Future bright for Emerging Agencies

28 Oct,2013


By Fatema Rajkotwala


Downturns and failures are opportunities to be successful in the future,” said Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Essel Group and Zee Network in his address on entrepreneurship at the Knowledge Conclave of International Association of Advertising India Chapter.  The Conclave on Saturday (October 26) in Mumbai was held with the objective of helping emerging agencies understand how to take their businesses to the next level.


Mr Chandra, who was Chief Guest of the event, shared his mantras for entrepreneurs. “Honour your commitments.  Don’t let fear set in. Listen to your customer. When I hear debates on whether it is better to be independent or enter partnerships, I say you become a multinational. But yes, partnerships help in growth.”


Srinivasan Swamy

Led by President Srinivasan K Swamy (CMD, RK Swamy BBDO), the IAA India chapter in association with the Free Press Journal invited senior industrypersons to share their knowledge and experience with the fraternity of small and mid-sized agencies. Acknowledging the growth in number of small agencies and the theme chosen for the Conclave, Swamy pointed out that the growth in membership of the various trade bodies from amongst the small and medium-sized agencies indicates that the business is robust for them.



CVL Srinivas

CVL Srinivas, CEO, Group M South Asia spoke on “How to flourish as a mid-sized media agency”.  Putting things in perspective for emerging agencies, he pointed out that in many ways, small and mid-sized agencies have a natural competitive advantage over big corporate and network-owned agencies. “It is easier for emerging companies to go digital. It is no longer a game of the top 4-5 agencies. Fragmentation and specialization is a huge opportunity for emerging agencies. Large agencies are not equipped to deal with local entrepreneurs whereas small agencies can cast the net wider. There is a shift from contextual and demographic targeting to audience planning.”


Mr Srinivas spoke of how agency life tends to get a little superficial at times, leaving you disconnected from consumers. He said, “There is no better time than now to be a part of the media agency business. Today, all of us (big networks, multinationals and small agencies) are in the same boat. Massive disruptive models are coming in and this indicates that our advertising model needs reinvention.”


B S Nagesh, Vice Chairman, Shopper’s Stop engaged the audience with his talk on “Preparing to win in a hyper competitive market” where he urged all entrepreneurs in SMEs to bring in out-of-the-box modes of growing their businesses. Summing up his nuggets of advice, he said,”Creativity has to be coupled with financial training. Many processes within SMEs happen in an informal way. To lessen the gap between Desire and Deserve, organisations need to look at building capability along with building capacity. Trust, transparency and empowerment within the company is important. Create an organization that is more responsive, accountable and measures performance. Create opportunities by creating clients in emerging markets. Celebrate trials, failures and successes.”


Later, Ali Merchant, Director Triton Communications, Harindra Singh, Vice-Chairman & MD, Percept Ltd, that holds specialists agencies in various sectors and Vinod Nair, Managing Director, Network Advertising formed a panel on the topic “Path ahead for an Emerging Agency” that was chaired by Sandip Tarkas, President Strategy, Future Group. The panel debated the pros and cons of commoditizing the advertising product with specialized agencies, the benefits and limitations of being an independent agency versus entering partnerships to grow businesses and the need to position and package in order to be paid for specialized services.


As the Founder and CEO of classifieds portal, Quikr.com, Pranay Chulet spoke on a session titled, “Future of Interactive Media”. Sharing his insights on digital marketing and the growing digital industry, he said, “In this complex world, the client needs not just an ad but conversations that are generated. We have to think multiple channels. The digital medium has also made Call to action easier. It allows Test, Analyze and Scale Fast or Fail Fast model, which is not possible with other media.”


Abhishek Karnani

According to Abhishek Karnani, Chairman of the IAA Knowledge Conclave, the primary objective of the sessions was to get the top advertising and media minds to come together to reflect on ideas and strategies for emerging agency owners to take their companies to the next level. This, he said, was served in ample from the practical advices served at the Conclave.



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