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Creative Collaboration Always Wins: Brian Tellis

Renowned host, performer, theatre personality, and former co-founder & CEO of Fountainhead MKTG, gets candid on the changing face of the event industry, the new ventures he has launched and more.

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Brian Tellis needs no introduction.  A man who wears multiple hats –renowned host, performer, theatre personality, and former co-founder & CEO of Fountainhead MKTG, spoke to BW Applause and Everything Experiential about the changing face of the event industry, the new ventures he has launched and more.

Pandemic has changed many things, what’s keeping you busy these days?

In fact, during the pandemic, I did some introspection. And my professional and personal lives are both busy, lively, and pleasant. I just believe that the pandemic was half a wonderful thing for all of us. 

Maybe we were able to sit down with ourselves and figure it out. And it worked for me, because I realised, I was spending a lot more time on operational excellence than I thought. I felt like I needed to devote a lot more time to brainstorming, creativity, and other such activities. 

As a result, I've made the broad decision not to get operational involvement and to limit myself to the experiential realm. So, I formed a company named Radioactive Enterprises as my first step. The brand was with me before the pandemic, but I gave it life during the pandemic. It's an umbrella firm that I want to store a lot of things under. 

My first project is a consulting service, which I have already begun. For example, I had a long association with the Birla Group, which was quite magnanimous and assigned me as consultant to the group. My goal is to establish or assist in the development of the company's cultural currency in order to aid in the development of brand world attributes around the mother brand.

Are you working on some other individual projects as well? 

I've started a podcast called " The Chinwag Collective," which is a collective podcast. 

Chinwag is a slang term for discussion. I've already started working on it. I've already released a couple of episodes. I'd like to develop a podcast universe that focuses on immersive music theatre along with co-hosts. For example, Raji Raja is a cohost in advertising and marketing. 

We talk to people who have accomplished a lot and who have a lot to give. Soon to be released is another product that I've housed under the name “Indian School of Protocol”, which I'll be announcing soon. It will offer programmes that help people fine-tune their skills in the area of corporate etiquette. 

So, whether it's the way you say the spoken word in social, professional, or personal conversations, or public speaking, grooming, and lifestyle, all are important. Personal growth, as well as exquisite dining. There are many more areas like this, I've already designed the curriculum.

During the pandemic, the event industry took a big hit, has it recovered fully?

Our industry faced challenges even before the pandemic. We are dealing with issues and the aftermath of the pandemic. We'll continue to face challenges, but I believe that it's better to look at the positives rather than the negatives and focus on the positives rather than letting the negatives consume us.

We always talk about the government not doing enough for our industry, can't we look within and address our issues?

Part of what you mentioned is really accurate; even if the government doesn't, say, adopt a single-window policy or lower taxes levels or increase budgets for our industry, arts, and other things, or other infrastructure and stuff like that, life will still continue on. Life will continue to go on. I believe the issue is that we all expect others to do things for us. So, even if the government does not do what we want or expect, I believe there is sufficient scope.

How can experiential agencies deliver better impact for their clients?

We, as experiential makers, must reframe what our world of experiences entails. Look, I'm about to say something that could irritate some people, but how much do we actually know? Also, examine a brand to see where it is in its life cycle and what it is genuinely looking for. How can one genuinely assist the brand in achieving its goals? 

We need to approach this as though we're working with a brand. At this time, we treat our business as if it were a transaction. Are we only approaching it as partners in the brand's goal and marrying it to ours, or are we more interested in peeking in from the inside? I'd rather create something for a brand. And maybe you can have a caveat that says for as long as this thing happens, unless something really untoward happens, they'll do it with us.






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