Ajit Nair, founder and MD of MX Advertising Pvt. Ltd, sees his agency as different from all the others of its size who are often dependent on one client, one sector or one industry. MX is different, says Nair, because it is very well diversified and has domain specialist across verticals. “That is our USP,” he explains, sitting in his well appointed office at Santa Cruz in Mumbai.
Nair decided to start his own agency after leaving his initial job in Everest Advertising. MX Advertising Pvt. Ltd. was born in 1991 with two clients – Elecon Engineering Pvt. Ltd and Kores Ltd. Both are still with MX as clients. The agency deals with clients across consumer durables, FMCG, financial services, fashion and lifestyle, industrial and health care. Some of its clients include Facia of Ratan Ayurvedic Sansthan, Kores, Evolve, Hafele, EuroKids, EuroSchool, New India Assurance, Royal Palms, Sun Pharma and Elecon. “We tell clients that we build brands and we manage value for them, too,” says Nair. MX has many success stories to tell, like the preschool chain, Euro Kids, which came to MX Advertising when it had a mere 25 franchises. The agency led its growth to bring it to as many as 795 franchises and a brand that is well known and well recognised.
“Euro kids is a market leader and we have kept them right up front in the pre-school space. Competition has always been trying to tag us, but in terms of strategy, we have gone way ahead,” says Nair. The agency handles pretty much the A-Z of the brand, from branding of the school, to the selection of uniforms, to promoting its annual days. “Euro kids and MX is an absolutely wedded combination,” says Nair. The brand is in its tenth year and the agency has launched a multimedia campaign to mark this achievement. Another one of its success stories is the Facia brand, which belongs to Ratan Ayurvedic Sansthan. “The chairman came to us with a small soap; we positioned it as a facial bar, thus creating a new category. The brand did well, we are talking big numbers,” says Nair. He adds that Ratan Ayurvedic Sansthan was able to launch a slew of products thereafter
In fact, the agency claims that almost 70 per cent of its clients have been with it in excess of 10 years. “We have a lot of things to offer which most agencies our size will not be able to offer. Big agencies can offer it at a premium; we offer it on a much more economical basis,” says Nair. With various domain specialists among this team, Nair believes that this is a very robust model that he has set up. “MX has very strong brands across various verticals. We are not a one vertical specialist,” says Nair. He adds: “You know what has been the lacuna among agencies our size? An overdependence on a client or a couple of clients.” So it is diversification that has worked well for the agency. The agency has an equal mix of print and television business though in the future the agency says it would lean more towards television advertising.
Over time, Nair believes that the agency will build on its strength of handling SME clients. “SMEs is an area that big agencies will not like to enter because for them educating a client and bringing him up to speed will take time,” says Nair. Around 60 per cent of MX clients are Indian brands, and the agency has stuck by them to serve them and to keep them coming for more.