Zarif Tapia Launches New Experiential Agency with Harsha Khorana

Industry Watch | April 28, 2017 | News

Open Brand Experiences Zarif Tapia Harsha Khorana

Zarif Tapia, former Director, Cream Events (part of Edelman India) has announced the launch of a specialty Experiential agency – Open Brand Experiences. Joining him in this endeavour is his partner Harsha Khorana, ex-Creative Head from multiple agencies including Cream Events.

OPEN intends to address a gap in the experiential market that will start a movement that elevates experiential agencies so they have the same relationship a client has with its creative agency.

Over time Open intends to invest in proprietary techniques to understand and analyse a brand’s story and help build their narrative. “If we look at most brands today – whether it is the digital device interface or what happens at point-of-sale – the strongest impact is being generated from what the consumer experiences. This flips the traditional pyramid upside down,” said Tapia.

OPEN is also looking to grow its Media, Digital, Art & Entertainment verticals within the first 5 years with many offices planned across the country.

On the launch of Open Brand Experiences, Harsha Khorana, Director of Strategy & Ideation said, “As somebody who invests a lot of time mining insights and scoping narratives, this is a great opportunity to help brands see the benefit of putting consumer experience first! The name Open is also very much about the chemistry that was struck between Zarif & I at CREAM. Both of us discovered ourselves as individuals who like to take up what was perceived as ‘not-possible’ and make it happen. We truly want to be able to keep that spirit up. Be transparent, be welcoming, be open.”

Tapia went on, “Open mind, open eyes, open ears, open experiences. We’re really upbeat about this move, as much as we are nervous. It is not an easy task to change the way brands perceive experiential / event professionals. We don’t know if we will be able to make a shift to a more transparent retainer model, but that is the goal. OBE will address the biggest problem that Experiential agencies face, clients don’t perceive us as strategic partners, so we are ready to invest ourselves into changing that and Open to partnerships in that direction.”

Positioned as a lightweight agency, OBE intends to tap into areas of experiential where there is a lot of scope to add value.

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