Is Delhi upstaging Mumbai in A&M?

28 Sep,2012


By Ananya Saha



Chalo Dilli, as Ad Club drops Bombay


Jaldi 5 with Shashi Sinha: “The idea is not to emerge as the only Ad Club in India”


Anil Thakraney: Delhi ad guys less cynical than Mumbai frat


At first it may not sound like a big deal. What’s in a name? And what’s in just the shedding of a part of the name? A lot, we think. For, in the context of the Advertising Club Bombay dropping the Bombay from the name, it’s indicative of the changing times.


The attempt  to be more all-inclusive is a welcome sign no doubt. But as the Club’s president told MxMIndia: “Delhi is a key market for the advertising industry with big agencies being housed there and also some big clients too based there. This is definitely one of the main reasons for us bringing Delhi under our purview.”


So is this move a firm indicator that Delhi is emerging as a more challenging player than Mumbai in Advertising and Marketing?


Rahul Kishore

According to Rahul Kishore, Senior VP – Priority Projects at Mogae Media, does not believe in this creative demarcation and would rather see Delhi (“Gurgaon actually”) and Mumbai sharing an equal pedestal.


Mr Kishore said, “I am totally against this Delhi v/s Bombay tussle that keeps happening on and off. It should just be The Advertising Club. As I said there are agencies that are present all across the country but just because a few are headquartered in Mumbai it doesn’t give Bombay to be the leader of sorts. I don’t think that’s a true representation; I think there’s a lot more business that happens out of North India. I can tell you that in North India.”


Satbir Singh

Satbir Singh, Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer: Euro RSCG India, echoes this view. He believes that Delhi has an edge over Mumbai especially when it comes to clients. He said, “The rate of growth that Delhi has had over Mumbai has been phenomenal, especially over the last four-five years. Delhi has largest spenders: whether it is auto sector, telecom or large scale FMCGs like Reckitt Benckiser, Dabur, Pepsi, Coke etc.”


“Mumbai still scores with financial sector and the fact that large-spending media clients like GECs are based out of Mumbai. One spender that can perhaps tip scales in favour of Mumbai is Hindustan Lever since it equals the large spenders that Delhi has,” Mr Singh added.  “But that apart, the sheer number and concentration of large spenders is very heavy in Delhi and this will continue for a long time. Earlier, most of the senior people were based out of Mumbai. But increasingly we see more senior people either based out of Delhi or flying to the capital for meetings and decisions.”


Delhi has the edge, no doubt. Mumbai, though, still has a dominant edge when it comes to creativity – in areas like advertising films etc thanks to the presence of Bollywood and the best post production facilities – but here too the gap is narrowing.


Lloyd Mathias

Lloyd Mathias, Director, GreenBean Ventures, Former President & CMO, Tata Teleservices is originally from Mumbai, but has worked extensively in Delhi and for a bit in recent years in Mumbai too. “I would not say dominant, but Delhi is rapidly moving to equal Mumbai in the advertising and marketing space,” he said. “In certain sectors, such as mobile phones, consumer durables and automobiles, Delhi has already pulled ahead of Mumbai. Given Mumbai’s historical dominance as India’s commercial centre it had the edge with a more professional approach to work; but the with the emergence of MNC’s over the last decade in the Gurgaon/Delhi/NCR region , the gap has narrowed down to a large extent,”  he added.


An industry analyst with a leading consulting firm who did not wish to be named, said, “There has been a massive increase in Delhi , definitely. Delhi team is more efficient at negotiation, is the finding. The Delhi team thinks bigger. They do not approach clients as space-vendors; rather they go as concept-sellers and are able to get higher rates from advertiser.”


Sathyamurthy NP

What has possibly helped Delhi is the increasing professionalism and an improved work ethic. The industry analyst further said, “What has become a norm is that the foreigners come and set up base in Delhi. An MNC set-up brings in systems and processes of evolved advertising markets to Delhi . When you sell to those guys, you sell fancier ideas. All that gets a premium. Advertisers in Delhi are savvy, wherein Mumbai guys are more focused on bottom lines and rates. That is why we also think of servicing a client out of Delhi , for the Delhi team can present better concepts and thus, crack better deals.”



Prathap Suthan

Sathyamurthy NP, President & Head – DDB MudraMax reasoned that we should not be making too much of the move by the Advertising Club. “Though Mumbai will continue to be the advertising hub of India, it’s time we hear the voice of Delhi too,” he told MxMIndia, adding:  “When it comes to being professional, Delhi is as good as Mumbai.”


The move by the Advertising Club to be more inclusive is decidedly in the right direction. But will it help the industry to keep politics aside and show more participation, only time can tell. Meanwhile, the Mumbai v/s Delhi debate is endless. And, as veteran adman Prathap Suthan told MxMIndia, “intercity rivalry is healthy, positive and must be sustained”.

with inputs from Tuhina Anand and Johnson Napier


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