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Kantar to continue India investment, increase talent pool & improve tech after deal with Bain Capital

Kantar will be investing more in acquisitions, and AI & machine learning

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MUMBAI: Research agency Kantar is aspiring to invest more in its global delivery centres and further strengthen its core insight and consulting business in India post the 60 per cent stake sale to Bain Capital. The WPP-held company also emphasised on its India business.

Speaking to journalists worldwide via a conference call, Kantar chief executive officer Eric Salama said that India is one of the biggest and most important markets for Kantar and the association with Bain will not change anything in the way they do business here.

“India is important for us not only because it is a big market but also because we have got a lot of data centres there, which are playing a big role in the rest of the world. We also run our largest delivery systems out of Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Pune. We will continue to invest in the Indian market. There is a real desire to invest more in the delivery centres, as they are world-class, and as well as in the core insight and consulting business within India,” Salama noted.

He highlighted Kantar’s strategy post the changes in its ownership over the 40-minute long call. He said that with the new association with Bain, it is going to put more focus on ramping up its acquisition activities as well as becoming a tech and data-led firm that can deliver real-time data to clients.

Salama said, “We are focusing on becoming much more tech-led, faster, and a real-time predictive organisation. Being a part of Bain Capital, from a capability point of view and from a money point of view, would be enormously helpful in doing that.”

The firm is also looking to increase the length and breadth of its talent pool, Salama mentioned. “We think the world is becoming one where we need more and more specialists around certain areas and build capabilities around media ROI and engineering capacities. We are becoming a much more tech-centric company and adding more data scientists (to our talent pool). We have around 1500 of them around the world and we are going to scale that quite considerably. We are also going to add lots of consultants to deliver a greater client impact.”

He added that the firm is investing in real-time and predictive offers for its clients as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence. It will also be working more on its cross-media measurement techniques to deliver better cross-media management to its clients.

He elaborated on how Kantar is working towards incorporating more technologies and manpower in its business across various verticals like Trade Optimisation, World Panel, and the Kantar Marketplace to deliver more precise and timely data to its clients across the globe. “We are scaling our differentiated solutions. We have introduced a lot of innovation in the market over the last 18 months and now we have the focus on scaling those globally and consistently for all our clients.”

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