Five years of Creativeland Asia

06 Jun,2012

Sajan Raj Kurup

By Tuhina Anand


As Creativeland Asia (CLA) completes five years of existence, one cannot ignore the fact that the agency has managed to find a foothold in this industry and not just that but has managed to do very well for itself. At its birth in 2007, CLA was just another name started by an awardwinning ex-creative head with a few others but slowly and steadily it has managed to find a place for itself and this has only happened because of its cutting edge and consistently good work on accounts like Frooti or for German luxury automobile manufacturer Audi which won a GrandPrix at both Spikes Asia and Goafest. And of course the much acclaimed work for Hippo.


Talking about CLA, Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder and Creative Chairman at CLA said, “Completing five years is a landmark especially in a market like India but what makes this even more special is that we have made it on our own terms. I believe that India is one of the most creative countries and I have wanted to show that creativity to the world. While on the downside, making it on your own in India also becomes difficult because of various reasons and that’s the challenge we took. We managed to reach this point only because of the unconditional support that we have received from our friends who have been with us through thick and thin and our clients who became our biggest investors by believing in us.”


He added, “At CLA we have created a culture that is quite ingenious to our way of working. We have created a culture of excellence and most importantly we have stayed away from the muck. This has helped us in focusing on real work that has worked for the clients. We may have won awards but I can vouch that none of them were scams as we steer clear of them. There is no work for awards sake but only work that works, that’s been our motto and I can say that today people outside of CLA recognize this culture and there are many young people who want to join us only because they know of our culture and our commitment to creativity. I don’t know if we have created a perfect place but we have created a place we are proud to be part of.”


Work@CLAVikram Gaikwad, Partner and Executive Creative Director, Creativeland Asia

I realise that if you are doing what you really want to do, five years can go by before you know it. I am happy and proud that we have managed to live up to the plan we discussed the very first day of Creativeland’s inception, and we have stood by our principles from the very first day. We have consistently worked towards excelling in whatever we wanted to do. We also have our clients to thank who believe in us without whose partnership this achievement would not have been possible.


Anu Joseph, Executive Creative Director, Creativeland Asia

Sitting at Raj’s dining table five years ago, I knew we could be where we are today, if we stuck to Raj’s vision for Creativeland. There was clarity about how we were going to go about things. There have been ups and downs, heartbreaks and pressures, but it has been a pleasure walking into work every single day. And of course, there is so much we owe to our client partners who have invested their faith in us. They have been the force behind every piece of work we have done.

These words clearly show that Mr Kurup is happy with the way CLA has shaped up. In fact, CLA is the first and the only agency from India that has made to the World’s Leading Independent agencies list in 2010. He points five events that made CLA in the last five years for the agency: CLA creating benchmark in creativity with every category it has worked on, from being a 4-5 member team to being 90-member team and creating a strong agency culture without any compromise, recognized as a leading independent agency and getting Grand Prix for real works, lasting relationship and innovative thinking and lastly being able to consistently deliver good work.


Giving his take on working with CLA, Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India said, “I find Creativeland to be a good creative melting pot, one that is not restricted to typical media avenues. As an owner-driven agency, Creativeland is capable of doing things their own way and coming up with solutions, while keeping the core brand messages in mind. Their ideas have worked very well for us. Some of the work has been exposed to our colleagues in Germany, and has been appreciated.”


Another of CLA clients is Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) where the agency has been working for long. K Ramakrishnan, President, Marketing, CCD, said, “Our journey with CLA is over five years old now. There is huge similarity between the organisational ethos of CCD and CLA in the sense that both started out as small organisations with a huge determination to make it big and to a large extent are on our way there. Another, is the spirit of youthfulness. Notwithstanding the growth that both the organizations have had, our relationship continues to be one to one.”


“CLA’s focus on turnaround time where they have been able to churn out relentless number of creative outputs, on time each and every time, the youthfulness in their thought process and the spirit of a small agency in terms of ownership of brands and hunger for growth, contribute to their success in a short span of time, added Mr Ramakrishnan.


As for the future of CLA, Mr Kurup is categorical as he says that while they are open to partnering provided it’s on their own terms however there is no plan to sell CLA to any bigger network. He said, “I have started CLA with the prime motive of building it up, selling it definitely not in the plan.” He added, “We have been growing on our own terms and have been saying no to businesses that we don’t feel comfortable working with. What CLA delivers is a personal touch to the clients and we don’t want to settle for anything less but only high quality ideas that delivers.”


As for scaling up, CLA plans to open an office in London and is working on it. It has two offices in India and one regional office in Singapore. Also, the future for CLA is in getting on the content in a big way and it has taken a step towards this by getting into the movie business and more will follow in the future.


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