‘THE DAYS OF WORKING IN SILOS ARE OVER’
Himani Kapadia, CEO, India, SapientRazorfish and DigitasLBi tells Samarpita Banerjee that the repositioning of the Publicis Group has helped the two agencies become better strategic partners to their clients to solve critical business problems
The Publicis Group repositioned itself globally, calling itself the connected marketing agency in 2015. Perhaps it’s this shift in philosophy that has led to the openness and connectedness in the office of SapientRazorfish and DigitasLBi. People sit in open cubicles. Even Himani Kapadia, CEO, India, SapientRazorfish and DigitasLBi does not sit in an enclosed cabin. “The days of working in silos are over,” she says.
It’s not simply in terms of office architecture that the agency is implementing the connected philosophy. The two teams work together on different clients as well. They also have a common technology team of about 200 people. When asked about the clients that both the agencies handle, Kapadia says, “As far as the names of the clients of the respective agencies go, I prefer not segregating the two because the desire is to have both our brands working cohesively to address our clients’ needs and help solve business problems.” Some of the biggest accounts that both the agencies are handling currently are HP, FCA (Jeep), ABinBev (Budweiser, etc), Jio, Tourism New Zealand, Parle Agro, TVS Motor Company, a few brands under Godrej Consumer Products, JK Tyres, Nestle, Nivea and Henkel, amongst others.
Explaining how the philosophy has helped transform the way the agency functions, Kapadia adds, “As an agency group, we are uniquely placed to be the strategic partner of our clients and to bring out our deliberate diversity. We have managed to build the left brain and right brain skills at scale globally. We genuinely believe these skills are necessary for delivering marketing transformation for our clients. Whether it is about the combination of data and strategy, creative and content, technology, media or Customer Relationship Management (CRM), we have built on these diverse skills. Whichever office you walk into, you will find all these skills present. This reflects in our proposition, culture and ethos. It’s all about various agencies coming together to work on what the client really needs.”
SYNCHRONIZATION FOR GREATER EFFICIENCY
So how does the work that both SapientRazorfish and DigitasLBi do complement each other? “The work that both the agencies do is completely complementary. For example, if you talk about the martech or adtech space, while DigitasLBi is uniquely positioned to deliver on what the design should be, the actual execution will be done by SapientRazorfish. When a client is looking for a complete solution, both the brands come together to provide that to them. Also, in India, we have a common leadership. So my conversations with the clients usually go like, ‘Just tell me what you need and don’t worry about which brand handles it. That is our problem.’ Even globally, we follow the same model and there’s no conflict between the two agencies,” she explains.
For Kapadia, who took over as the CEO in April 2017, the task has been to keep pace with the speed at which the organization has been transforming globally. “When I took over, there was a big overlap between what both DigitasLBi and SapientRazorfish were doing. SapientRazorfish in India was primarily about marketing transformation. However, we realigned everything to DigitasLBi, we consciously went client by client, skillset by skillset and this gave a huge advantage to our clients, as well as our team, from an internal learning perspective. We made some key hires for SapientRazorfish, bringing on board Adhiraj Banerjee from PwC as Chief of Strategy. We hired Hemant Bhagia from Capgemini as Head of Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX). He was instrumental in setting up our unified Center of Excellence where we have brought together the best talent from SapientRazorfish, DigitasLBi and Indigo Consulting. Globally, we have realigned ourselves by verticals which is a big plus when it comes to the business transformation space, because once that happens, the kind of knowledge, experience, and subsequent solutions that it brings to the table are valuable to any client function within our industry,” Kapadia says.