Adland veterans Ranganathan Somanathan and Ravi Bhaya, have launched RSquared Global Ventures (R2GV) comprising three practices - Ventures@R2 to enter into joint venture partnerships, HomeCourt@R2 by way of growth consultancy, and Gigs@R2 to build solutions ground up. The newly launched R2GV aims to enable businesses in the areas of data, tech, content, and media scale across geographies and audience segments. It is currently working with a spectrum of ventures in the content, martech, retail, and edutech space. The company is also in the midst of developing its advisory board which will comprise industry leaders, venture partners and subject matter experts.
Both Somanathan (pictured left) and Bhaya (picture right) now helm the role of co-founder and curator of R2GV. Somanathan was previously the CEO of Omnicom Media Group Singapore and Malaysia, a role which he stepped down from last June. Prior to that, he was COO of Southeast Asia and head of global network clients for Starcom, where he worked with brands such as P&G, Samsung, Mead Johnson, Visa, and Citibank He also led VivaKi Malaysia as CEO and worked at Mediacom as associate media director in Bangalore.
Meanwhile Bhaya was MD of strategy and innovation consultancy Serviceplan Consulting Group based in Munich, Germany. During his time there, he designed strategic growth initiatives; set up centres of excellence around social media, performance marketing, and businses intelligence; and developed joint business plans with global digital publishers, according to his LinkedIn. Before that, he was with Publicis Media for 13 years, leading Starcom as MD in South Africa and Jakarta, and country manager in Vietnam.
Somanathan said in an era of abundance, its ambition is to curate meaningful solutions that address quality, accountability and transparency. "With rapid industrialisation and technology, we believe that humans have solved the insufficiency problem of the world. This has resulted in an abundance of solutions, especially in the adtech and martech space, and for consumers and end-users, creating clutter and confusion to key stakeholders," he explained. According to him, when the pandemic hit in early 2020, he and Bhaya increasingly saw the need to leverage their global experiences and embrace the opportunity to create something meaningful. "We espoused the same belief and gathered the courage to venture into the deep end of the start-up ecosystem," Somanathan added.
As its name suggests, the company's ambition is to have a global footprint. Having worked with Somanathan previously, Bhaya said both of them have worn multiple management hats, held regional roles including physical footprints in Asia Pacific, Africa, and Europe. According to Bhaya, these experiences have helped enrich both individuals with reach and relationships to enable businesses to scale.
On who R2GV considers as competitors, Somanathan envisions seeing the world through the lens of collaborative commons versus competitors. Hence, it does not feel like it is competing with others but itself. According to him, it draws inspiration from organisations such as Disney and Apple which have been successful in curating meaningful experiences. From the marketing services sector, Somanathan said it is inspired by what S4 Capital has achieved in the digital space, and also looks at the knowledge and expertise that BCG Digital Ventures brings to its ventures. At the same time, R2GV also looks to Berlin-based Rocket Internet which has scaled businesses across the globe.
"We are driven by our purpose of curating quality companies in the area of data, tech, content, and media. "While we will champion Asian companies and take them global, we will also be looking to bring best-in-class solutions from the US and Europe to Asia," he said. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to R2GV for additional information.
Ranga Somanathan steps down from OMG SG and MY CEO role