Debashis Bose, CEO, Hakuhodo Percept, has put in his papers. He, along with Sangeeta Sen who was heading creative as Vice President at Hakuhodo, is partnering with Reet Singh Ahluwalia of Arms Communications to setup a 50:50 joint venture named Arms Crestra. Bose joins in as MD and CEO of the new agency. The pure brand communications agency is single-mindedly focussed on brand strategy and creative development for its clients.
A veteran in advertising and marketing with 25 years of experience, Bose said about his new role, “Our core competence is strategy and creative, and even our name reflects this focus. ‘Crestra’ is a synthesis of creative and strategy. Our differential is media-neutral creative concepts that are expressed across a 360-degree bandwidth of consumer touch points, executed jointly with our integrated marketing communications partners.”
After completing Chemical Engineering followed by a MBA from FMS Delhi, Bose has worked in blue-chip companies like Asian Paints, Modi Olivetti and India Today, before joining advertising as a strategic planner at Ulka. He held senior-level positions at Everest and Interact Vision before joining the Percept Group as CEO of Hakuhodo Percept. He is credited with setting up Hakuhodo Percept from scratch and leading it to success and its current stature for more than seven years.
Sangeeta Sen, who is Executive Director and Chief Creative Officer at Arms Crestra, has more than 16 years of experience as a creative person in advertising. She has worked on brands such as Maruti, Sony and Apple Computer. Sen has worked in agencies like RK Swamy BBDO, FCB Ulka, and the Mudra Group.
Reet Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman, Arms Group, said, “We see great synergies in this partnership and expect Arms Crestra to play a significant role in the group’s growth trajectory. Arms Communications will continue as an independent agency with its own operating philosophy and portfolio of strong Indian clients.” While talking about the difference that Arms Crestra brings to an already cluttered advertising industry, Bose said, “Most of the large advertising networks draw on their relationship management strengths rather than tracking and understanding consumers and searching for that elusive insight that can be the springboard for a brilliant creative idea. Even their creativity is superficial and geared towards winning awards rather than mind share. At Arms Crestra, we leverage our unique branding process ‘Imageneering’ that defines and stays true to the brand’s DNA. And once the creative is conceptualised, we execute it across touch points through our proprietary integrated marketing communications process: ‘Orcrestra’ that delivers more than just ATL communication.”
He added, “We believe that the industry is going through an inflexion point wherein cronyism will be replaced by clients who will demand that their advertising agencies be genuine brand custodians rather than merely crackle and fizz like last year’s Diwali sparkler. An annual brand communications audit of roster agencies by clients is a concept that’s overdue and its time large ad agencies woke up from their siesta.”
Arms Crestra already has a portfolio of clients like Uppal’s Housing, Minda, Blackberrys, Switch Masters and Uppal Vornado, for which it is readying campaigns that will release in the next two months.