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NRI developing Singapore ad industry

Harpreet Singh Keintel, who is the youngest head of a major media house in Singapore, says its ad industry needs a new business model.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 14:09 IST

Harpreet Singh Keintel, who became the youngest head of a major media house here last year, says Singapore's advertising industry needs a new business model.

The 38-year old graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT) from New Delhi was appointed in November CEO of Zenith Optimedia, an advertising agency that is part of the Paris-based Publicis Groupe.

Keintel is planning to wean his agency away from too much dependency on accounts to focus on providing solutions and accountable holistic planning, according to Today Online newspaper.

Online advertising will be a key revenue earner in the next couple of years, according to him.

"Online (media) is already here and making inroads. In the last two months I've done two media purchases that were of significant value, and both these purchases were almost entirely for online media," Keintel said.

Recently his agency handled two accounts with main thrust on online advertising.

"One was a travel-related ad to Perth that was totally for online. Another was for a top camera brand for which 50 percent was online, about 35-40 percent at retail outlets and the rest were ads in print and on buses," he said.

Keintel's meteoric rise to a top post within six years of arrival here from India as a group director is unusual even in an industry used to dramatic career graphs.

During his association with the media house, business grew six times and staff strength from 30 to over 70.

A critic of the "15 percent formula", which is the standard commission here for advertising industries, Keintel said this formula was not allowing the industry to get out of the daily grind of working on margins and creating knowledge in the way that consultancies have.