DDB Mudra West launches its new agency brand Karma which will focus on start-ups and SMEs
BY NEETA NAIR
It’s an agency that promises a quick turnaround time for solving client’s problems; one with no hierarchy that is traditionally known to cause delays. It has the backing of DDB Mudra Group yet offers the flexibility of a start-up agency. Karma has formally been launched and Sanjay Panday, Business Partner, Karma tells us exactly what’s on display here.
Q] Why did DDB Mudra create Karma and how different will it be from mainstream agencies?
Looking at the way Indian economy is moving, we identified that in the next five-ten years India’s growth story is not only going to come from the Unilevers and the Tatas but also from the start-up space. A lot of other players will start contributing to the market across different consumption areas be it food or technology. Such clients even if they are a new brand from an existing large company will in the early stages need a team which will be working with them fulltime on a 24/7 basis, almost becoming a part of the creation of the idea. For them a large agency won’t make sense at least in the beginning. They want to go to market quickly, perhaps think of an idea today and have it delivered in the next 48 hours. Karma will cater to these clients by giving them the stability and power of a Mudra Group, but the flexibility of a start-up.
Q] What would be the key areas of focus for you, Digital, Social, or Television considering that the aim is to deliver quick solutions?
It’s a media agnostic approach for us. We have already started working with some of our clients like Brand Factory, SOTC etc and will sign three more contracts by the 15th of next month. These are all in different categories. The clients don’t talk medium, they talk business-- this is our growth and we want to do this in the next 90 days, so tell me what is required. The beauty of this model is that whatever is required is within the Mudra house. For example if a client needs digital expertise, it’s very easy for me to offer that, considering that we have two excellent digital companies within Mudra. And then it’s all about putting the whole idea together, but with a team that is empowered, young and without the fear of losing.
Q] What is the current strength of Karma and would you have presence across the country or just Mumbai?
We gave shape to Karma about six months ago before the formal launch where we created the logo, concept and tested waters. Today as we talk we already have 12 people in the team across Mumbai and Ahmedabad. By Diwali we are hoping to double that. We have a 100% national ambition but I don’t want to make the mistakes start-ups do, by going all over the place on day one, I’d rather have us stabilize first. Also what’s national now? National in advertising terms means Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai and Hyderabad, and Calcutta. But I don’t think the next round of growth is going to come from these cities. For example Haldiram’s came from Nagpur. So, Nagpur and Surat, are the kind of places from which our next growth story is going to come.
Q] What percentage of revenue is Karma expected to contribute to DDB Mudra?
If everything goes well, it should contribute to at least 10-12% of the revenues of DDB Mudra West.