Dentsu Indonesia has strengthened its leadership team by expanding Joseph Wallace's (pictured left) CFO remit to include chief operating officer while Andreas (pictured right), former Isobar ECD, is now chief creative officer of the creative service line. Wallace and Andreas have been with the agency for seven years and two years respectively. Before this, Wallace worked at Deloitte, KPMG, and Schweppes while Andreas was with Gojek, TBWA\ Indonesia, and Leo Burnett.
This comes three months after Prakash Kamdar was appointed CEO of dentsu Indonesia, in addition to his Singapore remit, and the promotion of Wisnu Satya Putra, Arshad Rahman, and Aloysia Dian. Since then, dentsu said it has brought onboard new wins and renewals of prominent clients during the first quarter. These include Abdi Waluyo Hospital, Astra Finance, Astra Honda Motor, BCA, Binus, Coca Cola, Diageo Cambodia, Enesis Group, Etika, Galderma, GudangAda, Hisamitsu, Indosat, Kino Group, Maybank, OCBC, OLX, Omron, PRMN, Suntory, and Suzuki Digital, among others.
Kamdar (pictured below) told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that Wallace will partner with the rest of the leadership team to accelerate the transformation of the business in Indonesia, achieve greater integration, and to deliver operational excellence to its clients consistently. Meanwhile, Andreas will drive greater excellence of its creative and experience product to help deliver truly modern integrated creativity to its clients to help them achieve their growth ambitions.
According to Kamdar, its core strength is driven by the agency's people. "We put our people first, as they are our agents of change, our champions in delivering meaningful progress and striving forward to be a force for good and growth. Being at the forefront of the marketing industry, we are committed to supporting the Indonesian digital economy growth target. With our strengthened team and capabilities today, we are ready to drive more initiatives soon," he elaborated.
The agency has also nurtured a pool of young talent from top universities across Indonesia offering knowledge sharing and on-the-job training via its dentsu New Associates programme. As part of its strategy to support the community and improve digital skills in Indonesia, dentsu will continue to cultivate and expand the program to more potential young talent in the market.
It currently has a 1,220- strong team across creative, media, and customer experience management and functional professionals. The agency is constantly looking for talent that has the ability and desire to help clients thrive in the digital economy, including those with deep skills in marketing technology, commerce, performance marketing, data analytics, and experience design.
Kamdar took over from Maya Watono earlier this year and told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it has been "an amazing three months". "We have a fantastic business in Indonesia that this brilliant leadership team have built over the last three years, as well as amazing clients and partners who clearly believe in our value proposition.
According to him, the top 15 advertisers in Indonesia work with dentsu, which says a lot. Kamdar added that he feels like a kid in a candy store – having access to a wonderful breadth and depth of highly capable and energetic talent who are hungry to deliver even more value to clients in a market that is poised for exponential growth in the digital economy.
While Kamdar is unable to share in detail about his plans for dentsu Indonesia, he explained that he and the leadership team are putting in the building blocks for the next phase of the agency's growth - in terms of structure, greater integration, and further investment in meaningful capabilities and solutions that will be of value to clients.
"I am confident that the hard yards that we are putting in will make us a preferred partner to businesses and brands that aim to thrive in one of the fastest-growing digital economies in Asia," he said. Indonesia's digital economy has been growing fast and is expected to hit US$146 billion by 2025, up from US$44 billion today. He believes micro SMEs to be a potential area of growth.
According to Kamdar, there are 63 micro SMEs in Indonesia that employ 97% of Indonesia's workforce and contribute more than 60% of the country's GDP. However, digital adoption among them remains low and although the pandemic has accelerated digitalisation in Indonesia, only about 15% of local micro SMEs have digitalised their operations, he explained.
Indonesia also aims to promote sustainable and inclusive economic development through micro SME participation and the digital economy via the pillars of global health architecture, sustainable energy transition, and digital transformation.
"Dentsu Indonesia feels a deep and urgent sense of responsibility to use and scale our capabilities to help businesses, brands, and people of Indonesia transform and achieve president Joko Widodo's agenda, so we can realise Indonesia’s fullest potential locally, in this region, and on the global stage," he said, adding:
One key challenge is that Indonesia still lacks millions of digital talents to fulfil its aspirations to become a digital economy country and it needs talents with capabilities beyond basic digital skills to realise the potential.
Kamdar has been running the Singapore operations since 2019 and despite it being the early days for him in Indonesia, he seems more similarities than differences between the two countries. "What is similar is that we have an impressive roster of clients and incredible talent in both markets. I believe in having the right structures and ways of working in place to institutionalise collaboration and I believe that we need to continue to invest in deep expertise and partnerships that will enable us to deliver sustainable growth and value for the various stakeholders that we serve," he explained.
These were some learnings that he has taken with him from Singapore, albeit that a one size fits all approach never works, Kamdar said. He added that the key wins and retainers also show that brands continue to trust dentsu Indonesia with their marketing needs and ambitions, and the team is ever so grateful for the trust.
The advertising scene evolves rapidly and some of the trends and innovations Kamdar is interested in include values-based marketing, people-based targeting solutions, experiential eCommerce, and Web3.0.
When it comes to values-based marketing, Kamdar explained that brands that genuinely align with consumer values and that take concrete steps in their business to address the world’s most challenging issues (including but not limited to climate change) as opposed to those who merely provide lip service to the issues are winning and will continue to, which is heartening to see from a professional as well as personal perspective.
At the same time, more people-based targeting or identity solutions are needed to create longer-term, meaningful, and sustainable relationships between brands and consumers. "As the third-party cookie depreciates, marketers and their agencies are testing alternative targeting solutions such as people-based targeting that leverage first-party data," he explained.
On the experiential eCommerce front, more retailers are expected to acknowledge that they need to become more of platforms that enable rich and personalised experiential pathways to win hearts and wallets. Meanwhile, Web 3.0 has become a buzzword in the industry today. According to Kamdar, Web 3.0 is the next evolution of the web in which website content and users are interconnected through seamless interfaces and communication channels.
It is an upgraded version of Web 2.0 and is characterised by creating a virtual world within the Internet through websites such as online virtual shopping malls, which allow users to interact with each other and buy products. He believes that Web 3.0 will enhance the user experience by offering rich and interactive ad opportunities.
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