Sometime in 1967, a young man named Jayantilal Shah pondered over the course he should take when it came to his career. Shah wanted to do something different, create an organisation of his own rather than have a run-of-the-mill, nine-to-five job. It was with that idea in mind that he started Gautam Advertising – a small advertising agency that catered exclusively to clients in the Mumbai region.
Agency: Gautam Advertising
Clients: Antara Jewellery,Cambridge Apparels Pvt. Ltd., Proline Fitness, Dfrnt Clothing Company – ‘Zorro’ brand, Step In (Retail) etc.
Head of Agency: Ramesh Shah and Sanjay Shah, Partners
He dreamt big but started small. Gautam Advertising started off with classified ads before it took on print. Today, the agency is a well established brand, known for its efficiencies and speed in a competitive market, a tribute to the work put in by the founder Jayantilal over the years. Jayantilal is no more but the business he created thrives under the leadership of his brother Ramesh Shah, who works with Jayantilal’s son Sanjay Shah as the other partner.
“When we started off initially, our business mainly came from classified advertisements, we gradually moved on to full scale to print advertising,” says Ramesh Shah. In 1978, the agency was accredited with the Indian Newspaper Society. By then, the agency had already built a diverse portfolio of Mumbai-specific clients, mainly in the retail domain.
The agency has worked with clients like Antara Jewellery, Cambridge Apparels Pvt. Ltd., Proline Fitness, Dfrnt Clothing Company for its ‘Zorro’ brand, Step In (Retail) etc. “Some clients have been with us for quite some time. Take Cambridge for instance, which has been with us for over 15 years. Others like Proline Fitness etc. have been with us for the last seven years or so,” says Shah.
Shah maintains that Gautam Advertising as an agency strongly follows the lean organisation concept. In fact, Shah pins this as one of the main reasons which helped the agency weather the slowdown effectively – the other being their small size, which they managed to use to their advantage. “Our size enables us to carry out work in a much quicker and efficient manner, a factor which bigger agencies often lack as they often tend to have a number of duties spread across various departments. We are able to work out the details of the ads and get the creatives done quickly,” says Shah. He adds, “We focus on what our clients want, our goal is to deliver value to our clients, in the shortest possible time period.”
Shah however says that when it comes to clients, the agency is cautious about who it does business with. “We don’t pitch for clients, clients come to us through recommendations only,” says Shah.
Gautam Advertising is mainly a family run business, which has seen partner Ramesh Shah’s son also join in. “We are mostly a family run business but we have managed to retain our employees for a extremely long time. We have grown though with a limited staff, cut cost and maintained a lean organisation structure,” says Shah. About the future, well, Shah is very clear. Expansion is on the cards. “In the future, the next generation is talking of doing things differently. Though we may not do it to the magnitude of moving to another medium altogether, as our forte lies in print, but we do not rule out expansion in the coming years,” he says.