Since its launch in 2003, Dentsu India has been witnessing good growth and then came a speed bump in 2009. In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media, Rajesh Aggarwal, President, Dentsu India, said, “While we introduced our loyalty and brand engagement practice – ClozR – last year, 2010 will be a year of consolidating our existing businesses, while adding new teeth. In the last year, there have been key developments in sport and digital at Dentsu India. 2010 will see significant announcements from Dentsu India both in the digital and sports arena, each being never-before milestones for these practices in India.”
With the global slowdown came a gloomy outlook, a cautious consumer and hence, the need for new perspectives, new solutions, new innovations. However, Aggarwal believes that is actually necessary to have a tough year like this every so often. “It helps you introspect and refocus. Our major delight for 2009 has been the success of www.lastminuteinventory.com, our media trading portal, which finally achieved critical mass. Since September 2009, the portal has been achieving a run rate of over Rs 10 crore in transactions per month, proving to the world that it is a successful concept and a long term business proposition,” he said.
Commenting further on the year 2009, he said that it was a year when brands needed big ideas as ‘glue’ to long term success. “Our creation of the Toyota Greenathon was one such big idea. A first for India, this was a 24-hour live television fund-raiser that ultimately ended up bringing light to 200 remote villages around the country. The Greenathon helped Toyota underline its long term commitment to a Green Earth and convey its support to a cleaner, greener India,” Aggarwal added.
He further said, “ClozR Communications, our customer loyalty and engagement practice, bloomed into a full entity in 2009 with a Mumbai and Delhi footprint. We also gained traction in Clickstreamers, our digital media agency. We were happiest that current clients entrusted more and more work to us through these new windows of enterprise. Iki, our design entity created one of India’s largest showcases for Maruti at its flagship location near Emporio in New Delhi. The design is minimal, the space open, and the display world-class. It also underlined our ability to handle large format design, to international standards.”
Referring to the downturn as a ‘good time to rejuvenate the skill-set of the team’, Aggarwal said that Dentsu introduced ‘Chishiki Juku’, the well-known Japanese account planning system in India. He added, “Today, already nearly half of our management staff have been trained in this system and we had another workshop at the end of 2009.”
He further said, “In response to the requirements of our clients, Dentsu India introduced its global tools – CPM (Contact-Point Management) and VALCON – in India. With a sample size of over 20,000, CPM is one of the most comprehensive research knowledge tools available in the country today. Our suite of knowledge is spread over 21 categories and is a cutting edge platform for the future.”
Speaking on the agency’s digital initiatives, Aggarwal said, “In our associated businesses – part of the Dentsu India ecosystem – we pioneered the creation of never before mobile VAS content to capitalise on the 500-million strong handset market in India. We are today one of the largest owners of original IP in the area of mobile comics (Momics) and are pioneers in the M-greetings space. We believe these new ventures will give us a lot of traction in the coming years. We have toiled this year to create a bouquet of digital products that will lead the media space in the months to come. Our www.gardenoflove.in debuted to very exciting response on Valentines Day earlier in 2009. A WAP version is now live and this never before application can now be completely operated merely by using an sms. We believe such cutting-edge investments will help us stay ahead of the market in the future.”
“In 2009 we were privileged to have our various agencies pick up a host of new assignments from clients. Maruti Suzuki gave Dentsu Creative Impact the Zen Estillo and the Ritz. Unicharm also entrusted us with their kiddy products. Dentsu Media gained the huge Aircel buying for television. Dentsu Communications was entrusted by Toyota to start work on its small car project. Dentsu Marcom had the privilege of working with Jaypee on its huge Sports City project. Also, Dentsu Marcom assisted Indiabulls on its Power IPO,” he added.
He further said, “Our social communications division – Citizen Dentsu – came good with the ‘Condom, it’s OK’ campaign for NACO. We were also entrusted by the Government of Delhi with its child labour prevention initiative and the most recent Delhi Civility Campaign.”
Aggarwal maintained, “Overall, 2009 could have been better. But, for a year that was gloom to doom all over the world, we survived and flourished, albeit in a cautious way. The dying days of 2009 have looked far more promising than how the year started. 2010 is the Year of the Tiger. We hope the tiger will roar for us.”