It may seem in the not-too-distant past, but when Anatoly Roytman started his own digital agency in the second half of the 1990s, digital was deemed “a very new field.”
Yet it “worked great,” he said — that is until the internet bubble burst and he went bankrupt. So in a way, he had made it, and then lost everything.
“I was starting from scratch (again),” said Roytman, now senior managing director of Accenture Interactive across Europe, Africa and Latin America (EALA).
He told CNBC’s Karen Tso on an episode of “What Drives You” how he had to find a new job and pick himself back up.
“I joined Digitas — Digitas is an agency in the States. I was with them for six years until Publicis bought them. Then I decided to go and look for different types of companies where we could combine technology and creativity,” he said.
“I went to another agency, Sapient, that was also bought by Publicis, and from Sapient I was recruited into Accenture to create a new type of business within Accenture.”
When he was hired in 2008, this new type of business that Accenture wanted to create hadn’t been given a name yet. Soon after, it became Accenture interactive.
Today, Accenture interactive aims to provide support to some of the world’s leading brands, by helping them transform customer experiences by offering help in their design, marketing, content and commerce departments.
Roytman’s role in the business has helped push the Accenture division into new arenas, and recognition has been received in the form of awards and acquisitions.
“One year after I joined, we called it Accenture Interactive. I moved to London then — that was eight years ago — to run our business in Europe, Latin America and Africa. We have done 22 acquisitions since,” Roytman said.
When it comes to acquisitions, Accenture Interactive has picked up agencies including Fjord, Rothco and Karmarama. Speaking during this year’s Cannes Lions advertising and communications festival in south France, Roytman told CNBC that these companies were acquired to boost Accenture Interactive’s skillset.
“(We wanted these companies) primarily for skills and now we are the largest digital network in the world. So it was an interesting journey but I would say that we are still at the beginning of this journey.”
Many companies are currently in a period of transition, following disruption through an evolution of consumer tastes and the rapid advance of digital technology. Roytman, however, is excited about the future and any disruption that comes with it.
“I love it. I love it. I love it,” he said. “This is exactly what I was looking for all my life. I like being uncomfortable. I think this is great because it drives new ideas. It drives new models — that is interesting for me and I believe that we are only at the beginning of this journey.
“There is so much to do.”
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