New Delhi: The Social Street, the marketing communications agency, has brought two senior resources Shonali Sharmaa as managing partner for the experiential business vertical and Shilov Mani as senior vice-president, planning, as it looks to scale business. Based in Mumbai, they will report to founding partner and chief executive officer, Mandeep Malhotra.
Both these hires collectively have over three decades of experience having worked some of the leading advertising agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, DDB Mudra, Bates CHI & Partners among others.
The appointments are in line with the year-old agency’s aim to build value and turn the business profitable.
Founded by advertising old hand and former chief operating officer at DDB Mudra, Pratap Bose, last year, the agency is aiming to break-even in another 20 months.
“One has to be clear with their financial goals. Winning awards and getting written about is of no use if one does not a financially sound business. We would do really well if we manage to break-even in 20 months,” said Bose, the founding partner and chairman at The Social Street.
Going forward, he added that The Social Street will put a chunk of funds on the back of acquisitions, because they spur growth.
Currently, the agency offers a wide range of services including rural, BTL, OOH, cause marketing, digital and media. It is 170 people strong with offices in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai along with satellite offices in 15 odd cities in the country.
“We have chosen to remain quiet about account wins because I would rather like our work to travel on its own instead of tom-toming about wins. Moreover, if we announce a media account win then The Social Street will be labelled as a media agency which is clearly not the case. We provide creative business solutions to our partners that is the perception we would like to have,” said Bose.
Currently, it claims to have over 100 clients across company sizes with some of the known brands including Britannia India, Reebok, Telenor, Dell, Kurlon, HTC, Apollo Munich, Birla Sun Life Insurance and Adani among others.
The agency, for instance, has won 40 awards so far for its campaign The Side of Smiles and Surprised to Smile campaigns for Britannia Industries including the recent wins at EMVIES 2016. The experiential campaigns were rolled out as a part of the biscuit brand Goodday relaunch.
“Social Street brings the power of real consumer experiences to the fore. They innovate through technology capturing real consumer reactions to drive affinity for the brand,” said senior marketing personnel from Britannia Industries.
While brand campaigns continue to be one of the areas that The Social Street works on, it does not want to restrict itself to mediums. The varied nature of the work also reflects on the talent being hired which is digitally savvy resources that come with no advertising baggage.
The Social Street also looks out for partnering with various players including other advertising agencies. In January this year, the agency entered into a strategic alliance with Rediffusion Y&R Group which mutually benefits the clientele of both the outfits.
“As we go forward, we will look strategic partners who will help grow our services. The focus areas will be digital, healthcare, content, intellectual property or sports. Either we will acquire partners (majority or minority) or form strategic alliances. We are seeing a lot of traction in the start-up businesses that are completely unrelated to advertising. We don’t mind partnering with them for a small equity between 5-15% which will help us take a leap in the intellectual property (IP) or e-commerce space,” Bose said.
In the next nine months, The Social Street wants to execute interesting campaigns, fast track strategic alliances and acquisitions as well as try to win big clients.