Chennai-based Corporate Media Men (CMM) Advertising had set out on a course of expansion with a target of Rs 20 crore in billings for the current financial year. On the cards for the 15-year old agency is international expansion focusing on creative work from abroad, and the agency has its sights set on Malaysia.
Speaking to exchange4media, K Vijay Sekar, founder of the agency and its Creative Director, said, “We are planning to start something in Malaysia shortly. We are looking at international markets because a lot of work is being outsourced to India. I could see that if you have the talent, there is a lot of scope for bagging accounts there. It will be a servicing office and work will be done in India. I think, by April we’ll have an operational office in that country.”
CMM has registered the name in Malaysia already, and is simultaneously engaged in sprucing up its presence in India. Having bagged iSoft, Allsec Technologies, and real estate clients, LCS and Alliance, earlier in the year, it has closed the calendar year on a high, winning the advertising duties of two brands from Empee Distilleries – Elcanso Rum and All Gold Brandy.
With the wins, the agency estimates that it has touched Rs 13.5 crore in billings till date, and hopes to close in March 2006 much closer to its original target at Rs 17-18 crore.
This financial year the agency added Hyderabad to its list of offices in Chennai, Bangalore and Cochin, while the staff strength across offices has gone up to 60 with 10 more hands coming on board since April.
“I can see a lot of potential in Hyderabad, and from April 2006 we plan to go all out in that market. Till date, we have been testing the waters. We may also look at setting shop in Mumbai in the next financial year. We are looking at a minimum of 10-15 more people with half of them being in senior levels,” added Vijay Sekar.
The agency is also modeling itself for what it sees as the emerging scenario, with a positioning of strategy and creative solutions provider.
“I believe media is getting out of the agency’s hands with larger media planning agencies in the picture. The client has options today when it comes to media, and I think they will expect agencies to get back to strategy and creative solutions. That is how we are positioning ourselves, and I see more and more small and medium sized agencies coming into the fray,” Vijay Sekar explained.
The agency is currently engaged in putting a team in place across its offices. A recent appointment was that of K Anbuchezhian, who moved in from Brand Comm to CMM as Branch Manager for the Chennai office.
The agency, which has stayed away from ad club festivals till date, is planning to enter international contests this year, beginning with the New York Festivals. And its founder, who was an artist until inspired by an advertising convention with speakers like Tara Sinha and RK Swamy, has bigger plans and targets for next year. But he hasn’t forgotten the early years.
“I don’t want to be in the numbers game, and I believe our work should bring us out into the outside world. It is slowly happening. People see our work and call us. And we remember that we are surviving only because of the relationship we share with clients. In the early days, it would have been impossible to get the accreditation even, without the support of clients,” he said.