SINGAPORE — Lewis has unveiled an ambitious plan to double its Asia-Pacific network, readying a $6.5m war chest that will fund eight new offices and 200 new roles.

CEO Chris Lewis revealed details of the '2020' plan today in Singapore, pointing out that the independent PR firm aims to complete the expansion by within three years.

The eight new offices will include Bangkok, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Haikou, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Melbourne and Shenzhen, along with three new digital hubs in Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.

Lewis also said that the firm plans to hire 200 new roles across analytics, SEO, paid & biddable media and video production. Specific roles include a global head of E-sports in China and heads of search, analytics, paid media and content creation.

Lewis added that the plan would link China's emerging startup scene with the firm's existing operations in the San Francisco Bay Area. "There will be a regional reorganisation and significant new links between the region and the US," said Lewis. "This is especially linked to the Chinese Government's development of the China Bay Area which we intend to connect with our SF office and it’s Bay Area in US."

$3m of the $6.5m is being invested in Greater China under Lewis 2020 North APAC controller Jen Wu. The remainder is assigned to Southeast Asia, where Emma Jenkins oversees the plan.

"We plan to grow our regional presence significantly," said Wu. "China is internationalising rapidly and Lewis is there to help clients develop their revenues in global markets. I’m in the lucky position to invest $3m in our proposition in the Greater China region.”
“In addition to scaling our operations, my goal is to expand our creative and digital services,” added Jenkins. "There’s a tremendous amount of talent throughout Southeast Asia in particular and our investment will enable us to tap into and unleash it for the benefit of clients."

Lewis' Asia-Pacific presence currently consists of offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney. In recent years the firm has recorded considerable global expansion via acquisitions, including Piston, Davies Murphy, Purestone and EBA.

“Asia-Pacific is maturing rapidly to adopt a leadership position globally,” said Lewis Asia SVP Scott Pettet. “Lewis has three major advantages over the holding companies; Firstly, we’re a unitary brand; We have no legacy infrastructure to dismantle and we have more investment funding available than most competitors.”

“The 2020 plan will see LEWIS grow at a rate faster than almost any agency in the region,” added Pettet. “An ambitous plan requires talented, driven people to realise it and that’s what we’re looking for now – right the way across the region.”