Modi's re-election is great news for the Digital space: Sabyasachi Mitter, Fulcro
Mitter, Managing Director, Fulcro, spoke to exchange4media about rebranding ibs to Fulcro, the company’s growth prospective and more
Digital has a huge spectrum, starting from SEO, AI machine learning, social media to creative, but it's not necessary that a great digital service provider is also a great creative service, said Sabyasachi Mitter, Managing Director, Fulcro.
Reminising what brought the need to rebrand ibs to Fulcro, Mitter went back to highlight the digital scenario two years back. "It started when Digital became the buzz word and a few IT consultancies like TCS and Deloitte started approaching the brand CXOs convincing them to go for digital transformation thereby offering them digital services through their digital arms. The senior MDs of the brands started asking the agencies about what was our digital strategy but only the consultancies were providing them the only answers. At that point, apart from us many other agencies started to loose clients to the digital arms of these consultancies and many digital agencies were sold out to withstand this kind of a market pressure.
So we decided to redefine ourselves as the old business was dying and I wanted to stay a little longer as I believed that the digital boom is yet to come. At one point, ibs appeared not so relevant for the expanding digital space because it was tightly linked to be a traditional digital agency and had no brand story. So with the help of an image consultant we created a new brand which we named 'Fulcro' that comes from 'Fulcrum' a spanish word that means a propeller which truly defines our brand story. With start-ups looking at exponential growth, Fulcro delivers the ‘fulcrum’ for exponential growth to brands."
Talking about the transformation from ibs to Fulcro from being a digital agency to having 5 verticles of the company Sabyasachi Mitter said, "Fulcro is not one company.We decided to create centres of excellence and 5 different verticles to be identified as independent business entities.So we gave up all our custom development and now we are into Adobe Implementation Partner, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner etc."
Further elaborating on the 5 vertical and the team, Mitter said, "Fulcro Technology competes against tech companies and not against the digital agencies which is headed by Akhilesh Sabharwal - Senior VP, Fulcro technology. Last year, we won a pitch against Infosys for Adobe Marketing Cloud at Bajaj Electricals. Similarly, Fulcro Digital will compete with all digital agencies and Fulcro communication will compete against main line agencies, headed by Jugal Kathuria - VP, Fulcro Digital and communication. Abhishek Mehta is VP Fulcro Media and I take care of Fulcro Data," Mitter added. Fulcro is a team of 150 people based in Mumbai and Gurgaon.
"Moreover, it became a great opportunity for us, as brands now have a significant amount of money to invest. We started moving to Adobe marketing cloud and Adobe experience manager to spend on best in every digital service. Earlier the brands had budgets of 2-4% and did not have the bandwidth to afford 10 agencies and one agency would do everything. But now digital budgets have gone up 25-30% as digital has become significant to businesses and they want the best agency in each vertical."
On Fulcro's rebranding preposition to clients, Mitter says, "We position ourselves under the umbrella of Fulcro which is a consulting business transformation vertical. We have a lot of senior CMOs under the consulting verticals like Sanjay Tripathi, ex-HDFC Life CMO who's working with us on TATA Motors project. Under the consulting verticals, we have 5 vertices and have structured ourselves like consultancies but we are also working in a cost-efficient way. So for our clients we are their partners in the digital transformation journey. If they want to work only on one vertical, we can do that, but also provide them inputs to optimise the digital journey relevant to create a business impact. So the pitch to the client is that if you deal with our technology team, it is different from our digital or communication team since earlier the same people used to serve both the requirements."
Talking about the growth prospective, Mitter said: "Our ambition is to double the growth in 3 years. We are at Rs 50 crore today and want to reach Rs 100 crore and the profit target we ambitiously chasing is Rs 10 crore before 3 financial years. I am often asked that with double the growth will you double the manpower, but I believe that sometimes smarter deployment of resources and technologies can help you attain growth without having to hire people."
Talking about the change in demands from marketers, Mitter pointed out the fundamental difference by saying, "Today, Digital is becoming critical to the business success and not marketing success of a brand. For example, TATA Motors was struggling from converging leads from its own digital communities and was relying only on its retail sales, while others like Ford had 30% conversions from digital to retail sales. So, TSMG signed us to be their digital consultant to make their digital transformation journey possible."
Addressing about the challenges, Mitter said, "The primary challenge today is that the marketing departments are also responsible to bring out tangible end outcomes through digital. So you make a campaign, it makes a lead, the lead converts and you know how much revenue you make out of that, who are the customers and so the ROI is also very clear and traceable with digital. So now just from thinking creative we have to evolve to think of the business intent of the client and how do we deliver that."
Talking about the future projects, Mitter talked about the digital-first launch of Hero Motor Corp scheduled to be launched next month. "So, we had to create an entire business plan for the brand in terms of how the vehicle will be launched at the showrooms to engage consumers. So now we are engaging at a much higher lever in the value chain as we start afresh with a new brand."
On touching the international frontiers, Mitter said: "We do some off-shore work in Singapore and are looking forward to reaching the US for some of the back office work, especially on the Adobe Cloud, since there are a lot of Adobe implementations in the US that we intend to tap and to get more offshore work for the technology vertical. We are not looking at digital and communication to go to the US since you need to know the native flavour of a market to create campaigns, and you need a native team there but at least technology works."
Talking on the prospects for the digital world with Modi coming to power Mitter says, "I think it's going to be great for digital, that is evident from the fact that the way BJP used digital I would have been proud to do those campaigns, the way they created the 'Main Bhi Chowkidar campaign' and they distributed it without putting any money, only propagation through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp groups and subgroups. The way the content was shaped was a great success and it is not easy to do what they do in digital without television. If you can deliver that kind of impact to every village, that is the biggest game changer to get the results that Modi received that sets an example for what effect a digital campaign can deliver.”
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