Brainchild Communications Pakistan (BCP), the largest media agency in Pakistan, according to the latest RECMA media agency rankings report, has restructured its leadership teams to propel new avenues for growth.
As part of the restructuring, the Publicis Groupe media brands of Starcom, Publicis Media, and Mediavest will fall under BCP. Previously, the Publicis Media brand fell under Pak Media Communications. The restructure allows BCP to work with many companies and place conflicting clients – such as Nestle and Engro – in separate media brands.
The largest clients for
- Starcom are Mondelez, HBL, KFC, KIA, Engro Corp, and TikTok
- Mediavest are National Foods, Dawlance, EFU, and Foodpanda
- Publicis Media are Nestle, PEL, Sabroso, and Tapal
People who know how to use the internet will know that Starcom has recently won the Ekaterra account for Unilever’s former tea business unit. This and any manner of cross-verification done on the Pakistan Broadcasters Association database will show that all agencies of Z2C Limited serve competing telecom, tea, dairy, and confectionary brands.
“Marketers that have an issue with their agency executives working for a competitor, are self-admitting to be idiots,” said Ali Rehman of CloudiTwins. “These marketers are admitting that their product or service is a commodity that commands no unique attributes nor commands true customer loyalty. Marketers that expect their agencies to reject work offers from competing category brands should pay triple to compensate for the lost opportunity cost and these marketers are never allowed to refer to their product or service as industry leading either.”
Through the team restructure, BCP will be able to separate teams and leaders so each new entity can acquire various clients without worrying about competing categories.
Due to separating teams and leaders under unique media brands and locations, BCP avoids situations where client information may be compromised. This was the case when GroupM led media for both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.
Usman Qayam takes over Starcom Pakistan as the new general manager. At the same time, Saud Umar Khan was named the general manager for Publicis Media, and Urooj Hussain was raised to general manager of Mediavest. All three have proven themselves with P&L growth experience and loyalty to Z2C Limited.
“Usman joined us in 2009 as a management trainee,” said Farhan Khan, the chief executive officer of Brainchild Communications Pakistan. “His experience within the agency network spans a diversified range of businesses, including P&G, National Foods, Dawlance, KFC, HBL, KIA, Engro, TikTok, and Mondelez, to name a few. Usman has been relentless in his pursuit for agency growth and brings passion to the game when working for his clients. His forte has been hand-holding clients when they are looking for communication solutions and leading them to unlock opportunities with market-firsts avenues to test & learn from.”
An alumnus of SZABIST and an adjunct faculty of management sciences at his alma mater, Qayam has inspired many young graduates to join the Starcom Management Trainee program.
“He has built a robust client portfolio out of Karachi only with a multi-billion annual turnover alongside winning many awards for his clients,” said Khan. “Starcom Pakistan is all about energy, drive, and passion for being the market leader in the coming years, and Usman hopes to carry that challenge moving on.”
Starting his career in 2004 with Ufone, Saud Umar Khan has an extensive work experience in the telecommunications sector through the telecom growth years in Pakistan. His last assignment in Pakistan was heading brand communications at Warid Telecom before venturing to the UAE, where he led the commercial team for a construction group.
”Saud joined us in Islamabad as the Associate Director in July 2017 to manage the regional operations,” said CEO Farhan Khan. “In early 2019, he was challenged to manage a more extensive portfolio in Lahore, becoming the portfolio director for the north region. He not only added new clients but also grew the region to a multi-billion-rupee portfolio, delivering the highest-ever growth. He spearheads Publicis Media across Pakistan with Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad offices. He has managed a diverse portfolio of clients, including Coca-Cola, Fauji Foods, Packages, Samsung Electronics, Servis Shoes, Zameen.com, and Zong 4G.”
Harnessing the power of the modern media landscape to drive one-to-one consumer engagement at scale, Publicis Media creates value for clients through global media agency brands and scaled capabilities across investment, strategy, insights and analytics, data and technology, commerce, performance marketing, and content.
The media brand was launched in Pakistan after the group won the Nestle media review in Q4 2021, with Publicis Media gearing up to introduce global learnings to the Pakistani market.
Starting her career with Brainchild Communications Pakistan in 2009 as a management trainee, Urooj has worked across multiple functions in media planning, buying, digital, and e-commerce across various categories such as personal care, telecom, and consumer appliances, with a core focus on the FMCG space across multiple local and international brands such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, National Foods, Engro, Dawlance, EFU and more.
Launched in 2010, Mediavest is a rising star in the portfolio of Brainchild Communications Pakistan agencies, now boasting a portfolio of clients across over a dozen categories, including telecom, consumer electronics, apparel, and financial services.
“Urooj has contributed an annual billing of over three billion rupees through long-tail SMEs to large multinational clients,” said Farhan Khan. “This spectrum of experience and knowledge enables her to deliver customized, optimized, and business-relevant solutions to all our clients across the spectrum.”
Rated BBB+ by The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited (PACRA), Brainchild Communications Pakistan is embarking on the next phase of its journey of becoming a full-service advertising agency. Distinct media brands and respective general managers open room for a larger client base without compromising conflict of interest in competing categories.
“Our business direction will be much more experiential and thoughtful about data-driven tactics,” said Benish Irshad, the chief operating officer at Brainchild Communications Pakistan. “Supported by Z2C Limited, our new strategy reflects a bold new vision for evolving Pakistan’s media & technology landscape. We must capture the ever-present growing opportunities of a changing marketplace and reward our senior leadership with a streamlined structure built around clients’ needs.”
In Pakistan’s $2 billion advertising industry, media buying muscle is achieved with unified investments in ad inventory, not from being disjointed. The more pressing issue is the number of cosmetic gymnastics these agencies have to perform to appease the tantrums of those carrying the title of brand manager.
For the media agency landscape to grow, media agencies may want to venture outward and consider which real business problems are being ignored yet are gradually growing at an alarming rate. This is a problem that the brand teams at companies may be unaware of, but the public affairs and legal teams may be all too familiar with.
This may be why Z2C Limited has a vertically integrated strategy that covers technology and data, through its investments in a second-party marketplace, Walee, bSecure, Activ8, bExperiential, and in helping the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority build an AI-enabled monitoring system.
About Brainchild Communications Pakistan
Incorporated in 2010 as a majority-owned subsidiary of Bee Squared (Pte.) Brainchild Communications Pakistan (BCP) operates as a full-service agency in the media space. Since its inception, BCP has maintained a non-ownership franchising agreement with Publicis Groupe, one of the largest media houses in the world. In Pakistan, BCP uses Starcom, Mediavest, and Publicis Media trademarks of the divisions of the Publicis Groupe.
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency awarded the coveted BBB+ rating to BCP in March 2022. BCP recently topped the RECMA media agency ranking for 2020 in Pakistan due to its focus on people, data, and technology.
Babar Khan Javed, director of public affairs