We also tend to grow people from within the system. We look for people who have found something for themselves and can attract people who believe in the same cause.
It would be foolish to hire people who believe in exactly the opposite of what you do and expect them to stay. They understand the economic trends for the industry and as long as you are being fair to them—and if they feel looked after— they will stick on.
CIO: Do big agencies tend to shortchange small clients?
R. Balakrishnan:I think a client is a client no matter what. They work with the agency to solve their problems and if an agency doesn't pay attention to the client, it will lose them. It doesn't make sense to think that a big agency will pay less attention to its clients.
In the end, our business is about doing the best work for the client regardless of whether they are small or big. The revenue associated with solving the problem comes later. An agency is only as good or bad as the solutions that it provides for its clients problems.
CIO: On a personal front, how do you keep pace with new-age customers?
R. Balakrishnan:I continuously access the Internet and interact with our businesses; I know how that feels. You may never watch as much television as the average consumer, but even if you watch it for an hour you get a fair idea of what's going on and realize how content, movies, and messages are received. You can't hope to understand every hope, like, and dislike of the new-age customer without becoming one yourself. It is important to be a part of today and not get stuck in the past.
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