Havas acquires digital marketing agency Pivotroots

Havas has announced the acquisition of PivotRoots, one of India and UAE’s leading digital marketing and communications agencies. The network’s latest acquisition comes at a time when Havas Media India is experiencing a period of impressive growth and represents Havas’ commitment to positioning the network for expansion in these key markets.  Launched in 2016 by co-founders Shibu Shivanandan, Hetal Khalsa, Dhruvi Joshi, and Yogesh Khanchandani, PivotRoots is one of the fastest-growing marketing and communications agencies, providing cutting-edge solutions to clients across a wide range of industries in India and the UAE. PivotRoots has worked with brands like Amazon Prime Video, Swiggy, Hindustan Unilever, Disney, Bisleri, Medlife, Urban Company, among others.?Being a fully integrated agency, PivotRoots is a leading provider of solutions in brand and performance marketing, UI/UX, digital content creation, and marketing technology through its recently launched division PivotConsult.  The acquisition will allow Havas Media India to tap into PivotRoots’ deep understanding of the Indian and MENA markets and enhance its capabilities in the rapidly growing digital advertising space. By combining PivotRoots' local expertise with the group's global resources, PivotRoots will be able to deliver best-in-class digital marketing solutions at scale.  The addition of PivotRoots strengthens HMGI’s powerful roster of agencies and specialized divisions which includes?media networks Havas Media and Arena Media; specialist brands Havas Market, Havas Programmatic Hub, Havas Analytics, Socialyse, and Havas Media Tribes; and the recently launched global offering, Havas Play. PivotRoots’ state-of-art digital capabilities, supplemented with?Havas Media's meaningful?media experiences (Mx)?approach will allow HMGI to offer a unique?audience-first data-driven solution to the clients. This acquisition not only bolsters Havas' position in the industry but also demonstrates the company's commitment to staying ahead of the competition by investing in cutting-edge technologies and innovative strategies.  "We are thrilled to welcome PivotRoots to the Havas family," said?Yannick Bolloré, Chairman of Vivendi, and Chairman & CEO of Havas. “The acquisition is part of our broader strategy to expand our presence in lighthouse markets around the world. With a global network that spans over 100 countries, Havas is well-positioned to help clients reach audiences wherever they are.”  Bolloré?elaborated, "We see tremendous potential in India, and we are committed to investing in actions and efforts that help us actualize and leverage this potential meaningfully. This acquisition will further strengthen not only Havas Media India's and Havas India’s position in the country where PivotRoots primarily operates, which is one of the fastest-growing digital advertising markets in the world, but also add a specialized edge to Havas Media Network, and to Havas as a whole.”  Shibu Shivanandan, Founder and Managing Director, PivotRoots, said, "We are excited to be part of Havas Media India. We share a common vision for the future of advertising, and by combining our expertise and talent we can deliver better solutions, services, and results to our clients. We are proud of what we have achieved at PivotRoots in India and MENA so far, and we look forward to the next chapter in our journey."  "I'm delighted to welcome Shibu and the PivotRoots team to the Havas Family”, said, Rana Barua, CEO, Havas India. He further added, “This acquisition comes at an extremely interesting time for Havas India, which has undergone a complete transformation in recent years and has seen unprecedented growth and success. The addition of PivotRoots and their capabilities, advanced analytics and technology, and a new perspective on creativity and innovation distinguishes Havas Media India in the industry in meeting the evolving needs of its clients and succeeding in an increasingly competitive and extremely dynamic market.”

Delivering consumer-centric solutions is key: PivotRoots' Yogesh Khanchandani

“We were able to help a vast number of SMEs navigate the post-pandemic landscape with greater ease and confidence. Our templatized e-commerce solutions and consultation services proved to be a game-changer for many businesses looking to establish a robust online presence and capitalise on the vast potential of the digital market,” says Yogesh Khanchandani, Co-Founder & Chief Business Strategy Officer at PivotRoots.Pivotroots, currently present in India and Dubai, is a data- and technology-led full-service digital agency offering services across strategy and consulting, digital media planning & buying, UI/IX, social & content, data & analytics, and custom solution building. The agency has worked with over 60 brands, like EmiratesNBD, National Bank of Kuwait, Amazon Prime Video, Upgrad, etc. Pivotroots recently expanded its martech solutions under PivotConsult to offer clients cutting-edge custom tech solutions that are tailored to their unique business needs. “To achieve this, we acquired DEEPFLUX, a tech company comprising software engineers who work closely with our brand strategists to develop custom infrastructures that drive efficiency and effectiveness,” says Yogesh in this interview with BF Firos, Associate Editor, Adgully. Excerpts: In a competitive digital marketing industry, what sets PivotRoots apart from other agencies in the UAE, and how do you maintain your competitive edge?In today's industry, it is essential to possess talent, agility, and vision for the future in order to stay ahead of the curve. At our company, our unwavering focus has always been on designing and delivering consumer-centric solutions that are backed by an extensive, data-driven strategy. Over our seven-year journey of building PivotRoots, we have constantly evolved and innovated ourselves. Initially, we began as an end-to-end digital marketing agency, but we soon shifted our focus to become a martech-first digital agency. Today, as an integrated solutioning agency, we provide a more efficient and effective approach to problem-solving. Our commitment to our clients is to provide a comprehensive view of their business and deliver solutions that meet their unique needs.Can you walk us through a successful campaign you've worked on, highlighting the challenges faced, solutions implemented, and results achieved?One of our most successful campaigns was for Father's Day, which we executed for our client FnP last year.FnP, a global gifting brand, faced two significant challenges. Firstly, its audience were not aware that FnP offered more than just flowers as gift options, leading to a perception issue. Secondly, they faced slow growth resulting from the conventional gifting behaviour of the audience, where gifts were exchanged only during occasions, festivals, or personal and professional achievements.To tackle these challenges, a comprehensive strategy was developed after conducting extensive research on market behaviour and human insights. The primary objective was to communicate that every moment could be made special with a gift, and one didn't need to wait for a special occasion. The campaign, #FathersTurnToReceive, was based on the insight that fathers, irrespective of nationality or socio-economic status, always believe in fulfilling the needs and desires of their loved ones. They are like gifts that keep on giving, and Father's Day was the perfect opportunity to make them feel the joy of receiving a gift as an expression of love, gratitude, and respect.As a result of the campaign, the brand search volume for the word "fnp" increased by 50%, and there was a brand intent increase of up to 57% from the previous month. Furthermore, during the ten-day campaign period, close to 1000 purchases were made resulting in a major success for the brand!With the pandemic shifting consumer behavior and expectations, how has PivotRoots adapted its services to cater to changing market demands?In the aftermath of the pandemic, the entire industry was grappling with the challenge of rapidly accelerating their digital transformation. Amidst this X5 digital acceleration, we stepped in and provided crucial support to numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through our templatized quick e-commerce set-up and consultation services.Our priority was to help these SMEs fast-track their digitization process and align with the evolving needs of today's consumers. By providing tailored consultation services, we enabled these businesses to adapt to the changing market dynamics and stay ahead of the curve.We were able to help a vast number of SMEs navigate the post-pandemic landscape with greater ease and confidence. Our templatized e-commerce solutions and consultation services proved to be a game-changer for many businesses looking to establish a robust online presence and capitalize on the vast potential of the digital market.How do you ensure that your team stays up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the digital marketing landscape, and how do you encourage innovation within the company?At our company, we take pride in our strict in-house protocol for training and certifications, which plays a pivotal role in managing the upskilling of our talented workforce. We firmly believe that investing in our employees' development and nurturing their skill sets is key to driving our growth and success.Our comprehensive training and certification programmes are carefully tailored to the specific needs of our employees, and we closely link them to promotions and bonuses. This approach not only ensures that our employees are equipped with the latest industry knowledge and skills but also incentivizes them to pursue excellence and strive for growth within the organisation.Additionally, we maintain and encourage Joint Business Plans (JBPs) with all our media partners. Our JBPs focus on fostering innovation, exploring out-of-the-box solutions, and delivering exceptional value to our clients. Through these partnerships, we aim to stay at the forefront of the rapidly evolving media landscape and leverage the latest trends and technologies to drive impactful outcomes for our clients.What metrics do you use to measure the success of a campaign, and how do you ensure that your clients' ROI is maximised?At our company, we understand that each client has unique goals that are closely tied to their business objectives. For this reason, we always take a bespoke approach and tailor our media solutions to meet the specific needs of our clients.For example, for a retail furniture store, our focus would be on driving measurable footfall into their stores, which can be achieved through targeted and impactful media campaigns. Similarly, for D2C clients, we prioritise increasing their month-on-month revenue by leveraging a range of media channels and optimising campaigns for maximum ROI.For FMCG brands, our objective would be to improve their brand metrics through effective communication and targeting. This could involve developing engaging content, leveraging social media influencers, and utilising data-driven insights to target the right audience segments.Overall, our approach is driven by a deep understanding of our clients' unique goals and KPIs, and we work closely with them to develop customised media solutions that deliver measurable business outcomes. By aligning our strategies with our clients' business objectives, we are able to drive meaningful results and help them achieve long-term success.What future plans does PivotRoots have for expansion or diversification of its services, and what new technologies or trends are you most excited about?At our company, we recognize that technology is rapidly transforming the marketing landscape, and we are committed to staying ahead of the curve. That's why we recently expanded our martech solutions under PivotConsult to offer our clients cutting-edge custom tech solutions that are tailored to their unique business needs.To achieve this, we acquired DEEPFLUX, a tech company comprising software engineers who work closely with our brand strategists to develop custom infrastructures that drive efficiency and effectiveness. With a strong focus on data and technology, we are aggressively scaling up our verticals in areas such as ML/AI, CDP, audiences, and anomaly detection.Our approach is driven by a deep understanding of our clients' businesses and the unique challenges they face in today's rapidly evolving marketing landscape. By combining our strategic expertise with the latest in cutting-edge technology, we are able to develop innovative solutions that drive real business outcomes for our clients.Overall, our expansion into martech solutions under PivotConsult reflects our commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry and providing our clients with the best possible solutions to meet their business needs. We are excited to continue driving innovation and delivering value to our clients through the power of data and technology.What, according to you, are the effective marketing strategies for SMEs in the UAE? How conducive is the UAE environment for SMEs?My recommendation for SMEs would be to prioritise a consumer-centric marketing strategy, a fundamental and effective approach for businesses to adopt. It involves putting the customer at the centre of all marketing efforts and focusing on understanding their needs, preferences, and behaviours in order to deliver personalised and relevant experiences.By adopting a consumer-centric approach, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue growth. This approach allows businesses to build stronger relationships with their customers by providing them with personalised experiences that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences.To achieve this, it is important to gather and analyse customer data in order to gain insights into their behaviour and preferences. This data can then be used to inform marketing campaigns and strategies that are designed to resonate with customers and drive engagement.In today's highly competitive marketplace, a consumer-centric approach can give businesses a significant competitive advantage. By placing the needs and preferences of their customers at the forefront of their marketing efforts, businesses can build stronger, more meaningful relationships with their customers and drive long-term success.

We have 50% of leadership team driven by women; it’s a big example to many

Harsha Oberoi, Associate Director - Digital Marketing, Pivotroots.  speaks to BF FIROS, Associate Editor, AdgullyThe key to becoming a unicorn talent in the digital marketing industry is to be knowledgeable, adaptable, and always willing to learn and grow, says Harsha As the world celebrates Women's Day today, Harsha speaks to about the challenges as a woman leader, important digital marketing skills, the future of digital marketing, the challenging project she has worked on, the way she stays up-to-date with the latest trends, and gender-based stereotypes. In today's digital age, says Harsha, the demand for full-stack digital marketers is on the rise. “With businesses competing in a highly saturated market, finding individuals who can wear multiple hats and possess a diverse set of skills has become crucial for success. To stand out in the industry, it is important to do your research, stay informed on industry news, and continuously develop your skills,” she adds. Excerpts from the interview:As a successful woman in the digital marketing industry, what advice do you have for aspiring women in the UAE looking to advance in their careers?In today's digital age, the demand for full-stack digital marketers is on the rise. With businesses competing in a highly saturated market, finding individuals who can wear multiple hats and possess a diverse set of skills has become crucial for success. To stand out in the industry, it is important to do your research, stay informed on industry news, and continuously develop your skills.One way to stay ahead of the curve is by investing in your learning curve, continuously developing your skills can give you a competitive edge in the job market. Additionally, taking the initiative to be proactive can also set you apart from other candidates. This can mean taking on side projects or seeking out new opportunities for growth and development.All in all, the key to becoming a unicorn talent in the digital marketing industry is to be knowledgeable, adaptable, and always willing to learn and grow. By staying on top of industry trends and continuously developing your skills, you can position yourself as a valuable asset to any business.Can you share with us a challenging project you worked on, and how you overcame obstacles, if any, you faced during the process?Sure. Although each business comes with its own challenges, one of the cases to remember was with a well-known global credit card player in the market. The key challenge was to reach the right audience for their range of cards offered and reduce the overlaps between these audiences while increasing credit card purchases in the region.We initiated our go-to-market strategy with market penetration and growth opportunities; we tapped into the audience understanding and micro-segmentation for each product offered within the target market.Prioritization of the market and audience was the first step. This was further enhanced with competition analysis and seasonality uplift at the granular level. The change in audience mix based on trends and seasonality was the highlight, and the communication was also tailored to increase sales.To avoid any potential spillage, the planning details were meticulous. The results were astounding, with a 60% increase in brand SOV and a 50% increase in conversions. We followed a comprehensive and continuous research-insight-plan approach with a full-stack team structure as a process, but we were also ready for the agility to bring in the effectiveness from trends.How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in the digital marketing landscape, and how do you incorporate these insights into your work?Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and industry landscape is the key to growth in the ever-evolving digital marketing industry. Being a regular at reading industry news, use cases and knowing the beta products of the marketing industry with their possible outcomes across the globe definitely gives you an upper hand.A good strategy is to thoroughly understand the company and its objectives before developing strategic business development plans that incorporate the most relevant industry trends, leading to result-driven campaigns. Not every new trend would be a good match and you will have to make hard choices at times.I strongly recommend a B-I-T-E approach for most of my clients. BITE stands for laying down your core Business KPIs to build Insight-driven strategy further bringing in well-researched Trend-fits and finally driving Effective Planning. At the same time, regular discussions and brainstorming with your marketing and data teams are equally important and helpful in checking on any blind spots. Regularly check-in your brand uplifts, audience mix change, and media landscape change for positive outcomes.What do you believe are some of the most important skills for a digital marketer to have, and how have you developed and honed these skills over your career?Honestly, as a digital marketer, you play many roles and each of them are actually markedly different from one another. While the list is long, personally, I believe in five key skills:  a. staying on top of your campaign's data and insights,b. paying close attention to details,c. having a firm grasp of the business, market, and competitors,d. being open to seeking input from others to identify any blind spotse. striving for growth and learning.In my career, I have shouldered different responsibilities for different businesses, and it was in my early years that I started picking up these skills. Thanks to the diverse clientele base and the exposure that PivotRoots has been able to provide, I have grown and am able to function strongly with these skill-sets to deliver a difference and bring positive growth to the businesses I have worked with.Adapt, unlearn, learn, and grow is the mantra!How do you ensure that your team remains motivated and engaged in their work, and what steps do you take to foster a positive and collaborative team culture?To be honest, it is equally essential to work as a team player while being a leader. This helps motivate your team by bringing in the feeling of belongingness and being heard. Providing them with the opportunity to speak up, share their opinions, and work in a team environment where there is collaboration is essential.As an effective step, I have always encouraged giving co-workers and team members room to work. Appreciations and healthy discussions boost their engagements in their day-to-day work. Besides, a healthy encouragement to push them for a balanced work-life has their heart in what they do. As a good leader though, one must have their decisions backed by clear logic while delivering thoughtful criticism when necessary, and being open-minded is very important.What do you see as the future of digital marketing, especially in the UAE, and how do you believe marketers can prepare for and adapt to these changes?Digital marketing as an industry is growing exponentially across the globe, and the UAE is no different. It is a visionary acceleration that all marketers are witnessing today in the industry within the country. The pandemic has strongly accelerated the growth of the digital ecosystem, and the industry is set to mark new records with digital investments taking about 70% of the share by 2026, with total marketing spends and growth CAGR of about 30% in the next five years.Mobile will account for roughly 90% of SOV, with audience expectations constantly changing. Marketers will need to up their game as they are now competing with the last best experience their user has had and not just another business or a product or service. Tech innovations will drive effective results and planning, and marketers must be able to apply and scale innovations to boost their business growth.Have you faced any challenges as a woman leader in an otherwise male-dominated domain? If so, how have you overcome these challenges?Honestly, it has always been comparatively harder for women to gain their seat at the table. It truly depends on the organisation, and there are still a few stereotypical companies out there, staffed by women but the leadership is always led by men at the top management positions. However, the times are changing, and we are seeing more women in positions of power. The change is visible, especially in young and dynamic companies.Luckily, as part of PivotRoots, a highly dynamic and young company that truly believes in women's growth and leadership and values their experience, thoughts, and capabilities, workplace stereotypes are something that I haven't come across. We have 50% of our leadership team driven by women, and I believe this in itself is a big example to many companies out there!Despite all the hype about gender-neutrality, gender-based stereotypes are deeply ingrained in societies transcending geographical boundaries. How pervasive such stereotypes are in the media industry? How do you think such stereotypes can be dealt with?Well, there are still gender stereotypes at play in many workplaces, primarily promoting men's growth in taking the lead while women are only allowed to take care of the team and remain a team player. This puts women in a difficult position.Moreover, men generally don’t get the struggle that women go through at times in order to be successful in business and life. Companies need to staff capable and prepared women and have faith in their talent. Offering equal pay and benefits and growth opportunities is surely weaving the way for organisational growth in the coming days. While professional women need to have each other’s backs, be cognizant of our interactions with each other, and allow our greatness to shine. After all – Together We Are Stronger.