Milestone Outland, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Milestone Brandcom, was launched recently to cater to the needs of brands in rural areas, and Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities of India.
The new vertical will have a 50 member team by the end of year and will operate from the 42 offices of Milestone Brandcom. Its first campaign will be for Binani Cements, to be launched on May 15 across India.
Speaking about the new vertical, Bhattacharyya says, "Launching of Milestone Outland is a natural progression to Milestone Brandcom as we are already dealing in out of home (OOH), experiential marketing, retail outlet design and others; now, we are foraying into the rural and Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and towns. The time is right for us because we have established our brand and we are already working with more than 100 brands."
He adds that the new vertical will offer static visibility and carry out product promotions and demonstrations for brands.
Talking about his new mandate, Sundaram says, "My first job will be to hire the right people and put the processes in place."
Milestone Outland has put up a creative and knowledge team to provide solutions to the marketers' needs in these regions as the brand's usual creative agencies are not always able to connect with these people.
Bhattacharyya sees foraying into rural areas as a huge opportunity and expects the first year's operation billing to be close to Rs 100 crore. He adds that with a huge population of the country staying in the rural areas, the next level of growth will come from this region.
The new vertical also plans to invest money on properties such as local melas and fairs as these are the places where a large number of people gather.
Sundaram has more than 14 years of experience in the industry and moves to Milestone Brandcom from Leo Burnett, where he was working as vice-president and program head. He has also worked as country head, Terra, the rural division of MudraMax, and with Ogilvy Outreach.
During his career, he has worked on various brands such as P&G, Water Health, GPI and Mahindra Finance, HUL, Shell Foundation, Colgate, Western Union, ITC, ACC, Nerolac, Godrej and Samsung.
Milestone Brandcom has its operations in 42 cities across India and provides services in more than 1,000 towns. Storyboard Brandcom is the second OOH agency division within the Milestone Brandcom Group.