Asia, the agency founded by Raj Kurup after he quit Grey Worldwide, is expanding its operations. The one year old agency has decided to venture into the South Indian market by opening an office in Kochi by the end of September. The agency has scheduled a third office, also in South India, soon after.
The Kochi office is home to the CLA Lab, India's first creative laboratory for communication, brand and marketing ideas.
The CLA Lab is a laboratory for planning and idea generation. It will be used by Creativeland Asia's advertising and marketing employees, their partners and the agency's partner agencies in Asia. The lab is a dedicated space to generate workshop ideas, test new ideas, and test and launch new advertising and marketing concepts and strategies. The lab will serve as a place where young people can stay and think up ideas and create content. It will be an ideal location for international and domestic creative and marketing conferences and workshops.
When asked why he chose Kochi and not a major city like Chennai or Bengaluru, Kurup says, "Nowhere in India can you find such a mixture of a Rs 1,200 crore advertising industry, an exotic and picturesque city, and an educated market with huge international exposure, especially to West Asia. It's a city where most of the people have international exposure."
The CLA Lab will be managed by Sudheer Krishnan, who will join Creativeland Asia as head, South, in September. Krishnan comes from TBWA Kochi, where he was vice-president. He will look after the entire Southern operations, including Kochi and the soon to be started third office.
Krishnan has spent 10 years of his 21 year career in the advertising industry. Over the years, he has worked at agencies such as SSC&B Lintas (now Pickle Advertising) and TBWA. He started his career in sales at a pharmaceutical company and then moved to sell space for The Hindu.
Krishnan played an integral part in strengthening and building strong brand equity for TBWA in the Southern market. Under his leadership, TBWA bagged the title of Agency of the Year in 2007 and was the first runner up in 2008 at Pepper, the biggest industry related event in the South.
Krishnan has worked on brands such as Malayala Manorama, IBS Software, Hindustan Lever Ltd, Harrisons Malayalam Ltd, Coats India, Tally, Acer, Birla 3M Ltd, LIC Housing Finance Ltd, Bajaj Allianz, Sapat Tea, BPL Mobile Communications Ltd, Sonata Software Ltd, Mascot Systems and BPL.
Speaking to afaqs! about his move, Krishnan says, "I have known Raj since quite some time and I have always wanted to work with him. I am equally excited about Raj setting up the creative lab in Kochi as this is the only way of being in touch with future talent." He adds, "Also, my job will enable me to travel all over South India."
Kurup adds, "Sudheer is a very enthusiastic person and a passionate believer in brands. He is responsible for putting TBWA South on the map by winning at Pepper."
The CLA Lab will be the highlight of the agency and will provide opportunities and space for members of Youngcreative.org, the youth wing of Creativeland Asia. Kurup concludes, "The only thing that differentiates Creativeland from its competition is the quality of ideas we produce. Every investment we make at Creativeland is keeping just that one thing in mind. It's a great place to find answers."