AgTalk | Want to bring global concepts in our own version:Plan B's Singh
Plan B is an innovative agency with a presence in London, Dubai, China and Kenya markets. They are all set to test Indian waters now.
Harmeek Singh, the Managing Director and owner of Plan B Advertising LLC, believes in adding creativity and innovation to whatever he does. Adgully caught up with him to talk about Plan B’s success mantra and their strategy for the Indian market.
Adgully (AG): Could you take us through your journey in U.A.E.?
AG: What is your perspective about the Indian Market?
HS: There is a lot of overlapping creativity, but consistency is not there. What I have created In Dubai is very different from what has been created here. I started 3D hoardings on Dubai’s SV Road. It was initially not approved by the Government but in two months we got the approval based on safety and security.
AG: Why the decision to explore the Indian market?
HS: We have enjoyed remarkable growth in last 5 to 6 years. Indian market with its immense potential is the most logical extension now. It has, in fact, been on the cards for a long time. The market I am working in is a little slow right now which gives me a great opportunity to invest as a business person.
We have a good understanding of the Indian market and will try to bring our own version of global concepts.
AG: So the Indian market is a slow vis- a-vis MEA market
HS: Indian currency has gone down during recent times, opening the gate for investment. Always invest when the market is down! In the beginning, I was apprehensive about working with Bollywood and commercial events; however we have seen major followers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Commercial events have been launched, we have signed up international artists as well. Rani Taj who is a no.1 female dhol player on YouTube has been launched by us. We have successfully launched a Punjabi music festival starring Gurdas Man along with Rani Taj. We follow this concept of bringing in a legend and a generation next artist to perform together.
AG: Is it an online event or a physical even?
HS: In Dubai, it is a physical event which took place in April. India has a lot of creativity but I see a lot of clutter, overlapping, and lack of direction. Our positioning is of a global brand with the local language. We have got international standards and we compete with agencies globally. We work head to head and shoulder to shoulder with anybody in the world right now, however we have our own versions.
AG: What is your key differentiator as compared to the other agencies?
HS: Creative agency would do the creative part, Event Company would look after event management and PR would look after the public relations. As a group, I have all these entities working differently but coming together as a plan. It is an integrated environment and we believe in the policy of not repeating anything that has happened. For e.g. we recently took up the Global Punjabi music event and now we are getting calls asking when the next one is taking place. Apart from that I did a charity programme “Oye Punjabi Sangeet Mera” - there were labours who could not afford the price of the tickets. 1500 people turned up in the blue collar section and we did not charge anything. The next one is happening in December.
Our PR and Marketing firm called ‘Be Social’ ventured into TV commercial and interactive technology touching points globally. Our is the only agency in Middle East which has shot a TV commercial for a real estate company in U.A.E. with Shahrukh Khan.
AG: Do you intend bringing these international concepts to India as well?
HS: I want to bring a lot of global concepts in India in our own version. Property portfolio and investment portfolio are the two initiatives that Plan B would be working on in India, while we are also going to have more events.
AG: Other than events, PR & marketing, you also have a creative and media buying arm as well?
HS: Yes, we have a creative and a media buying arm as well. We have in house fabrication for exhibitions; we are among the top five companies for exhibitions. It is listed with Dubai & Abu Dhabi trade centre.
AG: Where have you introduced your branches in India and what are your strengths?
HS: Mumbai and Delhi. Delhi would be our headquarters with a team of 15 to 20 people. Mumbai would have 8 to 10 people initially, and then we would see how we are evolving. We have already hired few people and are looking for more talented people to work in the future with.
AG: Are there any clients you are working in India with and what is your field of specialisation?
HS: I have been regionally working with Christian Dior, even with Adidas and Puma. Most of the headquarters are based in Dubai. It helps us not only in terms of quality and standard but also in the kind of convenience it has.
We also specialise in real estate, automobile, luxury & malls and government sector sets of client and always look forward to work with them.
AG: Are you focusing at Digital at this point of time?
HS: Digital is huge for us. is not only about creating digital content, it is also about having a self-equipped arm for creating application and to bring in technology. We are the first agency to bring augmented reality in that region. Social media has been taken by ‘Be Social’. All the dots are connected.
AG: What kind of targets have you set for yourself?
HS: It is about the profile. Even if I am making less money and client is happy with the work we are putting up, I would do it. There is a lot of hard work that the team has invested, so we are looking forward to making a mark. We will also introduce Rani Taj to India in between August to September.
AG: In order to strengthen your ground here, are you looking forward to an alliance in India?
HS: We tried but have not succeeded so far. You need identical thinking to do so. The other agency should have the same credentials that we have. Other than that we have some options that we are looking.