The target is to get ‘10 on 10’ from clients: Ajit Varghese

Maxus has had a good year, both on new wins and on awards front. Maxus’s South Asia MD speaks on what has worked for the agency

e4m by Noor Fathima Warsia
Updated: Aug 21, 2012 11:41 PM
The target is to get ‘10 on 10’ from clients: Ajit Varghese

After a relatively quieter 2011 and the early months of 2012, the year has eventually become a busy one for Maxus India. The agency has won the media mandates of World Gold Council, all brands of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting except Santoor, Unicharm’s Sofy, Panasonic corporate, Discovery Communications India and Mathrubhumi. Also Mannapuram Finance consolidated its media business with Maxus this year. According to Maxus’ South Asia MD, Ajit Varghese the wins reiterate Maxus as one of the fastest growing agencies in India.

Growing by increasing market share has been a key attribute for Maxus over the years. But has the agency delivered on lines of its targets? Varghese replied, “The year is going as per expectations. We normally target 10 per cent of growth through the inorganic route. That said, we are not as worried about market share as we are about doing good work for the brands, ability to change with times, ability to deliver integrated product and an entrepreneurial culture in our teams. The rest will happen if we get these going constantly. The target for us internally has been to get a ‘10 out of 10’ from our clients.”

Varghese informed Maxus has been growing at a 30 per cent CAGR over the years. “When we grow at this rate, we do make conscious choice to go slow and quiet for some time because we need to focus and build our capabilities continuously to deliver the best product to our clients. Getting leadership time away, for chasing growth or just being seen on industry platforms, from client business is a challenge. For e.g. the first half of 2012 has been extremely busy in spite of lower growth but we are investing time to improve our product and to help prepare for times ahead. We are working on rolling our relationship media product, evaluating tools that can help is RoI in media agnostic way and so on,” he explained.

Apart from growth, Maxus has been amongst the higher awarded agencies at various industry forums. In 2012 so far, Maxus have been awarded Digital Agency of the Year at exchange4meda Indian Digital Media Awards. It has won 12 metals, including seven in digital creative, at the Abby awards at GoaFest. The agency has also won at the Festival of Media Awards 2012 and has 19 shortlists in Emvie Awards. “We are happy that clients are willing to put their trust in us that there is a confident team to help deliver the change that their brands are looking for in the media world.”

Getting its value-add quotient right
Earlier this year Maxus re-focussed on its content function ESP and hired a dedicated hand for the role. “ESP is very important practice for us going forward. Shailja Vohra has joined Maxus from a programming and acquisition background and we are already seeing change in the thinking and use of content versus doing the standard advertiser funded programmes. Obviously M Suku’s coming back to GroupM after a few years is of great help. It has helped us look at the field freshly, invest in new tie-ups and increase our ability to deliver across all passions for the consumer such as films, music, entertainment, sports, celebrities, partnerships. The big differentiator is content, which can truly help deliver great media-neutral story telling for brands with consumer at the core.”

The other area Maxus has developed is its digital offer. “Digital gives us freedom to combine data, insights, technology and creativity. We have been investing in this field to have a 35+ strong team in combination with 250+ business people in all fields of digital display, search, social, mobile, tech specialists and creative. This is all on top of the power of GroupM network and support. It is working for us but we are all learning. The platform or medium is only for people who can constantly evolve, observe and adapt technology to help deliver for brands. There is no expert here, everybody is a student,” said Varghese.

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