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Grey upbeat about its growth targets for 2018

Grey group India Chairman & Managing Director Sunil Lulla says the agency’s growth in 2017 was higher than peers. The agency is hoping its revenue growth to surpass the GDP growth of the country in 2018

Grey group India, a full-service advertising agency with digital, activation and retail arms, is expecting a revenue growth of more than 7.5 per cent in 2018 as the agency has set the target to beat the GDP growth of the country.

According to several forecasts by international agencies such as IMF and World Bank, India's GDP growth in FY19 is likely to be around 7.5 per cent.

In 2017 as well, the agency outpaced the market with its growth (per cent) being higher than the GDP in a relatively tough year. This was on account of a stronger product built around getting its brands to be famously effective, with creative work immersed in the culture of the consumers.

Sunil Lulla

Grey group India Chairman & Managing Director Sunil Lulla said the agency’s growth in 2017 was higher than peers in its estimate. “This successful growth has been on account of deeper engagements with current clients, via new scopes and new services being created, coupled with great new client wins,” he told

The agency’s growth targets have always been a multiple of GDP growth, which continues to be same for 2018. With more stable and positive outlook for 2018, it is yet to be seen if the agency meets its target. “As challenging as it is, it’s thrilling to keep this trajectory going,” said Lulla.

At a time when the creative agencies across the world are witnessing decline in profitability because of falling margin and other challenges, Grey witnessed growth in its profitability higher than country’s GDP. “Globally the market is flat and any growth (for creative agencies) is good. It has been a progressive and a strong year for Grey,” said Lulla.

Talking about the growth drivers, Lulla said, “Enormous focus on our client’s business, with ongoing insightful understanding of their business, we push harder each day to ensure the content and communication is making the brand and its marketing efforts famously effective.”

Besides falling margin, the new agency models that offer much cheaper solutions to the brands have multiplied challenges for network agencies. The independent agencies that do not have to support a global structure are being preferred by many brands looking for differentiated solutions at lower cost.

In such a stiff competitive environment, Lulla claimed that Grey continued to evolve to ensure it was competitive and rocking. “We do not have our ‘heads in the sand’ and are acutely aware of market place changes. Grey is a 100-year-old start-up which is nimble and works very responsive to its clients. We have no such ‘overhead hangovers’. There is great value in what we can provide to our clients, by virtue of the global knowledge, expertise and cutting edge communication paradigms, which are hosted across the network. That’s an advantage, local agencies do not have,” he said.

The year 2017 witnessed creative agencies working on their transformation to meet the challenges thrown by ever-changing consumer behaviour. The transformation included various offerings in digital, content, data, automation and artificial intelligence. However, Grey group India, which already has its digital, activation and retail arms, aims to expand the range of services it offers.

When asked about the type of services the agency is aiming to add, Lulla said, “These would be the services which are more attuned to today’s and every changing marketing mix. Services which it may own; co-own; partner with within the WPP system or as needed. It has focus of creating work, which is always famously effective.”

Moving away from traditional advertising practices, many agencies have started focusing on content. When asked how Grey is gearing up to tap this stream, Lullasaid, “There are a few clients, for whom we are creating content and some for whom we are incubating. Content creation comes naturally to media firms which have extended their creative outreach. However, agencies are the best partners and that’s what we are doing.”

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