25 years of being fiercely independent and truly Indian – celebrating a corporate milestone as significant as that, can get undeniably nostalgic, especially if a large part of your growth journey is fashioned by an iconic organisation such as Adfactors PR. Back in 2005, when I started my professional journey, someone suggested that I join a PR company to get some exposure in the communications field. Since I never intended to be on the consulting side, my answer was a categorical ‘No’. But as they say, trust your gut no matter how good or bad an idea may sound on paper. Cut to 2022, as we ring in the 25th year of my workplace, I am close to completing a decade here, my longest stint in the PR consulting world.
A market leader with a child-like demeanour, Adfactors PR religiously nurtures ‘change and innovation’ as its guiding beacon. Therefore ‘unlearning to learn’ and ‘experimenting to innovate’ were organically driven aptitudes that paved the later years of my career in this organisation and the learning has never ceased to date. Through these years, the organisation, by design, has built a niche for itself – as a consultancy of choice for both large conglomerates and young startups alike. But alongside, it has never shied away from negotiating dramatic changes within its eco-system and the world around it. Some of the best moves were fructified through experimentation and opportunism then may it be the events of economic depression or the pandemic or embracing a cultural overhaul. The firm has done all that it takes to ‘earn’ the credence of being an integral part of landmark events in corporate India.
Today, if I were to describe Adfactors in a nutshell, I would call it a ‘Factory of Intrapreneurs’. Undeterred in making bold commitments, it encourages its leaders to pursue daunting tasks and audacious goals that grab them by their gut and push them to the limit to bring out the best in them. The organisational culture of ‘Inside Out – Outside In’ has created each leader into an ‘intrapreneur’ who has built a niche for himself or herself through a specialised craft that is hard to replicate.
I remember, back in 2018, I was inching my way towards building a specialty practice in Fintech, which was still at a nascent stage at that time. A visionary that he is, the nascency of the fintech sector didn’t keep our managing director from envisaging the potential size and scale of the industry that would go on to redefine how financial services would be offered and accessed in India. Together we envisioned building the country’s largest Fintech practice, in parallel to the industry-leading practice of BFSI that the organisation had already built encompassing more than a hundred clients. Driven with intent, nurtured by passion and designed for scale, our fintech vertical has today grown to become the largest in the industry, with over 80+ clients.
I believe the essence and culture of an intrapreneur are primarily built on three key pillars –
- Client centricity
- People centricity
- Domain centricity
Beheld as a strategy and embraced as a culture, ‘Client Centricity’ is an approach to conducting a business wherein the customer becomes the focal point of all decisions. In the communications and consulting space, it translates into communicating with the client in his lingo and narrating his story to the world at large. This requires being strategically aligned to the client’s business problems and offering custom-fit solutions that go beyond the peripherals of conventional PR practice. At Adfactors, ‘Client Centricity’ is at the heart of everything we do. It is a culture, a mindset, a philosophy that permeates through the organisation such that each Adfactorite is empowered to sense, analyse and respond to the requirements of the client.
On the other hand, ‘People Centricity’ is a high-performance culture that inspires and drives a set of like-minded individuals to pursue a ‘great idea’ regardless of whether it is daunting, risky or even unfeasible. People or Team centricity does not choose between ambition and pragmatism, instead, they take it up as a challenge to seek pragmatic solutions for ambitious goals that are yet consistent with their core values. At Adfactors, both the co-founders are personally invested in the multidimensional growth of each team member. Fostering a growth mindset that is primed for continuous learning is at the core of the growth agenda and therefore learning and development is an organisational priority. The lead management is committed to aligning individual employee goals and performance with that of the organisation.
Additionally, when it comes to empowering its employees with domain expertise and additional skills, the company, leaves no stone unturned. Hitherto, over 800 employees have been trained in digital marketing and communications, whereas each member of the organisation’s Fintech Specialist Team holds a certification in various domains of Fintech, including a certification in Fintech and Blockchain.
The firm runs a special ‘Rainmaker Program’ to promote the culture of intrapreneurship. We recently celebrated the success of crossing over 100 rainmakers, becoming the only firm in the world where over 100 people are pursuing the common idea of driving the growth of the firm.
Finally, ‘Domain Centricity’ involves being at the forefront of setting new trends in the profession including new practices and new communications solutions. In the past three years, the firm has pioneered many new practices like New Economy, Frontier Tech, Mobility, New Energy, Health and Wellness besides offering horizontal expertise on Digital Reputation Management, Strategic Communications & Advocacy, Startup & Unicorn offering to Social Impact & ESG.
As a sky that nurtures its people to embrace the culture of ‘flying high’, Adfactors PR has outgrown the idea of an organisation. Grounded by its values, and driven by a resolute quest for growth, Adfactors, today is an institution that epitomizes an impeccable pedigree of ‘driving market innovation’ and ‘building intrapreneurs’.
I know for a fact that I am what I am because of a choice I made nine years ago. Today in hindsight, I am glad, I made that choice as it helped me nurture the intrapreneur in me chasing a vision that is inspired by my work-home – a vision that preserves the core and stimulates progress towards the envisioned future, a vision that has no middle ground and is almost cut-like, a vision that defies logic and prudence to achieve the incredible!
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher. This article is part of a SILVER JUBILEE series by Adfactors PR commemorating their 25th year in the business of Public Relations.