Rana Barua joined Contract Advertising as COO in February 2013. A year later, he was named CEO. During his 18-month ,tenure the agency has bagged more than 20 accounts and made a slew of appointments.
Campaign India caught up with Barua in August 2014, for a freewheeling conversation.
Barua said, “We are one of the fastest growing agencies. We have seen a turnaround, from the people hiring to account wins, to digital, to integrated wins. The good thing about most of us is that we won’t boast about these wins but go about doing our work in the regular way. We are very very committed and passionate as individuals. Ashish Chakravarty, Rohit Srivastava and I work together and work differently from other agencies. Things have worked well.”
“We have come together with one dream. None of us are super heroes and we work like lesser mortals. We are in it together for our clients. Since (my) taking over, we have won over 20 accounts (including digital). We’ve lost also three or four, but we are still engaging with those clients. I think we’ve added a bunch of very strong talented people who have come together as a team,” he added.
According to the CEO, Contract now handles more than 50 clients, across offices.
Barua labels the Tata Docomo account win ‘big’. He elaborated, “That was the account we desperately wanted. It’s our biggest client right now. We wanted it desperately because we knew it’ll change the fate of Contract. It has done so. It’s allowed us to hire an exclusive team for them. A lot of good talent came with Docomo. With the brand comes a challenge of doing fabulous work. FCB (Ulka) had done some good work over the years, but the challenge for us is to raise that bar. I’ve heard people ask various questions like ‘Did you quote lower’ or ‘Did you bring down the price’. I find it very amusing when people ask those questions. The point is if you’re going to put up an exclusive team of 40-plus people, tell me, how can you quote lower? It’s an exclusive unit and has a separate business head, plus two creative heads. The work load is like any other telco, so you need a dedicated team.”
More in the issue of Campaign India dated 19 September 2014.