With several Goan students opting for mass communication, Team B&C checks out the job prospects in the advertising industry. Here, Conrad Stephen, managing director, Purple Crest Advertising, speaks about the various types of openings in advertising. Prior to founding his own advertising firm, Stephen worked in Mumbai with top agencies like McCann Erikson, Lintas and Percept India. His knowledge of the advertising industry is immense. He says to Shoma Patnaik that, it is possible for local students to have a career in advertising without leaving the state
- Do you think advertising is a good career choice for Goan students?
Definitely advertising is a sector that is opening up in the state. The scope of advertising now is broader than conventional advertising which is press, hoardings, TV clips, etc. Digital advertising is one of the emerging areas and so are other forms such as activation which is basically small events such as product launch, road shows, scheme announcements, etc. Coming to Goa the setback is that although we have several institutions most of the pass-outs are completely disoriented. After completing mass communication they do not know what to do. Some are wondering whether to change the line do MBA or go abroad? But why go to a different line after three years of a professional course? My advice to students is to specialize further in mass communication and stick to the original choice.
- What is a job in advertising all about?
Basically there are two aspects in advertising depending on whether you want to be on the creative side or on the client servicing side. On the creative side it is a choice between graphics and copy writing. Choosing graphics means a person starts off as a visualiser and rises to being art or creative director.
On the client servicing side the career graph is trainee to- client servicing executive- account executives- accounts directors and account planners. In client servicing the work is about making pitches to the clients and telling them how they can do the branding of the product.
There is scope for practicing the different function of advertising in Goa itself. There are 360 degree advertising agencies in the state that give scope to gain experience in all types of functions, viz. handle a product right from inception to birth and then its release in the market.
Besides the above career path, a mass communication student can also opt to be a media planner, specialise in PR or in event management .
- Does Goa have an advertising industry?
Goa does have an industry the only thing is that it is dormant. There is no upward curve happening because the local units are facing slow growth. The advertising industry grows parallel with industry. There are about 100 plus agencies most of them doing obit ads, death and birthday wishes and local industry. Some agencies do government ads and some local brands. Lot of local ad companies are into events. Yet there is a third group of advertising firms that are in new verticals like real estate and banking. The new entrants are actively seeking clients in upcoming sectors.
- What can be done to stimulate Goan advertising industry?
Industrial projects that are held up must be revived, such as the IT Park in Chimbel. The government also must encourage educational institutions and improve linkages with user industries. Mass communication institutes need to have good faculty and career guidance for students. The tourism department which advertises extensively is not doing much to encourage local firms. Most of the time tourism ads follow a conventional route and give no scope for creativity.
Goa has the potential of its own advertising industry especially as many yesteryear advertising greats are now settling down in the state and giving us a huge talent base.
- How was your career trajectory after you entered the industry?
The advertising industry in India always existed right from the sixties and seventies. It matured in the eighties when institutions of mass communications were set up. I did my mass communication in the early nineties where the industry had stalwarts like Nargis Wadia, Alyque Padamsee, Prahlad Kakkar, among others. Immediately after passing out I joined an advertising agency. Those days the industry was in expansion mode with international players doing tie ups with local firm. So it was an exciting period when there was plenty of openings. The industry also started expanding geographically from Bombay to other metro cities. Marketing and advertising both work hand-in-hand. Today apart from the MNCs, Indian companies and medium sized companies even the startups know that advertising is the need of the hour. It is the backbone to push products. About 80 per cent of the success of a product is marketing and 20 per cent is advertising.