What we really live by is relevant insight: Ashish Khazanchi

Khazanchi, Managing Partner, Enormous Brands, tells us how the agency has been navigating a challenging pandemic year, which has been rewarding on the new business front

e4m by Christina Moniz
Updated: Apr 23, 2021 2:40 PM
Ashish Khazanchi

2020 was the year that saw many agencies improvise and innovate to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic. Ashish Khazanchi, Managing Partner, Enormous Brands explains how his agency sought to drive inorganic growth in the past year and how relevant insight gives them an edge over bigger agencies in a competitive industry.

Edited excerpts:

The past year has been a hugely challenging one for the industry. Give us a sense of what the big learnings and highlights have been for you at Enormous this past year.

It was around the time of the lockdown last year that we completed seven years too. So last year also became the time that we started to re-look at the whole business and envision what the next couple of years would be like. One of the things we started was equity participations with very solid start-ups. So we have looked at people with funding and strong credentials. We have looked at the entire business of communications in a new way. With big mass media campaigns and TV campaigns taking a backseat, our approach has been basically about how to drive all these businesses by creating a narrative for them on every single platform whether it is e-commerce, content marketing or social media.

Even though this past one year has been tough on all of us, not just in the agency but also across the industry, one of the things we have done well is staying proactive. That’s what the future will be about. So, what we've also done is we also started working with clients in markets like Africa and the US. That was one of the initiatives we took to drive growth inorganically and we’re happy with the way things are working out so far. I believe the year 2021-22 will be fairly large for us, and we still have some big, significant announcements that we will be able to share in some time.

Now that you’ve completed seven years as an agency, can you give me a sense of what the size of the agency is currently, in terms of volume of business and even in terms of people?

So we are about 70 to 75 odd people across Delhi and Mumbai. And we do have fairly substantial relationships, both in these cities and also in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata. So I would say we would be amongst one of the top three independent creative agencies in the country. About volume of business, we do not divulge those numbers

In percentage terms, what is the kind of growth you’ve seen year-on-year in the past couple of years?

We've always grown, at least at about 25%-30% every year.

And during the pandemic last year?

During COVID, we definitely de-grew, though I would say not by all that much asmost others. Many of our clients froze their spends and some big projects kind of fell through, but we expect things to pick up during this year.

Do you think the agency will be back to pre-pandemic billings this year?

I think, the way we are going, we will in fact surpass that.

Tell us about the business wins the agency has seen in the last year. How challenging has it been to pick up new businesses?

It has really been a trying time for all – the agencies and the clients. But, if there is one thing that can define Enormous, it is the insane amount of drive and hunger that we have – all our people are very driven. So I would say we have done extremely well on the new business front. We have picked up accounts like Shriram Housing Finance, Jubilant, Shaze and IDFC last year. Recently, as you know, we picked up accounts like Rapido, Kapiva and Howzat. Given the hunger and passion the team has shown, we expect to continue this winning streak for the rest of the year as well.

What is the kind of edge that a smaller, independent agency like Enormous holds versus the bigger outfits?

I think there are two parts of it. What we really live by is relevant insight – we will not pitch if we do not have the right insights or strong enough insights for the businesses we are targeting. So I think what we do at Enormous is not just chase or develop a brilliant creative idea or concept but we attach great importance to the insights on which we build these concepts.

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