Prachi Joshi Johar
NEW DELHI, October 13
Among the top 20 agencies this year, Percept Advertising has outpaced the rest by registering growth of over 100 per cent last year. In the XI A&M Agency Report, the agency moved up in ranking from 22 last year to 17 this year, registering a growth of 106 per cent with its gross income amounting to Rs 164.73 million this year.
After a major slump between 1997-99, the industry this year has shown signs of recovery. It witnessed a growth rate of almost 25 per cent over the last year. Though 50 per cent of the industry income was contributed by the top five agencies, it is noteworthy to add that it is the middle-sized agencies like Percept and SSC&B Lintas that have grown by over 100 per cent.
Says Navroze Dhondy, CEO, Percept Advertising, "Our growth over the last one year has been primarily because as an agency, we invested in the truest concept of IMC, that is, integrated marketing communication. We evolved from being a mere advertising agency to one helping our clients get into various facets of advertising, be it events, public relations, promotions, innovations etc."
Percept bagged a host of accounts last year including the Rs 8-crore Hero Honda account, the J. Hampstead and the Reid and Taylor account, amounting to Rs 8 and 10 crore respectively. Other accounts include Somany tiles, Mantra Online, Zee News, BLB Finwiz, to name just a few. Commendably enough, the agency didn't lose a single account last year but "not without sweat", according to Dhondy.
Dhondy believes that the agency has contributed much more than "smart lines and pretty pictures" to its clients' advertising. It has been new ideas, new concepts, intelligent media buying and, last but not the least, the agency's effort in being able to relate brands to people, which have helped both the agency and the clients consolidate their position.
The agency has launched Web Percept, a new company that will cater specifically to the requirements of its dotcom clients. Mantra Online and BLB Finwiz are the two dotcom clients that the agency has in its kitty currently. Explaining the idea behind Web Percept, Dhondy said, "Web Percept will not just be an ad agency for our clients. It will be recommending newer ideas, suggesting new associations, marketing strategies, tie-ups and will help create new business lines for portals."
The agency, though bullish on its dotcom clients, has no intention of typecasting itself as one with only a select category of clients. However, it expects dotcoms to contribute about 15 per cent to its income in the coming year.
Now the real question. How does Percept plan to maintain the growth curve? Difficult and yet simple, says Dhondy. The agency plans to continue with its proactive approach towards its clients. For this agency, the usual practice of giving ideas after getting the client brief is passe. Says Dhondy, "The idea is to go to the client with innovative ideas and explain the opportunities which he can capitalise on. Percept wants to have a first-mover advantage by always being at the cutting edge of innovation."
Started in 1986 by Ravinder Singh, Percept has evolved from being a financial advertising to a full service ad agency today. The agency underwent a major revamp exercise last year, during which Dhondy, with his 17 years of experience, joined Percept as CEO. Also, Ronen Chatterjee, with similar experience as Dhondy, joined Percept as executive creative director. Now, a lot of senior level entries are expected within the next three weeks, which Dhondy does not wish to disclose just yet.
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