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Starcom launches independent agency FutureWorks to service Future Group

MUMBAI: Close on the heels of a humungous account win from Kishore Biyani's Future Group, Starcom Media Vest Group has unveiled an independent agency called FutureWorks that will fully service the retail behemoth on strategic initiatives.

The media spend FutureWorks will handle has been pegged in excess of Rs 2 billion. Spearheading the initiative is Dinesh Singh Rathore as general maganer - India, he was previously heading Starcom's Bangalore operations. Rathore will report to MD, India, West and South Manish Porwal.

Headquartered in Mumbai, it will operate as an autonomous associate unit of Starcom Worldwide and will work alongside its other specialist units. The company is scouting for professionals beyond the media business, apart from a few Starcom employees that have come on board. It will start with an initial team of around 20, which will be scaled up as the needs of the Future Group expand.

FutureWorks has highlighted the twin goals of delivering return on objectives and consumer connections to Future Group brands.

Rathore says that the agency will aim to reach out to the 'consumer' at multiple levels that could include movies, game shows and sport, including cricket.

The size of the business was reason enough for Starcom to approach the Future Group on setting up a special unit to service their account. Porwal said, "We believe that the communication needs of a retail brand is fundamentally different from that of packaged goods and other classical categories. To provide focus to the leveraging the Future Group's opportunities, we decided to create a brand new unit, with its own vision, leadership and operating processes."

Speaking on the single client agency, Pantaloons president - marketing Sanjeev Agrawal said that they are happy to partner with Starcom on their "journey of hyper growth". In fact, he highlighted their quick approach as they recently initiated the co-sponsorship deal for season three of Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Future Group, whose flagship enterprise is Pantaloon Retail, operates through six verticals: Future Retail (encompassing all lines of retail business), Future Capital (financial products and services), Future Brands (all brands owned or managed by group companies), Future Space (management of retail real estate), Future Logistics (management of supply chain and distribution) and Future Media (development and management of retail media spaces).

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