After two decades of its international launch, TBWA\Worldwide has brought its interactive arm, Tequila, to India. While the market poses problems that are unique to India, the Tequila\India team has taken cognizance of the fact and has drawn a plan of action accordingly.
At present, Tequila\India is working with a skeletal team, but Awanish Kumar, Head of Tequila\India, informed that it was still at a construction stage. He said, "By mid-2007, we target to have a team of 60 to 70 professionals who are specialists in the various domains that Tequila will offer to clients in India."
These include CRM, creative, promotional, database driven customer acquisition and relationship management, digital and direct marketing services to its clients. As is known, Tequila\India will start its operations from Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai simultaneously. Globally, TBWA, with its expertise in creatives, and Tequila, with its expertise in the integrated marketing solutions space, have proved to be a winning combination for Omnicom.
The idea was to bring the same success to India as well, Kumar said. However, he was quick to admit that unlike the international scenario, where marketing services to advertising ratio was 30:70 in favour of marketing services, the situation in India was the exact opposite.
He said, "There is a domain problem – traditionally India has been an advertising market, but it has seen a lot of changes. The ratio is changing the other way round in India and marketing services are growing at 30-50 per cent, whereas advertising is growing at 12-18 per cent."
He then cited examples of media proliferation, globalisation, changing consumers and media consumption habits to make Tequila's offerings very desirable to brands today. "Communication is more of participation and we at Tequila can offer that. Today's consumers are participating seamlessly and there is a huge need for these kinds of services in India," Kumar further said.
He also pointed out that Tequila\India would be actively supported by Tequila\Singapore in the areas of knowledge sharing, planning, training, cast studies and best practises. However, it should be pointed that many of Tequila's international award winning works have largely been technology driven.
Does the India market pose a hindrance on that count? "Yes and No," replied Kumar, adding, "True that customers in the West and markets like Singapore and Korea are more technology evolved, but the change in India is rapid. That said, the kind of services Tequila would provide would be not just technology driven, but also on lines of CRM, data marketing, on ground activation, channel marketing, trade promotions and so on."
While Tequila\India would team up with TBWA\India, Tequila would independently pitch for clients and hence, could work with clients with other advertising and media agencies. On that note, Kumar said, "There are a lot of people who have already approached us and you will hear some good news from us very soon."