The case traces the evolution of the advertising firm DDB Mudra from its founding as an independent “Indian” agency to its current position of being the Indian affiliate of the global advertising major, DDB Worldwide that is going to be overseen directly by the CEO of DDB worldwide. Set in the backdrop of the changes in both the global and Indian advertising industry, this two-part case invites students to consider the strategic choices made by the two leaders who shaped its growth and evolution – the founder CEO, AG Krishnamurthy (AGK) and the current CEO, Madhukar Kamath. The first case – titled DDB Mudra: Transformative Growth captures the company’s history from its inception in 1985 until its acquisition by the Omnicom group in 2011, the second case, an update titled DDB Mudra: Profitable Growth focuses on the challenges that Madhukar Kamath faces in 2015, 4 years after the acquisition.
The fieldwork for this case was undertaken as part of a larger project studying the growth strategies of domestic firms in a globalizing Indian economy. We examine the strategic and organizational challenges faced by these firms when they compete against larger and better endowed rivals, typically multinational enterprises from developed countries, in a changing competitive landscape. The DDB Mudra case engages with the challenges of competing against global majors in a creative industry that is undergoing dramatic transformation, both locally and globally