Advertising Interviews

Rajan Narayan

President & Chief Executive | 24 Jun 2011

My personal targets for the year are that every brand under Quadrant’s stewardship should have moved a notch higher at the end of the year and to create a brand path for at least four new entrepreneurial brands. An important objective is to also grow the agency and the people working in it.

Working with Quadrant Communication Ltd as President and Chief Executive, Rajan Narayan is a qualified engineer (electrical and electronics engineering) and MMS (marketing). He has 18 years’ experience in advertising and has worked with agencies like Lintas, Ogilvy & Mather, McCann Erickson and Interface Communications. In his association with various companies, Narayan has handled brands like HSBC, Tata Mutual Fund, TVS Motors, Nerolac, Grasim, Titan, L’Oreal, Philips, Videocon, Mahindra First Choice, and Godrej Fairglow, among others.

Quadrant Communications was born on September 1, 1998. Its parent companies are Interpublic Group (IPG), USA and the Kirloskar Group. Quadrant is a full-service advertising agency, which seeks to provide clients with 360 degree marketing communications solutions, offer support in providing direct marketing, brand strategy, media solutions, public relations, exhibitions, retail solutions, feature film associations, etc.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Shubhangi Mehta, Narayan talks about the growth of Quadrant Communications over the years, new business wins, industry concerns and more...

Q. You have been with the agency since its inception. What are some of the prominent changes and developments that you have observed in this journey?

The first change that I have observed is this that earlier, Quadrant was a single client dependent agency providing mostly creative work. Today, the biggest change has been the creation of a blue chip client base, like Mahindra, Tata, Kirloskar, Bajaj, Bharat Forge, etc., which are among India’s biggest business houses. This has happened because of our focus on providing high quality strategic solutions and very close client-agency interactions. Secondly, more value has been set at identifying and focusing on Indian entrepreneurial brands and providing professional advertising and brand building solutions for them. Lastly, over the years we have seen (with respect to Quadrant) a strong balance sheet and excellent financial situation of the agency.

Q. What are some of the industry issues that bother you as a creative entrepreneur?

What bothers me is that today, agencies are unable to unite under a common cause and create a remuneration structure acceptable to clients and agencies of every size and scale.

Q. What has been the growth rate for the agency over the last two years?

We have seen a steady and strong growth of 25 per cent in the last couple of years.

Q. What are some of the ideas you have for new business development for the agency?

We look forward to focus on the upcoming entrepreneurial Indian brands that need professional strategic all-round services. Also, there is a need to focus on Tier I towns.

Q. Could you tell us about your new business wins in 2010-11?

We have won four major accounts in the first part already – Paranjape Schemes, Keys Hotels & Resorts, Faber-Castell and Cinemax. Two more businesses have been bagged and we shall make their announcement shortly.

Q. There’s a lot of 360 degree happening. What is Quadrant’s thought process on this front. How are you different from others?

In terms of Quadrant, let me reiterate, the solutions we provide are not in silos. We provide 360 degree solutions in any case, right from digital to media to rural programmes. We believe that the agency itself has to provide solutions to clients and take ownership for the brand and that’s what we do at Quadrant.

Q. What are the various concerns that the industry needs to look out for? What are your personal work targets for 2011?

Few of the concerns in the industry today are – continuous erosion of talent, lack of vision for the industry, and the ‘I, me, myself’ attitude of industry professionals.

My personal targets for the year are that every brand under Quadrant’s stewardship should have moved a notch higher at the end of the year and to create a brand path for at least four new entrepreneurial brands. An important objective is to also grow the agency and the people working in it.

Q. Do you have any plans of beefing up your creative team?

Yes! We’re always on the lookout for bright talent, so anybody reading this who has got a buzz in their heads and fire in the bellies can drop in.

Q. Quadrant seems to be an agency that is media shy, or which prefers not to be in the limelight...

You’re right! We believe in a modest approach and let our work speak for us. Hence, we haven’t hired a PR agency to work on this.

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