Submitted by admin on Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:18

Saurabh Varma, CEO of Publicis Communications, India, talks about the importance of the Delhi market for creative business, at the launch of Leo Burnett India’s new office space in Gurugram


A delayed flight couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Saurabh Varma, CEO of Publicis Communications, India who was visibly excited about the inauguration of the Gurugram office of Leo Burnett India last Monday. After all, it was Varma’s baby, considering that he had personally seen to the designing of the four-storey swanky office which houses production house Prodigious, experiential marketing agency Arc Worldwide, digital agency Indigo Consulting, and creative agency Leo Burnett India, bringing together the agency’s Northern operations under one roof.

Explaining why it was important to bring all four agencies together, Varma says, “You can’t collaborate unless you have the opportunity of bouncing off perspectives with each other. That’s really where the opportunity lies. So, when we started thinking about the office, we said can we have one space where everybody sits together and there are no boundaries across offices. In fact, at Publicis Communications, each and everyone’s KPI is interlocked, so if Indigo doesn’t help Leo Burnett succeed, Indigo fails; if Starcom doesn’t support Publicis Media, we all fail. Every time we went together, everybody wins together. We wanted to make sure that people get rewarded for helping somebody else succeed. The whole thing is becoming integrated not just at a level of space, but at a level of the approach, mindset, intent, and financial integration at the back end.”

At least half the battle seems to have been won by planning the space in the new office by ensuring that no floor -- each dedicated to one agency -- works in isolation. For one, you don’t see walls in the offices; everything is made of glass, there are open spaces, no scope for people to sit in corners and not collaborate! The most noticeable feature is a huge staircase that runs right through the middle of the office, spanning three floors, to facilitate interaction and bring people together.

Leo Burnett has some big clients like Coca Cola, GSK, SBI Cards, etc., headquartered in the capital and it has put together a 300-plus strong workforce to service these clients. Varma stresses on the importance of the Delhi market for Leo Burnett, saying, “I would argue that in the next five years, Delhi will be bigger than Mumbai as a market. Some of the really big clients – such as Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Airtel, Pepsi, Coca Cola, GSK - are based here. Even those in the financial category - like Max Life Insurance and SBI Cards - are moving up North with headquarters in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. We have 6,000 people working at Sapient Nitro in Gurugram, not very far from our office here, simply because Delhi has emerged as a big hub for our business. The capital will continue to be of great importance for us as we move forward and is fundamental to our success. And we have some great leaders here to guide the team like Samir Gangahar, Rajesh Ghatge, Saraswathi Laxman, Gaurav Dudeja and Prashanth Challapalli, amongst others.”

The new workspace in Gurugram has been designed by interior design and architecture, Studio B. The brief to them was to create an ‘integrated’ office space, reflecting the Publicis Groupe’s ‘Power of One’ philosophy and its various nuances.

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