2004, so far, has been an action packed year for Carat India. Team building, a new corporate identity and new business wins worth Rs 80 crore are what the agency has obtained in the first two months of 2004.
Last week, it bagged media planning and buying businesses of Royal Palms and Godrej & Boyce (Office furniture division). As per the agency, the other new businesses acquired by them in the first two months of 2004 include Sahara Group, Federal Express, Andhra Bank, Vishakapatnam Export Processing Zone, CISCO, Royal Palms, Vipul Developers & Cream Bell.
Sripad Kulkarni, CEO, Carat (West) is excited with the spate of wins. As to what would he attribute this series of wins to, states Kulkarni, "It is not a one-day wonder we are talking about. We have been working at it quietly for a long time and now the efforts are yielding results." He adds, "One thing that always works in our favour is that we are a media independent and we cater to the brands' needs without any creative prejudices."
What does the agency have to offer in terms of media expertise that is unique as compared to other agencies? Replies Kulkarni, "As I mentioned, we are unprejudiced. Secondly, we were the first media independents in India and have a tremendous understanding of this market. Besides, we have excellent tools. These tools work in India as successfully as they do in the global markets. They are robustly tested, customized and retested before being used in any market."
Another thing Kulkarni mentions as an advantage for Carat is the setting up of national buying operations. He states, "None of the other agencies does national buying in a true sense. All of them have a decentralised buying function. Buying is by and large about scale and centralised media buying would be one of our biggest advantages this year."
Carat, till a couple of months, back was busy restructuring and strengthening its team. However as per Kulkarni, "We have an excellent team in place now. There are quite a few new additions to the team who are working with Carat stalwarts. They have a fresh approach and most of them have experience in varied catergories and markets. As a result we now have the expertise and capability to handle a diverse set of businesses very well."
As to how he sees Carat growing in the year 2004, Kulkarni says, "2004 has started on a great note for us. The objective now is to gather more momentum. To begin with, we plan to be number two media agency in India in double quick time."
Kim Walker, COO, Asia Pacific, is equally excited about the recent account wins. States he, "This is just the beginning. Over recent months we've been assembling a fresh team of bright stars. Their effect is now being realised. We're all very proud of how things are progressing."