To what has been, we remain grateful!

25 of my colleagues have jotted down their tribute to Adfactors PR to mark our Silver Jubilee. Since I am putting these thoughts together after having read all of them, I am at a loss of words because everything that I wished to write has already been covered by one colleague or the other.

I will begin by expressing our gratitude to everyone who made this journey possible. All our clients, all our people and their families, and to a very large group of people in media, financial markets, legal community and boardrooms across the country. It is their good wishes and support that have made all the difference. I feel Adfactors PR is immensely blessed for all the affection, trust and privileges granted to us by all our stakeholders and by the Indian society in general.

I specifically want to mention one group, which is usually missed out in acknowledgements. I wish to earnestly thank all our competitors in the business, from whom we have learnt a lot and continue to learn. Firstly, Mr NS Rajan, co-founder of Sampark (later Ketchum Sampark) for inspiring the idea of starting a PR firm. Thanks to Mr Sunil Gautam, founder of CLEA, Hanmer, and Pitchfork, who taught us the basics of financial communications; we drew inspiration from Ms Prema Sagar’s Genesis for process orientation; while from Mr Dilip Cherian’s Perfect Relations, we learnt the importance and value of media relations as a source of strategic advantage.

These are images from the day Adfactors Advertising was launched on September 5th 1981

The last 25 years of Adfactors PR and simultaneously, 41 years of Adfactors Advertising have been an immensely enriching journey. We sailed through the ups and downs and came out stronger through each adversity – internal or external. Events such as the dotcom burst of 2000, the financial meltdown of 2008, and the pandemic tested our resilience and the ability to reinvent. Thus far, we can look back with some satisfaction.

We remained steadfast in our beliefs and values. Freedom, transparency, respect for all, client centricity and continuous learning are practiced in real terms on a daily basis. The idea of independence forever gives us the strength to do the right things – to act beyond the compulsions of margins and maximisation of earn-outs.

The question this day is what lies ahead. Can we even hazard a view of the next 25 years? Will we remain relevant? Will we still be a market-leading firm? Will we still be a largely Indian operation or become a global firm? Will we still be fiercely independent? The industry’s global North Star, Edelman, took 70 years to become a billion dollar firm; will Adfactors PR cross the billion dollar mark before it turns 50?

I am an eternal optimist. Hope and optimism are part of our DNA. It is my belief that we will survive the next 25 years with the same dignity and resolve with which we navigated the first 25 years.

My belief stems from our culture and a large group of young and committed leaders who have made Adfactors PR their home. It stems from the continuing trust of our clients. It stems from the collective destiny of our people and their families. It stems from our ability to turn every crisis into an opportunity. It stems from our track record of consistent growth – year after year – for the last 25 years. And finally, it also stems from our ability to take incremental actions to remain relevant every passing year.

The destiny of Adfactors PR is aligned with the destiny of India. Our destiny will be powered by India’s journey over the next few decades to take the leading spot among the world economies. It will be powered by Indian ethos and values, and by Indian entrepreneurship and the hopes and aspirations of 1.4 billion Indians.

Thank you again.

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.

Madan Bahal
Madan Bahal is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Adfactors PR, India's largest and most awarded public relations firm. Adfactors PR is also the youngest and the only independent firm in its peer group in India.
The firm, under his leadership, has been winning multiple accolades in Indian, Asian and global PR industry platforms.

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