Berndt Soderbom

Founder and CEO

With more than four decades experience in management and the communication industry Berndt has worked with large multi nationals, boutique independents to start-ups across Europe and Asia, also as CEO and owner of his own business.

Berndt has a strong and successful track record with international P&L management with focus on driving market share, revenue and profit growth. He is a charismatic entrepreneur and leader with broad-based expertise in operations, finance and strategic business development and has a strong track record in quickly analyse key business drivers, as well in crises / downturns, to fast develop & implement initiatives to grow bottom line.

Crises-management is nothing new to Berndt, he took his company through the Asian crises 1997-98 as one of the few surviving companies in his business sector.

In addition to his management skills Berndt has over 30 years experience in integrated marketing, advertising, communication strategy and Brand building. Berndt’s background is from creative where he has hold positions as from Art Director to Executive Creative Director.

This provides him with versatility in managing and carrying out projects for companies in major industries i.e. Fast Consumer Goods & Services, Retail and Business-to-Business in Europe and Asia.

His vast experience in understanding business plans, developing marketing strategies and transferring them into relevant integrated communication and brand building concepts for both local and international conglomerates covering companies like Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Nestle, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, Uniliver especially in the FCG category.

In the retail category can mention his responsibility for the IKEA catalogue concept & production in the 80’s, followed by a two years project whereby Berndt helped to established IKEA in Asia and implemented IKEA’s new marketing strategy firstly in IKEA’s markets in Europe and later in Asia & Australia.

For five years Berndt was with the Swedish based international Management Consultancy Company, Indevo, two years as senior consultant and then promoted to Managing Director, based in Singapore with AsiaPac as his accountability.

Except the responsibilities as Managing Director he primarily was working with business strategies and marketing planning for international Clients as well as Asian conglomerates.

Indevo was sold to Price Waterhouse and Berndt supervised the transition for the Asian operation into Price Waterhouse.

In 1990, he once again decided to give vent to his entrepreneurial aspirations, founding a management & communication company, Kreasindo, based in Singapore with branches (satellites) in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Indonesian business expanded rapidly and a year later this was his focus.

Over a 10 years period Berndt was leading the company with vision, drive and commitment to built a communication company to number 2 in the country. Achieving a turnover of over USD 50 mill and 150 staff providing services as Advertising, Media (planning & buying), PR, corporate B2B communication, Event Management, Digital and Activation.

During this period Berndt took the company through the Asian crises and initiated & negotiated a joint venture with Leo Burnett Worldwide (Chicago, US), which resulted in a sell-out 2001, he was asked to stay on as CEO for another four years. Clients included MNC’s, leading Asian and local conglomerates.

Berndt lead Kreasindo/Leo Burnett to be one of the most awarded Agency’s with “Agency-of-the Year, Indonesia” for three consecutive years (99,00,01), Best Leo Burnett office AsiaPac two times. He has also been responsible for building a strong corporate culture with passionate development of local talent. Achievement and recognition within the Agency where it went to get the first Clio in Indonesia ever, and have been well represented at the London and New York Festivals apart from the Asia Pacific Advertising Festivals and local Award Shows with 100+ awards.

He once again decided to give vent to his entrepreneurial aspirations and bought an existing retail operation in Singapore, Bookbinders Design (BD), the company originates from Sweden, designing, producing, distribute and selling upper market paper based products of high quality with strong market penetration in Europe and Scandinavia.

The business plan was to expand BD in Asia and Australia from Singapore as a “hub” (expansion / distribution / marketing & sales). He developed, together with BD Sweden, a Franchise concept including recommended store locations / store designs / product range / distribution channels / marketing programs / staff trainings programs and back-office systems.

During a 5-year period he expanded and established BD to Malaysia (KL, 2 stores), Hong Kong 3 stores, Korea (Soul), Australia (Sydney & Melbourne) with Franchise holders in each country with Singapore as the “hub”.

In 2008 he sold his Singapore based company to BD, Sweden, together with the Franchisees and its agreements for a successful continuation of what he built up.

Further Berndt put a team together and initiated, developed and implemented a new worldwide Corporate Identity program for the brand BD, which today are the brand guidelines worldwide.

He was tempted back to Indonesia in late 2011 with the position President Director at McCANN Worldgroup (MWG), the venerable advertising giant that is doing its best to change with changing times as it marks 100 years in business.

Berndt was running MWG Indonesia with full responsibility over MWG’s disciplines, McCANN Advertising (ATL), McCANN Digital, Momentum (BTL), McCANN Health Care, Craft (Studio & Production) including full P&L responsibilities.

He was leading the turn-around of the Agency, which built a strong foundation including its back-office (HR, Finance, system & procedures, etc.).

Highlights during the 2 and ½ years were - achieving strong new business performance. The Digital discipline was growing in revenue 800% in 2012 (from a low base) and for 2013 a 165% revenue growth. McCANN Digital was recognized as No 4 of “Top Digital Agencies of the Year 2013” in Citra Pariwara Dec 2013 – after only two years in operation.

One of the corner stones in the turn-around was building its corporate culture with teamwork / collaboration, training programs, which was reflected in the quality output of McCANN as a complete integrated entity.

Berndt holds B.Sc. degree in Industrial Design from the University of Stockholm also degrees from Institute of Marketing in Sweden.

In addition he has also lectures in Marketing/Brand Strategy at the Singapore Institute of Management, Marketing strategy for Australian Institute of Management and previously lectures in Marketing & Advertising at the University of Stockholm, Sweden.

Berndt received the Asian Development Award 1997 – organized by ASEAN - for his contribution to the Indonesian economy. The award is given to a businessperson who has played an active role in the national economic development of each country members of ASEAN.