Health Comms Awards Prmoment India 30 Under 30

Insider Insights: Havas India's Rana Barua, PR Pundit Havas Red's Archana Jain share details on acquisition: PRmoment Podcast"

In early November this year, Havas announced its acquisition of consumer and luxury hospitality specialist PR Pundit. With this, Havas also launched its PR vertical Havas Red in India. PR Pundit is now rebranded as PR Pundit Havas Red.

PRmoment India's Paarul Chand sat down with Rana Barua, group CEO, of Havas India and Archana Jain now CEO of PR Pundit Havas Red to talk about the acquisition, the earn-out period, the run-up to the acquisition, how long the process takes and what it means to build a lasting legacy.

Rana Barua, Group CEO, of Havas India said, " For people who are listening, you know, what works best is that you need to give each other time. So you need to give time and space, and you can't rush into decisions like this because you have to know each other better."

Barua add, "And one big thing that we do, and this is something I personally really encourage, is we start working together much before. Because you've already signed up for an NDA, you're naturally not going to disclose anything. And even if somebody says, "Hey, what are you doing with Archana in that meeting?" I don't have a PR agency. I have an NDA with her. She's my partner. So nobody raises eyebrows. But what happens then is you start to know each other better. Some of the leadership team starts interacting with each other better, you go for certain pitches together, you go for certain business pitches together. And you realise whether this will work over the next 12 months."

The podcast also discussed women's leadership in PR. Archana Jain is only the third woman in the PR business in India to lead an acquisition in the last 20 years after Prema Sagar and Bela Rajan. She now joins Havas which tracks women in leadership and participation every month and how such trackers are an incentive for better participation by women employees.

Archana Jain, CEO, of PR Pundit Havas Red says, " I  think that question is asked to me how did you become an entrepreneur? Because that was not part of anybody in my family. There were no genes in there. But what brought me into the profession, some 33 years back, I turned entrepreneur about seven and a half years after being in the profession, it was my love of the craft that I enjoyed. That's what kept me going. And keeps me going to date. And I think I will die as a practitioner, for sure. So I think getting into this conversation with Havas was really to say, I want for PR pundit to continue well beyond my lifespan.

Much more on how to find the right match for an acquisition, mutual respect and which women-led PR  firms in India are great candidates for growth. Listen in.

Podcast Summary

  • Acquisition of PR pundit by Havas. 0:00

    • The group's global ambitions and the importance of the Indian market.
    •  India is a key market for Havas Group, with a focus on organic and acquisitive growth.
    • PR Pundit's 25-year legacy in the PR domain, with a desire to expand globally and network with Havas Group.
  • Partnering with a PR agency for a global consumer goods company. 5:12
    •  The importance of giving each other time and space to work together before making decisions, and using an NDA to protect confidential information.
    • PR Pundit's reputation, leadership team, and expertise in the consumer sector as key factors in the decision to work with the agency.
    • The consumer sector as well as luxury is a major focus for PR Pundit and the agency's stability and leadership team were also important considerations.
  • Scaling up and expanding a company through partnership. 10:30
    •  The need for succession planning and access to global learning.
    • Havas Group partners with PR Pundit to debut brand Havas Red in India.
    • Earnout: A 5-year equity divestment plan for Archana Jain, PR Pundit Havas Red.
  • Acquisition of PR firm by Havas Group. 14:41
    • No difficulties with the integration process due to prior discussions and agreements.
    • The significance of women-led firms in the PR industry, hoping to inspire more women to lead and scale their enterprises.
  • Gender diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. 19:30
    • Havas approach to inclusivity, importance of culture and leadership in promoting equality and equal participation.
    • Havas initiatives to address the gender ratio, including programs for women's leadership and partnership with organizations like the Unstereotype Club.
    •  Importance of measuring and tracking gender diversity in leadership positions, using a monthly tracker to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement.
    •  Tracker, shows a positive movement towards gender diversity in leadership positions.
  • Entrepreneurship, acquisitions, and legacy in the PR industry. 24:07

    • Rana Barua on his background in science and advertising, highlighting his love for ideation and bringing ideas to life.
    • Rana shares his excitement for the profession, citing the importance of ideation in advertising and his enjoyment of working in a strong idea-driven industry.
    • Archana Jain shares her entrepreneurial journey and how she became a practitioner in the PR industry, emphasising the importance of creativity and customer needs.
    • Archana discusses the challenges of integrating two companies, including technical details and the courage required to build a legacy beyond one's own lifetime.

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly event and subscriber alerts.

We have four email alerts in total - covering ESG, PR news, events and awards. Enter your email address below to find out more: