‘I’m Going to Create the Most Creative Company in the World’

11 Dec,2019

Saurabh VarmaIt took us some time to reach him. And when he didn’t respond to our messages, we sent him a set of five questions. A little while later, he texted back saying: Call me. Which we did. Here goes the transcript of a telecon – somewhere around 8pm on the Eventful Tuesday.


Sorry to be so persistent.


No, no. Not at all. You know, I was just not taking your call, but you can imagine there is so much of interest in this. I have just signed a whole bunch of contracts to make sure that I cannot talk too much, but go ahead. Ask me.


So what happened. It seemed to be smooth sailing?


Honestly, it’s been an incredible year. But I’ve been wanting to move on for some time and I took the call some time back to make the move. It’s as simple as that. People are speculating a lot of things on audit and all of that. Like, nobody leaves because of an audit! You know that. Right?


I’ve spent now 17 years with the group and nobody has made real value for themselves without doing something of their own. So, this is my time.


Clearly this was thought-out move


These are always thought out things, no? For everybody else it seems like this is new or surprising, but obviously it has been in the works for a long time.


Hmm. You wouldn’t have taken a decision just like that.


Yes. Even from the group’s perspective, they’ve got two leaders and ultimately they would have to get into a country model, right? And if my choice was to move on and do other things then they have to exercise what option is there with them, no? They have to do that.


So till when are you with the group?


So like the way these things work, today is the last day. This is how all these things work…




Because if I’m starting on my own, I cannot possibly continue, right?


Yeah, it’s fair to both parties.


Absolutely and that’s what it is. So, you will hear a lot more news, in the next few days. Hold on, as you can hear from the background. Lots of celebrations here! (as we started the conversation, there was a fair bit of ambient noise, but it died out soon hereafter)


Yes, I have heard about some more people (from the group) joining you.


See, that is up to those people. I’m starting something/ It is up to those people what they want to do. I mean, I cannot comment on other people


So what is it going to be? What are you looking at doing? Similar kind of an advertising agency… an area that you know so well.


The objective is to create the most creative company in the world. That’s it. Period.  That’s the objective. Now, I’m going to go ahead and create the most creative company in the world.


As you look back at your stint at Leo Burnett and Publicis Communications, what would you say were your most memorable moment… something that you treasure?


Honestly, my most memorable moment is creating the Bajaj V piece. That’s from the work perspective but from a business perspective, the fact that Prodigous is the largest production house and the fact that it didn’t exist two years back is really what I look back at as incredible moments.


Since you mentioned you just signed some contracts to not speak, is there a restriction on you taking away some clients (to the new venture)?


There are always contracts in play and like I keep saying, “The world is an oyster right now,” and there are so many opportunities. When you look at the environment and there is so much change, there cannot be a better moment to start. When you look at the story of Leo Burnett, he started the company during the Great Depression, 1935. I think I have a better moment.


Any unfinished agenda at PubComm?


Not at all. I’m very satisfied with my stint and this is the perfect moment to close this chapter and start a new one.


All the very best!


Thank you very much.




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