Narayan Kumar, who quit TBWA India in October last year as executive director and head of Disruption, has started his own agency, to be called Metal. Kumar says that although the idea for the agency was born at a time when the economy was experiencing a boom, the subsequent move happened during a time when the global financial meltdown had already set in. “It did not change my decision to move, though. The interesting thing was that despite the economic mood, most of the people that I went to, for advice were encouraging. Nobody suggested that I should mull over the issue till I was sure. I think times such as these are as good as any to start an agency,”he adds.
Metal has begun operations on a good wicket, having already signed on Platinum Guild India as one of its key clients, an account that sources estimate as being close to about Rs 20 crores per annum and which was earlier held by TBWA India.
Confirming the Platinum move to Campaign India, Vaishali Banerjee, manager, Platinum Guild India (PGI) said, “We decided to go with Metal because the creative team from TBWA that worked on the business moved to Metal. They have been working on the business for the last few years and we wanted to continue that quality of thinking.”
PGI will be working with Metal on a retainer fee model. A major TV campaign is underway at the moment. Narayan says the decision to name the agency Metal came from the idea that ‘metal’ is malleable, and therefore adjusts to the form given to it, which summarises the agency’s fluid philosophy of being an ideas shop.
The agency has got on board about 12 people at the moment. Narayan says that besides the distinctive creative work that they hope to produce, the agency is working on a set of internal tools to help put some structure into their working processes. Metal plans to expand into the rest of Asia over the next five years. Narayan says Delhi would be the most obvious choice for their first branch, though he declined to comment on any expected time frame for the move.