Under pressure since the time big-spending consumer durables client LG Electronics moved its advertising account out of the agency, Lowe's Delhi office finally has reason to smile. The agency has been awarded the creative and media planning duties of 20-year-old real estate development and construction company, Omaxe. While the size of the business that has come Lowe's way is pegged at Rs 20 crore, the agency will be working on the account on a retainership basis.
Interestingly, in an indirect sort of way, Lowe winning the Omaxe business has an LG angle attached - old Lowe admirer and ex-LG hand Ganesh Mahalingam is currently executive director at Omaxe. And Omaxe and Mahalingam appear to have absolute faith in Lowe's ability to deliver, loss of key accounts and some senior agency personnel notwithstanding. So much so that the company did not even call for an advertising pitch, and simply awarded Lowe the business. "It is the people who make the agency. And I have a very good team working on the Omaxe brand," Mahalingam told agencyfaqs!, while confirming the news of the development. Mahalingam is also quite upbeat about his prospects at Omaxe, and finds his current role in the real estate business merely an extension of his previous profile. "Earlier, I was selling consumer durables; now I am selling the longest-lasting durable - the house," he chuckles.
Although over two decades old, Omaxe has only recently taken up the task of aggressively promoting the Omaxe brand. The company, which is expecting a turnover of over Rs 250 crore in 2004, has executed over 100 projects across the country, ranging from the hospitality industry to hospitals, entertainment areas to engineering projects. Omaxe's client list includes such names as Coca-Cola India, Pepsi, LG Electronics, Amity International, Electrolux, BSES and Wave Multiplex in Lucknow. Significant projects include the LG and Samsung factories - the company completed the Rs 32-crore LG factory in a record time of six months, and constructed the Rs 20-crore Samsung factory in five short months.
Omaxe is currently also developing shopping malls and entertainment centres all over the country. On the cards is the Rs 500-crore Omaxe Connaught Place Family Entertainment Destination project, being built over 14 lakh square feet. It is expected to be complete by 2006-07. Omaxe's list of immediate goals includes various residential and shopping complex projects, and a major project, NRI City, in Greater Noida. "In about 10 years' time, the company hopes to build over 300 self-sufficient townships across the country. Of that, 50 townships are being planned in the next two years, and around 20 in the first year," reveals Mahalingam.
Having drawn up some very ambitious plans, the real estate company's first step would be in the direction of creating a strong brand. "The brief to the (Lowe) team is to create a powerful national brand," says Mahalingam. The campaign is still in the drawing board stage, but is likely to break in the media in the last week of May. Omaxe is also leveraging the star power of celeb endorsements by signing on ex-cricketers Kapil Dev and Krishnamachari Srikkanth.
© 2004 agencyfaqs!