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Mudra starts new innings

Post its acquisition by Omnicom last year, the group unveils its new identity and architecture

Masoom Gupte  |  Mumbai 

The Indian advertising and media major, unveiled its new identity today as DDB mudragroup. Besides a new name, the group will now sport a new structure, brand identity colours and architecture.

This new look comes on the back of the group’s acquisition by the US-based advertising giant in November last year and its subsequent merger with the DDB Group Worldwide. It is expected to help streamline the group’s operations in India and simplify the structure.

The group, now DDB mudra, will comprise of eight branded agencies, with each managing its own speciality areas (see table). This is a far cry from the earlier that was largely segmented. Formerly, it was divided into four verticals - Mudra India, DDB Mudra, Mudra Max and Ignite Mudra. Each of these had strategic business units (SBUs) under them. For instance, DDB Mudra had DDB India, Tribal DDB, RAPP and DDB H&L, whereas Mudra Max had no less than 16 SBUs under it, each managing a niche area of service like sports marketing, bottom of pyramid and so on.

The new structure is expected to be much leaner with the only areas of overlap being DDB Mudra and Mudra, which are mostly creative agencies. However, as per Madhukar Kamath, group CEO & MD, DDB Mudra, the two will differ in terms of the clients that they will manage. “DDB Mudra will focus more on large clients, multinational corporations and network clients. Mudra on the other hand will focus on entrepreneurs and partnerships in the metros,” says Kamath. That said, the clientele will depend to a large extent on the existing relationships that the agencies have with the brands.

The new agency architecture also borrows from the DDB Worldwide’s global structures. For instance, DDB follows a city specific format for its agencies that then manage the region around. So while formerly Mudra’s operations were split as Mudra West or Mudra North and East, now it would be more focused with DDB Mudra Mumbai or DDB Mudra Delhi. 

THE NEW LOOK MUDRA GROUP

The parent: DDB Mudra Group

* Headed by: Madhukar Kamath, group CEO & MD, Sonal Dabral,
   chairman and chief creative officer and Pratap Bose, group COO

The eight branded agencies under the group will include:

* DDB Mudra will offer creative services mostly for MNCs /
   network clients

* DDB MudraMax — will manage experience and engagement,
   combining media, OOH, retail and experiential services

* Mudra — will offer creative services mostly for entrepreneurs
   All three headed by: Rajiv Sabnis, president, Mumbai, Ranji
   Cherian, president, South and Vandana Das, president, Delhi

* DDB H & L — will offer health and lifestyle solutions
   Head: Soumitra Sen, president

* RAPP — will offer data driven services
   Head: Venkat Mallik, president

* Tribal DDB India — will handle interactive and new media
   Head: Venkat Mallik, president

* Water — manage brand and design consultancy
   Head: Ashish Mishra, chief strategist & head

* Maatra — will ofer localisation and pre-media services
   Head: S Radhakrishnan, president

In the new structure, not all agencies will however sport a DDB prefix. Their independent identities will be maintained and in fact capitalised upon. Under the new structure, Water, the brand and design consultancy arm of will be a part of Omnicom's Interbrand network. For many this would be a way for Interbrand to leverage upon Water’s expertise in localising branding solutions and gain a better understanding of the Indian market.

Along with a new structure and new associations, come new launches to provide the proverbial one-stop-shop solutions to brands. DDB Mudra would soon be launching TracyLocke, a shopper agency in India. Shopper marketing, a relatively new marketing discipline for India is defined by content that drives commerce, quite simply focusing on return on investment. What’s more, for TracyLocke, the Indian market would be the entry point for the Asian market. According to Jim Sexton, global CMO, TracyLocke, “In India, the challenge and learning would come from going beyond modern trade, that dominates US and then using strategies to deliver the best results for our clients.” The agency is expected to be launched in about a month.

Even as Mudra Group readies to don its new look come March 1, the DDB Worldwide group expects to capitalise on the group’s strengths for helping its global aspirations. Jon Ziegler, chairman and CEO, DDB Group Asia Pacific, India and Japan summed it up quite succinctly, “DDB Worldwide grows through the strength of our partners. We are not here to tell them (Mudra Group) how to do things but rather to ask how we can do better what we do worldwide.”

First Published: Wed, February 29 2012. 00:05 IST
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