We are building the agency of the future: Ajay Gupte

“2022 was the first full year out of COVID and it was interesting in many ways,” remarked Ajay Gupte, CEO - South Asia, Wavemaker, in a conversation with Adgully. He further noted, “A lot of transformations have been happening. A lot of new businesses came to us in terms of new services like E-commerce, Performance and Content. We were able to create a good team. The last 5-odd months have fairly come down as compared to the first 7 months.”

Gupte further said that it was a downfall for the FMCG sectors and the new businesses that started in 2022. “We had services that we scaled as well. E-commerce, Ed-techs, and digital platforms had a great time in 2022,” he added.

Wavemaker India completed five years in 2022 and unveiled its vision of becoming the country’s most wanted media agency. Sharing his plans regarding strategising to achieve that objective, Gupte said, “It has been an amazing 5 years, and I am so fortunate because very few people get the opportunity to get a white page and write on it. I have had that opportunity. I oversaw the merger of Maxus and MEC in Indonesia and then came to India and took over the operations for Wavemaker. Wavemaker has a very powerful plan globally. The thing which worked well for us is the name ‘Wavemaker’, which means the team is here to make waves. We have been able to take our culture ahead, create practices before everybody else and put that in front of our clients. As we have a large base of clients globally, that is why we have been able to experiment. Last year, we won almost every award. We just want to become the most wanted agency and we are on the verge of it.”

Speaking on the key focus areas for Wavemaker in 2023, he said, “Transformation is constant, you must constantly transform your business if you want to grow.” He continued, “Few key things we are focusing on include wiping the idea of having two different teams that is a core team or a digital team. There should be one team that can be focusing on all the sectors for the better performance of the brand. We want to make sure that the expertise that we have made through Wavemaker, should be seen by every one of our clients and will be beneficial for all the clients.”

Sharing his views on how the next wave of technological innovations will impact the advertising business, specifically, how technologies like AI, Augmented Reality and Deep Fake are expected to transform the advertising landscape, Gupte said, “We have a lot of techs that we are building for our product. We have teams that are isolated and consolidated, focus on implementation, and are backed by technologies. Another transformation technology has made is the company has a team from pan-India. So overall, technology has become a part of our daily lives and a supporting plinth for brands.”

Giving an understanding of how the advertising industry can efficiently leverage the Metaverse and Web 3.0, as well as  what the emerging opportunities are and how they can enhance revenues and engagement for agencies, Gupte said, “A lot of work that is happening in Web 3.0 is right in the learning phase and we are all trying to learn. The most important things about Web 3.0 are about providing experiences remotely and accessing experiences remotely. Today, the kind of work we have seen is mind-boggling, but some of them don’t make sense at all as well. One should not be carried away and do things for the sake of it. Tech is amazing and that is the reason why the Metaverse could happen.”


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