Working with a global organisation has its merits, globally aligned businesses, subject matter experts in different countries, knowledge exchange for faster growth and the obvious media might. Independent organisations like #ARM bring their own set of benefits, strategy, planning, execution and measurement all is lead/monitored by the head of the organisation, and they need to consistently deliver quality work, working with their customers to achieve their business and marketing goals.
Ritesh Singh, Co-founder and MD, #ARM Worldwide, in his interaction with BestMediaInfo.com revealed that his past experiences working with global organisations at leadership roles did help him gain the desirable industry skillset, knowledge and strategy. 9 years back, the one question that he was seeking an answer to, “Can I do as good as an independent, as I am doing while being a leader of a global company?”
“When we started this company, we were clear that we don’t want to be an ‘agency’, #ARM will always have a consulting company mindset and we did develop our processes, training programs so that the team joining #ARM, aligns well with the larger goal,” Singh said.
He continued “While looking for inspiration, Accenture was one of the organisations that did inspire us and we have been working towards becoming the ‘Accenture’ in the mar-tech space”.
This constant self-introspection and his learnings from University of California, Los Angeles, helped him find his way forward as to how he could improve his business. “The program at UCLA was designed to make its students a T-shaped leader and that is where I was first introduced to the concept,” he said.
“If you look at the alphabet ‘T’, it consists of a horizontal line which denotes the width of knowledge and a vertical line which depicts the depth of knowledge,” Singh explained. As a result, the ‘T-Concept’ finds its significance in the modern world as organisations are on the lookout for new and fresh ideas to perform better.
It was in the aftermath of this learning that Singh took it upon himself to identify his own ‘T’ and then deploy it to the organisation. As per Singh, #ARM Worldwide has been positioned as integrated marketers for the past nine years implying that they cater to all marketing and communication services that find relevance in terms of digital media planning and buying, content marketing, social media marketing, analytics, technology development, search engine optimisation, digital creative, campaign planning and PR.
“When it comes to integrated marketing, we have all the credentials, working with Indian brands for their India objectives or global marketing objectives or working with global brands for their India growth objectives, we have all facets to showcase. Our unique part is our focus on the bottom-line growth of our customers' business, that’s what ensures that we join at the hip with our customers in their success.” commented Singh.
In the post-pandemic world, a lot has changed, #ARM had to evolve at a faster pace. Digital marketing has been growing at 30% CAGR and pandemic did help in further propelling the growth. While integrated marketing has a place, however, the need of specialists for each service, digital marketing offers, took the centre stage. “Instead of playing on the backfoot during Covid, we were on our front foot, we hired specialist leaders. Building a strong service-level leadership team, leading an already existing well-oiled delivery team.” he said.
Transformation is never easy, but with clarity of vision the leadership team at #ARM did draw a plan to reshape the organisation as the experts and reshaped all required aspects. There were enough and more challenges, both external and internal but now everyone is seeing the benefit of the model. “We are able to deliver faster and better, that’s showing well in the bottom line of both our customers business as well as our business,” as per Singh.
In fact, the organisation further plans to break free from the typical ‘agency’ mindset as they believe that they are not merely a digital marketing company but are ‘transformation partners’.
“The entire model of the ‘agency’ is good to follow if the value addition is worth a % commission, and the world has changed, need has changed, expectations from a digital partner has changed, then why do we continue to have the ‘agency mindset’ or even call ourselves one. We solve business problems, strategies for brand launches, deliver sales through performance marketing, conceptualise, and deliver campaigns which help deliver brand love,” Singh emphasised.
Since its set-up in 2013, the business has been profitable according to Singh. “We have been profitable and growing since we began on a yearly basis, not only in terms of profit, also retention of talent and customers, and also on the technological side,” said Singh, who comes with a very global agency-centric experience from working as the National Director at MEC Interaction and the Business Head-India for Starcom MediaVest Group-Digital.
The culture at ARM Worldwide is employee-first as they believe in the fact that if their employees grow, the company will eventually grow and be better. This is one of the reasons that people have stayed back for a long period of time and in some cases, even returned to the company after leaving it in the first place, as per the management.
Similarly, the organisation’s approach towards brands and businesses is also customer-first which is then followed by the company’s growth. “To ensure the growth of businesses, #ARM Worldwide emphasises on the volume and value propositions whereas in terms of brands, the focus is on building brand love,” Singh concluded.
Entering its 10th year is special and to compliment the same, growth plans of #ARM are also special. #ARM plans to double their bottom line, become a team of 250 setting new benchmark on retention rates for both employees and customers, a year-long training program both for leadership team as well as for first time managers, establishing each service line as a profitable business unit, awards for work in each service line and greater contribution from international market in the current year.