VMLY&R is pulling its resources together by combining two key Southeast Asian markets, Malaysia and Indonesia, under the leadership of new CEO Kenni Loh.
The aim is to be able to offer 'full-funnel' services covering customer experience, brand experience and commerce in both markets, the agency explained in a release.
VMLY&R currently employs 150 staff in Malaysia and 70 in Indonesia, making it the largest WPP operation in these markets, according to the release.
Loh, the newly promoted leader for the cluster, has been CEO for Geometry Malaysia for more than five years. Based in Kuala Lumpur, he will now oversee the operations of both VMLY&R and VMLY&R Commerce (created last November when Geometry was folded into VMLY&R) in Malaysia and Indonesia. Loh will report into Tripti Lochan, co-CEO of VMLY&R Asia and Beth Ann Kaminkow, global CEO of VMLY&R Commerce.
Mudit Trivedi, managing director of VMLY&R Indonesia, will report to Loh, while Eric Ho, managing director of VMLY&R Malaysia, will move to VMLY&R Singapore to take on a new role as client success director.
“We are thrilled to see Kenni take on a larger role within VMLY&R. He will serve to seamlessly align the strengths of both offers across commerce, brand and customer experience, ensuring we are injecting creativity across the full consumer journey,” Kaminow said of the appointment.
VMLY&R clients in Malaysia and Indonesia include major brands across a variety of sectors including finance, tobacco, FMCG and energy. In addition to sharing borders, the neighbouring markets also share many cultural similarities among their consumers.
"Both markets have strong Muslim communities, and we plan to combine our expertise with these consumers, to capitalise on the growing trend of Halal-related industries, from food to investment, fashion and beyond,” Loh explained, noting brands are increasingly relating to consumers at the intersection of culture and commerce.
The agency made no mention of job losses in its announcement and emphasised expanded offerings rather than efficiencies as the motive for the change. Campaign is inquiring further.
“The formation of the Malaysia-Indonesia cluster allows us to leverage our talent and solutions across the markets to strengthen our brand building capabilities, for the creation of seamless connected consumer experiences for our clients in both Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Lochan.