Starcom launches new agency, Future Works, exclusively for Future Group

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Planning & Buying | January 10, 2007
This initiative is similar to that of GroupM's MindShare Fulcrum, a media agency dedicated to servicing the HLL business. Future Works will be headed by Dinesh Rathore, who was earlier at Starcom, Bengaluru

The Starcom

MediaVest Group has rolled out a new agency, Future Works, which will handle the Rs 200 crore Future Group business on an exclusive basis. Starcom won this business in December 2006. The initiative is similar to that of GroupM's MindShare Fulcrum, a media agency dedicated to servicing the HLL business. In fact, Starcom has a similar structure in the US; its second agency, GM Planworks, was formed solely for the purpose of handling the General Motors business.

According to Ravi Kiran, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group, South Asia, the formation of an agency exclusively for the Future Group has less to do with the scale of the business and more to do with exploring opportunities in the booming retail sector. "As organised retail is a sunrise industry, there are a number of opportunities just waiting to be tapped," he says. Further, he says that since the Future Group has been around for five years, it has somewhat of a first mover advantage. "But because the sector itself requires so much detailing, special attention and expertise need to be allotted to handling this business," he explains.

Ravi Kiran

Dinesh Rathore
Future Works will be headed by Dinesh Rathore, who looked after Starcom's Bengaluru branch till recently. Rathore will be designated general manager, India, Future Works. He has been with the Starcom MediaVest Group for seven years. Prior to that, he was with Mudra in Ahmedabad. He will report to Manish Porwal, MD, Starcom India, West and South.

When asked why the new outfit was called Future Works, Kiran has two things to say. "Firstly, the word 'future' in Future Works quite obviously resembles the name of the business it will service. This gives it more focus on its sole client," he says. "But on a more serious note, the name implies that the new agency is ready to face the challenges of tomorrow in the retail sector."

Future Works will function as an independent agency, but will draw upon the strengths of Starcom, including its proprietary tools, processes and support system as and when needed.

Future Works hopes to redefine a few concepts in media and strategic planning. For one, it hopes to eradicate the term, return on investment (ROI), and replace it with return on objectives or ROO. ROO, according to Kiran, is a broader term that not only takes into account monies, but also market shares, intention to buy, relevance of strategic activities to the brand and so on. Further, ROO will check into day-to-day measurement of the relevant footfalls as opposed to purely measuring the number of footfalls. This is needed because retail is a response-driven, dynamic business.

"We are changing our performance delivery criteria by going beyond insertions and grabbing eyeballs," says Porwal.

Future Works' second pillar is that of delivering brand experiences and thereby moving away from exposure to engagement.

For the record, the creative duties for the Future Group are with Mudra, Percept/H and Marching Ants. Sanjeev Agarwal, president, marketing, Future Group, clarifies that the creative duties are unlikely to be consolidated with any one agency as of now.

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