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Scarecrow's growth plans after 4 wins this magic week

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MUMBAI: For founder-promoters Raghu Bhat, Manish Bhatt and Arunava Joy Sengupta, this week has been a turning point with their two-year-four-month-old agency recording four wins in the week.

Scarecrow Communications‘ prize catch has been the consolidation of Religare‘s account. The agency will now handle the creative duties of Religare Broking, Religare Health Insurance, Religare Macquarie and Religare Arts Initiative for its first client. The next line of attack will be to bag Religare‘s mutual fund that is under the care of Ogilvy.

Bhatt recollects those early days when the agency‘s name was not even firmed up. “When we first started with Religare Macquarie (a joint venture), Scarecrow did not exist. Our cards read Raghu, Manish and Joy and the address was of a coffee shop where we used to meet. We had pitched along with the likes of Ogilvy, Law and Kenneth, Lowe and TBWA and managed to win the account as a bunch of individuals. Scarecrow exists today because of that. Religare has been very lucky for us,” he says.

The week‘s other two wins are significant in another sense as Scarecrow prepares to expand its operations geographically while widening its client portfolio. Emami is Kolkata-based while Justbooks, a community library firm, hails from Bengaluru. The fourth win will be announced soon and Bhatt is not ready to talk about it.

Having offices in Mumbai and Delhi, Scarecrow is now planning to have a presence in both Kolkata and Bengaluru. Though the creative idea shop has around 35 clients across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, the servicing so far is done from the Mumbai and Delhi offices.

The Scarecrow Trio - Arunava, Manish & Raghu



The Scarecrow Trio - Arunava, Manish & Raghu

Scarecrow’s next target is setting a base is the eastern metro of Kolkata. Apart from the recently won Emami Healthy & Tasty edible oil account, Scarecrow already services five of innerwear manufacturer Rupa’s brands - Frontline, Kidline, Euro, Thermocot and Bumchums, also based out of the City of Joy.

Scarecrow believes in first building a client list in a region before setting up shop there. “We prefer having clients and slowly building our reputation before setting up an office in these centres. This makes working easier. That is the way we set up the Delhi office,” says Bhatt.

The six-month-old Delhi office has helped Scarecrow expand its client portfolio, winning most of the agency‘s new businesses. Housing 10 people, it services five major brands – Eristoff, Bacardi, MVI Mobiles, DLF and PentAir.

"We plan to bring on board new clients and double our team in Delhi. Incidentally, the Delhi office gets us maximum new businesses, surpassing even the Mumbai headquarters," informs Bhatt.

Scarecrow‘s future strategy is to work with more companies that have a cluster of brands, products and services under them. It is already associated with brands like Future Capital, DNA, Viacom 18, Nestle, Quikr, MVL & Pentair.

"Working with such companies not only gives an agency exposure and experience but also makes expansion of brand portfolio easier. There is a tuning of sorts and both the parties are acquainted with each other’s style of working and expectations," explains Bhatt.

The agency is eager to work with more brands across various categories. “We are pretty strong in the financial services category as we have already done work for Religare, Axis bank etc. FMCG is the most sustainable category for any agency as recession and slowdown do not really have a big bearing on it. They give you a good strength. We were already in the FMCG category but we have never planned communication for an edible oil brand. So it will be a learning experience for us too,” avers Bhatt.

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