Our endeavour is to become the most future-ready network in the country: Rana Barua

The Group CEO of Havas Group India was speaking on the launch of UK-based creative agency, Cake, in the country

by Team PITCH
Published - July 20, 2022
5 minutes To Read
Our endeavour is to become the most future-ready network in the country: Rana Barua

Havas Group India has announced the launch of UK-based creative agency, Cake, in the country. Cake India will be specialising in sports, culture, and entertainment. The agency will be part of Havas Creative Group India.

“Over the last few years, we have been strengthening our offerings in India through meaningful conversations, launching new expertise, strategic tie-ups, acquisitions, and joint ventures. As a result, in a very short span of time, we grew from 3 to 15 companies and specialist verticals, which has led to unparalleled growth for us,” said Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India.

With 1.2 billion people and the potential to surpass China in population size, India is a really interesting market with a large proportion of young people interested in sports, entertainment, and culture, said Rosie Holden, Chief Executive Officer, Cake. “There has never been a better time for brands to connect with those consumers, and we believe that we're an agency - the best place to deliver those types of connections.”

Rajika Mittra, Managing Partner of Cake India, shared that the newly launched creative agency in India is an extension of what Cake UK is. "We've opened an office in India, but it will be an extension where we will be co-working on ideas, stories, or any kind of market opportunities that we see."

Mittra also shared that being the first in space is an advantage. “It's not competition, competition will come from clients, who we have to differentiate what our positioning is, what the offerings are, and what we can bring to the table. In the UK they worked with some iconic brands, it's a testament to what we're going to be building with Cake. I think it would be like an opportunity rather than a challenge for us.”

The agency Cake, which was founded in the UK 22 years ago, was established to produce innovative work for clients in the sports, culture, and entertainment sectors. Cake will be integrated with Havas Village India, and work closely with Shobiz Havas and the recently renewed Havas Sports & Entertainment vertical of Havas Media Group India. Cake will further augment the expertise brought forth by Shobiz Havas in the space of activation & deals, and partnerships by Havas Sports and Entertainment.

“Our base is in London but it was important for us to launch a Cake India office. It is equally important to start building a team here. We believe that great ideas can come from anywhere and the objectives or the challenges that our clients will face will be the same. However, we can work together on solutions for those clients, but then it takes that local knowledge and nuance to make them absolutely the right fit for that specific client in that market. So, as we start excitingly, they'll be working very closely together in terms of our strategy and creative first approach,” shared Holden.

The company will be a part of Havas Creative Group India. Havas Worldwide India (creative), Havas CX (customer experience), Think Design (UI/UX), Conran Design Group Mumbai (brand design), Shobiz Havas (experiential), and Havas QED (integrated), its recent expansion into eastern India, are among the firms that make up the creative group.

Mittra revealed that the creative agency has already begun discussions with clients. "It's a single agency that not only strategizes but also provides expertise that may not be available in the market.”

Holden also stated that they will be connecting with the existing clients. (Havas now has 15 agencies with their respective client base.) “There's a brilliant existing client base in terms of the Havas India network here and then obviously, global clients that we might talk to. But yes, we're already having conversations with brands which is really exciting. We're going to leverage the strengths of each other.”

The group also has a sports and entertainment media agency and a creative agency.  Talking about how Cake is going to be different from Havas Sports and Entertainment and Havas WorldWide, Holden explained that Cake is a creative agency first and they will work with Havas Sport and entertainment in the partnership space. “They're really an execution channel for us. It's exciting for us to be able to use them and their knowledge to help us when we're thinking about brand solutions. We collaborate with them because they're part of the Havas network.”

She further said, “We are specifically a creative agency that specializes in sports, culture and entertainment. Havas Worldwide is our creative agency. They can work with any brands to deliver above the line work, which probably means some TVC first or some advertising first. We don't start with the channel, we think about what we describe ourselves as a creative agency, because we think about creative strategy first, specifically, our solution will be in a sports culture and entertainment space. But it could be through any channel, it might not necessarily be a TVC, or an Out-Of-Home campaign, it could be a partnership.”

Speaking about the focus area for the newly launched agency this year, Holden shared that it will be about opening conversations with brands and rights holders. “In India, sports, culture and entertainment are important but I think Rajika is doing a great job already of speaking to brands, federations and other rights holders, and telling them about how we've got some really new, exciting and fresh creative thinking. It's about just establishing ourselves, having those conversations, meeting people and getting excited about the opportunities that are there.”