Leo Burnett aims to be amongst top 5 agencies in the world by 2017

MUMBAI: Starting the new year on a fresh note and an ambition to be amongst the top five creative agencies in the world by 2017, Leo Burnett is all set for the future.

The agency will build brick by brick and guided by the 3 Ps- people, product and profit.

The year 2014 saw a shocking development that of KV Sridhar aka Pops, erstwhile chief creative officer, India subcontinent, Leo Burnett, hanging his boots after 17 long years. However, with the hiring of 'the +A types' people, the agency want to reach for the stars. Leo Burnett hired Neha Contractor, Kaizad Pardiwalla, Prajato Guha Thakurta, Sachin Kamble, Harshad Hardikar, Antony Rajkumar, Oindrila Roy and Rakesh Hinduja in 2014 to get the right kind of people who are future ready.

“A closer look at these leaders will also reveal that we are hiring a different breed of talent. Talent who can think beyond the 30 second TVC. We are really serious about winning with integration and these leadership changes will help us move rapidly in the new direction,” wrote Leo Burnett Group India CEO Saurabh Varma in an internal mail addressing the employees.

Varma went on to write, “I request you all to focus on the 4 C's as you look at levels in the organisation. The first C is Curiosity. We want to be child-like in the way we live our lives. We want you to leave your tables and explore the world around you. Nothing will give us more pleasure than people taking all their leave. Sacrifice is in, but the right kind. Hard work is appreciated but not if it comes in the way of us experiencing life. You have our commitment of continuing with this New Year break again, next year. Our hope is that next year we are even better organised to take this opportunity to slow down, relax and refresh. So please be curious in 2015.

The next C is Champion. Great work stirs resistance. We need champions to help us sell great work. We need people who will not let the incredible idea just die. We all need more champions across the organisation who will challenge the work, shape the work and sell the work.

The third C is Craftsman. Leo talked about that restless feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough. We want to live that spirit in our everyday life. We want to reach for the stars, everyday. No matter what you do in the Group, we want you to chase perfection. Average is out. Greatness is all that matters.

Finally the fourth and the most important C: Citizens. We live in a world where an idea is shared and created by many. The spirit of knowing that we are all in it together is the fundamental to the organisation we are trying to build. Please populate the agency with people who embody these four traits. 2015, will also be a year where we will move forward and create a more performance driven organisation. We need to understand that growth is everyones job. Growth gives us freedom. Freedom to reward our people. Freedom to train our people. Freedom to create a better destiny for our people. We will reward people who drive growth. Every senior leader will have clear KPIs. Creative leaders will have to deliver on 7+ work. We will need to use our understanding of clients to create and sell them work they need rather than the work they want.”

On the product front, Varma and Rajdeepak Das are excited about the momentum that has been created. Work on KBC, HE (man's day), Kindle, Imagica and Anchor shows that the agency is moving steadily in the right direction. “With our marquee portfolio of brands, we hope to create incredible momentum in the next few months. Please use the specialisations at your disposal to create new work. Overall we need work which is true to 'imaginative populism'. Work which is shared. Work which becomes part of peoples everyday lives. Work which our families are proud of. Work which delivers on the purpose of our brands. Please create content. Please create branded utility. Please use the power of technology to create platforms which are always-on. Please try different things. We urge you to take the risks. We will support risk and failures. We are ready for change,” he wrote to motivate all.

Last year the group had won 37 clients and the agency wants to keep the momentum going in 2015. “We will not slow down. We will build on the incredible momentum we have created. We plan on both organic growth and new business wins. In 2015 we hope to pitch less and win a lot more. Prospecting will play a critical role in the way we approach our pitches. Please be ready for a lot of action,” he concluded his letter.


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