In a freewheeling chat, Rana Barua and Ashish Chakravarty, Contract’s CEO and CCO respectively get talking on the agency’s recent wins, which include ITC Personal Care, Century LED bulbs, Abbott Healthcare, Lupin OTC, Orient Fans, Reckitt & Colman, Garnier among others. Contract has also won the mandate for mygov.in, one of the largest mandates from the Government of India.
The duo field questions on receiving offers from other agencies, what is a compelling offer to them, taking Contract to the next level why clients are willing to wait for the agency today and more
“Singularly or as a team barring two or three very obvious network agencies, everyone has made an offer at some point or the other,” says Chakravarty in a matter-of-fact manner.
Given their team work and working equation, ‘if’ they ever considered moving out, would it be as a team? Together would be an ideal scenario agrees the duo, but the offer has to be compelling enough.
And what makes a compelling offer for the duo? A compelling offer would be a large network, a solidly creative, global kind of entity coming into India, something that is a bigger challenge than what we have achieved, say both unanimously.
Barua joined Contract in 2013, Chakravarty came on board a couple of months later.
Chakravarty makes an interesting observation on one of the differences about the agency today.
Q. When you took charge at Contract, your initial focus was to stabilise the ship, then you went aggressively after new business, where is the agency at now?
RB: What we managed to do with Contract is to make it a far more stable ship. If you look at the number of people who came on board in 2013, including me, Ashish and many of them, including many senior people and individual talents. They have got multiple offers but have stayed together. Secondly, if you look at the number of clients that have come on board and stayed with us, it’s a massive list of people who have invested in Contract. Without naming any agency, there are so many of them that are struggling to find a footing. Our conversation with clients is about creative effectiveness, product, planning - it’s a very different conversation. So, if you ask me if the mission is over, I would say, no. There are many categories that are open to Contract, there are many clients who are talking to us, and there are many more things we can do if we want but it also matters on our bandwidth.