Type of agency: Advertising
Company ownership: Publicis Groupe
Key personnel: V Shantakumar, chairman, Kamal Basu, CEO,
Sanjib Dey, EVP and branch head-Delhi,
Ayan Chakraborty, VP-Bangalore
Accounts won: Videocon, Shyam Telecom, Roseby’s, Kenstar, Sansui, Kelvinator and DesiTara
Accounts lost: Future Generali
Saatchi & Saatchi had reasons to be glad this year. While Videocon chose the Publicis subsidiary to handle its Rs 100-crore account, the agency also saw the return of the prodigal son. Nandu Narasimhan, who had moved on to Vyas Gianetti Creative (VGC) as NCD, came back as an ECD for the agency’s Delhi and Bengaluru branches.
While Saatchi & Saatchi International acquired 100% ownership of the Indian counterpart, the Indian agency went through a re-structure exercise where V Shantakumar was elevated to chairman of the company and Kamal Basu stepped in to the CEO role.
Narasimham brought with him a clutch of other old Saatchi hands includingHanoz Mogrelia,and Arijit Ray.
The agency renamed its direct marketing division, Saatchi Direct, as Saatchi & Saatchi Focus aiming to re-brand it as an ‘ideas company’. Launched 10 years ago, this arm of Saatchi has since grown into a specialised profit centre boasting of accounts like Bosch, Coats, HP, Essar Steel, etc.
The Videocon pitch will definitely feature at the top of Saatchi’s 2008 credentials and help it secure other big ticket accounts. The biggest challenge, however, would be to retain a client as fickle as Videocon. While the agency managed to hold on to most of its other clients such as Novartis (Calcium Sandoz), Bata, Johnson & Johnson (Savlon), Mahindra Logan and Tata Tea, it did lose Future Generali, a JV between Pantaloon Retail and t he Italy-based Generali Group to O&M.
Campaign Score: 6
How SAATCHI & SAATCHI rates itself: 8
At a time when recession hit the industry, and budgets were being trimmed, we managed to stay ahead of the curve by quickly adapting ourselves. Best industry practices, excellent team management, and a dedicated team ensured that we optimized productivity, increased value-add to our clients and ensured profitability. A judicious mix of brands and, some large new businesses helped us keep our lead. We also managed to maintain our position as a great place to work in, by attracting good talent, a couple of senior people who left and came back to our fold only reinforced it. Our employee attrition has been a lot lower than industry average. All these, combined with a great bunch of brands and spew of awards made 2008 a great year for Saatchi.