No resting easy on laurels: Ravi Rao

20 Sep,2012


By Johnson Napier


There’s some magic mantra that seems to be driving the team at Mindshare India to be at their performing best. How else would one explain the endless series of notches in their awards belt? After emerging No 1 agency at the Emvies this year, Mindshare India has gone on to win another big accolade – Media Agency of the Year at Spikes Asia 2012.


MxMIndia spoke to the man behind the agency churning out the dream run, Ravi Rao, Leader, South Asia for Mindshare. While he admits to the agency throwing up some spectacular work it would in no way mean resting easy on the laurels. There’s a bigger challenge that lies ahead for the agency, he affirms. Excerpts:


Mindshare Mumbai is on a roll again on the awards front. You’ve just bagged the all-important Media Agency of the Year accolade at Spikes Asia. What was it that brought the tide in your favour?

We are extremely delighted to have won the accolade; and to win it for a client like HUL is a double delight. If you analyse, we had 5 shortlists and they were spread across three of our brands. More importantly, all three brands went on to win some award at Spikes, which is terrific for us. I would credit the showing to the all-round performance of the team.


The big takeaways that emerge from our performance at Spikes this year are: firstly, all of the brands are local by stature – other than Rin – so that’s a big booster for us. Very simply, the power of an idea to push it through and get us an award is something that is very unique and has also helped the brand awareness as well as volume share in the process. Most importantly, it is the combination of every single media playing a role and each one delivering and creating synergies to bring the best out of the results. In a way, if I again look at the tally and say that we won against several competitors across the region also gives us a sense of bearing in terms of where we are today.


What it also means is that we need to continue to deliver similar if not better work for our clients. It is a challenge that we want to continuously keep pushing ourselves against. No doubt the competition is getting tougher but we will have to adjust ourselves and up the single point of call that we have in Mindshare.


By winning this accolade, have you pipped other notable contenders (from Mindshare) across Asia to the tag of being the best in the space?

I think it is a matter of structuring how to get out real ideas. It is an idea that has to be behind an insight that works very well for the brand and land it properly. I think that is the key element in getting an award. We managed to do that well. The interesting part is yes, it has been a windfall for us this year but we do not want to rest easy on our laurels and want to keep pushing our boundaries even further.


Are you disappointed with some entries not managing to make the cut in terms of a win?

What we realised is that there are certain other entries that we thought were worthy of an award but somehow didn’t make the call. For example, if we look at the Emvies in terms of the wins that we’ve had and at the others too…I guess the parameters change and it’s important that you really look at how best you can reach the audience in a different way. As a country, we still have some way to go in terms of one, the content and secondly, in terms of the format of presentation which is also very critical. But all said and done, we are in the learning phase and will only get better and better as we move ahead.


What significance does a creative award like Spikes Asia hold for a media agency like Mindshare India?

Winning at Spikes is a big accolade for us but we do not want to take it easy because yes, there were a great set of campaigns that collectively made it work for us this time but what it requires is that we need to excel in a similar way across every single campaign and client that we cater to. It means that we want to keep doing better all the time and it’s only going to be a bigger challenge for us in the future. So while we would definitely relish the wins we want to fold our sleeves and get back to doing some great work in the future.


Do you see HUL emerging a hot contender for the Client of the Year title in the future?

As I see it, it is a systematic way of shoring up everything in the process. In my mind, it is an intense but healthy competition and all it does is bring the best out of every single team – whether from the agency or client’s side. We will surely give everyone a run as we go along as much as the competition is going to do and it is only going to get more intense as we move ahead.


What would be the next big focus area for Mindshare India as you move forward?

One area that we really want to look at is Cannes. It is the single biggest aim that we have going forward. The other thing for us is to make great campaigns that have a high ROI. By doing this, we even want to look at other areas like winning awards with IPA. Those are the targets that we have. We are working towards that goal and time will tell.


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