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Branding In The Digital Space

Thursday, July 28, 2016

In her advertising career spanning 15 plus years, Priya Jayaraman, Co-Founder, Business Director, Propaganda India has been driven by an endless quest to bring the brand and creative paradigm in the digital space. With this zealous drive, Propaganda India, an independent agency was set up by her and her Creative Partner, Venkatesh Nadhan. She heads digital strategy and technology here across all the brands. Prior to setting up Propaganda India 6 years ago, she has worked at Ogilvy India, Dhar & Hoon and Propaganda Inc. in the United States. The US part of her experience, about 5 years, was largely in implementing offline-online integrated strategies for CPG brands like Henkel USA and multiple restaurant chains. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, she explains how, backed by a young, dynamic 40 member team at Propaganda India, she looks forward in leveraging the digital space to help build brands online

What drives you?
This is a classic entrepreneur question, I guess. To be very honest, there's no single answer. It's been about 6 odd years now and the journey itself is so enriching. It's the experience itself that becomes the driver at some point. It's not something everyone gets into, but once in, it's like the business of advertising itself - let me say it's addictive. The solutions, the problems, the paths created, the transformations possible, the applause for the output and most important building an ecosystem and a company from nothing and the team that benefits directly from it in their lives drives me. That's a driving force. It's not just me, when each individual is supercharged and driven, the effect is something else.
How big is the potential for a business like yours; any statistics to compare with international standards?
The sky is the limit. As clichéd as it may sound, digital is where advertising is headed and is transforming into. What stayed as a "division" in many places is now mainstream. I am not sure if the comparison is a good metric, especially with international standards. No one is as diverse as India; cultures are different, languages, infrastructure - there are so many variables. It would be great to play a transformational role within India itself. We do work with some leading players in the finance healthcare, real estate, travel and edutech sectors. Some of the major clients we work with in these sectors are HDFC Life,,, Max Hospitals and even Redbus.
How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
Rising turnovers, however old-fashioned it may sound, still gives us the most control. Investors like to see a scale up quickly and in a people and idea-driven business like ours - steady is better than fly by night success. Just like businesses and companies are reinventing themselves with times, advertising gets reimagined with all the new variables of living thrown in and we need to be on our own and in a steady ship to stay ahead of the game.
Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
Ah, there's another classic question. It's not about being an agency for the youth or an agency for the elders or an agency for healthcare or an agency for moms or an agency for kids!  Just like there's significant overlap in mediums a person consumes today, audiences also overlap. Who we'd like to be in our sweet spot differs from business to business and that's the way it should be.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
Definitely at the forefront of having redefined and reimagined advertising for newer mediums, audiences and brands, probably a force to reckon with - well, that’s definitely on the wish list!

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