Havas Group veteran, former Chairman & CEO of the network, Vishnu Mohan has launched Avyan Holdings in Singapore with the ambition to build a regional footprint in Asia. Avyan Holdings is designed to be a collective of companies working towards advancing human possibilities by integrating design, technology, and data to help brands and people thrive in a digital-first world.
As a first step in solidifying its vision, Avyan Holdings has acquired a key stake in the Philippines-based design and innovation agency – Castle By The River (CBR) – founded by digital maverick Ed Mapa Jr – also a former Havas executive. Over the past two years, since its inception, CBR has earned the reputation to be an eclectic band of storytellers grounded in data and technology with a flair for performance-driven campaigns. It started its operations in Manila as an affiliate of Entropia Malaysia – which was recently acquired by Accenture Interactive and its current clients include Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), GMA 7, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation (PMFTC), AIA/PhilamLife, and Mundipharma (Betadine).
“Avyan Holdings is defined by the passion for what the world can be, by elevating human experiences, blending the best of art and science – ideas and technology. CBR’s purpose of romanticizing digital transformation through innovative storytelling, aligns with our vision perfectly and it’s a great start to our journey. CBR’s use of design, technology, and anticipatory intelligence via a robust build of a data ecosystem is fascinating and I am confident in its potential to be an asset to Avyan Holdings,” said Mohan in his capacity as Chairman of Avyan Holdings.
“Our investment in CBR Philippines sits perfectly well with our operating principle of global serviceability. We have seen very few regional hubs away from Singapore, and I believe that the skillsets and cost advantages make the Philippines a very fertile ground for investment. We aim to make the operation as a hub for our near expansion plans in the rest of the region.” Added Mohan.
CBR’s personalization-at-scale campaign for RCBC bagged Platinum for Creative Effectiveness and Gold for Digital Marketing in Marcom 2020 awards. The awards show is a global marketing and creative competition administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), arguably the most prestigious of its kind since 2004. CBR’s other key pieces of work include the launch of GoodDay cultured milk at the height of the pandemic in 2020 via Moot Up, an immersive meeting platform or Zoom in VR. It was the first beverage brand in Southeast Asia to fully leverage the platform’s virtual world capabilities.
“It’s great to be working again with Vishnu. We’ve done innovative campaigns when we were at Havas. We at CBR are excited about Avyan Holdings’ vision and commitment. There’s a meeting of hearts and minds. A new story begins, ” said Mapa.
“Avyan Holdings is also a manifestation of my personal philosophy of empowering talent and giving back to the industry which has nurtured me over the course of my career. As we move forward, we will be adding more exciting products to our portfolio by talent-spotting and investing in the right kind of companies. I am looking forward to the new beginning,” said Mohan.
Vishnu was the former top man of Havas in the region has over 30 years of advertising and marketing experience across various markets globally, to which 26 of them spent at Havas/Vivendi Group. Credited for building the entire media network for the group in Asia Pacific from India to New Zealand, he was the first employee for Havas Media and successfully built the group’s entire network in the region from scratch. Since 2017, he has been a leading figure for the group’s presence in India and the Southeast Asia Region. As Chairman of the Vivendi Committee since 2018, he also oversaw the integration efforts across all Vivendi companies for the same region.