New Delhi: Govind Pandey, chief executive officer of ad agency TBWAIndia, is a man on a mission. Having completed a year at the Omnicom Group-owned advertising agency, which offers marketing solutions beyond clichéd print and television ads, Pandey has rebuilt the management across creative and planning verticals, launched digital-first units and won new clients.
The agency claims to have added Rs50 crore worth of billings in the last one year winning new-age clients such as home rental provider Airbnb, Cipla Health, JSW Group and Modern Bread.
In an interview with Mint, Pandey spoke about TBWAIndia’s positioning in India as a disruptive company, strengthening operations in Delhi-NCR, focus on delivering digital-first solutions, winning big clients and rolling out at least three big pieces of work this year. Edited excerpts:
TBWAIndia positions itself as a disruptive company. What kind of edgy solutions are you offering?
We have brought our global digital unit Digital Arts Network (DAN) to India last year and have managed to win clients who want edgy solutions. Clients like MasterCard and Airbnb are leveraging the offering of DAN. We are going to reposition Modern Bread (the HUL-owned bread and bakery business which has been acquired by private equity firm Everstone Group) soon through DAN. To bolster our social media offering we have a process called Disruption Live which helps brands to create content to keep them relevant in the current social-cultural conversations. We are also focusing on creating video content for brands at a high frequency through a division called Gunpowder. It is our digital content unit which was launched three months ago in partnership with a production company called QED Productions. It’s a unit that enables Disruption Live.
Unlike a television commercial which takes a couple of months, the video content being created through Gunpowder is done on a real-time basis. The idea is to ensure that the brand is participating in a conversation which is current and relevant. The agency has also started an editorial arm called Backslash which tracks strong emerging cultural trends globally, including India. We codify them and send it internally like a newsletter which helps our teams to understand what consumers are talking about. We also give advice to clients on their next avenue of growth and how they should be placing their brand on a platform to grow faster through Backslash Consulting.
What kind of accounts have you won in the last one year?
We have won accounts like Airbnb, Modern Bread, JSW Group (new venture) and Cipla Health. These have added 25% tour existing business. Apart from them, we also handle Apple, MasterCard, Standard Chartered, GoDaddy, premium skin care brand Vichy, Twinings Tea and Singapore Airlines.
Are you looking at making strategic acquisitions?
Mobile is a big area of focus for us as enormous amount of content is being consumed on it. We are looking at ramping up our offerings in mobile marketing along with design and shopper marketing verticals. So any agency working in these directions would interest us.
What is your target for 2017?
Our target is to win three big businesses—it could be a Rs100-200 crore account, it can be a telco or an online marketplace like Flipkart or Amazon. We are now in a good place to talk to such big companies. We also want to bring out three big pieces of work. Our aim will also be to get recognition for good work, therefore the target is also to bag three wins at advertising award Effies.