A 'Jumpstart' for start-ups

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Planning & Buying | October 28, 2009
Starcom MediaVest Group has started an initiative to help out young start-ups

Starcom MediaVest Group South Asia has announced a new initiative named Project Jumpstart, under which it will support start-ups and ambitious small companies in the marketing and communication business, so that they can achieve scale rapidly.

One of the first companies that will be covered under this initiative is Milestone Brandcom, an out-of-home media network headquartered in Mumbai. Milestone Brandcom was created by a group of seasoned professionals from the OOH industry, led by Nabendu Bhattacharya, who was, till recently, president at Ogilvy Action.

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The chief executive officer of Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) South Asia, Ravi Kiran says, "Ideally, we want all the best talent in the market to work for us and our clients. In practice though, many young and ambitious people in this part of the world want to be entrepreneurs today, rather than formal employees."

Project Jumpstart is an attempt to create a mutually beneficial relationship, which helps SMG leverage the energy, drive and creativity of start-ups and small companies; and in turn, helps start-ups benefit from the management and intellectual and operational depth of the organisation.

Kiran adds, "After an uncharacteristically lacklustre year, the out-of-home industry in India is on the verge of a major rebound. We believe this is the best time to take new steps and forge new alliances. We like the vision of Milestone, and the passion demonstrated by Nabendu and his team. Their collective experience and strong media owner relationships sets them up for success, and we are happy to lend them our support as they get started."

Nabendu Bhattacharya, CEO, Milestone Brandcom, says, "The fundamental texture of the out-of-home business in India is changing. And it is our belief that active collaboration between like- minded companies, rather than outdated models based purely on dominance and control, will start creating value for clients from now."

He feels that genuine innovation, application of market-leading technologies and real-world planning capabilities will create differentiation for OOH agency networks in the future.

SMG and Milestone Brandcom have recently signed an MoU.

Under the arrangement, the two companies will collaborate aggressively in several areas, aimed at bringing greater transparency and accountability to OOH and ambient marketing as a discipline and enhancing return on client investment and objectives.

These include customisation and application of international tools and best practices, development of India-specific planning and measurement frameworks, import and application of new OOH display and production technologies, development and licensing of IP based ideas and structured assets, and technology enabled near-real-time monitoring and tracking systems and management dashboards.

Navia Asia, the OOH arm under Starcom MediaVest Group -- which manages the OOH needs of clients of all VivaKi media brands in India as well as its AOR clients -- will continue to operate independent of this arrangement.