Faaez Samadi
Jan 24, 2018

M&C Saatchi launches in Indonesia

Agency opens third Southeast Asia office with three founding members from local rivals.

(L-R): Dami Sidartha, Richard Morewood, Moray MacLennan, Elki Hendria, Anish Daryani
(L-R): Dami Sidartha, Richard Morewood, Moray MacLennan, Elki Hendria, Anish Daryani

M&C Saatchi today announced the opening of the agency’s Indonesia office, its 27th practice worldwide.

The new operation is the third in Southeast Asia after Singapore and Malaysia, and adds to M&C’s wider Asia practice alongside India and China. The M&C network has brought on Anish Daryani, formerly CEO of Phibious Indonesia, to lead the office as M&C Saatchi Indonesia’s founding partner and president director.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific at the launch event today in Jakarta, Moray MacLennan, M&C Saatchi worldwide CEO, said the agency has had Indonesia on its list for a long while, but has only now found the right fit for the network.

"We’re a network held together by culture rather than revenue, which I think is stronger," he said. "Identifying the market is relatively simple. We know Indonesia has huge potential and strategic importance. The difficult part is finding the right people. It took a few years, but when Anish turned up, we knew we had the right person sitting in front of us."  

Daryani brings 15 years’ advertising experience to the role, having worked in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Vietnam and, for the past two years, Indonesia. During his tenure, Phibious Indonesia won Indonesian Independent Agency of the Year in Campaign's Agency of the Year Awards for the past three years.

Anish Daryani

Daryani told Campaign his aim is to "challenge the cliches of integrated, 360 marketing", and he found M&C Saatchi to be the right partner for this. 

"Marketing today has never been more complicated," he said. "Pretty much every big network is in Indonesia and they’re not having it easy. You don’t just want to be one among them. The opportunity is in bringing simplicity to brand-building, which ties in perfectly with M&C's values around 'brutal simplicity of thought'."

He added that the potential growth among homegrown Indonesian brands is extremely significant, as they are the "movers and shakers" driving the country's economy.

M&C Saatchi Indonesia will offer the full spectrum of advertising and marketing services, including social media, mobile, performance marketing, CRM and analytics. The agency will also launch its other specialist brands in Indonesia: CRM and big data analytics agency LIDA, M&C Saatchi Mobile, and Australian specialist performance-marketing agency Bohemia, which M&C Saatchi acquired in February 2017.

Richard Morewood, M&C Saatchi Asia CEO, said Daryani's experience and entrepreneurial mindset align with the network's business strategy of "getting startups rather than acquisitions" to grow. 

"Indonesia is the most important market in Southeast Asia, it's developing extremely quickly," Morewood said. "For us it’s as much about the cultural fit as anything else, finding entrepreneurs with local marketing knowledge who want to do their own thing, but also want to be part of a bigger family. It's a longer-term view of building our business." 

Joining Daryani’s leadership team at M&C Saatchi Indonesia are Dami Sidhartha as executive creative director and Elki Hendria as executive planning director. Sidartha comes from Dentsu where he was most recently creative director. Hendria joins from Phibious, where he was head of strategic planning.

MacLennan added that M&C Saatchi is "accelerating" its growth programme in 2018, with Asia seeing more activity than any other region, regarding not only acquisitions but also startup ventures.

"Yes you can acquire revenue, but what we do is plant acorns," he said. "Some of them may grow into big oak trees, some may not grow. That’s what happens. But we’re giving ourselves the chance of big growth further down the line.” 

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