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Aegis Media aims at widening profits in 2012

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MUMBAI: Aegis Media expects to widen its profitability in India this year after breaking even in 2011 as it has set itself the target of doubling growth from each of its business verticals.

"We broke even in 2011. And we expect 2012 to be the first year when we will be significantly profitable," says Aegis Media chairman (India) and CEO (South East Asia) Ashish Bhasin.

Aegis Media, part of Aegis Group, has four main businesses - media planning and buying; digital and search; Out-of-home and retail; and activation and creative.

"Our target for this year is that every business will have at least double the growth of their own category," says Bhasin.

Aegis Media does not believe in a silo structure, the way many agencies are run. "We have a unique operating model in that sense. We give the clients all the benefits of specialisation without the hassles of silo-isation. And we are able to do it because we treat India as one country with one P&L (profit and loss)."

WPP, for instance, has its different agencies work independently and report to the parent company separately .

"We are media and agency agnostic. We can work with any agency. We are just media specific and we tell clients what combination of media is good for their product or brand," Bhasin adds.

Aegis Media‘s aggressively intent got reflected late last year when it acquired a majority stake in Doosra Brand Communications to add creative capability to its India outfit.

So what will Doosra do for growth? "We are looking at quality rather than volume of work from there. We want them to have one or two marquee clients. Take few great companies and do path-breaking work for them, that‘s the direction we are looking at. We have also planned if at some later stage we can get into end-to-end film solution for clients," says Bhasin.

What about Carat, Aegis Media‘s flagship brand, which was a loss-making outfit? "We had good clients in Carat but were not doing full justice to them. So for the last three years our focus has been to give them more attention and quality. So rather than going out for new businesses we wanted to service them well and get more businesses out of them. So for clients like Philips, of which we had only small part of their account, we now have 100 per cent of it," says Bhasin.

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