DDB Mudra Case Study


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DDB Mudra Case Study

  1. 1. Pranoti Waingainkar - 123 Puhoop Agarwal - 126 Rekha Rane - 130 OD & HRM Assignment Rohit Rohan – 134 Sanket Kulkarni - 109 Sidharth Uchil - 146 Tarini Bandhu – 153
  2. 2. Sam Parekh had seen better mornings than the one he grudgingly woke up to on 11th October 2011. After a sleepless night he sat disoriented at the breakfast table, unable to exactly voice his concerns on repeated probing by his wife. As the HR manager of the Mudra Group , the news of the takeover by Omnicom had triggered an anxious state- the time had come to make an official announcement to all the employees. Sam had faith in the sensibilities of his colleagues and was confident that on his part he would do whatever it takes to soothe out any ruffles that may suffice post the announcement. But, not everything could be accounted for. Sam had an uneasy feeling in his stomach. Unable to finish his breakfast he quickly got ready to go to office. He told his driver to sit on the passenger seat because driving soothed his nerves. He switched on his favourite Kishore Kumar CD and drove through the roads to Santacruz. Mudra Group | Pre Acquisition Mudra Group was established at Ahmedabad on 25 th March, 1980. In its thirty years of Mudra Group : The history existence, the company had become one of the biggest names in the field of advertising in India - with a revenue of 200 crores. Among the top five advertising and communications companies in India, Mudra was the only company that had an Indian-majority-controlled ownership. The company was started by A.G. Krishnamurthy with the one goal of becoming one of the top advertising agencies of the country. Started as a tucked-away name in the area of advertising in Ahmedabad, Mudra, in its ninth year of existence, became arguably the best advertising company in the country and definitely one of the best. Exhibit 1 shows a brief company profile of Mudra advertising. A.G. Krishnamurthy had started his advertising career in 1976 with Shilpi Advertising. He later moved to Reliance as an advertising manager. Four years since stepping in the field of advertising, Krishnamurthy founded Mudra with Vimal Suitings as its only client. In 1991, he also founded Mudra Institute of Communications – Ahmedabad – regarded as the only OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  3. 3. educational institution dedicated to advertising and communications. In 1995, Krishnamurthy was nominated as the advertising person of the year. Mudra : The present From a single client, small office and just a few employees, the company has today grown to remarkable heights. Today, it has more than 125 clients, some of which are the biggest names in their trades; and more than 1000 employees. Exhibit 2 shows a list of Mudra’s major clients. Mudra is expected to exceed a turnover in excess of 15 billion. The company integrates its experience and understanding of media and consumer brands to provide business solutions. A collaborative effort at the end of its employees has helped expand its clientele and establish endurable and thriving brands. Mudra functions through its following main wings: (1) Mudra and DDB (2) Mudra (advertising) (3) Mudra max (integrate communication planning and implementation) (4) Mudra health and life style (health and life style advertising) (5) Water (brand strategy and design consulting). Mudra now operates from its new headquarters in Mumbai – although its newest addition Mudra Ignite, an advertising agency for entrepreneurs is based out of Ahmedabad. In 2003, ‘Mudraites’, the firm’s employees refer to themselves, moved into a sprawling new office in Santa Cruz in Mumbai. The company has been putting in efforts over the past couple of years to build itself as a "complete 360 degree marketing and communications group". Indeed, after being known as an Ambani agency for most of the '80s and the '90s - thanks to the work it did for the clothing brand Vimal and Reliance's public issues - Mudra has done well to break out of that mould. At one point in time, Reliance accounted for close to a fourth of Mudra's business, but today just three per cent comes from the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  4. 4. Omnicom Group Inc. The second-largest advertising group in the world, Omnicom Group Inc. operates as the Omnicom : A brief overview parent company for three separate, independent advertising networks: the BBDO Worldwide Network, the DDB Needham Worldwide Network, and the TBWA International Network. Omnicom was created in 1986 as a holding company, but its history stretched much further back, back to the influential role each of its three subsidiary agencies played in the growth and development of the advertising industry. All 3 agencies were on the brink of suffering heavy financial losses when they decided to join forces which led to the birth of the media giant Omnicom Group Inc in 1986. Drivers of the merger and acquisition strategy In its illustrative history of 16 years Omnicom has adopted the policy of merging and acquiring to become a formidable force in the media and advertising industry. One of the leading factors behind Omnicom’s strategy is the fact that the diversification of their services and geographic balance ensures that their revenues are far less dependent on the business cycles of any one country or line of business. Many of the acquisitions have been in the time of economic crises wherein the merger of companies leads to economies of scale thereby reducing operational and administrative costs. Organisational Structure The company has a very structured policy in place to regulate M&As. Senior Management of the company does not generally undergo any restructuring post acquisitions. The company has 3 major divisions: Global Advertising Brands, National Advertising Agencies and Media Services thus the group functions more like a corporate giant than a quintessential Ad agency. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  5. 5. The people Sam Parekh was the HR Manager at the Mudra Group and was based out of the Mumbai office. He had been working in Mudra for 6 years now and had seen Mudra being turned around from an In house agency to a force to reckon with. Being the HR manager of the parent group Mudra Group he was also managing the HR heads of the different agencies under Mudra Group. The culture was easy going and open and Mudra Group and offered a pleasant working environment. Recently there had been a flurry of activities and there was a buzz in the office since most people were now aware of the imminent takeover by Omnicom. This was a situation Parekh had not faced before and involved intricate planning and execution. He had to ensure he could retain employees and yet carry out successful integration with DDB. The deal had been in the pipeline for almost 2 years now ever since DDB had acquired a stake of 10 % in Mudra. In 2009 when DDB purchase 10 % it was expected that they would increase their share in times to come however the fact that they had a controlling stake still came as a surprise. The announcement had not been formally made however most of the employees were aware and apprehensions and fears were growing. They had been approaching him with plans of layoffs and how the integration would be carried out . They were also obviously worried if the structure of the organisation would change with DDB controlling Mudra. Certain changes were inevitable however he knew that the deal terms specified that the existing HR policies would not change and the structure at junior levels would remain unaffected. Though this made it easier to Plan the Integration but until a formal announcement was made he had to find a way to contain the fears and apprehensions people were facing and limit the exchange of information that could harm the company before the acquisition. However the biggest challenge he faced was in terms of integrating the top management. This was worrying him, since this involved major restructuring at the top. Though Omnicom intended to allow full creative freedom to all employees certain changes would be made in terms of the structure. They planned to introduce 2 more agencies under the Mudra group and also planned to introduce regional heads for West, North and South. What also worried him was the industry and company dynamics. Advertising was an industry where creative freedom was first and foremost and being a small agency Mudra had its benefits. The OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  6. 6. structure was flat and people were free to approach each other at all times of the day. However with Mudra being controlled by DDB a lot more structure would be introduced . This had created a perception that creative freedom would be curbed. Also the top management would now be answerable to the DDB Management and this may create problems, at least to begin with. There would be other constraints as well since reporting to top management will have to done on a monthly basis instead of the quarterly reporting method followed until now. Recently a new worry had emerged. Through his industry contacts he had found out that the Chief Creative Officer Robin Verma had been approached by JWT for the position of CCO in JWT. JWT was a much bigger organisation than Mudra and offered more opportunities . He was wondering if Verma would take up the job. Robin and Sam shared a good relationship every since Robin joined the organisation 4 years back. Robin was motivated and had a clear vision, which coupled with his desire to face challenges made him an excellent asset to the company. He had single handedly turned Mudra group around and actually made Mudra a company worth acquiring. In the past 4 years he had won Mudra several awards and clients. Until now the 4 years at Mudra had been everything Sam had hoped for. He thrived on challenges and the challenge of working for an Indian ad agency competing with global giants gave him a lot of scope. This created two problems -firstly since Robin was motivated by new challenges and enjoyed the freedom Mudra offered him he may feel tempted to take the JWT offer with structural changes in Mudra. Further since Robin enjoyed huge popularity a lot of clients trusted him and his vision and might be loyal to him if he switched to JWT. This could mean losing out on key accounts and subsequent business. Sam Parikh had a lot to do in the coming days, and prepare a plan of action to control the rising anxieties in the head office. Acquisitions of smaller companies by larger organizations often results in a clash between The issues Culture clash “large company” processes and procedures − in other words, bureaucracy − and the zeal and style of a smaller, more entrepreneurial organization. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  7. 7. Mudra Group has been built on a foundation of traditional Indian values which are further strengthened by four entrepreneurial pillars of freedom, namely “Freedom from Fear/ Chaos” and “Freedom to Fail/Be”. These have created a unique structure in Mudra that has always had a very distinct culture in which existing employees have been functioning for their tenure. Freedom has been emphasised in the company, and there could be a possible clash between the culture of Mudra and that of Omnicom. Omnicom has “codes of conduct” that employees believe will hinder their way of functioning, and stifle their creativity, which of course is a cornerstone of any good advertising agency. Unrealistic expectations were doing the rounds in employees who were excited about the Expectations Merger. Omnicom group of companies pay their employees on average 3% above the market, so expectations of a pay rise were in the air. Omnicom’s market however is entirely different to that of DDB Mudra’s, in that the prior is global, and the latter is restricted to the Indian terrain. Pay scale of the two companies, therefore differ, and the chance of the average increase in pay being translated to DDB Mudra was only speculation, and not set in stone. Also known as managing “people risks”, managing of key talents is a challenge. Creatives are difficult to find because of the number of hours they have to put in and the kind of pay scale they find themselves with. In fact, creatives as talented as Robin Verma are a rareity, so Retention of creative talent losing him would be a big loss to the agency. They would not only lose an employee, but also the trust of a lot of the clients that would ask for him especially to oversee the work that is being done for them by the agency. With the imminent arrival of Omnicom into the DDB Mudra space, many employees were worried about losing their jobs to existing Omnicom employees, who were already used to Feeling of increased competition the governance of the holding group. Some who weren’t worried about losing their jobs, were in fact worried about their career progression, thinking that it would be stalled now to make way for higher level employees from Omnicom. Productivity and motivation had dipped due to such negative feelings, so addressing of the same had become essential. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  8. 8. Faced with these obstacles, Sam Parekh prepared himself for a few more sleepless nights. Mudra | The future? Over the years, Mudra's biggest strength became its weakness. Led by the legendary A.G. Krishnamurthy, the agency did some great work for Indian brands like Rasna, Dhara, Godrej, Paras and Reliance. That Mudra was at the forefront of building powerful Indian brands, however, backfired when it came to winning international businesses. Despite DDB buying 10 per cent in 1993, the association didn't reap too many benefits - international alignments were few and far between and Mudra gained little in terms of learnings of new methods and processes. As question marks began to appear about Mudra's quality of creativity it began losing clients. Mudra had a tie-up with Cheil of South Korea, which helped it bag the Samsung account in the early '90s. But when Cheil set up shop in India in 2004, Mudra had to give up the Korean business. Reliance Infocomm (the earlier avatar of Reliance Communications, which was then owned by Mukesh Ambani) too went away, as did Rasna. "I was welcomed back into Mudra with the departure of our No. 1 and No. 2 clients (Reliance Communications and Samsung). But those setbacks helped us begin on our new journey, which technically began in 2004-05," says Kamath. Kamath worked with Krishnamurthy at Mudra for 11 years before joining Bates Clarion in 1999, where he was credited with turning it around. He came back in 2003 once Krishnamurthy retired. "I had worked very hard to bring Bates into India and help it grow and acquire Clarion. I had laid the foundation for what probably could be the agency of the future and amidst all this I get a call from Anil Ambani asking me to come back and run Mudra. I could not say no, " says Kamath. Ambani also presented him the book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan. The message was clear: Strategy, innovation and leadership are all fine, but at the end of day just get the job done. He's been doing exactly that. Along with the CEOs of his other agencies and with DDB in tow, Mudra has since been getting back its groove. Big Indian brands like Big Bazaar and LIC and multinationals like Philips and Volkswagen are in the bag, ensuring a healthy mix between Indian and foreign business. Now that Omnicom has shown interest in buying substantial stake in the company, all eyes are set on the company’s future and the direction it takes. Exhibit 4 shows a SWOT analysis of the Mudra group. _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  9. 9. Post Acquisition Solutions | What was done What is now called the DDB MUDRA GROUP, handled the issues very well by addressing them head on. Recognising its greatest assets are the 13,000 people in the network, DDB Mudra retained the acquired company’s entrepreneurial pillars and maintened transparency during their final acquisition stages. Since the pillars suggest that fears arise from uncertainty, suspected motive and secrecy, management did not hide anything. “I think one of the biggest challenges when undertaking a strategic acquisition of a small company is how you preserve their entrepreneurial culture, and, their sense of ownership, so they don’t just get subsumed into a large organization with lots of functional layers and multiple layers of reporting. All this can really get in the way of the focus on their business.” - Tim Love, Omnicom. In terms of how they will measure the merger and acquisition, DDB Mudra Group will be looking at long-term profitability, or the long-term growth of that organization. But they also need to look at the overall contribution of that business to the remainder of the organization. Whether it filled that strategic void that they actually had at a particula r point in time? In terms of people issues, they conduct employee surveys and used engagement score cards that have been developed by the major HR firms. They will also measure overall retention as it’s very important to succession plans. All of those will be measured annually, and the improvement of these measures over time will be very critical to the success of the merger. This comes under the purview of the HR manager, which makes his job in the entire acquisition, crucial. Culture clash In the case of Omnicom and Mudra, the larger company adapted to accommodate the smaller organization, especially since the skill-set held by Mudra is stronger in the subject area of interest to the acquirer. Mudra is specialised in dealing with Indian Brands and understanding the Indian Consumer mindset. Omnicom allowed them to retain their work culture and habit, while only making a few changes at the executive levels of the organisational structure. It’s kind of a more humble approach. They recognized that the people who are in this niche/ OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  10. 10. regional business know what they’re doing better than Omnicom does. So, in this case, the acquirer adapted, to let their culture foster and maintain those pockets of intelligence that are good at what they are doing. Expectations An acquisition creates expectations among employees. For the employees who are excited about the merger, Mudra realized this and recognized this as an opportunity to convey the upside of the merger or acquisition. For example, staff may have the opportunity for pay raises or greater career mobility. The key was to paint a realistic picture, rather than raise false hopes, which could create significant credibility problems for management post-merger. Right up front, everybody was told what the go-forward plan was, because ifthey hadn’t they would make up their own mind and would walk out the door and they won’t come back. Managing employees from the acquired company has always been better when the finance centralization/independence plan is communicated. Loss of creative talent The company failed in retaining Robin Verma, and in fact lost him to JWT. It is still not fully known if the decision was made solely due to the Merger, but it is a big co-incidence that he decided to leave during this time. The purchase of Mudra could have allowed Omnicom more creativity in how the funds that comprise the purchase price are allocated. Part of the purchase price could have been deferred and allocated to some of those key people in pay-tostay types of bonuses as a risk mitigation technique. Robin Verma could have been given an incentive to stay. A “pay-to-stay” incentive plan would have required a thorough diligence exercise in order to properly identify and offer contracts to those who may pose a flight risk, such as Robin Verma. Once put in place, deals structured like this offer cannot guarantee against departures, but can serve as a motivator. Anything that can be done, should have been done to keep him, becase the cost of his departure from the company cannot really be calculated as can be seen below. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  11. 11. Feeling of increased competition The DDB Mudra Group created a People Performance Group focusing on supporting the management’s strategic and growth goals through continuous improvement in the performance of its people. Its leadership training programmes are organised as a hierarchy of programmes known as the Leadership Development Ladder. DDB Mudra Group has already begun leveraging the learning and training opportunities presented by these programmes and nominated a few of its management representatives to benefit from training. This has created a stance of equal opportunity for learning amongs the employees since this program is open to all of the DDB Mudra Group equally. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  12. 12. Exhibits Achievements of Mudra Group        Mudra gave India its first double spread colors ads Mudra was the first sponsored commercial telecast of a major sporting event with the India - West Indies cricket series of 1983 Mudra was the first company that branded a public issue Reliance Khazana Mudra made India s first telefilm Janam Mudra was behind Doordarshan’s Rajani – the serial that heralded a new consumer awareness in India Mudra gave India it’s first academy for advertising – MICA, Ahmedabad Mudra gave the Indian advertising community its first advertising archives marketing and Advertising Gallery - MAG Organisational structure of Mudra Like all major advertisers, Mudra also maintains an advertising department. The structure of these departments however vary from organisatio n to organisatio n. This is mainly because each organisation tries to develop a form, which is most suited to one's requirements to serve its clientele. The principal forms of organizational structure are based on • Sub functions of advertising, such as copywriting or artworks • Communication media • Geographical spread • Products • End users An advertising department has to perform several functions. Some major functions are - Setting advertising goals Setting advertising plans Setting project budget Selecting the team for the project Maintaining contacts Providing support to the marketing staff A media and advertising organisation may be divided into various structures on the basis of different parameters. Some of the various structural divisions are illustrated in Exhibit 3. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  13. 13. Reporting structure at Mudra The advertising manager has to report to somebody who is higher up in the organizational structure. To whom the advertising manager would depend upon how much importance advertising is given to the total operations of the firm. There are several alternatives. These are: •Report to the Chief Executive (Chairman/MD.) •Report to the Director (Marketing) • Report to the divisional head if the firm is a multi-division firm and responsibility is delegated at the division level. Awards received by Mudra - International awards o More than 230 awards o Include the likes of Cannes, D&AD, Clio, One show, Ad fest, Communication Arts, New York festivals and others - National awards o More than 825 awards o Include the likes of Abby, CAG, Ad clubs, AAAI show case of India advertising and others - Agency of the year 8 times Mudra founder A.G. Krishnamurthy has been honored multi times including Calcutta Ad club Hall of fame A&M Ad person of the year Media international one of the international Ad industry1998 AAAI Prem Narayon award recognition of pioneering spirit and entrepreneurial vision Mudra south agency of the year at paper award and the AdClub Cochin award - OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  14. 14. Mudra | Company profile Headquarters Mumbai Industry Marketing and advertising Type Privately held Status Operating Established 1980 CEO Madhukar Kamath Employee size ~1000 employees Website www.Mudra.com Mudra | Major clients OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  15. 15. OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  16. 16. Mudra | SWOT analysis Strengths Weaknesses • • • • • Satisfying the need of the customers Meeting up the client requirements in time Innovative & creative in advertisement segment Quality in advertisement Global exposure with higher rewards & appreciation • Efficient team working environment • Pricing strategy • Lack in promotion strategies towards increasing the brand name Opportunities • Entering in global market to attract global clients • Being the oldest advertising agency in India, it brand among itsclients- they have lot of client coming back with new product forgetting advertised • In its successful journey, they lot of wonderful memorbaladvertisement done by them- this has increased their brandimage in the Indian market Threats • Challenging stiff competition from its competitor’s from bothdomestic & international levels • Changes in the taste & preferences of clients • Lack of creative minds & also too expensive in overall management OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  17. 17. Mudra | The Core Mudra | HR Awards won post acquisition HR AWARDS Sr No 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bestowed By Recognition received Rashtriya Udyog Ratna and Quality Brands Awards Ratna Award Rashtriya Udyog HR Leadership awards forum Star Newshe Super Achiever Award T Asia's Best Employer BrandAwards Innovation in Recruitment Asia's Best Employer BrandAwards Continuous Innovation in HR strategy at work Asia's Best Employer BrandAwards Women at work Leadership Award Asia's Best Employer BrandAwards Young HR professional of the year award Awarded to Ajit Menon Rita Verma DDB Mudra Group DDB Mudra Group Rita Verma Ameya Joshi OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA Year 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012
  18. 18. Learnings from the case The Model of organisational change adopted The Mudra Group should have adopted the Model Of Organizational Development which encompasses a collection of change interventions built on humanistic democratic values that seek to improve organizational effectiveness and employee well being. This paradigm values human and organizational growth , collaborative and and participative processes and a spirit of enquiry. DDB Mudra , consistent with the principles of this model essentially highlights the following underlying values:  Respect for people( Employees are humans first and professionals later)  Trust and support (All decision making follows a democratic framework)  Power equalization (Rigid hierarchies are considered to be archiac)  Confrontation (Open Door policies are the principle to live by)  Participation (Any change is a consequence of a group decision and so faces lesser resistance) Following are the HR practices that could have been employed in the highly charged environment evoked pre and during the acquisition: 1. Sensitivity Training- These are methods of changing behaviour through free and unstructured group interactions. This could encourage and create opportunities for uninhibited interactions so that the key issues could emerge. 2. Survey Feedback- This is a questionnaire that is completed by all members in the organization and asks members for their perceptions and attitudes towards the proposed organizational change. There was no evidence cited during the interviews conducted by us of any such survey being circulated. However , the top management was presented several times OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  19. 19. with short anonymous open ended qualitatively oriented questionnaires so that strategic plans for the future could be put to place 3. Process Consultation- This requires an outside consultant to assist the manager to perceive, understand and act upon the “change event” with which the manager must deal. It is principally similar to sensitivity training since it believes that acceptance of change can be facilitated through a personal level involvement , but it is more task directed. To some extent this technique was employed since the HR team served a guides to the managers , clarifying the need for change , giving useful insights into the situation and maintaining whatever transparency they could afford to so that the managers knew from where this decision of acquisition had emerged and could directly then relook at their professional and personal goals to align with the broader organizational objective. 4. Appreciative Inquiry-This accentuates the positive i.e it seeks to identify the unique qualities and special strengths of an organization which can be built on to improve acceptance of change. In other words , the focus is less on problems and more on the past success record as well as potential for future successful ventures. The HR manager employed this technique by directing the employees towards the following:  Discovery- The employees were directed to think about the strengths of the organization- how many awards it had won etc.  Dreaming- The employees were directed to speculate about the possible futures for Mudra.  Design- The employees are directed towards agreeing on a common vision.  Destiny- The employees were directed towards mapping out the steps that need to be followed to convert Mudra into their dream organization. Even though the organization seemed to have left no stone unturned to retain the spirit of all the employees , it faltered to retain one of its most prized members- Mr Robin Verma , the Chief Creative Officer. This was an immense loss because many clients swore by his work and were staunchly loyal to him. Also , it is relatively easy to replace top management employees who are in charge of support functions like finance and HR vis-à-vis core OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA
  20. 20. functions of Account planning and Client Servicing -the creative department being the heart of it. Undoubtedly , the company must have faced many problems in recruiting someone else and acclimatising the new CCO to the functioning of the organization and its creative ideologies. The fact that the Mumbai office has not reported a high attrition rate post the acquisition proves that this change was introduced very successfully and without any giant structural and cultural shocks. However , the work of the HR team can never be perfect- it can only aspire towards satisfying everyone at every level. For instance , DDB Mudra has really risen and won many accolades post the acquisition , has maintained employee morale throughout and has been listed as one of the smoothest acquisitions ever carried out , but it did lose its Creative Head . The repercussions of this may not have reflected in its balance sheets blatantly , but it did effect the equilibrium of the creative department. Since DDB values each and every unit within it , the loss was felt across all SBU’s . ___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ The End OD & HRM Assignment | DDB MUDRA Group | PGP 19 | MICA