Gozoop, a digital-first integrated communications agency is one that needs no introduction. Over the last 10 years the agency has grown in every dimension possible, from a humbling start in a garage to now having multiple offices not only in India but abroad as well.
In this Two-Part Straight Talk with two pillars of Gozoop, Premkumar Iyer, Vice President- National Operations and Amyn Ghadiali, Vice President-Business & Strategy, we dive into the agency’s journey and the plans ahead.
Read on and get inspired!
Gozoop has been doing phenomenally well in the recent past… Whom would you credit this growth and success to?
We believe that is the cumulative effort of being independent and long term in our approach that has enabled us to undertake revolutionary moves like appraisals and no salary cuts in these tough times. However, it is our people, our teammates that are at the root of achieving this feat.
We take great pride in sharing that over the years, the habit of keeping people at the center of everything we do has helped us build the best team. The character that our team showed during the most challenging time fills us with great pride. Everyone top-down worked with all that they had to ensure the promise that we won’t do any COVID-related Job or Pay Cuts was well kept.
Well, revolutionary moves such as appraisals and no salary cuts in these tough times show the true mettle of the agency… take us into flashback and tell us about the inception of Gozoop? How did it start?
It all started over a lunch conversation between Rohan Bhansali and Dushyant Bhatia. Back then in 2010, Rohan and Ahmed were working together at RAA Studios, a web development and graphic design shop. It was during the time when everyone in India was getting started on Facebook and Orkut was still a favourite that we launched Gozoop.
From a humble beginning in a garage, we have come a long way. At the beginning we were largely working with e-tailers like Snapdeal, Myntra, Quikr and Groupon. By 2011, we started diversifying and expanding.
We launched operations in India, Middle East, New York and Singapore, innovated with digital products which help brands understand their audiences better, conceptualised and executed award-winning campaigns, acquired four companies, exited Singapore & New York to focus on India & Middle East, and gone beyond digital to become a 360-degree integrated marketing company. All in a span of 10 years.
Wow! That’s commendable; tell us about the acquisitions you have made in these past few years.
Gozoop has acquired Red Digital, a social media agency in 2013, iThink – a technology development enterprise in 2014 and 56 Blue Lights – an event and activations agency in 2016. Its most recent joint venture was with Hepta, a company that now executes most of Gozoop’s tech projects. Each of our four acquisitions (three in India and one in Dubai) strengthened a function or built new capabilities. Hence, even in the times of adversity we have our momentum going. Whether it is winning new mandates such as Bisleri, Gulf Oil, Zee Zindagi, Guardian GNC, Oppo and Sterlomax or doing campaigns like #IAmPositive or #DontBeACarelessKhajur, it is all a testimonial to the persistence of the gozoopers over these many years!
While Gozoop is a powerhouse! What are some of the services that Gozoop provides that you, Prem and Amyn personally feel are the best in the business?
While we provide multiple services, we feel that our core is what sets us apart from the rest. We aren’t just an agency but a partner to our brands. We build businesses after knowing the brand inside-out and want what is best for our partner brands. Having our skin in the game with them makes us who we are.
What are the expansion plans for Gozoop? Where do you see the agency by the next year?
We don’t look at ourselves with a year-on-year lens. We believe in having a farsighted lens and look at ourselves with a 3-5 year-perspective. In the next few years, we will be one of the most acclaimed integrated agencies in the space by virtue of having the best brands, best talent, and best partners. We don’t exist in silos. With this aggressive outlook, we want to continue our dominance in business acquisition and publish some category-defining work that initiates change at a larger level. That’s the plan.
While you have had a few acquisitions in the past, going forward what are your thoughts on any specialist agency acquisitions?
Gozoop’s growth till date has a deep and rich history of acquisitions. As we have shown time and again, we are always hungry and on the lookout for adding newer capabilities. These facilitate us towards achieving our larger purpose. To answer your question, yes, we will drive strategic acquisitions in the future just like we have in the past.