Sabyasachi Sen is not one to sit quiet for long.
Just over a month after quitting Rediffusion DY&R as national creative director and vice-president, Sabyasachi - better known as Gullu Sen - has unveiled Blue Turtle, his packaging-cum-graphic-design-cum-script-writing outfit. "I started working on these two areas on a project basis as I was planning to quit Rediff," he told agencyfaqs!. "Now, I guess, I am ready to go full-time into this."
Interestingly, while speaking to agencyfaqs! a month back, Sen had mentioned, "What's keeping me busy these days are some 'interesting' projects, which couldn't have been pursued if I held my full-time job at Rediffusion. I guess in another two months I shall have worked out something concrete for myself."
He now tells us that Blue Turtle was already in his mind when he took up those projects on a tentative basis. "I am a trained designer, you see," he reminds us. A product of College of Art, Delhi (1983 batch), Sen started his career in advertising as a visualiser and designer with JWT, and gravitated to script writing at a much later stage in his career. "I became a script writer by default," says Sen, who has written the scripts for some of the more memorable ads for Maruti (two guys lost in the desert looking for a Maruti service station) and Airtel (the AR Rehman signature tune).
But why the name Blue Turtle? "No mythical significance, if that's what you are trying to look for. Actually, my wife Madhur Sen is a ceramic potter. She makes these blue turtles, which have become some sort of a lucky charm for me," says the dyed-in-the-wool advertising pro. So the much-speculated partnership with friend and ex-colleague Sandeep Goyal is off, is it? "For the time being it seems so," is as specific as Sen would get. But that doesn't mean he is not serious about Blue Turtle. "While I am working from my residence right now, I expect to register Blue Turtle as a company and fix up my office space in the next 15-20 days," he is categorical.
And the investment? "It's all from my own savings." And no, he will not invest in an elaborate set of packaging or design infrastructure immediately. "I have been in the industry for a very long time now; so I know people I can tie up with and outsource much of the packaging work," he explains.
All said, there's no doubt Sen knows what it takes to build a business ground up. He was the one who set up the Delhi branch of Interact Vision (the second agency of Mudra Communications), where he moved from Trikaya Grey (now Grey Worldwide India) more than a decade back. "The entrepreneurship concept was not so popular in the advertising business those days (1991-94). We built the agency and many small brands along with it," he had mentioned in his last interview to agencyfaqs!.
His contribution to the growth of Rediffusion too is indisputable. Joining the agency in 1994 in the new business development group, Sen and (Sandeep) Goyal pushed the agency's billings northwards to establish it as one of the Top 5 agencies in Delhi in just two years, courtesy some aggressive new business pitches made by the Sen-Goyal team.
For now, Sen is focused on his new venture. "I hope to concentrate more on the script writing part for now and take on people who can explore and give shape to the design bit for me," Sen explains. © 2003 agencyfaqs!