In conversation: Demet İkiler and Pilar Domingo
Pillars of a positive work culture
WPP Country Manager and CEO of GroupM in Turkey, Demet İkiler, and Managing Director of Superunion in Madrid, Pilar Domingo, discuss launching and building successful businesses and the pillars of a positive work culture.
Pilar Domingo, Managing Director, Superunion Madrid:
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
Demet İkiler, WPP Country Manager and CEO of GroupM in Turkey:
When I started 27 or 28 years ago I didn’t know what I wanted to do necessarily, but I knew I wanted to build something special. It was early days for media planning as a career then and I started doing a job where I was one of the first.
My journey in WPP started 19 years ago when I set up and spent ten years as CEO of Mindshare Turkey. Having built the agency from scratch with a team of 12 people, in its third year the agency was named Agency of the Year within Mindshare EMEA region and in 2007, it became the largest media agency in Turkey (RECMA).
I was then appointed as GroupM Turkey’s first CEO in 2011 where I continue to oversee the management of the company’s media agencies in Turkey.
PD: I studied communications and advertising and started working in the industry when I was very young. I fell in love with advertising and after a few years I realised I wanted to specialise in branding and brand consulting.
I had the opportunity to launch Superunion in Spain in 2003. Like you, I started by myself – it was just me at the time. We are now more than 40 people and work for some of the biggest brands in Spain. From advertising to branding – that’s my journey.
Dİ: Is there any advice that you give to your team and that you feel you would have benefitted from hearing when you were younger?
Transformation is important to embrace as we live in a world where technology is so prevalent and, as a result of so much progress, change seems to be the only constant
PD: Be confident in sharing and putting forward your ideas.
There is enormous value in different ways of thinking and doing things so don’t be afraid to speak up.
Right now, we have the ability to lead in a different way as we are at an exciting tipping point. We can inspire and engage people of all backgrounds, ages, races and gender to have sky-high confidence in our industry
Dİ: I completely agree that diversity and diversity of thought is crucial in a successful business and it is essential that all ages, races, genders share their ideas as that’s how we get the best solutions.
I proactively run programmes to diversify our workforce and believe that a successful work culture should be built on three pillars – transformation, collaboration and sustainability.
Transformation is important to embrace as we live in a world where technology is so prevalent and, as a result of so much progress, change seems to be the only constant. We need to adapt ourselves to new ways of thinking and working and embrace change.
We work with people, so collaboration is essential.
The final thing is sustainability. We are no longer simply measured on business figures but rather more holistically.
PD: I agree. We both have such a great opportunity to show the importance of productive and positive relationships not only with our clients but also within our team.
Right now, we have the ability to lead in a different way as we are at an exciting tipping point. We can inspire and engage people of all backgrounds, ages, races and gender to have sky-high confidence in our industry.
08 March 2019