Anirban Das Blah on 'KWAN'tifying relationships

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : February 22, 2010
After a three month journey, the new company saw a formal launch. Blah discusses the focus areas, the journey and plans

A scene from the 1996 sports based Tom Cruise starrer, Jerry Maguire, has footballer Rod Tidwell say to his agent Maguire (essayed by Cruise), "It's not just the money I deserve. It's not just the 'coin'. It's the Kwan."

Aptly drawing from the insight, Anirban Das Blah, who quit sports and celebrity management company Globosport as chief executive officer last year to set up his own entertainment and marketing solutions venture, christened it 'KWAN'.

Without much fanfare, KWAN was launched about three months ago, although the formal announcement came only a few days ago.

"KWAN essentially means having a relationship with your clients based not on money alone. There's a bond that goes beyond financial and is built on mutual respect, trust and a sense of community. Since these are the very values that differentiate us from our competitors, no name can encapsulate them better than this," says Blah, managing director, KWAN.

The company works across a gamut of opportunities from talent representation and live experiences to product deliverables via entertainment platforms. It operates across various entertainment driven verticals and markets, including celebrity endorsements and management, film casting and marketing, events, celebrity brand building strategy, managing music led platforms and artists, fashion events and talent management and sports.

Why the decision to have a formal launch three months later? "I don't believe starting a company is a news-worthy piece of information. I think it is only news-worthy if you have a concrete and tangible track record of establishing and implementing a fairly unique business model. We feel that today, after having completed 165 transactions over the last three months, we're not merely talking about a theoretical concept but acting out something tangible and measurable," says a confident Blah.

For now, KWAN exclusively represents clients such as Bollywood actors Freida Pinto, Genelia D'Souza, Soha Ali Khan, Jiah Khan, Mugdha Godse, Raima Sen and Mahesh Babu, Ram Charan Tej, Allu Arjun, Kajal Aggarwal from the South, Sunidhi Chauhan and Vasundhara Das from the music world and directors such as Anurag Kashyap and Abbas Tyrewala.

KWAN also works closely yet non-exclusively with John Abraham and Ranbir Kapoor, among others. It recently closed deals such as John Players and Virgin Mobiles. Through the company, John Abraham was recently signed on to be the face of LG mobiles, along with D'Souza and Abhay Deol.

The company also represents models and photographers in the fashion space and is looking at strengthening its hold in the field of fashion by tapping into a larger chunk of the fashion space. It has also lent its support to the IPL teams - Bangalore Royal Challengers, Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab with regard to brand led sponsorships and tie ups.

Blah reveals that the company has a number of sports properties in the pipeline and is in the process of signing its first sportsman.

Discussing the three month journey, Blah shares that it has been very exciting and fulfilling. "The part that I value the most over the past three months is the fact that this has been a journey that has been enjoyable on a daily basis for everyone involved. The fact that I was able to continue working with largely the same team helped since the experience they brought to the table made a huge difference and made it all the more easy in distinguishing us from the workings of a start-up company," he says.

First Published : February 22, 2010

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