Industry abuzz with Axiata Group's integrated comms pitch

Axiata Group has called for an open integrated communications pitch for creative, social and digital/web services. A+M understands that approximately 15 agencies are vying for the account, including incumbent M&C Saatchi Malaysia.

In a statement to A+M, Dominic P. Arena, group chief strategy and marketing officer, Axiata, said the appointment will be for a year with the option to renew and a decision is likely to be made by the end of 2017. The pitch covers the group's corporate headquarters in Malaysia, including some of its non-telco subsidiaries. Arena added that it does not cover the group's various telco subsidiaries in Malaysia and around the region.

"We see this as timely and an opportunity to refresh our relationship and engagement with talented creative, digital and social media partners here in Malaysia. As we navigate our next phase into becoming the new generation digital company, we look forward to working with especially dynamic and visionary agencies to collaborate on bold and impactful ideas, direction and approaches," Arena added.

Last year, Axiata made significant structural changes across the group with the appointment of two corporate EVP and regional CEOs, three CEOs and several senior appointments. The announcement saw former CEO of Celcom, Dato' Sri Shazalli Ramly, be responsible for all Southeast Asia operations. The move followed the appointment of Hans Wijayasuriya as the regional CEO for South Asia operations. Taking over Ramly's role was Michael Kuehner, former CEO of Robi2. Celcom was also reported to be undergoing a major organisational refresh with the setup of an executive committee and the appointment of six new key senior positions.

In April 2017, XL Axiata, which is majority-owned by Axiata, appointed J. Walter Thompson Jakarta as its creative agency, following a pitch which saw six multinational agencies vying for the account. In September last year, global loyalty solutions provider Aimia hired former senior VP of marketing at Celcom Axiata, Andreas West, as VP of analytics and global loyalty solutions. He is responsible for leading the evolution, development and deployment of analytics and data products, along with propositions with the clients.

Earlier this year, Axiata partnered with subscription video-on-demand service iflix to expand their strategic collaboration to entertain over 125 million of Axiata's customers in six countries. The partnership covers Axiata’s customers at PT XL Axiata in Indonesia, Smart Axiata Co. in Cambodia, Robi Axiata in Bangladesh and Ncell in Nepal.