We are not answerable to an Excel sheet…

05 Jan,2017

 

Founded in 1997 by Preeti Vyas with the vision to transform the marketplace through strategic integrated iesign and innovative communication solutions, today Vyas Giannetti Creative is one of India’s better known consultancies, completing 20 successful years in the business earlier this week. Santosh Jangidmet the VGC Chairwoman and Chief Creative Officer to talk to her about VGC’s two-decade journey and the year ahead.

 

Twenty years is a significant milestone. As you look back, some memorable moments?

The journey has been very interesting. Completely unpredictable. So before we come to the 20-year journey there was another journey which led me to the twenty years. I have had a rather unique background. I come from the National Institute of Design (NID) and all of the culture it gives you, awareness it gives you, responsibilities as a designer. I graduated as a Visuals Communication Designer. I’ve moved into advertising and I’ve worked with some of the fabulous people in advertising. So the advertising community influenced me a lot and the way advertising things influenced me a lot as well as the entire NID culture and the inputs that I got from NID amalgamated into creating a rather different kind of a designer or communication personality. So with that in mind I said that there is no one place that I belong in, I need to have something which carry forwards my vision, my experiences into a completely different kind of a company and as a result one fine day I said let me start VGC. This was backed with a lot of confidence that I had because there were people out there who believed in me, believed in my work, believed in my creativity, believed in my vision and they were strong enough and opinionated enough to actually have me come and take their business. That’s how VGC started.

 

Milestones, huge milestones. Can I count them today, honestly very difficult. we will have like a two-hour interview of I did that but we are gonna be doing is counting our milestones as we celebrate our 20-year journey but I do believe that milestones in the terms of the kind of people who helped me along my journey are innumerable team members who started out with being with me and eventually maybe moved out or they stayed with us but these people also brought in their way of thinking and the way they worked with me, the way they have actually furthered the vision of VGC was fantastic and of course there were fabulous clients. Sometimes we didn’t always agree with the clients but they made us see a perspective which perhaps  otherwise I wouldn’t have seen and some of the clients are still with us, they believe in us… some of the clients who gave us humongous opportunities because sometimes they believed in us more than we did in ourselves. So the kind of work we did was truly I believe because of the team we had, really fresh, intelligent and very very creative. Today, I have so many messages from people in India and around who say that they are really inspired by the VGC story because it’s a rather unique story. We are neither a square nor are we a circle, we are a company which has sort of evolved its own creative language, its own creative grammar and that’s what I think is our true DNA and that to me arriving so comfortably at your true DNA is perhaps the biggest milestone that you can hope for in this business.

 

A turning point in these two decades from where  there has been no looking back?

There has never been a turning back. It has been impossible for me to think that I will do this for two three years and I’ll go back to something else. That just never happened. We have gone through incredible difficulties, incredible successes, incredible downfalls but all of that we have come out of and we continue stronger, braver and perhaps even more creative.

 

In a world where to be considered a player to contend with, you need to be part of a big network. How has it been being independent? 

I really challenge this notion that you have to be a part of the big network in order to be recognised. I think VGC stands amongst the most respected agencies in the country and we have been ranked often enough among the Top 4 or 5and we are perhaps the only non-network agency which has been ranked in the top agencies by Economic Times and so on and I think the reason is that we are true to who we are. We are not diluting our positioning, we are not trying to be somebody else and above all we are not we are not really answerable to an Excel sheet. That has given us the strength and the freedom to be what we truly want to be, to evolve into what we truly should be evolving into. So does that mean that networks are bad? Of course not and I think that it’s an unfair comparison that network agencies, do we compare with them or not. Honestly it’s the work that compares. Are we doing work which is as good or as bad? I think we are doing great work and I think we are doing great work amongst the best which is available in the country.

 

Since VGC is also into advertising, can you give us a breakup of your business`in terms of revenue and staffing?

Today we are considered as a branding design and a communication consultancy. We are amongst the largest agencies in the country in terms of staffing. If that gives an indication of the kind of revenues we have and that could be anybody’s guess.

 

A piece of work that VGC has done in these last twenty years that has given you maximum satisfaction?

It is an unfair question because so much work gives me satisfaction personally and I can speak for my team that everybody in VGC endeavours to do that. Nobody in VGC is working towards an award. Everyday these kids come here including me. We all come here to do good work, to try to break boundaries first of all of our own limitations and then how do we make our work even better and that for me is a fabulous place to be in. So keeping that in mind it’s the work that we do which is fulfilling. Is there a single client that gives us continuously fulfilling work? No, but every client has given great opportunities to do fabulous work for them which we are proud of. Having said that, if you really insist that I give you one and only because of the longevity of it, Aditya Birla Group which has been with us now for over twenty years. In a sense, our relationship started even before VGC was formally formed, they have given us several opportunity. So that several opportunities of creating great and fulfilling work comes from one basket of one client, that’s Aditya Birla Group but having said that all of the clients rosters that we showcase we have done fabulous work for and the motto is lets do work that is creatively fulfilling for us. Personally for me if it doesn’t hit the mark, it doesn’t see the light of day.

 

How do you see the year ahead for VGC?

I think the year ahead for VGC is really exciting one. First of all, we are taking a year-long celebration course and we want everyone to join us. Other than that the message out there is that the people really appreciate the way we think, the way we work and increasingly from the kind of profile of people who want to come and work with us, people who want to give us business, it’s becoming very very interesting. The fabulous mix of business which are senior to start-ups and that’s a very exciting place for us to be in right now.

 

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