From left: Tharindu Gayan, Shawn Glaze, Rev. Fr. Leonard, Nilantha Manjula and Alann Lopez
5th Elephant turned 11 years recently. The ad agency’s humble beginnings are much part of its triumph today. The agency has never measured success by profit margins or a list of clients. Instead they see success as perseverance. The sheer will to see the hard times through to the other side even when the odds are down, all the while doing solid work that will take them higher in creative spheres.
Equally, the strong passion for creativity also exists at this small agency as they explore new ideas and thinking. With a small, blossoming and talented team in place, each approaches the daily challenges with a sense of wonder, creativity and professionalism. The ‘elephants’ work in a fun, informal and liberal atmosphere where teamwork rules.
5th Elephant is a mere fledgling of an industry player that has grown by leaps and bounds in 11 years and their journey is only just beginning. Expolanka Group CEO Hanif Yusoof remarked, “The debt we owe to 5th Elephant to the play of imagination is incalculable. Great creativeness and right attitude!” As the old sayings go about the beauty of being small, the team is proud of the fact that they are an agency that began from scratch to be where they are today.
The inception of the company is best described as a leap of faith. A venture begun with three friends and they opened up for business in 2004 with zero client. Quoting their first client Fashion Bug Chairman Rizal Subian: “We were the first client for ‘5th Elephant’ 11 years back and today we are proud to see their excellent achievement and we wish them all the best in the future too.”
Every step, since then, has been an uphill climb with its fair share of obstacles and trials to test the mettle of the company. IPM Sri Lanka Past President and Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resources Management Vice President Lalith Wijetunge said, “I worked with them for the last five years very closely and more than everything I like their positive attitude towards the client’s satisfaction by getting an excellent outcome.”
While 5th Elephant also has its exclusive clientele it has also created a niche for being the second tier agency to larger companies. 5th Elephant is proud to be the second tier company as it motivates them to work harder and offer the very best to their clients. The company likes being propelled out of its comfort zone as it counts it as a learning experience and a path for growth. Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC Marketing Manager Upuli De S. Kulasiri acknowledged: “Out of the box advertising that is not only empathic but also manages to meet deadlines.”
5th Elephant also has a very simple policy and that is to give something back to the needy and has embarked on several corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and now has taken a stance to create more opportunities to inculcate and encourage our younger generation to join the advertising industry. As a start 5th Elephant donated two high-end graphic computers to St. Patrick’s College, Talawakelle.
A success story is just as much as the people who have stood behind them in faith. 5th Elephant takes the opportunity to thank clients, suppliers, friends and industry colleagues who have supported them from the very beginning, including, the media agency that has unwaveringly stood beside them. There has always been curiosity behind the name and how it came to be. Some say it came from a Hindu myth while others say that it was to pay homage to Terri Pratchett and his imaginary Disc world. Well, the mystery still remains.