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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder at Integrated brand-comm Pvt Ltd

GreatCompanies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Ramanujam Sridhar: We started brand-comm in 1998. Advertising agencies were becoming mere order takers. I felt there was a need to start an advertising agency with a difference which would be consultative in nature. We were the first to start a retainer fee model which is practiced all over the world. An advertising agency was earlier referred to as 85% confusion and 15% commission, we changed the trend.

Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Integrated brand-comm Pvt Ltd

Ramanujam Sridhar: Public Relations, Digital Marketing and Brand Advisory.

Great Companies: What makes Integrated brand-comm Pvt Ltd different from hundreds of other Marketing and Branding Agencies?

Ramanujam Sridhar:

I think the biggest difference is customer centricity. We believe brand-comm’s success is primarily due to the long lasting relationship with clients, the average client retention span is +9 years, which features some of the most recognizable names across industries like Future Group, CavinKare, NR Group, IIM Bangalore, Manipal Global Education, Ma Foi, to name a few.

Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?

Ramanujam Sridhar: I think the biggest challenge was working capital. Unfortunately banks do not lend on receivables and our main problem was that we do not have assets unlike manufacturing companies. So I had to mortgage my house for working capital. Whilst there is a lot of money available for start-ups and technology clients, there is no value for communications company. We are now behind that phase as we are now part of a large group.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Integrated brand-comm Pvt Ltd?

Ramanujam Sridhar: Brand-comm has been changing with the times. We started as an advertising agency and moved into a brand consulting firm. We later realised that PR is something our clients needed. We focused on PR. I believe the future will be digital marketing and brand-comm will be a significant player. We are now part of Madison World, which is India's largest home grown media agency.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Ramanujam Sridhar: I would actually give two pieces of advice.

First, start young. I started the company when I was 46 years old which I feel is too late.

Second, build a strong team and give equity to your employees so that they can grow with you.

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