Welcome to a vibrant episode of LEADERS TALK. As Ravindra Gautam promised with the audience to interview the entrepreneurs and founders of start-ups in this show on their growth path, so that all may learn from them, how to attain profession growth in your life. In the show LEADERS TALK, we also talk about the difficulties and challenges in the entrepreneurial life. Doing a job or working under someone is far more different that running a venture. In entrepreneurship, you are your own boss, however it demands a. lot of hard work and time.
In the current episode of LEADERS TALK, Ravindra Gautam is in talks with Tapas Gupta, MD of BEI Confluence. Let’s know from him how he came into the business and what all challenges he went through or is going through. Tapas reveals that advertising in his blood as his father was also an advertising professional and he is continuing this legacy. Further his son is also an advertising professional only. His father had a firm named Publicity Forum which was quite a big firm in advertising world in Kolkata. Tapas Gupta tells Ravindra Gautam that he started his career in advertising in the year 1977. He learnt his first lesson of advertising from his father.
Tapas Gupta started his career as a management trainee with Clarion McCann and rose up to General Manager. Later he joined Tara Sinha McCann Erickson and headed Kolkata branch. Tapas reveals that this was his first experience of running a start-up. Within a span of 5 years it became the largest agency of Kolkata and Delhi.
Later Tapas Gupta also got an opportunity to handle whole Kolkota and Delhi Headquarters of this company on the request of Ms. Tara Sinha, doyen of advertisement world. During his leadership giants like Nestle India, Gillette, Reckitt & Colman shifted to his company. According to Tapas Gupta the whole advertising industry is about human capital and personal networking. This service industry and creative business thrive on the quality of humans comprising of the brain and intelligence of people.
Tapas Gupta of BEI Confluence told Ravindra Gautam about his rich experience in domains like client servicing, brand planning, strategic planning, brand understanding which is his core strength. He deeply understands consumer business, trends, and brand. Tapas possess specialization in FMCG industry. He has handled the big brands like ITC, Wills, Goldflake, Capstan, Nestle and launched many of its products campaigns in India.
Although Tapas Gupta has a big team of 80 people, he told Ravindra Gautam that he still actively handles his clients. At this age also he works 10-12 hours a day. As Ravindra Gautam conveys the motive of this show is to inspire and motivate the entrepreneurs, Tapas Gupta said that before starting his own agency BEI Confluence, he had a vast experience of 22-23 years in this field. So, he backed up his company with immense experience. Tapas started his company BEI Confluence in 1998.
Prior to this Tapas rose up to top levels in McCann Erickson India. He also headed its joint venture with Mahindra Group- PSL McCann. Tapas Gupta told Ravindra Gautam that BEI Confluence is his 3rd start-up. He had already started two start-ups for the companies he worked for.
Tapas Gupta reveals Ravindra Gautam that his wife was the inspiration behind his own start-up BEI Confluence. His wife was also a well known advertising and media professional. The couple worked hard and capitalized on the professional business network they had. Today, BEI Confluence is a large agency spread in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
Tapas educates that advertising business is based on your networking skills supported by your professional competency. A strong network is a key to success in the advertising world, according to Tapas Gupta of BEI Confluence. He considers this as his intellectual property that converts into an asset.
Upon asking by Ravindra Gautam on the transformational changes in advertising, Tapas Gupta replies that a lot of digital transformation is happening and for this a continual upgrade in software becomes mandatory. Digital area in advertising is growing with the rate of 26% annually and a lot of innovations are taking place. Whereas the growth rate of print and television advertising is in single-digit or some may not be even growing. According to him one of the major challenges currently is to stay up-to-date in digital communication. They have to invest a lot in digital capital and the best technology so that they may present to their clients the best digital solutions. Tapas Gupta told Ravindra Gautam that Digital Communications is highly in demand by the clients today. Digital communication has become far more intrusive; it touches us closer and is available for us all the time. Moreover, it is cost-effective too whereas mass media is very expensive.
Tapas has beautifully used the terms atom bomb to explain television advertising and carpet-area bombing for digital advertising. According to him, television advertising is very expensive and if not used properly then this leads to a waste of money too. Geo-targeting is possible with digital advertising. Digital media has to be supported by mass media. It brings credibility and creates impact. In the conversation with Ravindra Gautam, Tapas also touches the segment of FM channels for city-wise geo-targeting.
According to Tapas the major challenge which agencies face with their clients is professional competence in brand management. He is engaged with the clients right from the conception of the idea/ product. Focus group discussions, research, depth interviews and analysis are part of brand management. The main concept is to work together with the clients. Clients expect marketing solutions. The brands targets and set in the beginning only. Agencies have transformed onto brand consultants. They work with the clients as partners.
Tapas Gupta tells Ravindra Gautam about the methodology BEI Confluence adapts to work with clients together. It is mainly FMCG led agency. Harvest Gold, Radico Khaitan- Magic moments, Cracks, 8 pm Whiskey are their clients. They are into the area of FMCG Products where marketing and advertising solutions are overlapping. They come as a package of brand management.
BEI Confluence has grown manifolds today. One of the greatest factors is that it has been able to retain the employees. More than 50 percent of the employees who joined when the company was started are still with it. Tapas treats all his employees like a family and had an emotional connect with them.
Ravindra Gautam asks Tapas about his philosophy and guidance for the new entrepreneurs who want to start their agencies today. Tapas says that as this is a human capital business, you need clients, network, and most important brand experience. Every client looks forward to intellectual capital forward. Tapas advises to invest minimum of 10 years in this industry before starting your own agency.
His Company BEI Confluence welcomes people engaged in digital communication as it is highly in demand. Tapas tell Ravindra Gautam that Digital Advertising is the future. 50-60 percent of advertising is digital and it has a higher rate of growth. He encourages and welcomes young and bright minds to digital world. He also speaks about the importance of interesting content generation in digital world. To summarize, Tapas says that when the soft-side and digital side of digital meets, it is the perfect combination.
We wish Tapas Gupta and the whole team of BEI confluence all the very best in their future endeavours.