which merged with Bates Worldwide in July 1999, will be
called Bates India from 1 January 2000. This is a part
of the initiatives taken by Bates Worldwide, a $7.1 billion
company, to reconfigure its Indian operations for the
Bates Worldwide chairman Michael Bungey, who is in India
on a visit, announced, "We see India as a critical
cog in the Bates Worldwide chain. Bates India, in our
opinion has a bunch of tremendously talented people and
a roster of extremely satisfied clients. We view the future
in India with great optimism."
There's been a lot of activity in the Bates world. Cordiant
Communications Group plc (CCG), the holding company of
Bates Worldwide, has tripled its market capitalisation
in the past 12 months, mainly as a result of significant
acquisitions, including that of Healthworld, Interactive
Edges and Diamond Ad Ltd.
Bates Worldwide bought Healthworld, the world's third
largest healthcare marketing agency, for $200 million.
Healthworld provides multinational pharmaceutical and
healthcare companies with a comprehensive range of integrated
marketing services, from advertising and promotion, to
Madhukar Kamath, managing director of Bates India, says,
"Healthcare will emerge as one of India's biggest
industries in the near future. Bates India will be ready
to work with global clients in healthcare communication."
Last week, CCG acquired Interactive Edges, a New York-based
channel marketing e-commerce company, for $25 million.
Mr. Bungey believes that "interactive communication
will be the thrust area of Bates Worldwide". He cites
a recent international study that forecasts global e-commerce
business to be worth $600 billion by the year 2003. Services
will account for a whopping 68 per cent of this figure.
According to the agency, Bates will actively participate
in the government of Dubai's plans to convert Dubai into
a hub of digital technology. Avi Bhojani, director on
the board of Bates India and managing director of Bates
Pangulf in Dubai, says: "Bates is actively involved
in strategising and implementing the UAE government's
plan to convert Dubai into a global e-business centre.
We will be working closely with Bates India on this project,
and will be accessing the vast wealth of skilled human
resource talent available in India."
Already, XM Asia, a Bates Worldwide owned company, is
a dominant player in the interactive business, in the
Asia Pacific region. XM Asia clients indude Coca-Cola,
Compaq, Visa, Nokia, ESPN, General Motors, and Heineken.
Meanwhile, CCG has just announced the $130-million acquisition
of Diamond Ad Ltd., the third largest advertising agency
in Korea. This will consolidate CCG's longstanding international
relationship with Hyundai Motors.
Mr Kamath says, "All this can only mean a promising
future for Bates India. Soon Healthworld and XM Asia will
have offices in India, along with Zenith Media and 141.
we are a nimble agency, re-engineered and revitalised.
We are hungry for success and are confident of converting
our ambitions into a tangible reality."