Indigo Consulting's 2019 Focus: Productise solutions to achieve velocity

Rajesh Ghatge, CEO, Indigo Consulting, the digital marketing arm of Publicis Groupe in India, speaks to exchange4media about the company's 2019 growth plans, the talent crunch in the industry and more

Indigo

In an industry that loves media attention and is beleaguered by scam campaigns to win awards, Indigo Consulting CEO Rajesh Ghatge is not shy to say that work from his company “may not be famous, but it will move the dial for the client.” 

Ghatge, whose company tries hard to stay out of the media glare, says Indigo Consulting’s focus is purely aimed at delivering business results. 

Indigo Consulting, founded in 2000, became a part of Publicis Groupe in 2012. The company provides a range of multi-disciplinary services across fields such as strategy, analytics, UX, design, creative, social media marketing, and new-age content production. 

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Company Not Agency

He calls Indigo Consulting a company as opposed to the more common term - agency. He makes this differentiation because he wants to stay away from the “certain kind of predetermined image that comes into mind” when you use the word ‘agency’. 

The agency business is experiencing severe competition from consultancies and that is making agencies use defensive tactics to save the business. Ghatge feels that “the reason agencies are shouting from the rooftops that they are doing technology is because no one expects them to do technology that can compete with companies like IBM or Accenture.” “Hence, they are being defensive and loud about it.”  

Digital + Technology Approach

Ghatge points out that “the problem with digital is that the word has been used very loosely.” To him, “digital comprises data, platforms, media, and content. Technology is all about automation, doing things intuitively and benefiting from a collective intelligence.” He further says that Indigo Consulting includes both technology and digital with a deep understanding of both. 

Explaining how Indigo Consulting approaches a project, he says, “At Indigo, we don’t start with whether we create an app, web solution or product or a service for the brand. We first ask: What is your business opportunity or problem? Indigo then uses a process called ‘play’ to find the right solution. The solution could require a high technology integration or a simple content piece.”

The key focus for Indigo Consulting is consumer success, Ghatge says. “We have start-up clients and large clients in the tech, BFSI, FMCG and telecom spaces. Each of these companies are looking for business success and business success comes from consumer success. So, if Indigo has to remain relevant to its clients then we need to drive effective consumer experiences. We want to be the most-effective business transformation and brand transformation company.” 

To do so, we “derive insight from data, achieve engagement through creativity, and frictionless delivery through technology,” he adds. 
 
Talent Crunch

Breaking down the dearth of good talent in the industry, Ghatge says, “Pure play technology professionals are not always open to work at an agency and the agency talent is getting dated in the sense that traditional talent is not relevant for the kind of work we are now doing.” 

Therefore, “We have transformed our entire technology team and started robust talent development programmes,” he says. Indigo Consulting has launched in-house training programmes to help employees understand platforms, businesses in addition to developing their core capabilities. He says that Indigo Consulting works with a diverse group of talent. This includes a YouTube influencer who helps with influencer marketing campaigns and a person who has been a financial advisor to BFSI company who assists on BFSI clients. 

Future Focus

Indigo Consulting is well-known for its digital interventions for BFSI brands, building entire digital ecosystems for brands. In fact, the company’s first-ever client HSBC Bank continues to work with Indigo Consulting to date. Ghatge tells us that Indigo Consulting is already working on leveraging Voice for its BFSI clients. 

Voice is already being hailed as the next frontier for brands and data from Google shows that 27 per cent of all search is in voice currently. “One end voice becomes a replacement for typing, helps improve service quality, and has a direct impact on the reduction of the cost for service. On the other it can also be used in conversation commerce. This is where you can create a personalised conversation with a consumer through a voice assistant/bot using previous conversation history.” 

What clients are paranoid about is ‘velocity’, Ghatge says, quickly adding that this is not a factor many talk about. “Velocity is the rate at which one can take a product/service to market. So we have been building processes to drive velocity.” 

“We want to be able to productise solutions to drive velocity and serve similar solutions to all our clients,” he adds. The aim is to reduce the time taken between ideating solutions, building products, and going to market with these solutions. He also wants to be able to perform R&D on these emerging technologies and platforms to prepare for the future. Huge capability in competency building. The requirement in the industry is changing and we need to change with that. 

As Indigo Consulting continues to build expertise across various verticals, Ghatge is looking forward to work on Publicis Groupe’s AI platform Marcel that will let his team collaborate with the best in the field across Publicis Groupe’s agencies globally. Marcel is expected to be rolled out in India in phases over the course of 2019. 

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