President Zardari Gives Away Advertising Awards to Ahmed Kapadia, MD Synergy Advertising

President Zardari Gives Away Advertising Awards to Ahmed Kapadia, MD Synergy Advertising

Karachi (March 11, 2010): The 19th & 20th APNS Awards function was held at Islamabad on Tuesday. Mr Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan gave away the awards to the recipients chosen by the jury.

The President said media should reflect positive societal changes and must contribute to national development. The awards were given to the excellent journalistic and advertising efforts in 2005-06and 2007-08 in various categories.

Synergy received four awards in recognition to its exceptional work during the years 2005-2008. Managing Director, Synergy Advertising, Mr. Ahmed Hussain Kapadia, received awards from the President at the award distribution ceremony.

  • Synergy has won the APNS awards in the following four categories:
  • Best Corporate Advertisement 2007-08 (Client: UBL Fund Manager)
  • Best Advertising Campaign 2005-06 (Client: Warid Telecom)
  • Best Advertisement for a specific brand 2005-06 (Client: Bank Alfalah)
  • Best Corporate Advertisement 2005-06 (Client: Habib Bank)

Synergy Advertising holds a tradition of winning multiple awards for its remarkable creative solutions. Winning the current APNS awards is the continuation of Synergy’s brilliance in the field of advertising. This milestone implies the strength of Synergy advertising and proves its outstanding performance as an established agency of commendable repute.

Expressing his contentment on the occasion, Mr. Ahmed Kapadia – Managing Director, Synergy Advertising said, “It is a very delightful moment for me and my entire team for getting such high appreciation of our work at a national level. I would like to thank Almighty for this honor. I am grateful to APNS, which by organizing APNS Advertising Agency Awards, is not only recognizing the efforts of creative agencies but also promoting Pakistani talent at a global level. I would like to share the credit of this wonderful achievement with my entire team and esteemed clients.”

Besides Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami-President APNS, Dr Jabbar Khattak-Secretary General APNS, Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira-Minister for Information and Broadcasting, the ceremony was attended by the leading publishers, renowned editors, prominent media professionals, advertising agencies and distinguished personalities from different walks of life that include members of Judiciary, diplomats, political leaders, senior officials and intelligentsia. The President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, was the chief guest on the occasion.

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Team Synergy wins by 7 wickets

Team Synergy wins by 7 wickets

Ahmed Kapadia and team mate Amir Mandviwalla on January 23rd, 2010. Synergy cricket team wins the Final of the Quaid-E-Azam cricket cup beating Hush Puppies by six wickets.

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Interview by Yasir Zaheer & Shermi Herath

Interview by Yasir Zaheer & Shermi Herath

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Our values shape our destiny

Our values shape our destiny

We all have it within us to walk the extra mile, to rise beyond our expectations of ourselves, to not lose sight of our destination even when our eyes are blinded by the worst of storms and to swim against the tide no matter how strong the current is. All of this can be made possible by exploring the depths of our soul and finding the right direction every time we come to a standstill on a crossroad in life. Our values are what define us as humans, they determine the decisions we make under pressure in life and the course we choose in times of despair. When the journey of life becomes tough and hard to bear, it is our values that help us prove our mettle.

Shedding light on the power of human values, Ayn Rand, American Writer & Novelist says, “In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.

What are values? How do we define them? In simple words, we can define values as ethics, morals and principles that shape our code of conduct on a personal, organizational, religious and cultural level. It helps us navigate our life by using an established set of beliefs that helps us differentiate between the right and wrong and choose our actions likewise.

Only those of us can win the battle of life who stay true to the ethical and moral values that our conscience tells us is right. Everyday we have a choice to make, either we can move closer to our dreams by lying and cheating or by doing the right thing no matter how difficult the journey becomes. In the end, the real champion is the one who realizes his dreams by following the right path. Because when he gets what he wants by doing the right, he also wins inner peace and contentment that can never be achieved by giving up on the morals and values.

When I started my company back in 1999, I had a small team of people that were brought in to run the new venture with almost zero investment. We were struggling to barely survive in the market. That was one of the most trying phases of my life because the income was minimal while expenses had to be met at all costs. At that time, I had two choices; I could either take an easy way out at the expense of sacrificing my values to make quick money or fight the battle to the end to live my dream. I’m glad to have taken the second path because the pleasure of success achieved without falling from grace is far sweeter – today we have turned Synergy advertising into a Group of companies without compromising on principles.

Just as our values determine our altitude in our personal life, the values of an organization determine its long-term sustainability and growth. The challenge at the hand of any organization is to develop a corporate culture that creates a bridge between employees’ personal values and the organizational values. To make this possible, the organizational values need to be stated clearly and communicated to all employees time and again in a way that motivates them to give their best to their work.

Synergy – not just a name but a whole philosophy of life. The values we derive are not merely text but lessons learnt from life. All that I had learned from my experiences in life, I wanted them to become a part of the values of my organization because I believe these values have the power to form strong foundations for the company and employees to achieve greater heights and to face the most difficult of challenges with courage and dignity. To create a guiding force for my team, we came up with six core values:

  • Client-Centrism – The interests and the needs of the client are paramount. The biggest sin committed by most advertising agencies is to ignore the needs and requirements of their clients. To be able to serve clients in a most effective way, we need to become guardians of their brands. The key to successful business lies in open and clear communication that leads to delivering best possible, customized solutions to clients. A case in point for us is Silk Soap. When we signed up with Silk Soap as our client, it was an unknown brand. They had limited budgets, but that did not limit our thinking as we were focused on end results. The success of Silk brand can be gauged from the multiple creative awards it won in recognition

    for achieving a high brand value. Our biggest honour was when Silk Soap became the only Pakistani brand to win the coveted Abby award in India.

  • Synergy – Collaboration and teamwork at every level of the organization reaps superior results. We live in an age of high interdependence that demands everyone to pitch in with their expertise. Moreover, in advertising, interdepartmental collaboration is highly important. High conflict of opinion has always existed between Account Management and Creative departments due to divergent perspectives. As a team leader, my goal is to encourage harmony between all the departments and remind all my employees that we all rely on each other to achieve overall organizational goals as a team.
  • Empowerment – Autonomous decision-making at all hierarchies creates a more rewarding organization. When people know that they have control over their actions then they can figure out how to channelize their energy in the right direction. Through this knowledge, they can use their authority for the benefit of organization. I personally appreciate those people in my organization who are willing to take initiative on their own. I am of a strong opinion that empowerment is the key to foster openness of minds, develop new opportunities and have a greater vision. Leadership Empowerment Committee (LEC) was formed in Synergy with the sole purpose of giving a voice and ownership to employees. The idea was to identify talent and let them find practical solutions through active participation.
  • Responsibility – With empowerment exists the need for accountability at all organizational levels. Responsibility is an attitude of getting the job done. Once a person really takes the responsibility of doing a task he puts all his efforts in it and focuses towards solutions rather than giving excuses. Taking responsibility means making sure a job is done well; it requires determination, commitment and delivery.
  • Integrity – Ethics and Integrity should be the hallmark of all activities. Integrity is an important part of self-evaluation. Someone who has integrity would always show a serious attitude towards work with the best interests of his organization at heart. He would work just as diligently at all times whether he’s being checked upon or not. Managers have a huge responsibility in this regard; if they expect integrity from their subordinates they need to first become role models for them and inspire them to work with honesty and conscience.
  • Equality & Fairness – In all activities and interactions merit and justice must form the foundation. Equality involves overcoming the biases that may exist in an organization on the basis of social status, gender, culture and religion. It is important to maintain a neutral working relationship with everyone and treat everyone with equal amount of respect. Maintaining a fair practice with all employees is equal to telling everyone that no one is above the established principles. That’s why in Synergy, an employee’s progress isn’t dependent on bootlicking but is rather based on merit and hard work.

The long-standing values have always been and will be a source of guidance for my team and me. It is through these values that we have successfully completed 10 years in advertising industry and made it through a myriad of ups and downs in the process. Every time we fell short of performance, we learned from our mistakes by referring to these values that gave us the strength. I know that there are many hurdles still to be crossed and milestones to be achieved for Synergy. And I’m most certain that through these binding values, we would continue to move forward towards higher altitude because for us in Synergy sky is not the limit; it’s just the beginning!

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Invaluable lessons from sport

Invaluable lessons from sport

Someone has rightly said, “Sport strips away personality, letting the white bone of character shine through. Sport gives players an opportunity to know and test themselves.”

Passion for the game you love is the key difference between an ordinary and extraordinary player. Those who play for the love of the game are motivated by the sheer pleasure they get from every moment that they spend in playing the game they love. They care more for the game and for their team rather than the material rewards attached to winning, every time they win they make a vow to play even better and every time they lose they humbly learn from their mistakes as a team. True glory belongs rightfully to those who play for a dream and prove to everyone that if you put your heart and soul to something, you end up achieving it no matter how impossible it may seem to the rest of the world.

Cricket is one game all Pakistanis feel a great affinity towards. I’m one of them too. Being an ardent cricket fan, I have been playing cricket for the longest time I can remember not because I harbor a secret dream in my heart to become a cricketer one day but because just playing the game has taught me so much; has helped me to improve and develop in many ways and even apply the lessons learned to my company and my team. I have to admit what I have learned from playing cricket has given me the strength to overcome many obstacles in my personal as well as professional life.

Like all Pakistani cricket fans, one of my fondest memories of Pakistani team is the feat of World Cup 1992. Tripping into that memory lane reminds me of being obsessed with ‘who rules the world’ song, being glued to the TV for endless hours, with racing hearts hoping that Javed Miandad would strike a six at the next ball and screaming with joy every time Pakistan moved closer to victory. To the world, it was an unforgettable achievement that will never be forgotten but to me it was a bundle of invaluable lessons that inspired me to the core of my soul and changed my life forever. Everyone knows that it was not the best Pakistani team but with intelligent leadership and team spirit Pakistani cricket team successfully rose to the top.

Here are some of the useful lessons I learned from our team’s performance during the World Cup 1992:

Lesson #1: Creating Synergy

Team collaboration is a must for an out-class performance in the game. I’m a firm believer in the power of synergy. That’s the reason why I named my company Synergy. The whole point of calling it Synergy is that my team and I believe in working together and using the best of our talents to create innovative and enduring ideas. As a team player, my constant effort is to recognize strengths of each of my team members and assign to them clearly defined roles and responsibilities so that they can make their maximum contribution towards the company’s growth.

Lesson #2: Team Motivation

Team motivation can be gauged from the body language of the players. From time to time, we all need to know how we are doing and whether we are on the right track or not. When a team leader makes it a point to appreciate his team when need be, his team works with greater zeal and devotion. Whenever any one of my employees does a splendid job, I make it news. That doesn’t only set high standards for the team but also keeps every one more focused towards the goal and at the same time fosters healthy competition in corporate culture.

Lesson #3: Planning it well

Every match won has a well-thought out strategy behind it. A classic mistake that a team captain makes sometimes is sticking to the same plan throughout even when he can see that it is not bearing the required results. A smart captain always keeps back-up plans in hand to adjust his stance when the situation becomes uncertain. Maneuvering around the situation desires flexibility in planning and a whole lot of patience. Aggressively pursuing the initial plan without considering the dynamic external factors doesn’t always work best.

Lesson #4: Pulling through the business pressure

When everything goes according to the plan, we tend to over-aim at times setting more aggressive targets for ourselves and our team. Sometimes the team is able to achieve the set targets but most of the time over-ambitious goals lead to much frustration and loss of focus among team players. When things seem to fall apart and targets aren’t met, it requires great patience and poise to go back to the basics and make the small things right. Basics can never be compromised upon to achieve higher goals because basics are the foundation upon which you build your organization’s culture. If the basics are weak, a team can’t go far. In the long-run, it is the basic values of a team that determines their altitude. Every time Synergy Group’s growth was clogged by big-over-ambitious goals, I went back to basics reconsidering things like how the client was being treated? Is there a problem in the way we are communicating internally and externally? That’s what played the trick for me and helped me put Synergy Group back on track.

Lesson #5: Conflict Management

No one can guarantee there will be no conflicts in a team. When people having diametrically opposite personalities come to work together, difference of opinion is bound to surface. One of the key traits of a good leader is conflict management. To resolve conflicts, a leader has to encourage open communication and make his team members understand that it’s ok to have differences but other people’s opinions must be respected at all costs and listening to each other can solve most conflicts. Most importantly when you play a game, you play for the team, for a common purpose and not for individual goals.

Lesson #6: Walk the talk

Being a team leader is not just about giving orders day in and day out. An effective leader earns the respect of his fellows by being a role model for them. He doesn’t have to force his orders upon his team. Rather the charisma of his personality inspires them to follow his footsteps and trust his judgment. It takes conscientiousness, discipline and integrity of character to make a great leader and be a source of inspiration for your team every single day. It is the strength of the leader’s character that bridges gaps between a team and creates binding synergy to move together towards success.

Winning and losing is part of every game. If you lose, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the potential to be a champion it just gives you a chance to learn from the mistakes you made and not repeat them again. The key lies in never giving up. For me, sport is an ideology in itself. Many of us watch or play sports to entertain ourselves. If only we ponder a little over the spirit of the game, it opens a whole new world of possibilities to us; it shows us that it is within our power to rise above and realize our dream against all odds.

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“Power of One” must for re-branding Pakistan

“Power of One” must for re-branding Pakistan

CCD has launched Sui Southern Interactive Forum (SSIF) to provide its management and employees an opportunity for debate and discussion with experts from different walks of life. The launching ceremony was held at the Company premises on March 4, 2009.

The main item on the agenda was an interactive talk show entitled ‘Let’s re-brand Pakistan’ moderated by the veteran marketer Mr. Mahmood Nanji and a TV talk show

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host.

The participants were Mr. Ahmed Kapadia (Managing Director, Synergy Advertising), Ms. Adeeba Khan (Chief Creative Officer, Manhattan Communications), Mr. Imran Ahmad (CEO, Pace Pvt. Ltd) and Mr. Numan Nabi, CEO, The Brand Partnership.

They emphasized on addressing misperceptions about Pakistan by projecting those aspects of Pakistani culture and life that do not make it into mainstream Western media. The focus, they pointed out, must be on projecting Pakistan’s brilliance and beauty and sprucing up Pakistan’s image across the world.

Kapadia was of the view that the presence of strong and sincere leadership is untenable to brand Pakistan. He cited the example of City Nazim, Mustafa Kamal who has re-defined Karachi’s map through relentless commitment and leadership. Linking the process of re-branding Pakistan to form-content formula, he reiterated that unless we do not improve the form, we cannot develop the winning content.

Mr. Numan Nabi said that re-branding involves first changing the perception of people inside and outside the country. He said that as Pakistanis, we must first understand what our country stands for before we can channelize our energies towards carving out a new image of Pakistan. He stressed that commitment for the task at hand must come from every individual or what he termed as ‘the power of one’. In this regard, he quoted Shehzad Roy’s words ‘Goodness is Contagious’.

In her remarks, Ms. Adeeba Khan said that Pakistan has amazing talent and rich resources yet they have not been properly utilized due to indifferent socio-economic and political situation. She said that when her agency started its ‘Ye Hum Nahi’ campaign aimed at projecting Pakistan as a land of peaceful people, the most signatures it got was from the Northern Areas,

Syed Imran Ahmad was of the view that media must play a defining role in projecting Pakistan’s positive image to the rest of the world, while removing negative perceptions that exist in our minds.

While the participants expressed diverse views, there was a general unanimity that for taking on the task of re-branding Pakistan, the main crux of the problem has to be identified, objectives need to be defined, an unfaltering commitment must be shown and a right kind of leadership must be provided from all quarters. In addition, we must remove negative perceptions from our minds for creating a positive image of Pakistan.

Before the discussion began, Mr. Ahmad gave a comprehensive presentation entitled ‘Bombs to Branding – Image Building in Crisis’ that served as a preamble for the discussion that followed.

The audience that included intellectuals and business professionals proactively participated at the Q&A session.

Earlier, Ms. Nasreen Hussain said that the idea behind SSIF was based on a simple premise that while harping on problems is easy, finding solutions is always the hardest part.

Rahat Kamal Siddiqui, SGM (Engineering Services) while presenting his vote of thanks appreciated the participants for their honest views.

At the conclusion, Mr. Zuhair Siddiqui, SGM (Management Services), Mr. Qamaruddin Kazi, SGM (Transmission) SGM (Engineering Services) and Dr. Abdul Wahab, Dean, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, presented mementos to the participants and the moderator Mr. Mahmood Nanji.

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A review on SYNERGY ADVERTISING in BUSINESS MAN news paper

A review on SYNERGY ADVERTISING in BUSINESS MAN news paper

   

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Blue Chip Features AK

Blue Chip Features AK

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An Interview on Business Plus

An Interview on Business Plus

Part #1

Part #2

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We do not remember days, we remember moments…

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