Bates 141 relocates Dabral to push India growth

MUMBAI: Bates 141 has relocated its top creative person as it presses the accelerator to race past its 20 per cent growth in India.

Bates 141 India chairman and Asia creative head Sonal Dabral will move out of Singapore to nest in Mumbai, being at the centre of a three-year growth plan that aims at doubling India revenues.

"New businesses and growth from existing clients will help us double our revenues," Dabral tells 
Top  executives from rival agencies dismiss this as a tall order and almost impossible to achieve in today‘s tough economic and competitve times.

"Though Dabral is a big name, the targets look too steep to climb," says the head of a leading creative agency on condition of anonymity.

Dabral will, however, have a few new clients to build revenues on, the most eye-popping of them being Colgate-Palmolive. According to company financials, Colgate-Palmolive India has increased its spend on advertisng and promotions by 16.6 per cent to Rs 3.49 billion for the fiscal ended March 2011.

"We have a strong platform to build our growth on. We service clients ranging from telecom to insurance and automobile, all big ad spenders. We are on a growth path for the last four years in terms of budgets and margins," says Dabral.
The significant wins during this period include brands such as Tata AIG, TVS, Virgin Mobile and Fiat India.

While Dabral‘s residence will shift in July-end, his designation and role within the network remains unchanged.

Says Bates 141 Asia chairman Tim Isaac, "Clients and colleagues in India have been crying out for Sonal to come amongst them for several years now. This is not surprising as he is an inspirational and charming leader. So I encouraged him to respond to the clarion calls. He will be able to do so much more for India [which is growing at over 20 per cent a year and is a jewel in the Bates network crown] and still maintain an influence over our other offices."

In his role as creative head for Asia, Dabral will continue travelling to Bates offices in the region. In India, he will work closely with NCD India Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar.

Says Dabral, "Being here 24/7 is different from coming to India once in a month. This move is to focus on our current clients and strengthen our businesses in India. I hope to bring my learning from all the international markets to push Bates 141 in India to the next level."

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