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.”


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.

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