Local ad firm goes global

July 31, 2010

Benchmark attracts leading brands in Nepal, fights Indian majors
Local advertising and brand solution provider Benchmark has started a full-fledged subsidiary company in Nepal marking Bangladeshi advertising industry’s step into the age of going global.
‘TBWA\Benchmark Communication Nepal has started its full-fledged operation from early this month,’ managing director of the company Ashraf Kaiser told New Age.
The 12-strong Benchmark’s Katmandu team will serve multinational brands like Adidas, Etihad, Skoda, Yamaha and LG, and top Nepali commercial bank Kumari.
‘Going to Nepal was Benchmark’s quest for going global … We just pioneered it for Bangladeshi advertising industry,’ said Kaiser.
Rupees 500 crore Nepal’s advertising and brand solution market is dominated by major Indian service providers including JWT, Prisma Ogilvy and their access to Nepali companies and multi-nationals in Nepal is easier as the top managers there are mostly Indians.
‘We want to expose that achiever talents from communication solution industry from Bangladesh can serve clients in foreign lands effectively and efficiently,’ said Kaiser.
Nepal’s closer economic relation and dependence on India, almost open borders, and presence of many Indian companies, make doing business of Indian agencies there easier moreover Indians in agencies there require no visa or work permit.
‘We [Bangladeshis] need to be confident that we can. If Indians can buy giant companies in foreign lands why Bangladeshis should wait for just spreading their wings aboard?’ said Kaiser.
Like in Bangladesh, Benchmark Nepal offers localised and customized services including creative solutions, brand identity creation, media buying, event management and public relation.
Benchmark’s CEO said from the past year his company had trial operation in Nepal and now he is so confident that by the end of 2011, turnover of Nepal subsidiary would cross five crore rupees.
Benchmark in Bangladesh has already crossed Tk 20 crore turnover.
At least two Bangladeshi banks have branch or joint venture operation in Nepal, local private sector airlines GMG and United Airway have regular flights to the Himalayan Valley and a global tourism hotspot, and Bangladeshi brands like Pran and Rahimafrooz have significance presence in Nepal, added Kaiser.
An investigative reporter in 90s, Ashraf started Benchmark in 2001 and in 2004 his company got affiliation of TBWA, a subsidiary of New York-based global advertising, marketing and corporate communications giant Omnicom Group.

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