Exclusive | Publicis recognized what we have built: Indigo's Vikas Tandon
Indigo Consulting is a Mumbai-based full-service digital agency whose expertise spans website design and development; search engine optimization; usability research and testing; and marketing on online, mobile, and social media platforms. The company — which has been recently acquired by Publicis Groupe — will operate as a unit within the Leo Burnett Group in India, retaining its name.
Vikas Tandon, the founder director of Indigo Consulting, said that Publicis Groupe has recognized what Indigo has built. “The objective of the acquisition is to combine Indigo’s strengths with that of Leo Burnett,” Tandon said. “Our vision for Leo Burnett is to provide communication which has digital at its core. For our clients, we look forward to bringing a more integrated consumer experience through the digital medium. A lot of collaboration has started in terms of joint workshops and pitches.”
In fact, the collaboration was tested even before the acquisition. “We did a few workshops and pitches together on testing grounds,” Tandon said. “Thus, even before the transaction was consummated, a comfort level was established. During the course of the exercise, we also realized that our work culture was not vastly different. Like us, Leo Burnett is not an extremely large outfit. It is also very people-centric. Most of these work ideals are similar to the ones Indigo follows.”
Tandon added that Indigo would bring in more consumer insight and consumer-behavior-led approach to its work. “We are optimistic that this will lead to greater effectiveness,” he said. “One of the other immediate developments that will take place is regional learning capabilities. We are looking at strengthening the quality of our offerings to our clients. We also believe that the comfort of being part of a larger outfit could potentially bring a greater sense of security. “
Speaking about Indigo’s evolving work style, Tandon said, “No business starts with a static model which lasts a lifetime.” He said businesses exemplified dynamic changes. “Most importantly, as business grows, organizations need to get more flexible,” he said. “Because what works as a start-up may not necessarily work in an organization that has grown over the years. Indigo is contemplating some structural changes in order to ensure that we are able to better meet client needs and the needs of our business. It is an ongoing process.”
Talking about some of the principles that have remained constant since Indigo started out in 2000, he said, “We have always believed in under-promising and over-delivery. We have made sure that an idea or solution that we think of can actually be executed. Also, we have assiduously chalked out implications, operational costs, and time implications. Our honesty towards our clients and ourselves has not changed over the years. We have concentrated on hiring people who have potential rather than existing capabilities; because we believe that everybody grows with time. These are some of the basic ideals we have not compromised on despite evolving as a model.”
Talking about Indigo’s core strengths, Tandon said, “Focus has been one of our biggest strengths. We have stuck to what we know best. We have explored newer domains too, but we have always brought our capabilities to the fore.
Elaborating further, he said, “In the digital business, everything is new. Experimentation is required. We do encourage our clients to take the plunge and experiment but from the delivery point of view, we need to have conviction that the idea will fulfill certain business objectives.”
Profitability consciousness has been another of Indigo’s achievements. Tandon emphasized that Indigo has not been run with the motive of raising funds or selling off or getting evaluations. It has always been profitability that has ensured its stability. He said that digital is an evolving medium and in order to build a brand over the long term, partnerships are helpful.
Indigo has consistently provided holistic solutions in mobiles and social media. "UX Labs" is one of the innovative offerings of the agency. In website development, clients like Asian Paints swear by Indigo.
“Whether it is building a website or running an acquisition campaign or a social media campaign, we think through and ask questions,” Tandon said. “We discuss infrastructure with the client — whether it is a technology infrastructure or people infrastructure or sustainability infrastructure. We also discuss how are we going to run it for a long period of time, how we are going to measure it. This I believe is something that makes us stand apart.“
Talking about measurability in the social media, he said, “Every marketer looks for measurability; be it print or television. It was and will always be a huge strength of digital and interactive media which every marketer must exploit and should be played up. The fact that one can get an instant response and determine consumer preferences and measure whether the creative or campaign is working is absolutely a strength. It is also equally important to focus on other factors as well. Also, the measurement should not be uni-dimensional. Measuring more and better will solve the problem. New metrics need to be developed.”
Although the acquisition has happened, the freedom and capability of both the organizations will remain intact, leading to a culmination of the best work, Tandon observed.