Delhi-based advertising agency Confluence Communication is hunting aggressively for new businesses. The agency's Delhi and Kolkata offices have won new accounts worth around Rs 6 crore. While Delhi has got basmati rice brand Resham (Rs 3 crore) from iB&W and Western TV (Rs 2 - Rs 2.5 crore), Kolkata has got Herbicure (Rs 1 crore). All the three gains were a result of cold calls.
The Resham brand is owned by a Kurukshetra-based company United Rice Land. This multi-national company exports basmati rice under the brand name Tilda to the US, the UK and the Middle East. It is the same brand that has been sold in India for the last seven years under the Resham banner. Though Resham is a relatively young brand in the market compared to players like Kohinoor, that have been around for more than 15 years, it is the largest selling brand in some states like Gujarat, claims the company. Some strong markets of Resham include Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Last year, Resham was launched in four states of the south - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
United Rice Land plans to take Resham national. It is leveraging the regional and national media to promote the brand. The ad campaign, which is expected to break around Diwali, is a mix of TV and print. The communication is pegged on the 'purity' of the basmati rice. "The idea is to position Resham as the only pure and unmixed basmati. Other popular basmati rice brands are mixed with (evolved rice such as) PUSA or Sharbati," says Indranil Chatterjee, executive director, Confluence.
The other new brand in Confluence's kitty Western TV, which has been slowly edged out of urban homes, is still popular in satellite towns. According to the agency, Western TV has a market share of 10 per cent in some pockets of Punjab and has a considerable presence in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The task for the agency, therefore, is to revive the brand and restore it to its erstwhile glory. Tapas Gupta, president & CEO, Confluence, says, "The market outside of the big cities is huge. In fact, most of the domestic TV sales are coming from semi-urban and rural India. So the gamelan is to enhance brand recall and increase sales in small towns. Therefore all communication will be focused in print and in the regional media." The campaign is slated for a pre-Diwali launch.
Meanwhile, the Kolkata branch is busy working on Asmakure, the new over-the-counter drug for asthma patients. The brand is owned by Herbicure, is a Kolkata-based Ayurvedic drugs company and owners of Spirulina (which is handled by O&M). Currently, Asmakure is available in parts of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and the north-eastern states. The national launch of Asmakure is due in six months. Two more products from Herbicure, the names of which the agency doesn't want to disclose, would be launched in February and April next year. For this brand too, the focus will be print.
The new-found aggression of Confluence is part of a bigger plan to make a 60 per cent jump in its turnover this year, taking it up to Rs 34 crore against Rs 21 crore last year. By 2002-2003, the agency hopes to touch the Rs 50-crore mark. To reach this figure, it is expanding geographically too. Confluence hopes its Bangalore branch will be operational in six months' time. Once Bangalore takes off, Confluence will have a total of four branches (the other three being in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata). Simultaneously, the agency is working at launching its events management company Confluence Events by March 2002.
For the record, the agency has seen some top-level reshuffling in the recent past. Indranil Chatterjee has taken charge of the Delhi office as executive director. He joined from iB&W where he was director and CEO. Tapas Gupta, in his redefined role, would overlook the overall business development of the agency. That would involve supervising all the branch offices too.
© agencyfaqs! 2001