For Carat Media, the latter half of 2004 has turned out to be quite rewarding. The agency has added new business worth to the tune of over Rs 150 crore to its kitty, since July 2004. Apart from making senior level appointments, Carat has also put in place Carat Affiliate, an operation that aims at generating new businesses from advertising agencies. Pradeep Iyengar would spearhead the unit in addition to his responsibility as National buying head of the agency.
The clients that the agency bagged constitute of BPL Mobile, Chateau Indage, Nitco Tiles, Ozone, Red Tape, Taj Centenary - 350 years of celebrating construction of Taj, and the most recent one being Pantaloons. Put together, the wins give Carat over Rs 90 crore of businesses. “What we have done is looking at clients who were looking for better services and converted them,” expresses Charles Berley Jenarius, Group CEO, Carat Media, “Apart from these we have been involved in continual pitches, except, of course, cases where we were clocked due to reasons like conflict and in that we have managed a good conversion rate.”
However, what accelerated the growth for Carat, were businesses from advertising agencies. One of the various examples here would be the Red Tape business. Sharing more on this Jenarius says, “As a media independent, this is one advantage we have. We can work with different agencies and ensure a revenue stream from that front.”
Carat Affiliate has bagged Fountain Head, Maitri Advertising and St Luke’s in the latter half of 2004. In totality, the business here is almost over Rs 70 crore. Carat has been involved with agency businesses prior to this, but it is only in 2004, that the operation has been given a clear focus. Carat functions as the media arm for the clients of these agencies. There are many cases where it is involved at the pitching stage itself.
“Carat Affiliate offers its own benefits and in Pradeep, we have a person who will build this business further,” says Jenarius, “Agencies have customised needs, which are different from the other clients. We are evolving a structure to handle the agency businesses in a typical account servicing manner.”
As for what is the plan for 2005, he replies, “We will continue the focus on the three main areas of making sure we provide the right service to our existing clients, we maintain the right mix of people and generate enough new business to offset whatever we had lost.”