Gunjan Prasad
Sep 14, 2015

Havas Worldwide integrates to exploit Indonesia opportunities

INDONESIA - One of the top items on Matt Wiggers' to-do list is looking for a larger office space—not something he expected to be doing when he took over the reins of Havas Creative Indonesia, as its CEO, in March this year.

Matt Wiggers
Matt Wiggers

The agency was somewhat of an unstable ship without a captain when he came in. However, within six months of joining Havas, Wiggers has a story to tell: that of integration, restructuring, account wins and thus, raising the profile of the brand in Indonesia.

Campaign Asia-Pacific met up with Wiggers to find out more about the integration of Havas Creative and Narendra under the umbrella brand Havas Worldwide, and his plans for the agency.

Campaign: What got you interested in Havas Creative Indonesia, especially considering it meant quitting a well-cushioned  job at Publicis Indonesia?

Wiggers: Admittedly, I had some doubts about joining another multinational agency and had been toying with the idea of moving back into the FMCG or digital business. But Andre Pinto, EVP, acquisitions and global brands, Havas Creative and Levent Guenes, chief operating officer, Havas Worldwide, South East Asia, managed to convince me about the exciting plans the network had for Havas Indonesia. This got me interested and I saw myself being a part of these big ideas.

True enough, the culture at Havas encourages entrepreneurship, which is supported by a team of broad-minded senior people from the global team. When Yannick Bollore, Havas WW global CEO, visited Jakarta to further seal the deal, we immediately clicked. And before I knew it, I was onboard to lead the agency in one of the most dynamic markets in Asia. 

Campaign: Indonesia was probably the only market in Asia where Havas still had two separate brands, Havas Creative and Narendra, to handle creative and direct respectively. Why did the network decide to merge? 

Wiggers: The network did not decide to merge; the initiative came from Amalia Prabowo, CEO of Narendra, and myself. We saw that by combining all of our talented staff under one roof, we would be much stronger and thus, be able to offer greater efficiencies to the client—which is what the concept ‘Havas Village’ is all about.

We are different from any of the other agency in Indonesia. We are built on four pillars, which is all done in-house: ATL, BTL, digital and our FieldForce. We proposed it to the global team and finally obtained their approval in April 2015. In line with the global developments, we decided to remove the old names such as Narendra and Adwork. We are now proud to say that we are one entity, Havas Worldwide Jakarta, a creative agency in the Havas network.

Campaign: What will the management structure look like?

Wiggers: Amalia and I formed a new executive committee, with Roy Sagala as the ECD, Silvia Pasaribu as the chief strategy officer, Manjit Norashikin leading the PizzaHut account, Nanang Suhartojo in charge of our Fieldforce, John Kuijk as head of production and Mario Sugianto as our CFO.

Campaign: How do you propose to compete with the ‘Big 4’JWT, O&M, Lowe and Leo Burnettthat dominate the Indonesian advertising industry?

Wiggers: The integration of ATL, BTL, digital and FieldForce makes our story different. We have our own in-house digital production, programming and activation teams. We have around 5,000 feet constantly on the ground and we engage with our consumers every day. That is what sets us apart from the other global agencies.

SWA/Mix Media (a leading Indonesian business magazine) recently presented Havas Worldwide Jakarta the Creative Agency of the Year Award for 2015. Results were based on an online poll amongst clients—a testament of the new journey for Havas in Indonesia. I certainly did not expect to win such an award so soon after taking over, but I am very happy and proud to see that clients are recognizing our value.

Pizza Hut was the first win for Havas Worldwide Jakarta. Some other accounts won are Coca-Cola’s activation project, for which we recently launched the “Share a Coke” campaign, and L’Oreal’s Garnier, for which we extended our above-the-line relationship to now include activation and BTL on the back of our new “fully integrated” agency.

Campaign: What are you planning to achieve in the next 12 to 24 months?

Wiggers: We have plans for further integration with the service providers of our clients and working closer together. Also, the current office is getting too small and we do hope to relocate to a bigger space that is more strategically located in the city. 
Campaign: How important is Indonesia for Havas globally and why?

Wiggers: Within the Havas network, we may not be the office with the highest revenue, highest profit or most number of people. Yet we are probably in one of the highest potential growth markets in the world. Havas is ready to make a difference in this market and explore every opportunity here. 


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