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Agency Life

Jumping Into the Year of the Rat

Jumping Into the Year of the Rat

Sulaiman Beg

Sulaiman Beg

January 21, 2020

CEO of Havas Group Greater China Karl Wu celebrates the new year and the recent successes of the organization.

"After winning this award, we received more attention from clients, suppliers, vendors, and other shareholders—many of whom pour over articles and award ceremonies for potential business partners"

On the Chinese calendar, 2020 marks the Year of the Rat, a zodiac sign said to indicate wealth and prosperity for those born throughout the year. But for Havas Group Greater China, the new year marks a continuing streak of good fortune. The Group, led by CEO Karl Wu, has experienced astonishing growth since 2017: the agency was recently honored with a Silver Award at Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year Awards, ending the Year of the Pig (2019) on a sky-high note. Here, Wu talks about the success of the group and what’s in store for its future.

 

Congrats on winning the China Media Agency of the Year Silver Award at the 26th Campaign Asia Agency of the Year Awards. How important is this win for the agency? 

It was the first time that Havas Group competed in Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year Awards, which demonstrated the group’s industry recognition. The Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year Silver Award draws a consummate end to the year 2019 for Havas Greater China, and also heralds a promising 2020. Winning this encourages us to commit to our visions and missions, work hard with global teams to make meaningful differences for brands, enterprises and the society as a whole, AND unleash the future prospects of the media and creative industry. It also improves our employee morale and increases the visibility of Havas. This enhanced awareness doesn’t apply just to us, Havas staffers. We also received more attention from clients, suppliers, vendors, and other shareholders—many of whom pour over articles and award ceremonies for potential business partners. Not to mention that award-winning businesses are consistently seen as more reputable and honest.

What do you think was the agency’s biggest accomplishment(s) in 2019?

This year, we’ve enjoyed a substantial growth. Confirmed by RECMA, our growth rate from 2017 to 2018 was 32%, and from 2015 to 2018 it was 45%. On an agency brand level, Havas Media is ranked the second by RECMA, and on an agency group level, Havas has the highest growth rate. Our overall billings rose from $279 million USD to $356 million USD, according to the latest report published in June 2019. We’ve won a lot of new business in 2019. This is thanks to the “Together” culture and “Village” structure and strategy, as well as the remarkable efforts of our team members. At the global and local market level, we’ve won business from Moen, Visit California, Michelin, PUMA, Rémy Martin, LOUIS XIII and more.

"The integration of Havas into Vivendi is part of the desire to create a world leader in content, media and communication, which will ensure a unique positioning within the entertainment and communication markets"

What are some ways that the agency and its people work to “Make a Meaningful Difference” to clients, and the world at large?

By working with smart collaborators, we have been able to leverage our global proprietary tools (including the newly launched Mx Tools, Meaningful Brands Report Global/China, Prosumer Report Global) to generate meaningful brand experiences. These tools enable us to crucially analyze communication conventions and generate differentiating ideas by bringing together strategic planners and clients in the most imaginative development process.

People are key to communications in all its forms, and a focus on talent helps us make a meaningful difference. People make up the Group’s most valuable assets. As the business has grown, we have been able to recruit amazing talent to better serve our clients and make a meaningful contribution to the industry. At Havas, we choose meaningful content to set us apart. The integration of Havas into Vivendi is part of the desire to create a world leader in content, media and communication, which will ensure a unique positioning within the entertainment and communication markets. We study and listen to what the local consumers need and like, as well as the related cultural, natural and societal landscape to come up with the best media solutions.

How do you promote teamwork?

From macro point of view, we bring the most talented people together to best serve our clients’ needs. At the micro level, each team enjoys their own different cultures, management styles, organizational structures, and communication approaches. The senior executive level respect and understand the process and operation styles of each team. As long as we all follow the general mission, vision and strategy of the Group, any new tactics, methods and approaches are welcomed. I believe teamwork is a matter of combining the best resources, talents, experiences and wisdom of each individual as well as each team, which helps achieve fruitful results for our brands, clients and agency business growths, especially in the field of communication and creative.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give to agencies looking to be recognized as best-in-class in their local markets, what would it be?

Be sustainable and responsible and create a meaningful difference for the brands, clients, and society. 

What’s next for the agency?

We’re stepping into a new era with the process of aligning and coordinating a marketing organization to deliver a consistent, seamless, client-centric content experience across all platforms and channels.

"After winning this award, we received more attention from clients, suppliers, vendors, and other shareholders—many of whom pour over articles and award ceremonies for potential business partners"

On the Chinese calendar, 2020 marks the Year of the Rat, a zodiac sign said to indicate wealth and prosperity for those born throughout the year. But for Havas Group Greater China, the new year marks a continuing streak of good fortune. The Group, led by CEO Karl Wu, has experienced astonishing growth since 2017: the agency was recently honored with a Silver Award at Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year Awards, ending the Year of the Pig (2019) on a sky-high note. Here, Wu talks about the success of the group and what’s in store for its future.

 

Congrats on winning the China Media Agency of the Year Silver Award at the 26th Campaign Asia Agency of the Year Awards. How important is this win for the agency? 

It was the first time that Havas Group competed in Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year Awards, which demonstrated the group’s industry recognition. The Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year Silver Award draws a consummate end to the year 2019 for Havas Greater China, and also heralds a promising 2020. Winning this encourages us to commit to our visions and missions, work hard with global teams to make meaningful differences for brands, enterprises and the society as a whole, AND unleash the future prospects of the media and creative industry. It also improves our employee morale and increases the visibility of Havas. This enhanced awareness doesn’t apply just to us, Havas staffers. We also received more attention from clients, suppliers, vendors, and other shareholders—many of whom pour over articles and award ceremonies for potential business partners. Not to mention that award-winning businesses are consistently seen as more reputable and honest.

What do you think was the agency’s biggest accomplishment(s) in 2019?

This year, we’ve enjoyed a substantial growth. Confirmed by RECMA, our growth rate from 2017 to 2018 was 32%, and from 2015 to 2018 it was 45%. On an agency brand level, Havas Media is ranked the second by RECMA, and on an agency group level, Havas has the highest growth rate. Our overall billings rose from $279 million USD to $356 million USD, according to the latest report published in June 2019. We’ve won a lot of new business in 2019. This is thanks to the “Together” culture and “Village” structure and strategy, as well as the remarkable efforts of our team members. At the global and local market level, we’ve won business from Moen, Visit California, Michelin, PUMA, Rémy Martin, LOUIS XIII and more.

"The integration of Havas into Vivendi is part of the desire to create a world leader in content, media and communication, which will ensure a unique positioning within the entertainment and communication markets"

What are some ways that the agency and its people work to “Make a Meaningful Difference” to clients, and the world at large?

By working with smart collaborators, we have been able to leverage our global proprietary tools (including the newly launched Mx Tools, Meaningful Brands Report Global/China, Prosumer Report Global) to generate meaningful brand experiences. These tools enable us to crucially analyze communication conventions and generate differentiating ideas by bringing together strategic planners and clients in the most imaginative development process.

People are key to communications in all its forms, and a focus on talent helps us make a meaningful difference. People make up the Group’s most valuable assets. As the business has grown, we have been able to recruit amazing talent to better serve our clients and make a meaningful contribution to the industry. At Havas, we choose meaningful content to set us apart. The integration of Havas into Vivendi is part of the desire to create a world leader in content, media and communication, which will ensure a unique positioning within the entertainment and communication markets. We study and listen to what the local consumers need and like, as well as the related cultural, natural and societal landscape to come up with the best media solutions.

How do you promote teamwork?

From macro point of view, we bring the most talented people together to best serve our clients’ needs. At the micro level, each team enjoys their own different cultures, management styles, organizational structures, and communication approaches. The senior executive level respect and understand the process and operation styles of each team. As long as we all follow the general mission, vision and strategy of the Group, any new tactics, methods and approaches are welcomed. I believe teamwork is a matter of combining the best resources, talents, experiences and wisdom of each individual as well as each team, which helps achieve fruitful results for our brands, clients and agency business growths, especially in the field of communication and creative.

If there’s one piece of advice you’d give to agencies looking to be recognized as best-in-class in their local markets, what would it be?

Be sustainable and responsible and create a meaningful difference for the brands, clients, and society. 

What’s next for the agency?

We’re stepping into a new era with the process of aligning and coordinating a marketing organization to deliver a consistent, seamless, client-centric content experience across all platforms and channels.

Sulaiman Beg is Havas' Director of Global Internal Communications. He has never eaten canned tuna fish.

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