Advertising industry to witness boom in independent agencies

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 5 2013, 10:44am hrs
The Rs 29,000-crore Indian advertising industry will soon witness a sharp rise in the number of independent ad agencies in India. After adman Ravi Deshpande, chairman and chief creative officer of Contract Advertising, floated his own ad agency Whyness a few days ago, many senior advertising professionals are planning to join the growing club of ad entrepreneurs.

Last year, Prathap Suthan, former national creative director of Cheil Worldwide Southwest Asia, launched his own outfit called Bang in the Middle while Sudha Natrajan, CEO of Lintas Initiative Media, joined the independent agency bandwagon by setting up a media outfit The Media Cafe.

Adman Prasanth Mohanachandran of OgilvyOne joined hands with Karl Gomes, national creative director, digital, Rediffusion Y&R, to start an agency called AgencyDigi two years ago.

What really fuels this enthusiasm These new ad entrepreneurs are mainly driven by a desire to generate fresh ideas to target new age consumers, creative freedom and monetary gains. With unusual names such as Whyness, Taproot India, Bang in the Middle, Media Cafe, Creativeland Asia, Indian advertising professional are now reinventing their independent business models to meet the specialised communication needs of advertisers.

After seeing the success of Agnello Diass (former national creative director of JWT India) new venture Taproot India and Sajan Raj Kurups Creativeland Asia, senior advertising professionals are seriously exploring the option of setting up their own agencies, point out industry analysts.

On the rationale behind the launch of Whyness, Deshpande said, We are an integrated communications agency for the new world. Our aim is to seek ways and means to communicate with new world consumers. We redesigned the way we work, right from our structure and alliances to our talent strategy.

With a team of 30 ad professionals, the agency is currently in talks with prospective clients. I would not be surprised if more ad men plunge into being on their own to craft a new destiny for themselves, said Deshpande.

Sharing similar views, Suthan, the man behind the India Shining ad campaign said there are great opportunities for admen to start new business ventures in India. There are very few experienced admen in India. Why would I work for someone else when I can use my experience to build my own brand asked Suthan.

According to Suthan, theres a huge demand for independent ad agencies across the world as advertisers now look for personal attention. In large corporates, admen do not have creative freedom. I wanted to dabble in many things with the launch my own agency, he added. At present, Suthans agency handles the ad accounts of of Zee News, Dulux (paints), Veen (water brand) and French vodka brand Tigre Blanc, among others.

In a bid to offer specialised communication solutions to advertisers, Dias launched Taproot India three years ago. And today, the agency handles advertising accounts of Airtel, PepsiCo India (brand campaigns and Mountain Dew) and Maricos youth brands such as Setwet. Today, clients are looking for specialised offerings. Admen are now confident that they can succeed with their own ad ventures. I wanted to start a new agency from the scratch, an agency with no previous baggage, said Dias.

Kurup, former regional creative director from Grey Worldwide launched Creativeland Asia three years ago. At present, the agency handles ad accounts of Cinthol, German luxury car maker Audi, Parle Agro and Cafe Coffee Day. My attempt is to offer integrated communication solutions to clients under a single roof, said Kurup.

On the growing significance of independent ad agencies, Kurup said many advertising professional in India will soon break away from their secure jobs to set up independent out fits for different reasons. This concept is here to stay. Theres a huge opportunity to fill the gap between what marketers expect and what traditional ad agencies are now delivering, he explained.