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Look out for the iPad stands on your office premises

Vol. 01


Hot off the press SapientNitro has been awarded a Silver Lion for Fiat ‘Sistine Chapel’; an Italian Masterpiece, in the Promo & Activation category in the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. SapientNitro wins a Blue Elephant in Kyoorius Digital Awards 2014 for ESPN’s ‘Trick Track’ app in the Mobile Interaction & Experience category.

Campus hiring may go up Interview | Prashant Bhatnagar, Director — Hiring & Staffing, SapientNitro, India Sapient is a global services company that helps clients transform in the areas of business, marketing and technology. It operates three divisions — SapientNitro, Sapient Global Markets, and Sapient Government Services — in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Continued on Page 4

Converging Social Media With Capital Markets Capital Markets have always been on the forefront of adoption of new technology. Effective technology deployment in this industry has a direct impact on the bottom line of the organizations. Continued on Page 4

For Internal Circulation only

Sapient Global Markets KV Sridhar tops 2014 Energy Risk joins SapientNitro Technology Rankings KV Sridhar, former chief creative officer of Leo Burnett for South Asia, has joined digital agency SapientNitro as Chief Creative Officer. It marks the first time SapientNitro, which works with brands like Coca-Cola and Absolut in India, has created such a role.

Rated as best implementation partner for project delivery within budget Sapient Global Markets, a division of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), and leading global provider of business technology and consulting services for the capital and commodity markets, today announced it has been named as the “Best for Project Delivery Within Budget” in the 2014 Energy Risk Technology Rankings.

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Why Marketing Presents A $37-Bn Opportunity For Indian Tech!

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Fresher hiring gains popularity with big companies in private sector Students have come to depend on campus placements to provide them a good launch for their career. But what is the view point of the companies that come for campus recruitment? How valuable are the campus recruits in the larger scheme of the company’s growth and

progress? Answering these questions and more is Rishi Bhatnagar, Director, Staffing at Sapient Global Markets, during an

exclusive interview. What are the skills sought from entry-level talent? Also, what kind of training investment is made on junior/entrylevel talent? Innovative and original thinking, efficiency and scale are gaining currency as attributes in the people we recruit. Continued on Page 6

We may soon end up with social spam: Gaston Legorburu CANNES: If we had a dime for every time we’ve heard the terms “real-time” and “storytelling” we’d be Riviera rich; able to stroll in to the showrooms of Chanel and Christian Dior, instead of just gawking at the wares on display. Over the past couple of years every marketer and agency person worth his or her Lion has talked extensively about the importance of telling your brand tale well.

ago it was the big traditional agencies. It used to be all about Madison Avenue and the Lions of old school advertising.” Today, it’s all Google, Twitter and Intel. “It’s become a big media hub. They even dropped ‘advertising’ from the name,” says Legorburu. Sunday on the French Riviera

Times have certainly changed since the days when Mad Men walked the Croisette. At the Cannes, realtime or live storytelling as a means to engage with consumers in a digitally-enabled world is all over the menu. Today, the festival is as much a storytelling conference as it is a technology conference. Says Gaston Legorburu, global Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro, a company that combines creative, brand and technology: “Up until five years

began with a focus on live storytelling, an attendee reminding us of what Rishad Tobaccowalla, VivaKi’s chief strategy and innovation officer, has said in the past: “We are set up like a live orchestra. This is the age of jazz.” “There’s a structure but it’s up to

us to riff off each other.” Speaking about these structures and the commandments of storytelling in a digital age, Legorburu says: “Unless you are really wired that way you are playing with fire. Culturally and operationally, agencies and marketers are not set up for this. So what we’ll end up with, in the next 12 months, is mediocre work, social spam. Twitter will become more like your Gmail inbox.” So, how can the people shaping brand stories avoid turning in to social spammers and keep their messages from being immediately relegated to the bin? To start off, Legorburu’s advice is “Instead of thinking about creating stories for clients to tell consumers rather we must think how do we take that product, service and brand and make it a part of consumer’s story.”

Now, a new study by Nasscom and SapientNitro pegs the size of the marketing opportunity for technology firms at anywhere between $18 billion (at conservative

levels) and $37 billion by 2020. So much so, that Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar urged technology vendors to look beyond the CIO’s office and towards the CMO for lucrative contracts.

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India Inc Gets a Traditional advertising is Future Shock, like going on a date and not Builds Leaders letting the other person talk A fourth of companies fill less than 25% of critical roles with internal talent, but some are reversing that. The Tata Group is giving its flagship leadership programme, TAS, a makeover. The group now has a sharper ‘employee life cycle’ focus, aimed at developing, mentoring and managing the career of every manager listed under the programme. At Hindustan Unilever (HUL), leaders at every level are involved in identifying top talent at a level below theirs. And, sensing the need to develop talent for senior roles, Vodafone has extended its cross-functional induction to 45 days from a lesser duration earlier. Across India Inc, companies are waking up to the need to develop a leadership pipeline, building internal talent for critical roles. While companies like Hindustan Unilever and the Tata Group have long been cited as models of good internal grooming, those like Sapient, Vodafone and HCL are tweaking existing strategies to make their internal processes more robust. Continued on Page 5

Published by; India Marketing

Early movers like Adobe, IBM, Infosys have already been chasing the CMO’s budget for contracts for some time now. In fact, partnerships such as the Infosys-WPP and the Sapient NitroAccenture Interactive have come about to chase the marketing services opportunity.

In an ‘era-defining’ deal, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the iconic Washington Post, after it had had six consecutive years of declining revenues. As much as this deal highlights Bezos’s vision, it also underscores a phenomenon of our times: Media and advertising companies are getting disrupted, changing forever. The factors reshaping how brands and consumers connect—leading to this disruption—are also factors that, I believe, will alter the contours of the $100 billion Indian IT industry. For instance, this year, for the first time in history, the average US adult will spend more time online than on watching television. This shift in the media consumption pattern has driven

corporations to increasingly move their advertising dollars to digital media, leading to the challenges that the Washington Post encountered. Consider that in 2008, social media overtook porn as the number one activity on the web. As much as we use our social network to connect with friends and lead declarative lives, we increasingly draw on it to make purchase decisions. Today, a recommendation from a friend is seven times more effective at driving a product purchase than a newspaper advertisement. This has had profound implications on the role of consumers in shaping the brand story. Continued on Page 8

‘The Sapient Times’ gives you a sneak peek into all of Sapient India’s media coverage & news, major events across our offices, and some fun stuff to keep you entertained. It will be published twice a year to begin with. Happy reading!



Social media – a key resource for IT/ITES hiring level candidates while Facebook & Twitter drive our social recruiting efforts for positions at other levels of responsibility.” HCL also uses a Facebook app to generate customized responses to jobs based out of different geographies.

Social media helps in building the brand as it enables interactive dialogue and that is critical to building brands. Social media engagement can help employers gauge the DNA fitment of a potential candidate for their organisation. These were some of the tweets of a top IT company as it ran a global, recruitment campaign exclusively on Twitter called #CoolestInterviewEver in February this year. The campaign received over 80,000 applications globally! Candidates were quizzed in a series of interviews over Twitter, and the winning candidate got the opportunity to work with the company - HCL Technologies, top management. Social recruitment in the IT/ITES industry sure seems to have come of age as this sunrise industry swears by social. “If you have had enough of your 9-5 corporate job and are looking for something refreshing and challenging, we will gladly welcome you,” tweets Nayi Disha,

an ITES company in its nascent stages, but representative of many other such new-generation start-ups, for whom social media has become a key source to get good hires. While new start-ups are quick to take this route, as it is the most economical and effective way to reach relevant candidates, top companies in this sector are leveraging social on an even larger scale. HCL’s global twitter campaign being one such case. Says Prithvi Shergill, Chief Human Resource Officer, HCL Technologies Ltd, “LinkedIn is our preferred social media channel for sourcing Middle & Senior

EXL Services is another company that finds itself using more and more social, and what makes them do so, besides economy and cost effectiveness? Says Rajesh Nandanwar, Vice President, Recruitment, EXL, “Social helps in building the brand as it enables interactive dialogue and that is critical to building brands. Further, social recruiting offers the advantage of targeting the right kind of talent. The wealth of information that can be gathered from social media sites also helps us to have a clearer picture of prospective applicants.” “Social media engagement can help employers gauge the DNA fitment of a potential candidate for their organization.” agrees Dr. Rajesh Save, Global Head, HR of Syntel Inc. “Big Data and Analytics can further aid technology-

proactive head hunting, even before the CV is uploaded, on basis of the user’s responses in various forums and message boards,” adds Save. Each of the social platforms have their own USP for hirers, as Prashant Bhatnagar, Director - Hiring & Staffing, SapientNitro, India explains, “Sapient Facebook page informs and engages existing and prospective talent on workplace practices, Twitter is meant for expressing opinions and making connections at individual levels. LinkedIn is the most effective and measurable channel for identifying passive and competitive talent both for research and recruiting purposes.” And what is the kind of scale we are talking about? Elucidates Prashant, “As per a recent report, over 50% of our hires were impacted by LinkedIn in one way or the other.” Social media is undoubtedly the hiring mantra for IT/ ITES sector today.

Facebook acquires Whatsapp; deal valued at $19 billion On 20 February, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, announced through his wall that the company has acquired the chat service – Whatsapp. On his page he explained how WhatsApp will work with Facebook: “WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook. The product roadmap will remain unchanged and the team is going to stay in Mountain View. Over the next few years, we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts for, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.” The announcement does not come as a surprise since Facebook was in talks to acquire the chat service. The deal is valued at $19 billion, in cash and stock. Jan Koum, CEO, WhatsApp, will join Facebook’s board


DID you know

of directors. “WhatsApp had every option in the world, so I’m thrilled that they chose to work with us. I’m looking forward to what Facebook and WhatsApp can do

together, and to developing great new mobile services that give people even more options for connecting,” Zuckerberg surmised. On the acquisition, Sanjay Menon, global capability lead and India marketing services lead, SapientNitro, noted, “The WhatsApp acquisition will enable Facebook to achieve a

wider youth user base in the mobile segment along with access to real users since it is anchored to a phone number unlike Facebook users. There could be a possibility of intersecting data from

both for context-based promotion or targeting. We might also see a flurry of acquisitions in the wireless messaging/chat segment in the next few months. Typically, one would have imagined a company like Google to acquire WhatsApp since they have the infrastructure to leverage this additional

Waking up to digital realities

Social media and mobile applications are key changes in the business environment faced by CMOs, followed by proliferation of digital engagement channels and

the need to react quickly to pricing demands across channels and geographies, finds a report

Internal Announcements

Sapient Aims For A Better World

massive consumer base to bolt on from mobile.” Dippak Khurana, CEO and co-Founder,, said, “It will be interesting to see if WhatsApp moves away from its subscription model and adopts advertising. After all, in effect, Facebook is going to be able to have access to 450 million verified mobile numbers, many of whom may not even be on the Facebook app. Additionally with Google pushing Hangouts as a default mobile messaging app, Facebook was forced into doing something in the mobile messaging space and this was the best way to capture that market. This presents a distinctive opportunity for Facebook to garner increased user engagement and a greater fillip to their mobile strategy.”

Expands itself in the Nonprofit Sector In support of its growing base of client-facing work with a diverse group of non-profit and non-governmental organizations, Sapient’s dedicated non-profit team recently launched a new microsite: www. As a significant part of its overall non-profit strategic marketing plan, the dedicated microsite is an important step towards building momentum around Sapient’s work and brand in the non-profit sector. The non-profit team’s

rallying cry has been “technology, strategy, and marketing…for a better world.” Visitors are welcomed to the site with bright colors, a clean design, and client-centric layout, making it easier for Sapient to share knowledge, impart expertise, and communicate its capabilities and offerings to a market that has been tremendously successful for it over the past few years. The team worked with a larger group, including outside non-profit experts, to craft language and messages that resonate specifically with the industry.

Zuckerberg suffers from red-green colorblindness and sees the color blue best, which is why blue dominates Facebook’s color scheme.



The Thought Platform A global services company that provides business, marketing and technology services to clients, Sapient is based in Boston, Massachusetts in the US. It rakes in at least $1 billion in revenues and has more than 11,000 employees across the world. Globally, they are known for their gamechanging and awardwinning work for clients across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific and have been recognized as a great place to work in multiple geographies. In the third quarter results published in November 2013, the third quarter service revenues were up 12 per cent and nonGAAP operating income up 17 per cent compared to third quarter 2012. The company operates three divisions – SapientNitro, Sapient Global Markets and Sapient Government Services – that fuse insight, creativity and technology to drive innovation and to help clients navigate complex business problems. Ever since Sapient began operations in India in 2000, the country has primarily been a talent market for the company. India houses over 60 per cent of the global workforce. After the economic slowdown in 2009 and until 2011, the company’s brand perception and reputation was impacted in the talent market. Not only did it impact the company’s ability to hire qualified talent and raise talent

to get the buy-in from the business leaders. Since the forum gave each of the business units an opportunity to present their uniqueness to an audience of their choice, the collaboration between the marketing and the business teams was great. The event was driven by in-house talent and financing for this project was used from other discontinued projects. It gave the leaders in the company a chance to showcase their abilities as well as use the forum to learn.

costs, but also impacted profit and led to attrition. So, in a bid to shore up employer branding, Sapient launched an industry forum for knowledge exchange – a property that was innovative, less capital intensive, sustainable, inclusive and highlighted the company’s expertise. The company conceptualized and created separate thought leadership events: Redefining Perspectives for Sapient Global Markets (a division of Sapient) and Idea Engineer Exchange for SapientNitro (the other division of Sapient). The idea behind the events was not only building

a thought leadership platform leading to higher awareness and stronger preference and reputation in the talent market but also to give the audience a platform to experience the company’s value proposition first hand. The typical event would last anywhere between four and six hours, where an audience of 50-60 would be invited to engage with Sapient leaders. The audience would get a chance to see some of Sapient’s latest work, exchange ideas, gain knowledge and network with peers from their domains.

All these efforts have resulted in the company being chased by talent. The number of applicants has since doubled from 2011 and the company has launched more such thought leadership forums to keep the link with talent alive. Over 100 ex-employees of Sapient have rejoined since 2011 citing work and culture as reasons and in 2013 employee referral applications increased by at least 30 per cent compared to 2012. So what can TA leaders from other companies learn from this initiative? It is best to start small and then scale up. The second learning is that use internal talent and ensure people are tapped to the full extent of their capabilities.

What stood out in terms of Best Practice was how the TA leaders managed

INVISTA Names SapientNitro Global Advertising Agency of Record for the LYCRA® Brand SapientNitro, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), today announced that it has been appointed global advertising agency of record for the LYCRA® brand. INVISTA, which owns the LYCRA® brand, has tasked SapientNitro with responsibility for global brand strategy, advertising, digital, social and customer experience. The appointment aims to bring to life the brand’s positioning through a connected ecosystem of experiences across advertising, digital engagement and multichannel marketing efforts designed to drive deeper engagement with their consumers and customers. INVISTA’s decision to

assign a new global advertising agency of record comes as it places renewed emphasis on the LYCRA® brand, making clear its product advantage – and enhancing its appeal along the entire apparel value chain – mills, packagers, brands, retailers and consumers. Bob Kirkwood, Executive Vice-President of Marketing at INVISTA, says: “LYCRA® is one of the best known ingredient brands globally and we have high aspirations for the brand. We want to

communicate our LYCRA® brand positioning to the millennial generation and build a consumer following of LYCRA® brand ambassadors.” The global LYCRA® brand account will be run out of SapientNitro’s London office. The work will involve TV-led brand advertising as well as co-operative campaigns with famous garment and retailer brands and will be rolled out globally across key regions in 2014. The campaign will also include print, digital and social activities to create integrated, immersive stories and experiences that live across brand communications in

today’s always-on world. Nigel Vaz, SVP and European Managing Director at SapientNitro, says: “INVISTA is an exceptional global innovator. INVISTA, owner of the LYCRA® brand, is a fantastic global advertising account win for us and a powerful demonstration of where our StoryscapingSM approach which combines the power of storytelling with systems thinking to allow brands to create not just ads but worlds - can take us and our clients.”

KV Sridhar joins... Continued FROM Page 1

Says Rajdeep Endow, Managing Director Sapient, India: “We feel there’s a space for a new type of agency given what is happening in the consumer space and with marketers looking at creating new experiences. One of the things we needed was a creative storyteller.” Speaking on why he chose Sridhar in particular, Endow says, “We had a shared worldview on where advertising and the brand consumer interaction was going.” On his part, Sridhar claims to have been a fan of the agency ever since he saw a piece of work it created four years ago called Best Job In The World for Queensland Tourism which invited applicants to be the caretaker of an island off the Great Barrier Reef. He says, “It was an incredible way of selling a country and I felt there was a new way of communication.” The job, he claims, is an attempt to reinvent himself and stay relevant for the next 20 years.

“I couldn’t live in the past and wanted to connect with the audience of today and try and connect them with brands. My patience was running out since I am an angry young man. I saw a perfect fit with a new age agency. I feel like a teenage boy. After years of teaching I will now be learning,” he elaborates. While currently focused on the digital end of the business, Sridhar and Endow have ambitious plans. However in most cases digital agencies are still expected to collaborate with mainline agencies who lead on creative and strategy. Asked if he foresees problems in collaboration, Endow says, “It’s a given in this context. I don’t see cultural issues at our end. And if others have these issues, hopefully the client interest will prevail.”

Ukraine crisis: Energy markets will not be adversely impacted We expect that things will get resolved through dialogue, Sapient Global Markets (India) says. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine might have an impact on the world energy markets in a big way. Aditya Gandhi, Director, Sapient Global Markets (India) explains on how it may impact the India energy scenario and what India should or can do to remain largely unaffected by the crisis. “Russia is the biggest supplier of gas to Europe and over 50% of this gas flows through Ukraine. Till now there has been no disruption in flow of energy from Russia to Ukraine or Europe and because of the relatively mild winters EU is sitting on a big stockpile of gas which means that in the short term there is no significant threat to

the EU energy markets. However, the fear of war has added a risk premium to price of oil globally and will increase the price of our crude import basket as well,” Gandhi said. He added, “We expect that things will get resolved through dialogue and the energy markets will not be adversely impacted in the long run. However, for India, this has an important lesson in energy security. We need to make all efforts to diversify our sources of supply across the globe, renew efforts to encourage exploration and production within the country and have significant focus on renewables to ensure that we will not be held ransom to a situation like this in the future.”



Converging Social Media... Continued FROM Page 1

Whether it is technology deployment for coming up with low latency applications where the trade is executed in less than a millisecond or an intelligent analytical model which is used to price complex financial products, capital markets are always innovating the application of technology in business. Innovation in technology has resulted in a material impact on the bottom line in this industry. As a result, what appears to be a futuristic trend in technology seems to find a real world application in this industry. This industry has always redefined the limits of imagination in terms of application of technology. Faster execution of trades, algorithmic trading, complex analytical tools are just a few examples where technology has been critical to staying ahead of competition. We are now experiencing another innovative use of technology in this industry i.e. the use of social media. The current article deals with some very interesting and innovative trends that are emerging in terms range of applicability and impact of social media on this industry. Applications of social media in capital markets: Predicting stock prices: Research studies have indicated a strong correlation between social mood and stock prices. Social mood is found to be a lead indicator of the stock prices. The volume of data posted on a daily basis on the social media is huge. For instance, Twitter alone has over 65 million tweets a day. The correlation between collective thoughts and moods of millions provide an indication of the stock markets in the near future. Academic studies have tried to classify tweets in six different mood states i.e. calm,

alert, sure, vital, kind and happy. The calm state has been found to have a 86.7% correlation with Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Online brand popularity has also been found to be a lead indicator of the stock prices. Social media popularity of the brand on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube has shown correlation with the stock price. A study conducted in association with Famecount (which tracks brand popularity on social media), has demonstrated that popularity of the brand on social media can be used to predict the stock price. This study focused on three brands- Starbucks, Coca Cola and Nike, over a period of 10 months. Social media popularity of these three brands was tracked against the daily stock price movement. Interestingly, this correlation is not just restricted to the academic world. London based Derwent Capital has launched a 25 million pound hedge fund which will utilize the sentiment derived from real time social media sentiment analysis. Another example of industry adoption is Penson Financial Services Inc, which will be providing both retail and institution brokers quantitative trading signals that incorporate social media sentiment. Social Media in retail trading: Retail trading is adopting social media in a big way. Unlike professional traders who do not want the market to know their positions and trading history, the online retail traders treat information sharing as a valuable asset. Social networking is an important resource to obtain ideas and tips. Retail investors are using social media for trading in multiple asset classes.

Online FX trading website like allows the users to build communities to share and discuss trades. On this platform the retail forex traders around the world can share their real trades in real time. It allows you to build trading friends based on trading profile. The users can then collaborate with their trading friends. On similar lines, Zecco’s Wall Street, which is a Facebook application, gives the users the ability to like a stock, thereby giving the ability to stay tuned to stocks latest development. One can also see the stocks which are liked by friends etc. In addition, the users can place the orders right from Facebook. Stocktwits allows the users to participate in a global community of investors and traders. Get information and ideas on stocks. The users can connect with investors and traders of similar profile and follow them. In addition, the user can share ideas and trades with a wider community and get feedback. Analysis of the trend: On the face of it, prediction of stock prices based on the collective sentiment on social media sounds very futuristic. The concept is still in its infancy stage and needs a detailed study covering multiple stocks from multiple sectors over a long period of time so as to test different market conditions. In addition, the extraction and interpretation of data from social media has to be made more intelligent. Information available on social media is unstructured data. All information in the semistructured / unstructured domain is not useful to analyse sentiment, as a result intelligent filters have to be applied to extract the relevant feeds. Enhancing intelligence in

extracting the relevant feeds will be of critical importance. Analysis of the social media feed has to be context sensitive. This requires an application which is able to understand the association between words. The application should be intelligent enough to create the association between words over time which indicate a particular mood state. This will be a key differentiator between stock price predictive models. Location is another factor that has to be taken into account. Tweets from a user in Bhutan may not be used as a lead indicator of the sentiment to predict the DJIA. On similar lines, demographic profile of the user needs to be considered while extracting the social media feeds. The social media feed extraction logic and feed analysis should be in conjunction with the news feed analysis. For instance, commodity prices have an impact on the currency movements so news feed impacting the oil producing countries in a positive manner should be used in conjunction with the sentiment analysis of social media feeds from the region. Interpreting the news in conjunction with the social media feed will validate the output of sentiment analysis. Predicting stock price based on social media popularity may work for brands in the public media. However, brands which are less consumer facing might not demonstrate the level of correlation that has been seen for consumer facing brands. Correlation of the popularity on social media with stock price needs to be studied in all market conditions as fans may not cease to be fans in a bad market.

Campus hiring may go up... Continued FROM Page 1

Q. It was in 2010, amid recession, when Accenture and TCS emerged as top recruiters, with hiring numbers for Accenture crossing 30,000. However, in 2014, when India seems to be positive on hiring — as per reports — the numbers don’t seem to cross 20 per cent. Do you think that’s a good number? US GDP, according to World Bank estimates, is projected to grow 2.6-2.8 per cent while growth for Europe is pegged at 1-1.2 per cent (India at 6.3 per cent). Both these regions are focused on local job creation which is likely to impact job creation in other regions, including India. Given this backdrop and industry’s increasing focus on de-linking revenue growth to people growth, 20 per cent increase in hiring across India is a good number.

Sapient is working with academia and industry to prepare the talent pool for tomorrow. This involves working with colleges and universities to shape curriculum, engage in faculty development and internship, introducing credits and courses that have practical implications, sponsor dissertation and research in emerging fields and conducting/ sponsoring trainings. Additionally, we are tapping into new regions/ countries/disciplines for the talent.

Q. The billing model for the Indian IT sector has changed and the focus has shifted from headcount based/pyramid selling to project based. What impact do you see on hiring numbers with this approach?

impacts on hiring: ( 1) Number of hires will see downward revision. Overall hiring might reduce by 15-20 per cent. (2) New roles will be created while existing roles will see a change in expectations: While hiring fewer people, organisations will seek more competencies from the ones being recruited while recruiting new roles. For example, people that are multi-skilled, that are focused on efficiency and productivity gains and can leverage tools to bring about the promised outcomes.

Despite a large base of contracts that are structured on efforts (i.e. people count), there is a growing focus to move towards outcome based pricing. This has two broad

Q. India Inc is also talking about building and exploring alternate talent pool pipeline. What is Sapient doing in this area?

Q. Tell us about some unique projects taken up by Sapient India. We have rolled out a knowledge exchange platform — a property that is innovative, less capital intensive, sustainable, inclusive and highlighted the company’s expertise. The company also conceptualised and created separate thought leadership events for its two businesses in India: Redefining Perspectives for Sapient Global Markets and Xperience Infinite for SapientNitro. skill building by tying up with colleges and universities as also industry institutions are meant to overcome that.

higher awareness and stronger preference and reputation in the talent market, but also to give the audience a platform to experience the company’s value proposition first hand. The typical event lasts anywhere between four and six hours, where an audience of 50-60 is invited to engage with Sapient leaders. By this, not only has the company changed the way it showcases its strength, but also highlighted the passion with which we work, the domain expertise of our business leaders and their forward thinking ability to identify/capitalise on trends in the space. Each event addresses topics that help industry practitioners to converge/diverge on themes that would impact their future and their work. These forums actively engage all stakeholders including, academia, clients, talent, industry experts, business leaders and media. Participation in these forums has also increased exponentially, from 50 in the first forum to 175 in the most recent one, signifying the increased value that these forums bring to industry practitioners.

The idea behind the events is not only building a thought leadership platform leading to

Internal Announcements

Robinson Gets Ready To Roar at Cannes Lions Selected for the inaugural ‘See It, Be It’

Cheyney Robinson has been invited to participate in “See It, Be It”, a new initiative launched by Cannes Lions to redress the under-representation of women in the creative industry and put them in the spotlight. Cheyney is one of

the 12 women selected by Cannes to participate in the 3-day educational and mentorship programme. She will form part of a core group that shapes the future of “See It, Be It” which aims to build a global network that helps

women succeed in our industry. Cheyney is a natural choice to represent SapientNitro given her contributions to both the business and the Women’s Leadership Network.

Agencies In A Race To Power Up Digital Capabilities It’s clearly battleground digital in the days ahead going by the series of recent movements in the advertising industry. On Tuesday (May 13) Havas Media Group sent a release announcing the appointment of Ranjoy Dey as Head – Digital. Formerly with Ignitee Digital, Dey’s key responsibility at Havas will be to drive growth for the agency’s digital offering. Parallel to Havas’s announcement, South Korean agency Cheil put out a note announcing the appointment of Avinash Joshi as Media Director and Head for Social Media at its India office. Cheil made no bones the appointment was to power up the digital quotient of the agency. Joshi was earlier with SapientNitro, where he was Digital Account Director and Social Media Lead. And for its part, SapientNitro, a digital agency, surprised the industry by appointing K.V. Sridhar as Chief Creative Officer for India. Sridhar, popularly known as ‘Pops’ in the industry, a much respected creative honcho who grew from a Bollywood billboard painter to Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett, will now be addressing growing client demand for the agency’s combination of creative and technology service offerings in the Indian market. Incidentally, this is new role that SapientNitro has created. “The canvas has changed in


a way that can no longer be constrained in the traditional advertising model. I am thrilled to join SapientNitro as they are leading this change, and redefining what it means to be an agency in today’s hyperconnected world,” said Sridhar, explaining his surprising move. Surprising because it’s rare to see an established creative person shake off the comforts of an offline traditional advertising agency to join the turbulent new agency model. But it also shows that digital is where the action stations are and where agencies need to start firing more from to create more engagement for brands. As Anita Nayyar, CEO, Havas Media Group India and South Asia said on Dey’s appointment, it was to jettison the digital strength at Havas Media Group forward. ‘Digital at core’ is not only our group philosophy but our mission in India. Havas Media Group had a great run in 2013 and in 2014 won key digital accounts of and Xolo. We are committed to deliver digital across platform, across device. It is clearly our focus area of growth year-onyear to give clients integrated incremental value fulfilling their business objectives.” By the looks of it, 2014 is the coming of age of digital in India.

initiatives banks are undertaking to reorder tech investments

Investment Banks are at an based income’ that is more interesting cross-road when regular and predictable, it comes to their technology it will create the need to investments. Over the last few build ‘best in class customer years, the investment banks experience/interaction tools’ cut down their IT spends in addition to improved while the demands from the tools for their ‘advisors’ and IT organization continued to ‘agents’. The race to ‘retain increase. Over the last few customers and Assets’ will years, the IT organization was be won by those who get this in a ‘React’ mode; responding right. to the budget cuts by slowing down new programs and by • Investing in ‘off the shelf’ products as opposed to diverting IT spend to ‘mandatory customized applications. programs’ like Dodd Frank, As old applications become EMIR, FATCA etc. obsolete (either due to “This, however, is not enough business change or tech to bring a change in how obsolescence), most banks, ‘technology gets consumed’ by especially mid-tier banks, the banks and bring in efficiency. will look at standardized There is a need to ‘Reorder’ or products. ‘Refresh’ technology investments • Rationalize ‘technology and the IT departments in these investments’ in the banks are now starting to think compliance and regulatory differently,” says Vinay Jhari, space. Banks have built Vice President at Sapient Global redundant applications Markets, a division of Sapient. in this area given ‘time to Initiatives that Investment market’ constraints and will banks are undertaking to reorder look at fixing this over the technology investments: next couple of years. • Rationalization of their • All investment banks are IT Application footprint. reducing their FTE headcount Most banks, in the in their desire to cut costs. good old days, built far Banks are looking forward more applications than to their ‘In-House captives’ they needed leading to step up to the plate to redundancy in their outsourcing more ‘change application stack. With the bank’ work to lower cost budget cuts, there is an locations. opportunity to review ‘outcome based and rationalize the • More programs’ rather than application footprint. ‘lowest cost outsourcing’ While it is significant bids. Banks are looking for spend in the short term, partners that can deliver it will lead to long term outcome based services savings. as they look to reduce the • Focus on Wealth ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ as Management. Most opposed to focusing on just Investment Banks are dollar/ hour rate. increasing their focus on wealth management. In their search for ‘fees



India Inc Gets a Future...

Sapient Global Markets tops...

Continued FROM Page 1

Continued FROM Page 1

“Talent pipeline challenges are getting more intense as the next few years will continue to see a fundamental shift in the business environment in Asia, with growth rates clustered around 2%-6%,” says Smita Anand, MD of Korn Ferry’s leadership and talent consulting practice. Boards and incumbent CEOs will need to reevaluate the type and quality of leadership and talent their businesses have, she adds. For a good number of years, organisations across sectors have neglected this process, either due to a poor tradition of succession planning or insecurity in the senior leadership. Nearly a fourth of organisations have filled less than 25% of critical roles with internal candidates, according to a report on talent risks in Indian companies by audit and advisory firm KPMG, shared exclusively with ET. A majority of companies are most worried about having an insufficient pipeline of young leaders and a lack of depth of internal candidates for critical roles, according to the report. Some companies were not even sure about the effectiveness of their pipeline-building mechanisms. The report includes responses from 150 HR heads, business leaders and CXOs across 16 industries. “Engagement and trust have chipped away to the lowest levels ever and led to a talent flight,” says Nishchae Suri, partner and country head of the people and change practice for KPMG. Post the global financial crisis, he explains, companies have been focusing on survival and talent management. But here’s where companies like HUL stand apart. Managers in the junior and

mid-stages of their careers have gone on to assume leadership positions across consumer, media, telecom and infrastructure. Under its ‘post graduate scheme’, young professionals are trained over 15 months in different functions like customer development, finance, marketing and supply chain. Its global MBA recruitment channel helps place existing talent – MBA graduates or alumni with three years’ experience in supply chain, marketing and finance --in different markets. This is apart from job rotation, international assignments and giving roles and responsibilities that are large in scope and size. “Some of our recent initiatives include holistic individual development plans for all employees addressing the development needs for their current roles as well as those aligned to their medium and long-term career plans,” says BP Biddappa, executive director, HR. TAS talent feeds into succession plans for key roles through group people planning meetings, movements across functions, technologies and geographies, says NS Rajan, member of the group executive council and group

Relatively smaller companies like Sapient are also working on improving leadership processes. Over the past 8-12 months, there has been a big shift in how the company looks at talent reviews and succession planning, says Anand Bhaskar, VP, People Success. Earlier, the company would have conversations and outline opportunities for young leaders, but it was struggling with enabling them to reach their full potential. Last July, it introduced The Learning Marketplace, which creates a virtual supermarket of development resources. People decide what they need to do to bridge the gaps in their current ability and the next level, says Bhaskar. chief human resources officer. In its cross-function induction, Vodafone has included elements like market visits, peer shadowing, cultural assimilation and select classroom sessions, says Ashok Ramchandran, director, HR.

days’ principle. During the fivemonth programme, called ‘HCL Certified Leader’, leaders learn to diagnose situations and apply skills developed through realtime experiences. Their Top Gun programme enables high performers to work on real business situations with the senior leadership team. “Talent summits, hosted periodically, provide facts, views and insights to identify people for key positions,” says Prithvi Shergill, chief human resources officer for HCL Technologies. The company has over 1,000 positions with a named list of potential successors across levels of responsibility. Relatively smaller companies like Sapient are also working on improving leadership processes. Over the past 8-12 months, there has been a big shift in how the company looks at talent reviews and succession planning, says Anand Bhaskar, VP, People Success. Earlier, the company would have conversations and outline opportunities for young leaders, but it was struggling with enabling them to reach their full potential. Last July, it introduced The Learning Marketplace, which creates a virtual supermarket of development resources. People decide what they need to do to bridge the gaps in their current ability and the next level, says Bhaskar. Development needs could include job rotation, group coaching, executive coaching or getting to experience the supervisor’s job.

At HCL, one of the programmes aimed at building competencies and skills for leaders transitioning into new roles is designed around Dr Michael Watkin’s ‘First 90

The awards recognize firms that have excelled in the sector with the winners selected by Energy Risk’s global readership of end users, utility and power generation firms, power and supply trading companies, banks, brokers, traders and consultants. Respondents, asked to nominate in order of preference their top three preferred vendors and implementation specialists, rated Sapient Global Markets as the premier implementation firm for project delivery within budget and also shortlisted the firm within the delivery on time category. Chip Register, Managing Director of Sapient Global Markets, commented: “I’m delighted that the hard work, knowledge and expertise of our staff have been recognized by Energy Risk. The energy markets are witnessing a degree of change not seen for almost a century, as advances in mechanical and chemical engineering have accelerated the ability to extract and process energy sources previously thought inaccessible at an almost unimaginable scale. As a result, the projects we have undertaken in the last twelve months have been highly transformative in nature, as firms look to us to help them re-design and re-configure their business and operations, while also managing costs, meeting regulatory compliance deadlines and delivering great operational efficiencies and transparency. This award is further testimony to our abilities in delivering these highly complex, global projects within budget.”

The awards recognize firms that have excelled in the sector with the winners selected by Energy Risk’s global readership of end users, utility and power generation firms, power and supply trading companies, banks, brokers, traders and consultants. Respondents, asked to nominate in order of preference their top three preferred vendors and implementation specialists, rated Sapient Global Markets as the premier implementation firm for project delivery within budget and also shortlisted the firm within the delivery on time category.

Guest Article: Sudhindra Venkateshamurthy: Responsive Design - The New Age Design Approach How does one provide a seamless experience to users across screen sizes, gadgets and geographies? The internet has transformed our lives beyond imagination. The rapid growth of technology, proliferation in the use of web and emergence of gadgets in all sizes and shapes has resulted in complex challenges for the businesses to cope with. How does one provide a seamless experience to users across screen sizes, gadgets and geographies? Gone are the days when brands experimented with digital and mobile platforms. With the growing popularity of mobile devices, tablets and social networks, digital and mobile have become an integral part of any brand strategy. While consumers are increasingly adopting digital and mobile platforms, marketers are still grappling with customising content for the new platforms.


DID you know

Sudhindra Venkateshamurthy

With Responsive Design, businesses can now deliver a brilliant, optimised internet experience regardless of the size of the screen or the nature of the device. With this philosophy, the same design can deliver content across devices like smartphones, TVs, tablets or laptops. Responsive Design lets one shape the content effectively and easily. How does a brand stay connected with consumers in this always-on world? The emerging design philosophy of Responsive Design can provide a solution to some of the

concerns currently being faced by marketers. With Responsive Design, businesses can now deliver a brilliant, optimised internet experience regardless of the size of the screen or the nature of the device. With this philosophy, the same design can deliver content across devices like smartphones, TVs, tablets or laptops. Responsive Design lets one shape the content effectively and easily. However, Responsive Design is often mistaken as a cost-saving initiative or optimisation of websites to fit different screen sizes. Responsive Design must be looked at from the perspective of creating an entire architecture and not just as a method to adopt a website to different screen sizes. There needs to be a greater degree of strategic planning keeping in mind trends that could impact the web viewing experience over the next few years. For instance, one needs to define breakpoints or the

range of device categories that must be considered while planning. With the evolving technology world, the need to watch out for new devices is aggravated by sudden game-changing introductions in the landscape. For example, before the iPad, tablet as a category was virtually nonexistent. Therefore, web designers must work in sync with expected consumer technology product line-up to anticipate the changes to the way the internet would be consumed in future. The advantages of Responsive Design are there for all to see, but it should be adopted only after a complete analysis of the marketer’s needs. There might be situations where you need to customise content on different platforms as per the consumption pattern of users. Every digital touch point may be serving a different need of the consumer and marketers need to be cognizant of

that fact while adopting Responsive Design approach. For example, an airline site helps one in finding offers and holiday packages in the ‘big browser’ version of the site, whereas the primary focus of the same site on mobile is flying-related, such as Web Checkin. You can see the value of context of use with this example. Therefore, it is not that Responsive Design is an answer to all multichannel design strategies of today. The need of the hour is to look for innovative ways out, depending on the brand’s and consumers’ needs. At times, Responsive Design may be required to serve just a subset of the content available on full browser versions. Also, a mobile handset and a tablet operate in completely different contexts and scenarios. The most important point here is to realise that the idea does not boil down to just fitting a website on a mobile screen. It is about making sure that all the

functions are available on mobile to suit the needs of all forms of smartphones and feature phones. Brands must ensure that Responsive Design truly fits business needs and user needs. Whether the decision is in favour of or against Responsive Design, it is important to remember that it must be taken from a strategic standpoint and not a tactical one. It is almost like choosing future store locations - it is really that far reaching. Given the benefits it gives, it is certain that Responsive Design is here to stay and as more standards and more devices emerge, the need for Responsive Design will only continue to grow. The author is Creative Director & Experience Design Lead, India, SapientNitro.

Panama is the only place in the world where one can see the sun rise on the Pacific Ocean and set on the Atlantic.



Why Marketing Presents A $37-Bn... Continued FROM Page 1

As he said,“Digital technologies are creating disruption in areas beyond those under the purview of the CIO. Clearly, new opportunities for Indian technology players are opening up in the marketing space. ” The report titled ‘Marketing, Disrupted: Opportunities for the Indian technology industry’ based on a study by Offshore Insights in which over 60 CMOs from different verticals (BFSI, retail, travel and hospitality etc) were surveyed, says that 17 per cent of this $37-billion opportunity could be purely creative in nature. Nearly 60 per cent of the CMOs surveyed said they already spend nearly 10 per cent on technology.

Now, a new study by Nasscom and SapientNitro pegs the size of the marketing opportunity for technology firms at anywhere between $18 billion (at conservative levels) and $37 billion by 2020. So much so, that Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar urged technology vendors to look beyond the CIO’s office and towards the CMO for lucrative contracts.

6.8 billion mobile cellular subscriptions in

2013. There are as many mobile subscriptions as the world’s population.

2.7 billion people (almost 40% of the world’s

population) are online. 750 million households (41% globally) are connected to the internet. High-speed access to the internet. Mobile-broadband subscriptions jumped to in 2013 from 268 million in 2007.

2.1 billion

1 billion

people use social networks. More than Data is doubling every 18 months. There were almost 15 billion web-enabled devices in 2013.

According to the report, the marketing services opportunity will have three major verticals – traditional IT which includes CRM, customer loyalty and such applications, the apps opportunity which is all about digital asset management and the creative opportunity. Sudin Apte, CEO and Research Director of Offshore Insights pointed out, “There is not only opportunity for the TCS of the world, but also for product companies start ups, creative

Source: Offshore Insights Research


2020 - Scenario 1 If the Indian technology industry: • focuses mainly on technology work • builds moderate capabilities in marketing domain in various industry verticals and creative work capabilities • puts limited focus on M&A of creative companies/agencies • focuses mainly on IT services, and little emphasis on IP/products/BPO AND If global markets and CMOs see: • moderate adoption of digital marketing • limited value of working with Indian technology industry for creative

2020 - Scenario 2 If the Indian technology industry: • looks at it as a strategic initiative • builds deep marketing skills, industry vertical skills and creative capabilities • invests in labs, studios and related infrastructure • focuses on partnerships within the ecosystem AND If global markets and CMOs see: • full adoption of new-age marketing and multifold increase in e-trade • own community joining CIOs and adopting outsourcing extensively

As Rajdeep Endow, Managing Director, Sapient India said, we need to create a culture of speed and innovation. Quoting the maxim “Done is better than Perfect,” he said in digital marketing space, the value of speed counts over everything else. “Don’t get bogged down by the process, and allow individualism to flourish,” he advised.

As Rajdeep Endow, Managing Director, Sapient India said, we need to create a culture of speed and innovation. Quoting the maxim “Done is better than Perfect,” he said in digital marketing space the value of speed counts over everything else. “Don’t get bogged down by the

How much Global 2000 companies spend on marketing? Industry vertical

Number of companies in Global 2000

Banking and Financial Services










Auto and Manufacturing





CPG and Consumer Electronics


Very High





Very High



Energy and Utilities





Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences















Media, Leisure & Entertainment


Very High



Business Services





Others (including Public Services)


Low/ Medium



Addressable market opportunity


For starters, there are cultural challenges such as mindsets about processes that need to be overcome.

Typical Estimated marketing marketing spend (US$ in focus billions)

Tech-driven/ digital marketing opportunity

Here are some key findings from the report:

Source: Offshore Insights Research

firms, design firms and others.” Last year in an interview with Businessworld, Adobe chief Santanu Narayen had pointed out that digital marketing, a business that did not exist for it three years ago, had fetched the company $700 million. The potential from marketing services is, thus, clearly huge. However, there are challenges too.

process, and allow individualism to flourish,” he advised. People availability could also prove to be a constraint in realising this opportunity and both Chandrashekhar as well as Endow said the imperative was on skilling people in marketing technology.

Fresher hiring gains popularity... Continued FROM Page 1

At an entry-level, we hire talent that showcase qualities of being a team player, ability to think through ambiguous situations, an attitude of constant learning and sharing. Furthermore, ability and competence to put in that extra effort and being ready to go that extra mile to deliver to the best possible abilities also provides an edge to candidates. Significant investments are made by learning and development to provide hired candidates numerous opportunities to enhance their professional knowledge with classes, seminars, and online tutorials. New recruits are sent to a boot camp, to familiarise them with the company’s approach and practices. Morning team meetings are run by junior as well as senior staff, giving opportunities for young leaders to develop. Also available is the Global Markets Institute (GMI), a global seven months training programme for graduates, focusing on building consultants with strong capital and commodity market knowledge and domain skills (Technology, PM, QA etc.). The programme is useful for all fresh graduates joining in North America, European Union and India. What is the hiring forecast for the upcoming year? Will there be more entry-level hiring or senior management? In terms of sheer volume, demand


DID you know

organisation. Therefore we focus our HR tactics on retention. Our goal is to create an environment that allows us to grow people from within. We believe in growing employees organically and most of the global leadership team comprises people who have been working with Sapient for many years. for middle level jobs will outpace the demand for senior or entry level jobs, given the focus on specialised roles and higher mobility for such roles. However, the biggest growth will come at fresher level, as companies will look to hit the colleges again to grow their foundational layer. This year will witness an increase in demand for specialised skills in organisations to enable a differentiated positioning. Specialised skills like analytics and big data, visualisation are gaining momentum in the capital markets space. Also, demand for WPF skilled professionals will be huge this year due to a significant shift from Winforms to WPF skill requirement in Investment banks along with focus on hiring strong core Java skilled talent will continue. Any specific employee-centric policy that you have at Sapient that has helped boost talent retention? A key part of our people success strategy is to understand what makes people stay in an

We reinforce performance and strategic context through the performance and people growth programs. Our strategies include performance improvement planning, growth planning and focus on feedback. We constantly collate feedback from our people through various official and unofficial platforms. We recently launched a platform to share views and thoughts called, Sapient Pulse. It aims at understanding what makes our people think of Sapient as a great place to work in. We also offer multiple job rotation opportunities for people, which enable them to grow both horizontally and vertically over time. It helps them build capability and also grow in their careers. Which colleges are popular for campus recruitment and why? The campus-hiring programme is one of the most important sources of building a good talent pool and we have an extremely structured approach to hire, train and induct them within Sapient. We go to all the key engineering

colleges across India to get the best talent. Our strongest need is to build domain skills along with technology skills; so a percentage of college hires come from colleges which specialise in the energy or marketing domains (such as UPES Dehradun, PDPU Ahmedabad and MICA Ahmedabad). How effective is lateral hiring in the Indian market vis-a-vis campus recruitment? Organisations need to have a combination of short-term versus long-term talent strategy. Hence, both modes of hiring are important in building a strong talent supply to enable growth. While lateral hires are hired for specific roles and are therefore expected to get on the job and become productive sooner; college hires are a long term investment as they require training, integrating and nurturing in the organisation by special campus programmes before they are ready to be on the job. At Sapient, we do both lateral as well as campus recruitments; we believe that both have their merits. Our approach is a combination of buy (experienced hires), borrow (contracting) and build (college hires). In addition, we also plan to hire some experienced hires (buy) to train (build) i.e. buy to build.

If you search “askew” in Google, the page will tilt slightly.

• Technology share in CMO budget is increasing • Over 50 per cent CMOs said spend on digital marketing and brand building will grow between 5 and 10 per cent over the next 12 months • Over 70 per cent CMOs find that their role in the CIO spends is growing. • 17 per cent of the estimated $37 billion opportunity for the Indian technology industry will be creative in nature. • Creative services alone is estimated to create an impressive 1,00,000 job market by 2020 • 8 per cent of global CMOs surveyed have ventured into outsourcing and are already engaged with Indian technology providers for creative work, while an impressive 38% respondents are currently weighing the idea of outsourcing creative work



Companies bet on internal talent management tools to tackle skill crisis At a time when employers in India are struggling to find suitable candidates against vacant positions, HR experts are betting on internal talent management tools such as crossfunctional promotions that help in resolving manpower crisis in

PepsiCo is first up for grabs for the internal population before a search is activated externally if required,” PepsiCo India Director (Talent Acquisition) Raman Singh said. The success of this process is

before moving into this HR role. Likewise, Sapient’s Senior Vice President and Head of People Team has a background in Program Management. Customer communication and management solutions provider Pitney Bowes also applies a multi-layered approach with the objective to ensure the right talent with right potential is available when needed. “Last year, 10 per cent of the workforce in Pitney Bowes India had an opportunity to participate in our cross- functional development programme,” Manish Chaudhary, Vice President, WW Engineering at Pitney Bowes, said. Moreover, this HR tool -- developing internal talent -- can also be helpful in succession planning and retention of employees.

any organisation. Experts believe that cross-functional promotion of internal talent is very critical for any firm as this approach enables well-rounded development of employees. Cross-functional promotions allow people within a company to apply for vacant positions in different functional areas such as engineering, sales, marketing and HR. Companies like PepsiCo, Sapient, Pitney Bowes have active cross-functional development programme.

backed by strong factual evidence where over the last three years more than 70 per cent of open roles have been filled internally, many of which have been cross functional, Singh added.

“Internal job posting process is a platform that empowers all employees to drive their own career and make conscious decisions. Every open role in

At Sapient, the Vice President of Learning and Organisation Development comes from our Consulting business, having spent many years with the clients

Elaborating on Sapient’s crossfunctional promotions, Prashant Bhatnagar, Director-Staffing and Hiring, SapientNitro India, said, “Cross-functional promotions are a proven strategy in developing talent and realising their full potential.”

“Today the talent pool is not just diverse, it is truly global. Any company that is trying to succeed at a global level has to take heed of the fact that their talent will be from a wider demography than ever seen before,” Jyorden T Misra, Managing Director, Spearhead InterSearch, said. Moreover, this also serves as a powerful retention tool as it provides motivation of being identified as the key player of the organisation.

I have never done anything that has been expected of me: KV Sridhar KV Sridhar’s decision to join SapientNitro may have taken the advertising fraternity by surprise, for Pops as he is popularly known, nothing could be more exciting. “I have never done anything that has been expected of me, I want to lead the change; SapientNitro is a beautiful combination of creativity and technology. I don’t compete with my peers; to be ahead of the curve, I compete with the new generation and learn from them,” quipped Sridhar enthusiastically, his tone animated while talking about his new role. Pops who formally takes on his new role from July 1st as Chief Creative Officer India for SapientNitro talks to exchange4media exclusively on, reason behind choosing Sapient Nitro, road ahead, moving from connecting creativity and technology, making people an active part of storytelling and more... Your choice of SapientNitro has taken the industry by surprise, your choice seems like a reinvention of sorts, how does the road ahead look like? Exciting. To me walking the talk is more important than the talk, we often advise clients

to re-invent their brands so that they remain relevant to the consumers, why isn’t such advice relevant to the people who are managing the brands? Is it your love for digital and new media that made you choose SapientNitro as your next destination? Post your exit from Leo Burnett what was it you were looking for and how does SapientNitro meet that expectation? I love advertising because it presents a new challenge every day, today’s challenge is how to tell stories to the consumers who live in an always-on world. Therefore the need for far more immersive stories across brand communications. My idea of reinvention is to understand and calibrate the brand experiences to today’s consumers. SapientNitro mastered this art and they call it Storyscaping. I love this concept of connecting technology and creativity. After all technology is all about innovation and innovation is all about creativity. I believe SapientNitro is doing all this seamlessly.

To bring in commerce, technology, digital engagement and brand communications together. And also to collaborate across disciplines to create game changing success for brands. What are some of the things you will have to unlearn moving in from over two decades of experience in the traditional agency space? From big ideas to organising ideas. From ‘I do all to ‘collaborate and co-create’, from telling stories to making people part of the stories.

What does your new role entail?

Digital marketing is the new frontier for IT sector, says Nasscom As marketers worldwide attempt to reach a digitally empowered and connected consumer, technology body Nasscom has said the Indian IT sector can potentially tap into a market which can rival the spends in traditional IT outsourcing areas like systems and applications support, which it dominates as an outsourced service provider. Releasing a new research report on the opportunities in the marketing space for IT service providers, Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar said, “Digital technologies are creating disruption in areas beyond those under the purview of the CIO. New

opportunities are opening up, opportunities that demand closer coordination with new stakeholders in businesses and modify their services to address new kinds of needs.” The report, brought out jointly with digital advertising major Sapient and researched by Bangalore-based IT consultancy Offshore Insights, estimated that

the addressable market for Indian IT companies can be as much as $ 37 billion by 2020. To actualise this though, “Technology players must review and streamline their services and offer customized solutions for modern business to make the most of the new opportunity,” Chandrashekhar said. The



‘Marketing, Disrupted: Opportunities for the Indian technology industry’, said the spend on digital marketing is expected to grow from current 8 per cent to at least 35 per cent of the total marketing spends of the world’s top 2000 companies by 2020. “The role of the CMO today extends beyond the traditional remit of the function. Marketers

Internal Announcements

SapientNitro Is Ready to Pop Gets KV Sridhar on board as its Chief Creative Officer for India

A widely respected creative leader in Indian advertising, KV Sridhar, or ‘Pops’, as he is fondly known as, expands SapientNitro’s creative position in an expanding and critical market. Pops’ renowned creative excellence and his deep expertise in the Indian market will accelerate SapientNitro’s ability

to serve growing client demand in the region. Pops comes to SapientNitro with a creative career spanning over three decades in Indian advertising. He has over 400 awards to his credits and has won 12 Cannes Lions in the past 3 years. As part of Team Taj Mahal, Pops will be

responsible for building a creative team in India as well as fostering a creative culture in India. Reporting to the company’s Executive Creative Director for APAC, Andy Greenaway, he will also be a member of the global executive creative team.

are embracing new technologies like big data analytics, social media and mobility for customer engagement and brand communication. The result is that today the CMO is looking to spend far more on technology than ever before,” said Sudin Apte of Offshore Insights. The report said the industry, in order to seize this opportunity, has to deliver value to a new stakeholder – the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Marketers are actively participating in decision making related to technology and 34 per cent of the marketers surveyed cited new tools/technology investment as one of the key concern areas, the

report added. Outlining some of the key challenges in achieving this, Rajdeep Endow, Managing Director, Sapient, India, said Indian IT firms need to re-engineer the way they look at the market, and develop design capability. “The brand is the customer experience,” Endow said, adding that in order to deliver value to CMOs, who are themselves grappling with a rapidly changing marketplace and consumer, a “culture of speed” was essential.



Traditional advertising is like going on a date... Continued FROM Page 1

At the end of 2012, the number of connected devices on the planet surpassed the human population. This proliferation of mobile phones, tablets and interactive displays has changed how consumers access media. With the choice of multiple screens, the attention span of the consumer is now just a few seconds, with a growing tendency to scan and discard non-stimulating content. This has forced brands to rethink how to create immersive experiences that sustain consumer interest. What is amazing about all this is not that technology has changed, but how much it has changed us. We have become more vocal, empowered and connected, seeking greater engagement with brands. The days of brands driving one-way communication by interrupting our favourite television programmes are getting over. As an ad executive recently said, traditional advertising is like going on a date and not letting the other person talk. Today customer engagement is the name of the game. The cumulative impact of these changes has been massive for companies. Brands are struggling to cope with the shift from a small number of standardised communication mechanisms to several fractured and changing channels, devices and audience contexts, where a mistake can get shared with unprecedented speed and amplification. Expectedly, the

organisation function undergoing the biggest change as a result is marketing. Traditionally, marketing used to interact with consumers primarily through brand communication. Today, it has become imperative for the brand to deliver experiences consistent with its message. The risk of the consumer’s version of the brand story making its way across the world and destroying the ‘official’ narrative within minutes is too large to live with.

the research firm, predicts that by 2017, the CMO will buy more technology than the CIO. Given that traditionally CMOs have regarded technical orientation as one of their weakest capabilities, this is an extraordinary development fraught with opportunity and promise.

by large teams of engineers using set processes under expert supervision. The emphasis was on predictability and repeatability. This was largely done by driving standardisation and reducing variance in work, including defining the specifications upfront, thus limiting changes.

Marketing, therefore, has started taking responsibility for the consumer experience—a huge increase in scope, especially given the explosion in consumer touchpoints. Most chief marketing officers (CMOs) have responded to this with a mix of strategies: • Forging a necessary, if tenuous, relationship with the chief information officer (CIO). • Acquiring or buying technical skills, particularly in social, mobile and analytics. • Investing in data capabilities, specifically the ability to analyse consumer behaviour and tailor experiences based on that insight. • Driving consistent experience design across all consumer touchpoints. The net result is that today the average CMO spends around 25 percent of her marketing budget on technology. Gartner,

This represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the Indian IT industry. This year alone, our estimate puts the size of this opportunity at a staggering $400 billion. The challenge comes from the fact that the country’s IT muscle was developed to meet the needs of the CIO, whose big driver traditionally was to keep backend systems stable at a low cost. Indian IT companies became the best in the world by taking well-defined requirements of these large applications, shipping the work home, and getting them executed

While this allowed the companies to scale, it also put constraints on breakthrough thinking and innovation. Finally, because these applications were far removed from the endcustomer, it was more important for the software to meet the specifications than to look good. This resulted in us not developing world-class design skills. Contrast this with what the CMO wants. Marketing applications are typically used for shaping consumer experiences and in support of marketing campaigns. Because campaigns have to

Pushing the digital envelope Lessons from the efforts of Delta Airlines, ESPN X Games, Lays and marketing of the state of Florida What sets digital apart from other media channels like print and television is not just its ability to facilitate a two-way conversation, but its always-on status in the consumers’ lives. Naturally, brands across the world are falling over each other to exploit this connection of the consumers with their gadgets and social media. Creating communication campaigns is one way of doing that. A more effective way is to create, what marketers call, immersive experiences. Here we look at five such immersive digital experiences that have been hailed internationally.

CONVERTING INTANGIBLE EMOTIONS INTO TANGIBLE PROPERTIES X Games is an annual extreme sports (like skateboarding, snowboarding, biking etc) event held in the US. A small section of the total viewers watch these events live; about 99 per cent experience them on their screens. The challenge was to create an atmosphere, a sense of heady rush, for this huge digital viewership. The answer was found in the “HypeMeter”. The HypeMeter is a real-time interactive engine (live during X Games events). Simply put, the HypeMeter measures multiple input sources like Twitter velocity,


DID you know

be timed with external events like product launches, speed is often the most critical driver for marketers. They are more open to working with functionally imperfect software if it is effective in meeting their larger goal. Typically, these applications have a short shelf life and, therefore, do not need engineering sophistication. Marketers thrive on bringing new ideas rapidly to life for consumers, which results in fast changing requirements. And finally, they look for an understanding of consumer insight and brand personality, and an ability to weave both into the software interface design. On the face of it, it almost sounds like the needs of the CMOs are antithetical to the capabilities of the Indian IT industry. While we need to acknowledge that this represents a departure in approach, orientation and culture from what we have designed, I believe this is a surmountable gap. First, as an industry, we must come together and drive changes in the nature of skills our schools produce. Our talent—while among the smartest in the world—has limited understanding of design, limited appreciation of human insights, and a strong procedural orientation. We will need to change curriculum and help aspiring industry professionals learn to value design and creative thinking, and understand consumer behaviour.

Today, Indian IT is mostly synonymous with low cost, procedural work. We have to change this perception and build our reputation as a creative destination. Much of our procedural mindset comes from a culture of conformance and deference to hierarchy within organisations. But innovation by definition is a departure from the normal. Organisations will have to focus on changing their cultures—become more open, less hierarchical, allow for individual expression to flourish and contrarian perspectives to survive. Finally, the government needs to make it easy for companies to source and fulfil digital marketing work. Like it had done in an earlier age, it needs to engage with the industry and provide both policy support and financial incentives. I believe that with concerted effort, we can ensure that the Indian IT industry takes advantage of this massive opportunity and retains its pre-eminent position globally. The author is Managing Director of Sapient, India, and co-lead of Global Delivery for SapientNitro, one of the largest digital agencies of the world. He tweets @endowscopy

Internal Announcements

Sapient Global Markets Seizes The Right Moment Invests in Kurtosys; Launches Client Connect Facebook share counts, phone shaking, and tablet gaming real time. The meter then weighs these inputs according to a predetermined formula, and then outputs a score from 1 to 100. This result is then broadcast at determined intervals to all X Games digital properties. Brand: ESPN X Games Agency: SapientNitro Digital case: HypeMeter HypeMeter scores are important in both live and catalogued contexts. When live, a fan can reference the total impact at any given moment, which provides the user a new kind of real-time context. In the catalogued state, the HypeMeter scores are used to populate a cumulative “hype chart,” which builds through an X Games event to create an interactive graphic that visualises key moments as peaks in the line chart. HypeMeter utilises the second

screen effectively, ensuring attention isn’t diverted from the sport when the content is live and transforms the way fans interact with the sport. ESPN has patented this property, using it for other events too. As SapientNitro puts it, the HypeMeter has captured the intangible emotion of excitement and converted it into a tangible media of record.

MAKING TRAVEL EXPERIENCES INTERACTIVE To make Florida a hot destination for globe trotters, Visit Florida, the official tourism website of the state, has undergone a series of upgrades. Visit Florida’s new site embraces many of today’s web design trends, such as a Pinterest-style grid-based layout, consumer-centric navigation with an intuitive user-friendly content flow, inspirational travel themes that allow users to customise their search through BuzzFeed-

like labeling, and a responsive design that let the site adjust to whatever platform users may choose. Since the entire communication projects Florida as an “epic family holiday destination”, a gamebased platform was created to help visitors to the website plan their holidays and tinker with the itineraries. Brand: Florida Agency: SapientNitro Digital case: Visit Florida Similarly, a mobile web map was created to highlight attractions in the region, that can be viewed on the go, putting information at the traveller’s fingertips. Visitors were encouraged to share their Florida stories through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

For Sapient Global Markets, capitalizing on the opportunities presented by the Centennial Moment means making bold choices to progress its business and deliver on its vision to power the transformational journeys of its clients. To lead its clients through this period of revolutionary change, Sapient Global Markets recently announced its investment in Kurtosys, a leading technology provider, and the launch of

Sapient Client Connect, a new asset manager solution for fund marketing and client service automation. This managed platform will leverage Kurtosys’ cloud platform and portal technology to transform the way investment performance and client information is presented, distributed and consumed. Kurtosys is the perfect complement to Sapient Global Markets, enabling it to enhance its solution set while helping its clients become more productive and efficient. This is a pivotal step forward for Sapient Global Markets as it seeks to seize the Centennial Moment and bring its vision to life.

There are more phone calls made on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year.

Disclaimer: Utmost care has been taken while compiling the features in ‘The Sapient Times’. Errors or inaccuracies, if any, are purely inadvertent and unintentional in nature. The news articles and announcements contained herein have been sourced from various newspapers, websites and magazines. The Marketing team is not liable for the accuracy of the information and contents of the tabloid or any consequences arising from their use. All trademarks, service marks, and logos used here are the sole properties of the respective publications, companies and/or their licensors.

The Sapient Times- Jan- June 2014  

A compilation of Sapient India in the news

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