KV Sridhar, a.k.a Pops, has launches his new venture, .hypercollective, a platform aimed at bringing together agencies working in the realm of data science, analytics and technology to come out with highly impactful work for brands. With 21 collaborators already on board, Pops talks about the idea behind the venture and how he sees it moving forward
BY SAMARPITA BANERJEE
When KV Sridhar, aka Pops, quit SapientNitro last year and announced the name of his entrepreneurial venture, it created quite a stir in the industry. After being in ‘stealth mode’ for more than four months, Pops has just launched the venture, .hypercollective, officially. The company will be a collaborative platform for various technology, analytics, strategy and design firms to work together on collaborative projects and Pops will be at its helm as the CCO.
‘We begin at the fullstop’ is the tagline of .hypercollective, aimed at being the bridge between different agencies in an attempt to deliver impactful communication solutions seamlessly across platforms for the benefit of both brands and consumers.
Already on board are 21 agencies including Ormax, Wolfzhowl Strategic Instigations, PING Digital Broadcast, Sharpener, Umbrella Design, Supari Studios, Meraki VR Studio, NetBramha Studios, Windchimes Communications, Fanatics, Simple Creative Inc, Experience Commerce, Made by Fire, Candid Marketing, Moonraft Innovation Labs, Phoenix TalentX Branding, 17Seven, Tookitaki and triggerbridge.
Talking about the genesis of the idea, Pops says, “The landscape of marketing communication is evolving every day. While in the yesteryears, all you had to cover was TV, Print and Radio and you would be done, today there are so many more touch-points where brands can interact with their consumers. In a world with so much complexity, it is impossible for one agency to specialize in everything, so collaboration and co-creation is the way forward. Traditional agencies don’t really understand the kind of ideas needed to help create new experiences. That is how the idea of .hypercollective was born. It is our endeavour to bridge this gap between understanding and implementation.”
Already GOING GREAT
The past two months have been very busy with .hypercollective already working on a project. The agency has set up a Live Content Studio at the Nestle office in Gurugram. Along with its collaborators PING Digital Broadcast Network and WindChimes Communications, the FMCG giant’s brand team has been churning out original branded content, interactive videos, social campaigns, as well as experiential content.
Pops also says that a lot of FMCG and financial brands are showing interest in the kind of work he and his partners are doing. “A lot of brands, especially FMCG and financial brands, need substantial content to connect with their customers. When brands become publishers themselves, content becomes a very important factor and relevant content needs to be served on the platform all the time. However, the issue is the need to create the right kind of content. A lot of content creators today don’t really understand the brand DNA, strategy, a brand’s insight, personality and code. While creating content, you need to dovetail all of this into all that you create. Understanding of the brand becomes critical. And again, creative agencies don’t know how to create content. Therefore, brands are seeking people who can create content and who can also understand the brand and create the ecosystem to do that. That’s what I am doing. A lot of companies are willing to invest in it.”
The new agency has already signed on around Rs 15 crore worth of business. However, Pops maintains that more than the money, the entity is far more interested in delivering new concepts and results. He says, “For us, the proof of the concept is far more important and we are more interested in delivering great quality of impactful work. Brands are showing a lot of willingness to come on board and in fact, a few brands are already on wait.”
The core team of the agency comprises a mixed bunch of professionals from different backgrounds. The core members are Saket Kondiparth, Executive Director, Dipankar Mukherjee, Chief-Ideas & Innovations, Devang Buddhadev, Business Lead, Priyanka Tilve, Content Lead, Sriti, Strategy Lead, Indira Iyer, Creative & Technology, Devansh Parikh, Design and Samhita Kondaparthi, Photography & Visual Design.
One look at the team makes you realize that they are a very young bunch. On being asked if roping in young professionals was a conscious decision, Pops says, “Yes. The youngsters don’t really come with any baggage. When you are doing something new, you need to start in a new way. These kids, they live and breathe digital. They are always on, they are comfortable chatting, talking and conducting their business as well as personal life online. Today, we need people who think differently and I am glad I found a great group of people to work with.” The name of the agency also takes root in the congregation of a group of hyper professionals who are always charged up about their work, adds Pops.
THE PARTNERS SPEAK
Meanwhile, we asked a few collaborators what excites them about the new venture. Atul Nath, Managing Director, Candid Marketing says, “It’s pretty simple from our perspective… being an independent agency, we are always looking for areas that will help us learn as an organization. I feel that .hypercollective will almost be like a honeycomb of companies which can together form a cross-network of learnings and business. For us, it is as much about learning, as it is about business and revenue. Add to that, easy back-end access to a lot of interesting people doing some great work. I am already having two conversations to collaborate on a couple of projects. The best part is that all the agencies are independent entrepreneurial ventures and thus are very quick in terms of response and always ready to help.”
Kalyan Ram Challapalli, Chief Strategic Instigator, Wolfzhowl Strategic Instigations, a brand strategy consultancy, adds, “If you look at Pops, he is more humanitarian and doesn’t really come from a sense of insecurity because he has already accomplished a lot. The way he has picked people, there seems to be no conflict of direct business and there is a need for each other and there is a chemistry starting right from the top with Pops. I have already worked on two projects with him out of which one is over and the second is under way. Everything has happened quite smoothly for us.”
For many others, it was the desire to create impactful work that made them gravitate towards the collective. S Yesudas, Managing Director & Co Founder, Triggerbridge says, “It will be a win-win collaboration as we stay committed to the cause of wanting to make a genuine difference to clients who trust us. Through the .hypercollective model, clients will see a difference that they have never felt with their transactional agency relationships. Specifically for triggerbridge, we are on the path of working with clients to create brand love through multi-sensorial impact. This is achieved through understanding and helping humans enhance their potential. We could also be making a contribution to many in the area of human thinking even when it comes to tech data and design. What we can together produce is so compelling. Pops and I are in conversations with two of our clients in different cities on interesting new opportunities and we already have another conversation going on with one of Ormax's clients.”
While the current number of collaborators stands at 21, the agency, in future, is open to expanding further. Pops explains, “When we find a gap and need somebody who is doing something really different, for example in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Consumer Intelligence, it could open up a whole lot of possibilities for brands. We would be happy to rope in more collaborators.”
@ FEEDBACK firstname.lastname@example.org