GPJ India Celebrates 2015 Success with a Goa Offsite; Interview with MD, Rasheed Sait

Industry Watch | January 15, 2016 | Interview

GPJ Planet Hollywood

GPJ’s YEPee 2015, an offsite that took place at Planet Hollywood, Goa from Dec 4-6, saw all employees travel from Bangalore for three days of fun. With the tagline ‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai’, the highlights of the event included Water Polo, Trivia by D’Frens, Event Manager Roast Sssssurprise, cocktails and mocktails, and dinner by the beach. The main aim was to provide employees an opportunity to unwind and party.

Other aspects of the offsite included snakes experience, ride and drive experience, picnic lunch at Spice Farm, a gala night and Awards, GPJ’s got talent, and a DJ night.

The Bike Ride to Spice Farm featured a dress code which served as a unified visual, and a folk dance welcome.

The gala night saw all employees dressed in black as they walked the red carpet. Awards were given in 13 categories including Best Financial Management Event of the Year, Best AG & RM Event of the Year, Digital Event of the Year, Flagship Event of the Year, Creative Event of the Year, Flawless Event of the Year, Employee Townhall Event of the Year, Experience of the Year, Initiatives of the Year, Multiple Cities Event of the Year, CEO Event of the Year, Longest Running Event Campaign at GPJ India, and Business Partner Activation of the Year.

Watersports on Day 3 included Banana Ride, Jet Ski, Ringo and Parasailing.

The prime reason for this celebration was the success of GPJ in 2015, where all targets and expectations were met. In the interview below, Rasheed Sait, Vice President and Managing Director, GPJ tells EVENTFAQS more about the agency’s achievements in 2015, and elaborates on plans for 2016.

Briefly go over GPJ’s success in 2015. What was the kind of growth witnessed?

Over the last 2-3 years, we had mainly focused our efforts and investment on the Mumbai and Delhi markets. We were winning 30-40 new clients year on year based on our superior creative and strategic approach to event and marketing campaigns. We also won a number of awards along the way.

However, the year 2015 started with a shift in our strategy for the India market. We decided to focus our efforts and investment more towards the capabilities that brought us profitable growth in the past. This worked well for us as we grew business with some of our existing clients like IBM, Synopsys, Gartner and Cisco, and acquired blue chip clients like Red Hat, Bosch, Intuit, LinkedIn, Visa, West Rock, Ingersoll Rand, etc. GPJ India's audience marketing and strategy + planning business units too witnessed growth and performed well in 2015‎.

It was a super busy year for team GPJ India with over 450 events, exhibitions and experiences executed in 365 days. Our offsite (GPJ's YEPee 2015) to Goa was a well-deserved break for all the hard work the team had put in and of course for surpassing targets too. We deliberately dropped business sessions and decided to just party for 3 days.

What were some key areas of success in 2015 in terms of type of events and experiential marketing activities?

One of the key areas of success in 2015 was the digital experience we planned and executed for our clients. Social media engagement as part of the IBM Analytics Forum, RFID / TouchScope / Live Analytics as part of Bosch Smart Manufacturing Conclave and Gamification as part of Red Hat Amazing Experiences are just a few examples.

Yet another area of success for us was the growth of our business unit that executes experience marketing campaigns in Africa and the Middle East. This year Turkey and Egypt were added to the list of countries we support with planning, creative, project management and audience marketing.

We launched a creative HUB this year that supports various GPJ offices in APAC and EMEA with ‎design solutions. This division has tremendous potential and will see significant growth next year. GPJ’s registration services that we set up for our client Gartner more than 3 years ago also witnessed growth this year.

Do you feel the company's success is paralleled in the industry as a whole? What are some of the ways in which GPJ’s success is unique?

I wouldn't say our success is unique. From what I read and hear, most of the leading experience marketing agencies have ‎done well in 2015. What is unique about GPJ India is 70% of our business is not your traditional event management type of work. Our revenues come from a diverse portfolio of services. These are Attendee Marketing Strategy, Audience Generation, Competitive Analysis, Event Auditing & Reporting, Measurement & Analysis, Event Portfolio Planning, Consumer & Customer Research, Strategic Experience Mapping, Branding, Theme Development & Messaging, Experience Design, Graphic Design, Live Production, General Session Production, Video Production, Social Media Engagement, Event Gamification, Virtual Events, Event Apps, Microsites, etc.

What are your expectations for 2016?

I am expecting 2016 to be another good year for ‎the industry and GPJ India. We are targeting atleast a 20% growth in 2016.

The new year has started well and Q1 is already looking packed. The Auto Expo is keeping us really busy at the moment with projects for Fiat and CarDekho.com in the pipeline. We are in the planning stages to execute experiences for our clients that will revolve around the T20 cricket world cup in March 2016.

Our strategy for 2016 is to sell more of our unique capabilities to our existing clients and of course acquire new business‎. We are betting big on digital and are exploring a possible acquisition. We are the global leaders in automotive experience marketing and GPJ India will be leveraging this expertise from our global offices to grow our automotive portfolio here.

Last but not the least‎ - our people are our biggest asset. We will continue to invest in our stars as well as our rising stars and groom them into leadership positions through the GPJ training programs and through exposure to GPJ's global best practices.

Following an eventful offsite at Planet Hollywood Goa, M.D Rasheed Sait tells EVENTFAQS all about GPJ’s success in 2015 and plans for 2016.

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