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Leo Burnett looks to bright future in a new office

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MUMBAI: A spectacular new office reflecting Leo Burnett India's vision. Modern, bigger than what it is today and ready to face the challenges of the future.

That is how Richard Pinder, managing director, Leo Burnett Asia Pacific, and Arvind Sharma, CEO and chairman, Leo Burnett India, described it at the official unveiling on Thursday of the Big Apple, the building, which will house Mumbai operations as well as the corporate office.

Sharma said that he saw consumer finance and biotech as areas where there will be huge potential in the near future as far as Leo Burnett was concerned.

Among the current clients, Coke's hot beverages subsidiary Georgia had massive expansion plans lined up for the next four years, Sharma said. Tea/coffee vending machines covering the whole country, 500,000 in all was what was being planned, he added.

India, China and Vietnam are the three key markets where Leo Burnett sees maximum potential as far as the Asia-Pacific was concerned, Pinder said. Referring to India, Pinder said that it currently contributed 10 per cent ($70 million) of the $700 million worth of business that the Asia Pacific generated for Leo Burnett. That's just 1 per cent of the global business though.

There are three core focus areas Sharma said would guide Leo Burnett's future plans - creativity, diversification of services and sourcing synergies of all the interconnected businesses.

Talking about the new office, Sharma said: "We wanted it to combine the functional and aesthetic sensibilities that the best of advertising embodies. We wanted a place where our employees will enjoy coming to every morning and that our clients will be delighted to visit. The space, transparency and vibrant colours, symbolise the Leo Burnett culture of a stimulating and warm organisation, of a very human employer."

Anticipating the ever-changing and ever-diversifying needs for services, the office infrastructure is completely flexible, allowing for swift change, adding of new competencies and departments. Besides, it is completely open, without any walls or boundaries, without rooms or cabins, which allows people to freely interact.

"Gone are the days when creating ads was a sequential process and when creative, account management, planning and media existed as separate silos," Sharma said. "Ads are now about breakthrough ideas that can be executed across a variety of media. This is why we made sure that employees from each department are able to share ideas and brainstorm together. And while organisations are always hierarchical, here we have removed all the visible boundaries and layers to create an open,free atmosphere where everybody's voice will be heard."

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