Mahesh Chauhan and Minakshi Achan announced their new foray, a communications agency christened Salt. “The key talent would be the two of us – account executive and copywriter. We have a team on board as well – Anisha Sarin and Sanket Pathare who were executive creative directors in their earlier roles,” said Chauhan.
“We would be a holistic brand communications solutions organisation and we are going to be idea-centric. So when somebody comes to us, we have the idea and then we can always outsource the areas that are more executional. This is the age of collaboration. We’ve defined ourselves as brand donors, which is about going out and seeding the brand in the life of the consumer, without necessarily interrupting what they’re doing,” said Achan.
“A lot of us still believe that we can own a brand, when the consumer today owns it and creates, destroys or multiplies its value,” says Chauhan.
Why the name ‘Salt’? “Salt defines the role of the agency from the client’s point of view. Salt is something you cannot do without, but you do not notice it. Over different points in time, it has stood for various things, such as the exchange of salt signifying honest partnerships, to even breaking of the rules. In a lot of ways it captures what we want to do and what we want to stand for. We want the brands that we work on to be spoken about, not the agency. So Salt was simple, easy and it fitted like a glove,” Chauhan added.
“The challenges in the earlier role were that we had 5-6 offices and so many brands to manage, and 200-300 people to manage; you actually don’t get to spend any time on the brands that you’ve promised and committed to, at a pitch or a meeting. So we’ve said that we aren’t really going to flood ourselves with a hundred-odd clients, we are going to limit our clients and spend time and apply ourselves and grow and build the brands and the relationships,” says Achan.
Talking about the genesis of the agency, Chauhan said, “When you want to walk the talk it’s always great to have the smallest setup, because you can influence things. I want to be an account director again, I want to be the world’s fastest account executive again. So that’s the excitement and I think that’s where Minakshi and I started talking to each other and that’s where the whole idea of starting our own setup came into being.”