XM Asia Pacific has a new leader in Nanda Ivens, the CEO of Indonesia’s XM Gravity, who has been entrusted to take over the regional group from founder and former CEO Paul Soon. Ivens spoke to AdDiction regarding his plans and what the group can expect out of his leadership.
A JWT company, XM Asia Pacific operates in six countries; Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Over the past three years XM has acquired Indonesia’s Magnivate (XM Gravity) in 2012, Thailand’s Thomas Idea in 2013, Hong Kong’s Designercity, also in 2013, and Vietnam’s Sofresh this past June. Across the region the company has over 600 employees.
Ivens recognizes that each of the different operations of the company has its own expertise and they are also currently still focused internally as independent agencies, given that the group’s existence was borne primarily through acquisitions instead of organic expansions.
For Ivens, “Paul is the architect of the change and he is also the structural engineer who built the foundation of XM and the structure of the building…”, while he is more of the interior designer, making sure things work well together between the different entities within XM Asia Pacific.
He wants XM’s individual units across the different countries to be able to collaborate in terms of both people and services to leverage all the specializations, skills, and capabilities and present XM as a unified entity.
To be able to do that, there are three core items that Ivens said are necessary to the company; the first is understanding the core capabilities of each office, the second is recognizing the personalities that exist across the different offices, while the third is being disciplined when it comes to collaborating.
Each of XM’s offices can potentially contribute to the others in a significant way if they successfully link up and work together to present a complete solution to their clients.
During last week’s Campaign Asia Agency of the Year awards, XM Gravity was named the best digital agency in Indonesia. With Ivens being named CEO of XM Asia Pacific several hours earlier, the award not only justifies his leadership appointment but also validates XM Gravity’s approach to business. The company’s rapid success saw its operations grew to 177 employees this year, filling up its already expanded office space in South Jakarta.
Ivens will remain CEO of XM Gravity at least throughout 2015 as the company undergoes a restructuring to consolidate its different divisions and business units, ahead of his plans to promote enhanced collaboration with XM’s other operations across the region.