Following his exit from Ambience Publicis, the former National Creative Director of the agency, Pushpinder Singh, is back in action full fledged. With nine clients on board already, his venture Saints and Warriors has just gained the momentum that he believed was needed before he could speak more on this advertising agency.
At present, the agency is operating from Mumbai, but the Delhi operations are on the drawing board already. The nature of the agency, Singh informed, was like any other full-fledged ad agency with departments like client servicing, creative and others already in place. He added, “As a principle, there are no designations in the company, you are only in departments.”
Taking care of the business aspect of the company are Shom Mazumdar, Upender Thakur, Pankaj Acharya and Rahul Vaidya. “They all have had entrepreneurial experiences and this has allowed us a robust backend, which otherwise takes months,” said Singh. Other members include – in client servicing, there is Neha Shah, a former Lintas hand; in the Creative department, there are Mahendra Parab (ex-Triton), Trilokji Sengupto (ex-TBWA), and Sandesh Ghadi.
The going has been good so far for the recently incepted agency, and this is reflected in its client list. Saints and Warriors is already doing work for Videocon; Alkem (launch of its chyawanprash and sugarfree sweetener brands); Streaks (a hair product); five brands of Sapat, which include Chai Time, Parivar, Parivar Premium and Sahyadri. The agency is also doing work for the Lokmat Group, Swiss watch company Milleret, retail brand Pyramid, and Lexi Pen (the radio work for which has already been released in Dubai and Kolkata). Saints and Warriors has also been doing work for BCCL brands Navbharat Times and The Economic Times’ Brand Equity.
Said Singh, “I was actually surprised to see the kind of reception. People just asked two questions – Do you have the infrastructure in place? And, when could we start? I think a reason is that agencies are not really geared to service emerging sectors like organised retail or entertainment or media with any kind of satisfaction. In addition to that, Indian businesses are coming of age now and I firmly believe that unlike in the past, where MNCs dictated the terms, Indian businesses will be the bread and butter of ad agencies.”
He further said, “But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We would be inclined towards Indian and advertising led businesses. And I see our biggest clients as Indian business and not MNCs.”
Singh is clear that there are two objectives, “More than anything else, we will be concerned about creating meaningful work, which is appreciated by the masses first, and at the end of the year, by the award jury. Besides, there has to be laughter in the corridor. That would be the measure our success against that and we are ready to make whatever financial sacrifices that are needed for it.”
Prior to Ambience Publicis, Singh was with O&M and has been known for the work that he has done for brands like Safari, Videocon, Amaron and Close UP, among others. Replying as to why the idea to create a Saints and Warriors, Singh said, “I think somewhere the industry has been hijacked by theoreticians – people who may not have created a campaign, but have an attitude that numbers and theories explain everything. I think advertising will always remain a combination of science and art, and the intention is to try and create a culture that would reflect this.”
Explaining more on the rationale behind the name of the agency, he said, “Saints, because I believe that in creative, the professional always has an element of purity to him, and Warrior, because I have to yet come across a successful professional who wasn’t aggressive at the same time, and hopefully we can strike the right balance too.”