TheSmallBigIdea thinks big

It is hiring, and is looking at offering language digital-first services

MUMBAI: In advertising the Big Idea comes from a small insight. That was the inspiration behind former Reliance Big executive Harikrishnan Pillai and Ex-Times Network's Manish Solanki naming their agency soon after they quit their jobs. Six years down the line, their full-service digital agency,TheSmallBigIdea (TSBI), has grown to a team of 84 professionals, having served clients such as Star Sports,&TV, Colors, Zee Bioskope, Seychelles Tourism, IDFC Bank, HDFC Life, Asian Paints, Chennaiyin FC, and Big Magic. Recently,the agency created headlines for winning the social media mandate for movies like Love Aaj kal and Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan.

For Pillai, it has been a dream journey from 2014, when he started the TheSmallBigIdea as a self-funded venture, by imbibing his experience from the Zee network and Reliance Broadcast Network.  
His fruitful stints at Zee and Reliance helped him a lot. Talking about his past experience, he said: “If we have hunger and perseverance they gave us the opportunity. It is probably the biggest legacy that I have carried into my team. As I have said, most of our team is home-grown, all trained internally with strong ethos. The team at TheSmallBigIdea is creatively strong.  They are leading the team as if they themselves are the entrepreneurs. The second lesson learnt has been a focus on delivery. A great idea without impeccable execution is nothing. So, while we are idea-driven, we are extremely focused on executions, delivery, and measurement.”

While brands in the media and entertainment category contribute 60 per cent of its business, TheSmallBigIdea has a stronghold and focus in tourism, education, e-commerce and BFSI. Then around 15-18 months ago,  it ventured into movies. “Movies happened last year with Badhaai Ho. Then we did Bala, Good Newzz, Dream Girl, and so on. Our primary focus is on sustainability and growth. What is going to give us sustainability is the large clientele that we have; our focus has been to provide services to them so that they can stick around us. The other most important factor is growth. When you look at sustainability you also look at growth,” said Pillai. 

Largely based out of Mumbai, it has reps in Bangalore, Delhi, Punjab and Chennai. 

The agency also has a sprinkling of media-only clients for whom it does the planning and buying like: Seychelles Tourism, Bahrain Tourism, Welingkar Institute and Dalmia College. Realising the potential in going local, TheSmallBigIdea launched TSBI Bharat as it saw the need to reach out to the next 100 million people who are going to come online. It's not just about language translation but studying how regional markets behave, how they consume internet and the role of neo-social apps in their ecosystem. 

“We want to understand their sentiments, what kind of content they want to consume, etc. It is about addressing a larger ecosystem rather than addressing one particular language,” says Pillai. 

TheSmallBigIdea is expecting a lot of growth coming from TSBI Bharat. It is pushing brands to create content in regional languages using neo-social apps. “We are also focusing on TSBI studios, which is the production division at TheSmallBigIdea to create more short-format content, podcasts and ad films. Our analytics tool ACE allows business to derive actionable insight through a thorough evaluation of social and enterprise data,”he added. 

The agency, is looking at hiring more people to reach the 100-mark. Going forward, TheSmallBigIdea envisages a brighter future. “What works for us are the insights and the content,” says Pillai confidently. “Not only our ideation team but our service team is very strong and that is reflected by the fact that 80 percent of our clients renew contract on Y-o-Y basis. What is not working for us is the reputation of being a media and entertainment company, which is not true. Like I have said we get only 60 percent of revenue from media and entertainment. This perception I would like to change.” he concludes.

Now that’s what sounds like a sound idea. A big sound idea. 

Latest Reads
Forevermark Diamonds Stands by Its Commitment to Protect The Environment And Wildlife This Environment Day

Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group believes what they do every day builds a lifetime of moments that will build your Forever. On International Environment Day, Forevermark reiterates their commitment to protect wildlife and keeping responsible sourcing at the very centre of...

MAM Marketing MAM
Dangal launches digital campaign to increase awareness on mental health

Keeping in mind the current situation and to help people cope with issues that are a result of mental health, Dangal, India’s most watched Hindi general entertainment channel launches an integrated digital campaign to create awareness on mental health as a subject as well as to promote positive...

MAM Marketing MAM
Ambuja Neotia wishes Bhalo Theko Kolkata through a music video in association with Alive India

In the past few months, the wellbeing of our loved ones has been one of the top concerns for everyone. Keeping well, safe and healthy has become the common refrain in all our conversations. As we make it through the lockdown and brace ourselves for a new normal and the gradual regularisation of...

MAM Marketing MAM
Stryder unveils refreshed brand logo

MUMBAI: Stryder, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata International Ltd, revealed its new visual identity - a more contemporary image that better reflects the evolution of Stryder, its products and its customers. The new image is part of an extensive branding overhaul and in sync with the mission to...

MAM Marketing MAM
Hike hires Seema Chawla as VP and head of marketing

MUMBAI: As Hike inches closer to launching its much-awaited offering HikeLand, India’s homegrown internet startup has hired Seema Chawla as its VP and head of marketing. Chawla joins Hike at an exciting new chapter for the startup, as it is closer to unveiling HikeLand, enabling a new social future...

MAM Marketing MAM
KFC rewrites rules, delivers to your cars and bikes

MUMBAI: In a pandemic situation the last thing you want is to go out and eat! And the restaurant industry has obviously been hit. Severely. So, the only way for the dine-in industry is to rewrite the rules of the business with Innovations, contactless deliveries, cloud kitchens, and by maintaining...

MAM Marketing MAM
Ogilvy Mumbai's campaign for Asian Paints assures great painting with safety

MUMBAI: In the new normal, every business is finding new ways to minimise the effect of any disruption to their stakeholders. And category leader Asian Paints is setting a precedence with its newly launched Safe Painting Service. This service promises great looking walls while ensuring safety for...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
HUL donates over 74,000 testing kits to tackle spread of Covid2019 in India

MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has donated 74,328 RT-PCR Covid2019 testing kits worth Rs 13 crore to help ramp up testing of patients in the country. The Maharashtra government has received about 28,800 RT-PCR testing kits to help in the early detection of Covid2019. Others who received the...

MAM Marketing MAM
I will stand as the captain of the ship and hold my people together: Ogilvy’s Piyush Pandey

MUMBAI: During the show The Media Dialogues, Ogilvy executive chairman Piyush Pandey spoke to Anuradha Sen Gupta on CNBC-TV18 about the impact of Covid2019 pandemic on the advertising world. He weighs in on how the advertising agency business has been impacted by Covid2019. Excerpts: Have there...

MAM Marketing MAM

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required