Ramnathkar, National Creative Director, Enterprise Nexus, has been recently conferred with the designation of a Consultant. The idea is to reduce his responsibilities so that he could work on his dream venture. He calls this creative hub, Umbrella, where he operates in the capacity of a Director. “Umbrella is like a creative coffee shop. The role is that of a one-stop-shop for all communication-related activities,” says Ramnathkar.
Umbrella entered the Indian advertising scene on July 1. The business model it follows is largely of outsourcing talent for every function of the project – whether it is copywriting, art direction, script writing or even photography. The creative unit plans to put together a panel, which would include the names of the senior professionals of the advertising fraternity. These panelists would be contacted on a project-to-project basis, depending on who could contribute the best to the concerned assignment. While the panel is still getting finalised, Ramnathkar informs that names like Parvez Sheikh are already there.
“The rationale is simple – I want to work with the best but I can’t hire all of them, so this is the best way to get the talent together,” states Ramnathkar. Explaining more on the new venture, he says, “Any activity that has anything to do with communication can be done here. People can get together as they do in a coffee shop and throw up ideas. These ideas will be executed again by the best in the industry. The one thing in the process, however, that I need to be careful so that there is no situation of conflict created. Only professionals who are not handling a certain brand will be contacted for my clients in that category.”
Umbrella has partners in the Kamala Group, who also form an important part of its current clientele. The group’s Mumbai properties like Titan 32, Gabbana, Crunch Gym and others are in Umbrella’s custodianship. Umbrella works on a fixed-fee basis and is presently in talks with various other clients. As to why did he decide on a business model of this kind, Ramnathkar replies, “Already there are too many agencies. With this model, I offer flexibility where I can directly work with clients and also with advertising agencies as a design unit and share profit of the concerned business.”
Explaining further, he says, “Most clients today directly speak to producers or even copywriters and art directors. Many agencies don’t have design cells. In the light of all this, it is a perfect model to come up with because it fills many gaps. In essence, I am doing what many people in any case do; only I have branded it.” He informs that he is in talks with a couple of agencies as well and they are excited about the proposition.
Referring to his role at Enterprise now, he informs, “I will still be supervising the businesses but as a consultant, my responsibilities are lessened now. I will divide my time depending on what kind of work is there at Enterprise or Umbrella.”
Though he says Enterprise is always there in his heart, Umbrella has surely captured a major part of Ramnathkar’s attention. The tastefully done-up office in Mumbai currently has a small team of four – all freshers. Largely the role of this team is to help Ramnathkar in his agenda of giving the client a different model to evaluate. He is still in the process of adding more to the team and is sure the model would soon lead to similar outfits making a mark in the advertising industry.