Ten years ago Prashanth Supramaniam and Kapila Vidanagamage stunned the local advertising industry by their daring move to start Sri Lanka’s first specialized media agency.
They have since then continued to prove their critics wrong and under their leadership what started off as a media only business has now diversified into a fully fledged communications Group.
It all started with the recognition that media was not getting its due importance in advertising and the value to clients was immense. The move was big, the vision was inspirational, the first step was simple and inexpensive in money terms, the attempt was considered ludicrous.
A tiny room in Sellamuttu Avenue, in Colombo. Two laptops and a computer. Two men determined to succeed against all odds, despite the aspersions flung their way, and with Media factory being treated as a joke that would not see the end of the year. They “unbundled” the media component from the advertising process in an unprecedented move in an industry that opposed change. With the use specialized skills and services in driving media led brand connections and in getting the best media deals to make every cent of the client’s budget work for them, a new significance to media planning as a source of advantage was created.
And so, they developed Media Factory to be a specialist in media consultancy, and the ultimate game changer in Sri Lanka’s inflexible and well-entrenched advertising industry. Before long, clients could see the priceless change – the media activity had changed inexorably, from being a lackadaisical, non-strategic back-room scheduling job, to a strategic process closely bonded with corporate objective, leading corporate communication strategy from the front in terms of effective exposure and compelling visibility in the media.
Media Factory, at the very outset, was awarded a two million rupee Heinz Ketchup account, which was brilliantly handled, paving the way for another five million rupee award for five months.
Today, Media Factory is rightly proud to have defied all odds and grown to become a recognized powerhouse in advertising. Today, it is one of Sri Lanka’s largest communications groups with over 100 employees, five companies and specializing across four distinct disciplines of communication. The five separate companies under the large umbrella of Media Factory Group, are - Media Factory Pvt. Ltd., Madison Media Sri Lanka, Magenta Pvt. Ltd - their creative arm, Mandarin BTL. Pvt. Ltd - the activation arm and Momentus Pvt. Ltd - their PR and Digital arm.
At the core of the Group’s success lies its belief in market led disruption. Disruption that is intellectual. Every company launched by Mediafactory Group has learnt from the success of Mediafactory and been built to question the inefficiencies of the existing practices of the industry.
If proof is in performance, one just need take a look at the position of the groups companies amongst its peers in each of the disciplines offered. This success has been driven through disruptive ideology on the thinking and modeling of each discipline which has won favour amongst clients.
Prashanth said, “The celebration of a decade is not the end of an era, but the beginning of a new chapter in our history that is shouldered on a new leadership team whose aspirations are even greater than that of ours as founders. The future is indeed bright. We may well face a few challenges, but will continue to invent and disrupt right through forcing the market into playing catch up.”
Focusing on the future, Kapila says, “The next twenty years may see many new disruptive moves by the Group. And it will. But the one thing that will remain right throughout is the Spirit of Mediafactory, the spirit to overcome challenges,s be it our own or that of our clients. We are fighters who have learnt to fight for survival and for success that is of our own and that of our clients. Now it is entrenched in our DNA. The next decade and our future ambitions may present many challenges, but we are motivated and ready.”