EXCLUSIVE: We upskilled our artists during COVID: Robert Godinho, MediaMonks India

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The sound of a camera’s shutter and the hustle and bustle of a production floor may have been pushed into abeyance, but the power and creativity of creators has found a path in this new time of enforced social distancing.

MediaMonks India, the global creative production company that partners with clients across industries and markets, has helped creators and brands thrive.

MediaMonks’ journey in India began with Robert Godinho, Managing Partner at MediaMonks India, who was the Founder & CEO of WhiteBalance, a media production house, that merged with S4 Capital’s MediaMonks last year to create MediaMonks India.

To know more about how MediaMonks India’s monks have been braving through the pandemic, the way digital is moving forward in these unprecedented times and much more, we caught up with Robert Godinho. Excerpts:


MEDIABRIEF.COM: How has you journey with MediaMonks been so far?
Robert Godinho: Everyday there is so much to do and we are loving this build. As the journey begins. We have set ourselves some really ambitious milestones and with all engines going.
We are rather certain we will soon be in an extremely dynamic position to be the leading multi solutions avenue for new age digital solutions. Our focus continues to be of a maker mentality with an artist first philosophy.

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What is the suite of offerings and solutions you offer to businesses? What’s the size of your team in India? 
We are aggressively expanding as we notice brands getting active on fresher innovations. MediaMonks is a global pool of artists which works on a single P&L. This basically means we come not only with a lot of global first innovations, we also come with the artists inhouse to back up the creatives sold. In India we offer solutions from digital campaigns and creatives, AR, VR, film (digital and mainline) to microsites, Apps, Virtual events and installations.
What’s unique about the work approach and work culture at MediaMonks that you believe adds unique value to its offerings for clients? 
As I mentioned earlier, we are an artist first community globally that builds with innovation and tech solutions along with conventional art pipelines.
You  come with immense experience having worked with a leading media production house earlier, What were some of the learnings from there that have held you in good stead at MediaMonks?
India has a huge plethora of amazing talent with a multicultural diversity to its art languages. While building WhiteBalance (now Mediamonks India) we only explored the best talent from across the nation and built their capabilities in house. A very robust loyal team with a single minded goal to do epic work has always kept us together and what I have come to learn of MediaMonks is that they follow the same philosophy.
What is your basic business strategy, and what are your business objectives for, India?
MediaMonks is a creative content solutions provider. We intend to stay just that. Create  great work for both Brands and Agencies alike and stay super motivated to building our artist pool in new laterals and frontiers.
India at this point in time needs a huge inertia of new technologies and innovations. We cannot be seeing branding from the lenses we have already seen them from. A good creative house strives to build innovative communications brought about through aggressive insights and programmatic solutions.

Where do you stand in the pecking order today, and where do you see yourself one year down the line? 
MediaMonks is an S4 Capital company and even though we are extremely young as a brand in India, we come with a global lineage of 20 years and a captain to steer us in the perfect direction with Sir Martin Sorrell.
Testimony to this would be our half yearly results that were announced recently with revenues  rising 6.9 percent, like-for-like, in the first half of the year. This just shows that our motto of tech-led, new age, new era digital advertising and marketing services resonates with brands.
How is the business shaping up in times of Covid-19? What has been the impact of COVID on your business?
As you know, we are a single pool of artists globally and so while Indian business might have slowed down during the lockdown our artists have their hands full with our International businesses. Having said that, COVID has been a great leveler and brands are now looking at digital first solutions more aggressively.
This obviously falls smack in between the crosshairs of our specialisations. COVID also gave us time to further Upskill our artists in newer technologies that are a global first at the moment and takes us to the forefront of innovations.

COVID has been a great leveler and brands are now looking at digital first solutions more aggressively. This obviously falls smack in between the crosshairs of our specialisations. COVID also gave us time to further Upskill our artists in newer technologies

WFH has its pros and cons, how is MediaMonks navigating its way through it, and Does WFH or the Office environment have an impact on your monks’ creativity?
While monks are synonymous with a monastery where we build together, we also know how to find peace in isolation. WFH has its challenges but we are overcoming them in the new normal. We have a lot of social group activities and recreation going on.
Right from Home workouts and yoga classes done through zoom calls, to filmmaking contests, we encourage the artists to keep things fresh. We even understand WFH could have an adverse effect on one’s health and so right from offering reimbursements on office furniture one may need to purchase to a small amount to avoid the offset of finances due to excessive electric usage etc. we look into everything possible to make an artist comfortable.
MediaMonks has been a digital first agency with the lockdown imposed a lot of ad spend has been diverted to digital media, do you think this would revert back once normalcy returns?
The answer to this question basically rests upon how long more will this pandemic last and the consumer habits being formed in this time. If you get used to using a dishwasher, are you going to get your maid back? Or more so, will you discard the dishwasher once the new normal formulates?
There is no doubt that main line advertising will see a resurgence in the future but the sheen will be tarnished as digital continues to chomp away into the pie. This was already happening with the constant growth of social media and digital distancing we were seeing emerge gradually prior to COVID. Covid has only ramped up the digital growth by 7-8 years.

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How have brands changed or modified their communication strategy? And what has been your advice to all your clients? 

We are in a warlike situation and only those with the most tenacity will surviveVictor Knaap, Founder & Global CEO, MediaMonks

At times like these an agency must truly believe it is a part of the brand and in the brands good health shall it prosper or die in its ill health. Like Victor Knaap our founder & global CEO  said in the beginning of this pandemic.
“We are in a warlike situation and only those with the most tenacity will survive” we worked very hard with a very aggressive digital first mandate constantly pitching solutions to our clients through this period and continue to do so. Simple strategies like integrated productions and repurposing of content made communication efficient.
How have you helped your clients navigate through the Covid-19 crises?  Is there a case study you would want to share with our readers?
Budgets and how to communicate with consumers were our brands biggest problems. Despite the lockdown we solved this by orchestrating remote shoots, digital events and animated key notes to ensure brands had visibility.

Your thoughts, please