Quadrant Communications: Of woolly mammoths & open team effort

Quadrant Communications registered a growth of 25-30 per cent in 2010 and is looking to further consolidate that growth in 2011. Quadrant’s Rajan Narayan and Puneet Garg share how…

e4m by Shubhangi Mehta
Updated: Mar 7, 2011 3:51 PM
Quadrant Communications: Of woolly mammoths & open team effort

Quadrant Communications registered a growth of 25-30 per cent in 2010, as informed by President & Chief Executive, Rajan Narayan. The agency is now looking to consolidate this growth further in 2011 and, as reported by exchange4media earlier this year, Quadrant has already bagged three news businesses – Keys Hotels & Resorts, Faber-Castell and Cinemax.

Started in the year 1998, Quadrant Communications believes in experiencing the thrill in selling the process of advertising to people, more than merely pitching for a business.

Stating that Quadrant had won some good businesses in 2010, which led to a business growth of Rs 12-15 crore, Narayan added, “In India, in terms of business there is a huge explosion that is happening and this is being driven by young entrepreneurs. The old established companies are of course doing well, but the actual economic growth is happening with the growth of many young companies that are growing. These young companies are looking out for partners, most large agencies do not have the temperament to partner such companies and these are the companies that are approaching Quadrant.”

However, the agency has not generated too much buzz in the past and the reason for this, according to Narayan and Puneet Garg, Head - Strategic Planning, was that they were not very good at PR.

“As opposed to many larger agencies, Quadrant reaches out to clients who have to be told about the very concept of what a client is and what effective communication is,” explained Narayan, “So, we have to start partnering with them at the first principal level.”

Citing some recent examples, he said, “For instance, the way we sold the concept of communication to Keys Hotels & Resorts, they showed us the kind of advertising they wanted us to work on and it was a benchmark for them. Our work was to move that from that particular level to a higher level, which was not that easy, but the joy of doing that and the trust that the client develops with the kind of work you show them is the most satisfying factor. We don’t look at clients as just an outlet for TVCs, but we also believe in helping them establish their business. Since we don’t go about talking too much, so obviously our energies are focused more on our work. Rajiv Dubey, Head of After-Market Sector for Mahindra & Mahindra, has said that the one piece of advertising that we created for ‘First Choice’ for them stood out most amongst all their advertising. For us, this is the actual reward for our work.”

He further said that Quadrant approached smaller clients that agencies usually did not and claimed that small and regional players like Pravin Masale, Pune, Gemini Oil, and Sansui were among brands that had grown by leaps and bounds after joining hands with Quadrant.

Planning at Quadrant
Elaborating on the agency’s work process Puneet Garg explained, “We have made an uncertain process, process driven. There have been times when the pitching process has become a kind of discovery for clients, where even they get involved in the presentation with their thought process.”

Citing the case of Faber Castell Premium Writing Instruments, Garg said that persistent questions and planning for such products went beyond regular planning. “Regular planning will give some powerful advertising, but a luxury brand has a magic about it, which is about storytelling, and storytelling is a wholly different approach,” he noted.

Continuing with some more examples, Garg said, “What we found was that the client hadn’t sorted themselves or the stories behind their products. For instance, the process of creation of one of their limited edition pens began in Siberia. They had dug out ‘woolly mammals’, which are now extinct, from fossil ice and the pens were made with their ivory, which were first dried for five years and were crafted by a craftsman from Germany skilled in such work. So, when you buy that pen, it’s not just a pen, it is a piece of geological history of this planet. Now, this is a story. So, we dug out these stories, crafted them, and gave them back to the client. When Count Faber Castell came down from Germany, he was amazed to see such communication and he complimented the Indian team for having done something like this. Adding value to a 250-year old brand is actual value addition.”

Speaking about the agency’s progress over the years, Rajan said, “We have grown at a rate of 45 per cent over this period of time. We have a team which consists of Puneet, Abraham, Deepa, Anirudh, Praseed, Sunil and me. In the last 3-4 years, we have moved on from being a single company dependent agency, which was Videocon. Today, we have become completely independent of Videocon and grown at 45 per cent. We are working with Bajaj, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Mutual Fund, besides the new account wins. This list shows that we have a whole set of big Indian brands as well as upcoming and independent business houses. This in itself speaks about our growth. We work on an incredible open team effort.”

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