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'Digital business is our first priority'

'Digital business is our first priority'

The French communications and advertising combine, Maurice Levy is one of the most powerful players in world advertising. On a recent visit to India, Levy spoke to BT's Anusha Subramanian. Edited excerpts:

As Chief Executive of Publicis Groupe, the French communications and advertising combine, Maurice Levy is one of the most powerful players in world advertising. On a recent visit to India, Levy spoke to BT's Anusha Subramanian. Edited excerpts:

On India plans
Maurice Levy
Maurice Levy
You cannot ignore a market as big as India and, therefore, it plays a very important role for the group. We started late in this market, but today we are a distant No. 2. We want to do much better by offering a wide range of services, thereby reducing the gap between WPP and ourselves. We plan to grow fast in this market organically as well as through acquisitions.

Publicis India's contribution to the group's global growth
We already have some work here for our clients such as L'Oreal, Nestle and Logan. We are trying to replicate this in other countries. We see a lot of areas where the Indian teams can set benchmarks. Secondly, we need to get more work out of India, and one way to do that is to acquire and nurture teams to develop business, or create new offerings from scratch. It has served Publicis well in France where some of its home-grown brands rank among the best in the country. The third way India can help is through talent. We have excellent talent but we need to get more such people.

On its digital strategy globally
We have made digital our first priority. Digital business contributes 30 per cent to the total revenues today, and it is the fastest-growing segment. Publicis Groupe has been a fast mover in the digital space in India and the idea is to strengthen our digital presence here. Last year, we acquired Microsoft's digital ad firm, Razorfish, for around $530 million. It is likely to enter India, consid- ering the group is serious about expanding its digital offerings here.