Sumita Vaid

Mudra bags new business; Ullas Chopra is now creative head, Delhi

The agency has created an account planning department and ex-JWT hand Gunjan Kumar Jain is heading it

In a two-way pitch between Mudra and Contract Advertising, Mudra has bagged the estimated Rs 5-crore advertising business of basmati rice brands Resham, Wandaful, Karishma and Tilda from Kurukshetra-based multinational company United Riceland. Confluence Communications, which had been associated with United Riceland for some time now, continues to be on board. Anmol shampoo, a brand from Dabur, is the other new business for Mudra. The account has moved from O&M.

While Tilda is exported to markets in the US, the UK and the Middle East, Resham, Wandaful and Karishma are the three grades of basmati rice brands marketed by the company in India. The communication task, spells out Arun Mahajan, group business director, Mudra Communications, is to create and establish Tilda - which enjoys a strong foreign lineage - in India, and aggressively promote Resham, Wandaful and Karishma.

"The communication solutions would entail advertising the three brands beyond the west (Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra), and market them in parts of the south and the north. We plan to do some fact finding and conduct a research on the rice eating habits of Indians and use those insights for future communication," explains Mahajan.

Alongside, the agency is looking to beef up its creative team. Ullas Chopra, who was creative director, has been elevated to the position of creative head of the Delhi branch. His task is to set up a strong creative team. "The idea is to get back the glory days of Mudra," says Chopra. "We have set out to be among the Top 3 agencies in Delhi and establish a strong product nationally too."

Mudra is decidedly aggressive about its growth. "Our current billings stand at Rs 180 crore. Till now in the current year we have achieved an 18 per cent growth over the previous year," informs Hemant Misra, president, Mudra Communications.

The other interesting development at the agency is the addition of a new department - that of account planning. Gunjan Kumar Jain has been appointed group business director of the account planning department. She was with JWT earlier. Talking about the need to set up a separate division on planning, Jain says, "Strategic thinking is what is going to lead this industry forward. It is an integrated part of the whole communication process. The association of the planner with a brand is not going to be need based; rather, the value-addition process on the brand would be a continuous affair." Tracking consumer trends will be another aspect the department plans to focus on. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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