Nolan on the road: Veena Gidwani - CEO, Madison PR

I went to the headquarters of P&G India today to meet with Veena Gidwani, who heads P&G's AOR in India, Madison PR. The P&G building...

I went to the headquarters of P&G India today to meet with Veena Gidwani, who heads P&G's AOR in India, Madison PR. The P&G building is a walled-off, spacious building in a relatively nondescript neighborhood far from the center of Mumbai.

Its lobby boasts marble floors, wall-sized pictures of cute babies contemplating how much they would like some P&G products, and a very nice receptionist. Gidwani says that Madison, an 18-year-old full service agency, is India's largest stand alone homegrown agency. Its PR division arose about seven years ago due to increasing demand from ad clients for alternate ways to get their message out. Today, it boasts large PR clients including McDonald's, Britannia (a leading biscuit company), and India's ubiquitous Coffee Day chain.

Gidwani said that the unique nature of India's intricate market gives an advantage to homegrown firms like Madison. She said that multinational agencies are all hungrily buying up local firms in order to enter the Indian PR market.

The competition for seasoned talent is incredibly competitive. As long as India's economy keeps growing at its voracious clip, Gidwani believes the PR industry will grow right along with it. She noted that new sectors are still opening up -- just in the last few years, she said, politicians, celebrities, and NGOs in India have begun engaging PR firms. Madison remains independent, but it is surely a prime acquisition target for hungry multinationals in the future. Gidwani said that only time will tell what direction the firm takes.

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