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 story : Agencies should try to follow an Asset Light Model: Sam Balsara #IndiaNEWS #40 Under 40 Sam Balsara speaks about the dire talent crunch seen in the industry, sharing how agencies can prepare for the

@newsMNC 9 Days ago

Posted in: #IndiaNEWS

Agencies should try to follow an Asset Light Model: Sam Balsara #IndiaNEWS #40 Under 40
Sam Balsara speaks about the dire talent crunch seen in the industry, sharing how agencies can prepare for the future as creative competition increases as the Indian A & M industry strives towards growth.



It has been a year of changes good and bad. Sam Balsara, Chairman, Madison World and Jury Chair, Social Samosa 40 Under 40, sheds light on how competitive pressures faced by the agencies are leading to a dearth of talent and giving rise to newer management challenges. He speaks about how agencies can balance going forward, with details around the evolving AdSpends pie.  



Edited Excerpts: 



Having served on almost every Industry body in the country, what according to you are the biggest challenges plaguing the industry & what changes need to be brought about to overcome the same?



As the economy and the advertising industry get back its mojo, the talent crunch is once again hitting the industry like never before, especially in Digital. The biggest change and an unfortunate change I see is that at one time in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s agencies were able to hire students from top management institutes.



Today, given the competitive pressures, agency fees have reduced, and consequently, agency salary structures have not been able to keep pace with the growth in salaries in many other sectors. Advertisers are partly responsible for this. The savings they generate from a reduction in agency fees, I believe, is counterproductive.  



Whilst large and consistent advertisers understand the game, many small and medium advertisers led by a procurement orientation and no skin in the game have been the cause of this.  I believe no entity that a manufacturer or a service provider deals with in today’s time delivers as much value as an agency does, in return for so little.



Another unfortunate development in recent times has been the debacle with TV ratings service BARC. This is really unfortunate that the Industry got featured on the front pages of national newspapers for the wrong reasons. But I am glad that the industry is coming together to put in place a robust, fair, and transparent mechanism to manage BARC.



The last 18 months have been life-changing, to say the least. What are some of the biggest learnings for you from this phase? 



The biggest learning is that anything can happen at any time with lasting consequences. You cannot take your revenue stream, leave alone growth for granted. One should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.  



Try and follow an asset-light model. Use plug and play services as far as possible. Use outsourcing. At the same time remember the axiom, “Tough times don’t last, tough people, dlˈ


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