Paulomi Dhawan, former vice-president and chief buyer with The MediaEdge, is joining the Rs 1,800 crore textiles and apparel major, Raymond Ltd. Dhawan, who put in her papers at Rediffusion and Everest's $10-billion media management company last month, is scheduled to join Raymond in the first week of May.
"I will be part of the Raymond corporate set-up looking into all media decisions, corporate communications and public relations," she disclosed. Elaborating further, she said: "It is a very prestigious group, growing beyond textiles. The challenge before me would be to not only drive media-buying but also manage effective strategic brand communications." Dhawan will drive media decisions at the group level. "The challenge for me is if I can add value to the advertiser," she added. Dhawan refused to share more details on both the new set-up and her immediate priorities.
On being asked about her reason to switch, Dhawan said: "This was an interesting opportunity that came about to look at advertising from an advertiser's perspective." Dhawan teams up again with Nabankur Gupta, group president, Raymond Ltd. The two share a long partnership given Gupta's previous stint as director of marketing at Videocon and Dhawan's work on the account at iB&W and as president, Media Supermarket (the strategic buying and selling of iB&W). In fact, her work on Videocon won her the best planner and buyer award of 1995 from Media Meet.
One of the duo's more notable projects was what they termed the 'roadblock strategy'. It was launched during the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Videocon bought time on non-sports channels coinciding with the match-breaks on sports channels. In effect, Videocon ads blocked those channels all through. The idea was to capture viewers just when they surfed during the breaks. It proved cost-effective given the high rates of ad spots on sports channels and the corresponding clutter. Dhawan was instrumental in choosing the channels, programmes and `break-in' slots for a day-wise and match-wise execution strategy based on data analysis.
agencyfaqs! loyalists will remember our last story on Raymond discussing options for joint media buying with the Rs 3,000-crore Videocon International. Videocon, as a group, buys media worth over Rs 120 crore annually while Raymond's advertising spend is close to Rs 50 crore or so. The two companies buy media in-house to date. They already partner on hoardings, but that is at a basic level. Gupta is being seen as the brain behind the strategic thought of strengthening buying power by teaming up with his former employer. Dhawan may play a key role in this initiative.
Dhawan, who handled key accounts like Colgate, SOTC, Eenadu and Telco at The MediaEdge for close to a year, brings with her over two decades of experience in strategic planning and buying. But given the profile of her proposed work, would PR and corporate communications be a new challenge? "I have done similar work in iB&W and Media Supermarket. iB&W had spun off a media unit which handled not only media buying and planning but also PR and events," she replies. "With the proliferation of media options, the clutter levels and the investments in brand communications, you have to look at 360 degree seamless solutions."
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