82.5 Communications aims to be the second-largest unit within the Ogilvy group in the next two years catches up with the top leadership of the agency to talk about the agency's learning in its first year, its expansion plans and how does it intend to differentiate itself from others

Shradha Mishra
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82.5 Communications aims to be the second-largest unit within the Ogilvy group in the next two years

left to right Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Rishabha Nayyar, Kapil Arora

In its second year, Ogilvy Group agency 82.5 Communications has set an internal benchmark to be the second-largest unit within the Ogilvy group in the next two years.

“We are looking at a growth of 4-5% in Q1 of 2020,” said Kapil Arora, Co-Chairman and CEO, 82.5 communications.

Arora said the growth would largely be driven by the agency’s focus on creating authentic and more cultural driven ingenious ideas with vernacular execution, for big to small clients.

By making pan WPP offerings available to its clients, the agency believes it will have better quality control.

“It is my personal goal to make us the second-largest unit in the Ogilvy group after the Ogilvy Mumbai office,” he said

The agency wants to be a significant contributor to the Ogilvy group reputation, revenue and team strength.

On January 26, 2019, Ogilvy India re-branded the merged entity of Soho Square and Bates CHI & Partners as 82.5 Communications.

“We have started to infuse planning into the full business structure and trying to build a strong team. To make the creative ideas more authentic and connecting with Indian culture, we will focus on doing on-ground surveys and get insights out of it,” said Rishabha Nayyar, Head of Strategic Planning, 82.5 Communications.

Nayyar said internet, Google and data have brought a lot of ease to ad business and made agencies stop looking at the benefits of doing on-ground surveys. “We are really trying to task ourselves by making sure we spend a good amount of time with consumers,” he said.

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, said, “We tell everybody to go out on the streets, to offices, to your societies and find real insights.”

Speaking on the business, Arora, said, “Our agenda is to look for clients who are hungry for growth and with whom we can grow. We are not necessarily going for bigger clients every time. Our base is small, and today we don’t have pressure to say I need a minimum of this size of the client.”

“The benefit of being a growing agency under a big network agency that I can work with small clients but for a lot of larger agencies, it would not even be a viable client,” he added.

The agency has significantly strengthened its mandates with its largest clients such as ITC, Himalaya, ACC and Bisleri and won nine of its last 11 pitches.

Apart from these, it has bagged mandates from Nestle Milo, a few dairy projects, IDBI bank, Haldirams North, Hero Lectro, a few brands from the RSPL group, Campus Shoes, Pearson education and Jeeru, a jeera-based carbonated beverage.

“We are telling ourselves that let’s grow slowly so that we keep building a team, making sure we sign up the like-minded clients. ‘Slow and steady winning the race’ is the whole thought for growth,” Nayyar said.

Speaking on the agency’s expansion plans, Chattopadhyay, said, “We have a presence in Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore as our pilot markets as we have realised that these regions are immensely cultural where local content is only what matters.”

The agency has plans to scale up its presence in more and more regions.

According to him, the agency’s principle “to not treat all India as one India” gives them leverage to easily explain to the clients that if they want to target a certain region by the communication, then they should partner with the agency. “We are telling clients that if there is a certain market that you are trying to look at, then let’s find insight, talent, production from that market so that the clients get proper regional communication to communicate with the consumers,” he said.

“The good thing about the agency is that we all come from a great pedigree and have worked with great agencies in the past. The right talent and leadership give us a lot of confidence,” he adds.

According to Chattopadhyay, in the last six months, Arora has helped a lot in building a profile of interesting India-first businesses that resonate with the agency’s positioning. “His attempts to handle work and reach to the agency’s yearly target within six months are applauding.”

“All of that we achieved last year is just the beginning. We are and will always be a work-in-progress agency. With a solid foundation in place, we are well geared to help navigate and partner our clients through trying times. And we’re bullish about the future,” concluded Arora.

82.5 Communications