What is the secret sauce?

As the firm celebrates a wonderful milestone of 25 years, I reflect on my relatively short journey with Adfactors PR. A good time to use my “fresh eyes” and ask a few questions. What will enable us to grow stronger as we charter the next growth path? What is the recipe for success, that enabled us to become India’s largest public relations firm and number 53 in the global rankings? What is the secret sauce, as I see it?

Ingredient #1 

Find good people and get them to focus on what they are good at. What is it like to work at Adfactors PR? I must have answered this question hundreds of times in the last year and a half. The short answer – I feel welcomed and valued and I am not alone. What I have observed is the keenness to find what a person is good at and then allow them the space to focus on their strengths. When I broached the topic of me wanting to pursue Coaching in addition to my Communication role, Madan’s response to me was “yes off course you can, in fact bring the coaching culture into our firm as well”.

There is freedom to try out new things and fail. There is a willingness to listen to all points of view. There is fast decision making and there is an abundance of goodwill that has been created with all our constituents. Rajesh leads from the front on this aspect of nurturing relationships. Clients, media, influencers, and partners know that we care for them, and we will always go the extra mile. Getting good people and focusing them on doing what they are good at is something Adfactors PR is really good at doing. The key to any good recipe is the quality of the core ingredient and in our business it’s the calibre of people and their commitment to clients’ needs that stands out.

Ingredient #2 

A very strong process backbone driving a high-performance culture. Having a well organised kitchen, with access to all the best equipment is a powerful enabler. Our people have this benefit. We have a set of homegrown, built-for-purpose processes that create a high-performance environment. Excellence in execution is an everyday affair. Some of these processes encourage team members to think of creative ways to get their clients featured in the media. Add to that a focus on ensuring this earned attention is extended to the arc of digital influence and there is so much opportunity to do new and creative work. Every month teams keep an ear tuned into the external environment, find a trigger that could make their client relevant to the media, and then create a narrative that gets attention. The genius of this idea lies in its simplicity. It is our mission to be the gold standard in delivering earned attention for our clients. 

Like this, we have many other wonderful processes that drive operational excellence and ensure client centricity paired with one of the best Learning and Development programs across levels. 

Ingredient #3 Transparency and speed of decision-making. A good Chef has a keen sense of what is going on in the kitchen at all times. Tasting each dish, ensuring the plating is perfect and every now and then catching a mistake before it goes out to a customer. Every Monday the report card of the firm is shared with the entire leadership team of over 100 people. Week after week we look in the mirror to understand how we are doing. There is open discussion, views are heard, course corrections are made if required, or more resources are put into growth areas. It is very clear to everyone what is happening and why it is happening. The beauty of this process is that good work is celebrated, areas of improvement are acknowledged, and sparks of brilliance shared with all to help catalyse more great work.

The Mise en place for the next 25 years is coming together well. What got us here, won’t get us there. We have many new ideas cooking and we look forward to serving them up to the market. We remain fiercely independent, proud of our humble beginnings, and grateful for the trust the market has placed upon our shoulders. Our commitment to reinventing ourselves and growing with our clients is evident. Born in the IPO and BFSI arena, today Adfactors PR can offer a range of specialist solutions from Frontier Tech, Mobility, New Energy, Health and Wellness, Digital Reputation Management, Strategic Communications & Advocacy, Startup & Unicorn offering to Social Impact & ESG. The depth and width of our expertise are a testament to our ability to grow with the market and serve its emerging needs.

Picture abhi baakhi hai mere dost…Cheers to the next 25 years.

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.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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