ADK-Fortune, the JV between Asatsu-DK of Japan and WPP group, intends to look beyond NCR in 2016, buoyed by business growth and opportunities down South.
The agency, which comes under the watch of J. Walter Thompson South Asia CEO Tarun Rai, has been operational in India since 2010. It had in its fold Japanese brands Isuzu Motors India, Mitsubishi Electric India and JX Nippon India this September, when Campaign India caught up with global ECD Rob Sherlock, Rai and Subroto Pradhan, SVP, ADK-Fortune Communications (JWT-ADK partnership).
Since then, the agency has been handed the mandate of two brands from Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) – Honda Unicorn and Honda Shine SP.
Among Indian clients in the portfolio are RSPL (Ghari Detergent and Venus Soaps), Greenlam Industries (Decowood and Mikasa) and Mankind Pharma.
Pradhan said, “In the last eight months, ADK-Fortune has managed to increase the Indian share of business. There has been great momentum. We are about 30 people right now. And we should we touching a figure of 50 very soon.”
The agency has the stated intent to expand its footprint down South. Asked if there exists potential for such expansion, Pradhan said, “Yes, because there are certain markets that are still under-serviced. Four of our key clients are outside Delhi. We are going to expand cautiously. Over the last eight months, we are doing pretty well within the WPP network. Lots of Japanese brands are present in various geographies – many brands sitting in Bengaluru, and apart from Dentsu there is no Japanese agency for them. It is a great opportunity for us.”
Rai added, “I expect ADK-Fortune to open more offices as the business grows.”
ADK-Fortune is helmed by CEO and MD Keiji Okamoto. Pradhan joined the team in 2014, after two decades at J. Walter Thompson Delhi.
ADK also announced last week the formation of a new business unit ADK Global, which will consolidate global offices and clients into a single entity. This will be run from Singapore beginning January 2016, and ECD Sherlock will take over as CEO.
During the interaction with Campaign India this September, Sherlock said, “I believe ADK is a challenger brand. Ideas essentially should have an end in mind, which is offering business solutions, rather than winning awards. (A) Challenger brand doesn’t necessarily wait for the brief. A challenger brings the problem to the client before the client even knows about it.”
He added, “We are a multi-national. We have realised that it pays to become a ‘glocal’ entity, and not a singular push-out from Japan. By definition, when you are smaller, you tend to be quicker. The parent company is not overbearing, and we have the flex and flow. We are the challenger agency. We go where other multi-national agencies won’t.”