HAMBUSHED: Nicky Lim on the network’s recent account moves and new operations

3 years ago
Nicky Lim CEO DAN

(marketingmagazine.com.my) – By Malati Siniah

Nicky Lim DAN

New leadership, acquisitions and a brand new office, 2016 marked plenty of new beginnings for Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) Malaysia.

Steering the network’s 13 brands forward is Nicky Lim, Chief Executive Officer, DAN. No stranger to the industry, Nicky has over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry having held key roles at Geometry Global, McCann and Grey Group.

Last week Nicky and senior leaders of the agency officiated the launch of DAN’s new office, bringing together its 400 employees under one roof.

In our HAMBUSH below Nicky shares what’s next for the agency…

Could you share how the dynamics among your agencies would work with your new collaborative operating model? Will you no longer be pitching to clients as a separate entity?

All agencies under Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia are specialists in their own right – that doesn’t change. Whether it’s pitching via a single entity or multiple agencies, ultimately it’s about how we bring the concept of innovation to clients. If our clients have diverse needs, we are fairly confident that we have the capabilities within the group to meet it.

We don’t believe in having just one super-agency – we all have our own super powers which are fantastic on their own, but when all these super powers are combined, we become a superhero team delivering innovative solutions to clients (and saving the world!).

How do you plan to foster open communication and collaboration amongst your different brands?

With our one country, ‘One P&L’ operating model, the walls will come down sooner or later. It forces us to collaborate rather than being protective of our own interests. It bonds us with a common goal.

Furthermore, millennials make up a majority of our workforce here – these are talents who were brought up in the digital era and are accustomed to the idea of collaboration (think Waze). So open communication and collaboration are very well-received.

That said, we ingrain our five corporate values of being collaborative, agile, pioneering, responsible and ambitious in our talents. These values are a shared set of beliefs and behaviours that bind us together as one Dentsu Aegis Network, across all our brands and geographies. They define what we stand for, what’s important to us and how we will achieve our vision of ‘Innovating the Way Brands Are Built.’

If you were to give one piece of advice gained from your 20 over years in the advertising field to a fresh graduate entering the big bad world of advertising, what would it be and why?

Persevere and don’t expect quick wins. I believe in building professionals with a solid foundation. Don’t falter in the area of substance. You can and will go far in your career with a strong base. And personally, I don’t encourage jumping ship.

We have been reporting in the past months some big account moves from Carat, with the agency loosing clients like Etika Holdings (formerly Permanis) and most recently OCBC Bank……. any comments on these shifts?

Fact of life – all agencies go through a cycle. What’s more important is at the end of the day, we are bound by our “One P&L” structure, gains and losses are balanced out, contributing to a healthy organic growth.

Given the strength of the network and “The Power of One”, we are pretty positive that in due time the market will be able to see the value of what we are capable of offering.


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