Neha Kalra

Saatchi & Saatchi wins creative duties for Sistema and Shyam Telelink JV

The agency has won the creative duties of the newly formed JV between Sistema and Rajasthan-based Shyam Telelink

Saatchi & Saatchi has something working for it this year. After winning Videocon, it has now won the creative duties of the joint venture between Sistema, a Russian telecom company, and Shyam Telelink, one of the oldest telecom companies in India. The first step that the newly formed company has taken – even before selecting a brand name for the venture – is to recruit Saatchi & Saatchi to handle its creative duties.

Confirming the news to afaqs!, Prasun Kumar, general manager, marketing, for the new JV, reveals, “We haven't yet formalised a brand name. We are in the process and will come up with one in the coming year.”

Sistema owns the brand, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), which is a leading telecom brand in Russia and also operational in other parts of the world.

Saatchi & Saatchi wins creative duties for Sistema and Shyam Telelink JV
While competition, such as Airtel and Vodafone, have ad spends of almost Rs 300-350 crore, the JV plans to spend upwards of Rs 150 crore on advertising and marketing in the initial phase.

Saatchi & Saatchi won the business after a multi-agency pitch; JWT and Publicis are some of the agencies that also pitched for the business.

The JV launched Rainbow in the Rajasthan circle in August and called for a pitch for the project. Pickle Advertising won the creative duties for Rainbow and helped the company launch the brand. With Saatchi & Saatchi coming on board now, it will be responsible for all the projects of the JV.

Saatchi & Saatchi wins creative duties for Sistema and Shyam Telelink JV
Sanjib Dey, executive vice-president and branch head, Saatchi & Saatchi Delhi, is thrilled with the win. Speaking about it to afaqs!, he says, “The company was the 10th telecom company in the country. We had to devise a cut-through strategy for a brand entering a market which already had nine dominant players. The urban market is saturated, so telecom brands are eyeing semi-urban and rural areas. Those areas, too, have a lot of players already in the race. In such a scenario, a new brand has to chalk out its plans aggressively in terms of how it wishes to operate.”

Talking about the brief, Kumar reveals that a requirement for proposal (RFP) was circulated amongst leading agencies which did not handle rival brands. The brief talked about launching a challenger brand in a cluttered market. The international stature of the MTS brand had also to be kept in mind, he says.

The newly formed JV has got licences for all 22 circles in the country, which is a signal that it is ready to take on the market in a robust manner.

Shyam Telelink has been operating principally in the B2B space with equipment manufacturing and offering limited broadband and fixed lines on WLL (wireless local loop) services within Rajasthan. This is its first foray into the B2C space.

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