Martin Sorrell pegs WPP’s India biz at $600 mn; thrust on organic growth

MUMBAI: Just a few days after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, in his visit to India was bullish about the market and pegs the company’s business here at $600 million with a strong thrust on organic growth.


“We are very aggressive in terms of growth here in India and this year we are expecting to grow by 10 per cent, which is double of the global growth rate (4.8 per cent). Net sales growth in India is roughly same as the revenue growth, which is 10 per cent while globally it’s three per cent. So overall, we are doing very good across the board and have no complaints,” he said.


“Our business in India is just under $600 million in revenue. We are proud of our business here and we have a very large market share,” asserted Sorrell.


He further added, “Though we will have acquisitions, organic growth will be key in India. If your business is $600 million and you are growing at 10 per cent per annum, you can’t find acquisitions in India in $60 million. So organic growth will continue to be the principle way that we grow in the Indian market.”



Events to watch out for in 2016:


Sorrell is of the opinion that the 2016 Rio Olympics will be a major event. “The backdrop in Rio de Janeiro will be one of the best backdrops to be in,” Sorrell says.


Apart from the Olympics, the US presidential elections as well as the UEFA European Championship will also be key events to watch out for in 2016 according to Sorrell.



Key for advertising industry:


Sorrell predicts that the key for the company would be to grow at the rate of GDP growth with little or no inflation.


“The thing that worries me the most is not the geo-political issues, be it Greece or US deficit, or the Middle East, but the failure of companies to invest long term,” he emphasised.



Importance of People:


Sorrell believes that people are the most important part of a company and clients choose agencies on the basis of that.


He said, “Our revenues are at $19 billion around the world and at $23 billion including associates. Of the $19 billion, $12 billion is invested in people because I believe that the key differentiator between agencies is people. That’s how clients choose one agency over the other.”





The biggest outcome of the team up between two Indian television measurement agencies, as per Sorrell is both companies accepting each other’s business models. He was also of the opinion that TAM should have been more flexible in terms of number of meters. He said, “I think we will get to one equilibrium that gives some consistency and validation, which is really important.”

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