Equus picks Development Credit Bank's retail account

By , agencyfaqs! | In | September 19, 2002
Equus Red Cell's Mumbai office has been mandated by Development Credit Bank to expand the bank's presence in the retail banking space

Equus Red Cell's Mumbai office has picked up the retail banking account of Development Credit Bank (DCB), which entered the retail space approximately a year ago. The former cooperative bank, which became a scheduled private sector bank in 1995, is also into corporate banking, investment banking and NRI banking, among other things. "Our mandate is to enhance and expand DCB's presence in the retail play," informed Swapan Seth, co-CEO & chief creative officer, Equus Red Cell, speaking to agencyfaqs!.

The development brings to a close Equus' two-year association with IDBI Bank, whose entry into retail banking occurred with the agency's midwifery. In fact, the entire branding exercise - from corporate identity to signage to mainline communication - for IDBI Bank's retail foray was Equus' handiwork. "We had to give up a healthy baby that we helped rear," says Seth. "There's a little bit of us in IDBI Bank, and we shall consistently applaud and admire it." When asked why the agency had shifted its allegiance to a new retail banking initiative, Seth replied, "The reason was purely a renewed opportunity. IDBI Bank is up and about. We needed a fresh canvas to paint on." He adds that the two did not part ways on a strained note. "We had a first-rate relationship with them. They bought some path-breaking ideas. They have given us respect, and they will continue to have ours."

Equus is the first to admit that its association with IDBI Bank came in handy vis-à-vis the DCB win. "Our credentials in the banking space - that too through IDBI bank - were a potent calling card," Seth nods. Incidentally, Equus did not win the business via the 'multi-agency pitch' route. Meaning, there was no formal pitch for the business… although agencyfaqs! has got wind of the fact that a couple of agencies had been showing interest in acquiring the account.

Speaking about the job ahead, Seth agrees that retail banking is the hot new thing, with almost every bank having an iron in the fire. "The retail space is crowded, but not saturated," he says. "I see great pockets of opportunities on which we can build DCB. For starters, I don't think any bank brand has an advertising or brand positioning statement. That's a wonderful starting point in itself."

Seth is unwilling to reveal anything more about the agency's plans for the brand. And he just won't talk about the size of the win. "I refuse to comment on client spends as I find it utterly unfashionable. But we all know what it takes to create a retail brand. All I say is, it will take what it takes." © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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