From selling cars in Dubai, tyres in Mumbai and peddling perceptions all over the country for 12 years, life has come full circle for Ashok Goel. It's time to start afresh with his new venture Beanstalk. Labeling it as a "brand consultancy", Goel hopes to implement the host of ideas that could not find an outlet all these years.
Having traversed the entire gamut of advertising, direct marketing, client servicing and event management, the ex-HTA client services director and ex-TBWA
Anthem GM wants to create brands in a way where all the traditional back-end operations of the agency - design studio, media services, PR and event planning - are outsourced. The focus will be on strategy and planning.
So what exactly does Beanstalk offer? A rigorous focus on the "communication matrix" and all the traditional infrastructural needs provided by outsiders that are taken care of by strategic tie-up with professionals, including two freelance teams providing creative inputs. The USP, as Ashok puts it, is "Without fixed or high overhead structure, we provide the client another avenue where servicing and planning can be bought off the shelf." This, he contends, will ensure that the client does not lose sight of his brand while grappling with the logistics of strategy execution and dealing with a multiplicity of agencies. He thinks with the advertising industry in the grips of a slowdown, clients are waking up to the merits of such a set up. The time, it seems, is just ripe for launching Beanstalk.
Cranking up operations last month, Beanstalk currently has a team of four including Goel. Interestingly, the bulk of the investment into the venture has come from Goel's personal resources. He has put in the seed money of Rs 1 lakh ensuring a 75:25 equity split in his favour. This means a high stakes game for the proprietor with a lot riding on his shoulder.
Working out of his Rajendra Place office, Goel knows his limitations, and perhaps his biggest advantage. "Since I'm in the business of hand-holding, I want to give my personal attention to each and every client." But that means, the quality he strives for can only be achieved by limiting the number of clients - at least for now. "I already have two clients and am ready to take two more. New clients come only when additional staff is in place." And that is 9-12 months away. In six months, he wants to establish enough credibility to be able to attract an international tie-up. With the two clients Maharaja Appliances and Appliance City (with media billings of Rs 2.5 and Rs 1 crore respectively) a beginning has been made.
So how does it feel to start all over again after having worked on heavyweight brands like Bajaj Auto, Park Avenue (at Lintas) Omega, Rado, Longines, Tissot, Swatch (at HTA) and lastly Yamaha and Aaj Tak (at TWBA
Anthem)? For this account planner at heart, chucking his last TBWA
Anthem post and jumping on to the entrepreneurship bandwagon has its advantage. "At the top, it's more of people and business management. The passion for advertising is lost with greater divergence between your outlook and the actual work being done," says Goel.
This seems to be in line with the thoughts of his contemporaries like Samit Sinha and Ajoy Bhan who too have started from scratch, chucking up plum posts at Mudra and HTA respectively. Yet, for sometime at least Goel will not be encumbered with such managerial hassles. Hopefully, Beanstalk will give him the chance "to practice his belief rather than just cling on to old jobs and do lip service". © 2002 agencyfaqs!