Stay focused and stay hungry. That’s the mantra Purple Focus has been following the past 16 years, making out-of-the-box creatives and campaigns, which have helped this growing agency win big brands and business
An advertising agency, they say, is all about its team and people. Purple Focus, a full service advertising and marketing communication solutions agency based out of Indore and with offices in Delhi and Mumbai as well, comprises a talented pack of people coming from different walks of life. Engineers, photographers, poets, dancers, rock climbers, all make up the quorum at Purple Focus. They bring with them interesting and fresh points of view, which reflect in the work that Purple Focus does for its various clients. The young and energetic team of Purple Focus today comprises of 130 highly motivated professionals who work together in a lively and congenial environment to deliver their best in advertising and integrated marketing communication solutions. The agency’s impressive roster of clients include well-known brands such as Bajaj Auto, Eicher Motors, Nokia, Big Magic, DLF Shopping Festival, Hathway, Next Gen, Shakti Pumps, Banswara Suitings, Patrika, Lohia Sterlinger, IBD Universal, Rotomac Writing Instruments, Promart (discount store chain from Provogue India), Tata Indicom (six circles), Dainik Bhaskar, DB.com, Ruchi Lifescapes & Countywalk among others.

Started in 1996 as a small advertising agency with a team of just four members, Purple Focus has come a long way in establishing its creative foothold in the world of advertising today. The stupendous growth of the company in a short span of time is reflected in all of its accomplishments – a strong infrastructure, sound financial position, technological advancement, a combination of the best creative brains and an experienced client servicing team. Founder & Managing Director Pankaj Acharya and Co-Founder & Director Rahul Vaidya say: “We believe that businesses are built around people and fortunately we have been able to bring on board the right kind of people. What has worked for us is the owner-manager model and thankfully all our partnerships have been successful for us.” Thanks to the agency’s foresightedness in forging and clobbering together enduring partnerships, Purple Focus today boasts of five major associate companies. These are Fusion Events, the arm responsible for creating and hosting events for the agency, Purple Shunya, the digital agency, Purple Spot, Purple Productions, the film production arm and Innovative Ideators, which is into crowdsourcing.

Today, Purple Focus has made it good on the national advertising stage and it counts amongst the top 20 agencies of India. According to Acharya and Vaidya, over the years there has been a conscious effort to promote a definitive culture in the agency – a culture that serves to promote the agency as a breeding ground for good effective advertising ideas! The agency’s long-term vision is to create an eco-system of self-sustaining businesses, which fosters creativity and innovation in bright young people and provides all the possible support, be it knowledge, experience or reassurance in realizing their dreams. Says Acharya, “We are one happy bunch of people having a diverse and rich experience. We have a deep-rooted connect with the street sensibilities and an intuitive understanding of the minds & hearts of India. It is our cultural conditioning, which is the bedrock of our meaningful and results-oriented marketing communication solutions.”
Over the years Purple Focus has successfully executed various memorable campaigns that have won the agency many international and national awards. The first major recognition for the agency came when it snapped up gold at the International Summit Creative Award 2003. Based in Portland, USA, the Summit Creative Award is the only competition of its kind which is created to recognize exceptional work by advertising agencies – video production companies, multimedia firms and other creative groups with annual billings of $15 million or less. The competition featured multiple international entries in 17 creative categories, which were judged against a stringent set of standards like originality, creativity of concepts, quality of execution and the ability to communicate and persuade. Purple Focus won gold in the outdoor/transit category for its award winning anti-smoking poster, which drew critical acclaim from one and all. “The credit for the award lay in the design’s simplicity and strength of the concept along with its strong execution,” recalls Acharya adding that the anti-smoking poster was not only noticed and hugely appreciated, but also proved its effectiveness by inspiring many people to quit smoking.

Despite winning critical acclaim, it’s difficult for small agencies to snag big accounts in their initial days. Reminiscing about the past when the agency was looking hard to land a big account in its kitty, Acharya says that the first move entailed moving out of Indore, even though the agency was doing good business there. “But then a market like Indore had its limitations. Delhi was booming by then in the area of advertising, Gurgaon was taking shape and so we thought of exploring the Delhi market.” The move paid off with the agency bagging the Tata Indicom account. “We handled the account in its six circles, and then other accounts came along in quick succession like those for Sprandi Shoes,” says Acharya. With business beginning to flow the agency slowly and steadily grew in Delhi. Some new big accounts added to Purple Focus’s initial success. Within a year of its operation in 1997, the agency bagged the account for Eicher Motors. As Acharya puts it, “Eicher was a big boost for us. Even if plans to make it big in Delhi or Mumbai were not exactly in place at that point in time, there was certainly a clear vision that we are here to give the full range of services that would be no less than a big agency in terms of quality.”

The moment of breakthrough arrived when the agency got to sign the deal, along with Ogilvy & Mather, for handling STAR Plus channel’s fiction shows in 2004-05. The deal provided the impetus to the agency for opening its Mumbai office. “We were associated with STAR when it was ruling the GEC segment, working closely on serials like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Bidai and Ye Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. We handled the STAR account for about 4 years,” says Acharya. The association with STAR ended in 2009, which came at a not very good time for Purple Focus. Its then creative director Vinod Bhargava, who had for long been associated with the agency quit that year amidst the economic slowdown that was ravaging many industries, including that of advertising.

“It was in 2009 that Vinod quit PF and it was probably not a very good year for us. We did not grow as much as targeted, given that the economic turmoil was at its peak then,” remembers Acharya, who works mainly out of Indore but keeps shuttling between all the three offices.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2013

An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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