M&C Saatchi opens in Indonesia with former Phibious boss Anish Daryani at its helm

M&C Saatchi is to open an independent operation in Indonesia headed by South East Asia ad land veteran Anish Daryani.

Daryani, who was previously the chief executive officer of independent agency Phibious in Jakarta, will serve as a partner to 20-year-old agency network.

The agency has no clients on its books as of yet, but is understood to be undergoing a period of rigorous pitching for business in what is South East Asia’s largest market.

Daryani has 25 years of advertising experience in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Vietnam and Indonesia, holding senior leadership roles at agencies such as Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Lowe & Partners. He joined Phibious as deputy managing director in Vietnam in 2015 and moved to open the agency’s Indonesia operation in 2016.

Joining him at M&C Saatchi Indonesia is former Dentsu creative director Dami Sidharta, who will act as the agency’s executive creative director.

Sidharta previously worked on accounts for the cigarette brand Gudang Garam, Pocari Sweat, Panasonic, Yamaha and the Indonesia Tourism. According to the agency, his campaign ‘Gudang Garam Rumahku Indonesiaku’ was recognised as the best commercial by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia in 2007.

Completing the founding team is Elki Hendria, who follows Daryani from Phibious as M&C Saatchi’s executive planning director in Indonesia.

From left: Elki Hendria, Anish Daryani and Dami Sidharta

Speaking to Mumbrella about opening in the market, Daryani said: “Indonesia has been growing 5.5 per cent for the past five years. Last year there was a small slowdown, but this year is going to be very exciting.

“The Asian Games are coming to Indonesia, there are regional elections and globally there is the football World Cup. Indonesians are football mad. There are a lot of local brands here that are giving the multinational brands a run for their money; there is a very forward-looking environment and an entrepreneurial zeal. All this results in giving a very exciting market”.

On his decision to leave Phibious for M&C, he added: “M&C is a very entrepreneurial agency with a system built around simplicity in advertising. That appealed to me at a time when everything is getting complicated in advertising.”

M&C Saatchi Indonesia will also launch its other specialist brands: CRM and big data analytics agency LIDA, M&C Saatchi Mobile, and Australian specialist performance-marketing agency Bohemia, which the agency acquired last year.

The network has been in Asia since 1995 when it first opened up in Malaysia. It has since opened bases in Japan and Singapore.


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