Three IITians, fresh out of the technology temple’s Chennai branch, have given wings to their dreams instead of going the corporate way. Thus was born the Third Wing Services (TWS), a creative and design solutions shop, which has already bagged one retail account. The agency is confident of adding to this tally sooner than later, and hopes to launch operations in Hyderabad and Bangalore as well.
The idea of setting up a creative and design solutions shop took roots at the IIT Chennai fest Saarang (2004), when the TWS team won the movie making (and ad making) competition – ‘Shoot Out’.
A business plan followed, and buoyed by Chennai’s potential in the retail space, the shop was born. The concept neared fruition in February 2005, and six months on, TWS feels it is ready for the big league.
“We don’t have any set targets. Right now, we want to get in more clients and do good work for the few we manage to get in. Whatever work goes out should be appreciated – good work, original – we hate following the same formats as others,” was the very IIT-style, earnest statement from one of the founders, Ravish Chaubey.
The TWS team comprises, apart from Chaubey (from Bhagalpur, Bihar), who is an aerospace engineer, and handles marketing and creative design, Ravi Dixit, a computer science engineer from Lucknow, who handles graphics, processing and software, and Dheeraj Sharma, a mechanical engineer also from Lucknow, who handles Web design and part of creatives. Another team member, a third-year engineering student from Bangalore, is slated to come on board on completion of his course.
At present, the shop handles Vummidi Bangaru Srihari & Sons, a retail (jewellery) client from Chennai. The work includes hoardings, print ads, direct mailers, and even packaging for a new silver jewellery brand. TWS is in talks now with companies in the software segment in Bangalore, for web design.
The name – Third Wing Services, though with its origins in the fact that the three founders lived in the third wing of their hostel at IIT Chennai – has an aero-tech logic to it. In the aircraft industry, there is a third wing, which is the vertical wing that gives direction to the flight. According to TWS, that was precisely what its job was – to give direction to a client’s business.
So what exactly have the techies set out to do? “We don’t want to limit ourselves to creative design. In a few years, we will look at media solutions also, besides other aspects of marketing communications,” elaborated Chaubey. The shop is planning to hire a few people with an art background to start with. And the funding is being managed internally, for now.
Inspired by David Ogilvy, and Sahara’s Subroto Roy, TWS is another example of the glamourous challenge posed by advertising to lure those from other domains.