Nepal, we were looking for a right partner and in V-Chitra we found one.