Synapse Marketing Consultancy

The genesis of Synapse

The genesis of Synapse & the ambition to be best creative healthcare marketing and advertising agency in the world.

Not many people outside the healthcare & marketing industry may have heard of Synapse, since we are more focussed on being a creative healthcare marketing agency that helps brand focussed in pharmaceutical, wellness, health devices, hospitals, diagnostics, lifestyle, OTC, OTX, preventive health, health awareness and more.

But almost all would be aware of companies and brands we have launched, built, grown, or revived.

Even today walking into a pharmacy, for me, gives me the same feeling a kid gets when she walks into a candy shop. I’m thrilled when I see the brands we have worked on, all in one place, prominently displayed and selling.

Drawers marked with the name of all our pharmaceutical clients, just like we list them, from A to Z, Abbot to Zydus.

Dermo-cosmetic counters with trained skin advisors from leading international brands like Avene, PFDC, SebaMed, Uriage, L’Oreal.

Posters screaming for your attention from healthcare and wellness brands like P&G, Danone etc.

Health monitoring devices like Accu-Chek taking prominent shelf space.

Diagnostic Labs like Suburban Diagnostics raising public awareness messages around the premises and patients walking in with files that display names of doctors we have worked with or hospitals like HCG, Surya, Columbia Asia etc where they are getting treated at and probably are now in good health thanks to the treatment they received.

Prominent digital lifestyle, health and wellness brands like Himalaya, Bryan&Candy, Turmgel, DotShot, Breaking Good, Livogen, Evion, Dvion and so many more.

Its nicer when a customer walks in asking for a brand we have launched, which could be a common antibiotic or a solution for a rare disease.

We don’t mean to be sadists.

We have always been promoters of good health awareness, prevention before cure, and healthy living messages.

Personally I have been in healthcare advertising and marketing for 20 years and I’m quiet sure that the work I have been part of has touched millions of lives in a positive way. I’m extremely proud of some campaigns I have been part of that have prevented untimely deaths in our country. Causes that could be as basic as Anaemia, Diarrhoea, or as serious as Breast Cancer, HIV, TB, COPD, Asthma, Pneumonia, Diabetes, Preterm birth, Epilepsy and many more. Each of the campaigns we have worked is deeply cherished, and I have shared some stories of each of them in this book.

We started in a humble office that was in an industrial estate, almost like a garage, and our neighbours were a tyre recycling unit and a workshop that tested horns for cars. Can you imagine a horn going of every 30 seconds near your office, non-stop for 8 hours a day. Early clients thought we were en route somewhere when we were actually sitting in office.

We felt the need to move to a better office, after a CXO of a leading pharma company, came to our office once and he was shocked to see that the outstanding work he was getting was actually from a premise like that.

We have moved three offices till date and each one of them were just four walls if it wasn’t for the awesome superheroes we had as part of our team. Yes we had good days and bad days. Not always were things hunky-dory. In our quest to do great work, many a times we had flying tempers to flying files. But each and every member of our team who has been a part of our organisation, has enriched our lives, taught us something new, and added value to the growth of Synapse.

We have been lucky to have some amazing clients too. Brand Managers, Marketing Heads, CXOs of leading companies have trusted us and I am proud to say that we have delivered on their trust each and every time, even if that meant that we personally go to the airport to deliver the files, prints or CDs just in time, after a full night’s work. The best part is that we always worked with good people, and if at any point of time our gut said that we wouldn’t get along with the person across the table, we were in a financial position to refuse the work. God has been kind.

A lesson I learnt early on was “As someone for work and they will give you advice, and ask someone for advice and they will give you work”. So we built a base of clients who we could always go and ask for advice and somehow they trusted us to work on their brands or referred us to someone who had a good project on hand. I must mention that the advice we got always helped us stay on the right path.

A lot of my clients ask me “How do I have so much energy?” or, From where do I get my enthusiasm? What do you eat that you are always full of life?

I have always been keen to work, survive, grow and win and that’s what keeps me on my toes everyday. Yes, I love what I do. There’s not been a day I have walked into office dragging my feet. If there ever is a day like that (rarely happened), I would not turn up at office and probably sit somewhere, or talk to someone and revisit my life’s purpose – That my work can positively impact a life, in some way or the else.

I still remember the day when we were sitting in office and trying to come up with our corporate tagline. It had to have the word ‘ideas’ because that’s what we always knew we were best at.

We rejected taglines like…

  1. Ideas delivered.
  2. Ideas cultivated.
  3. Ideas now.
  4. Ideas, for you.
  5. Ideas, for growth.

And then it just clicked…
“Let’s Ideate”

Never have we ever thought of changing it, in so many years, because that’s what we believe in even today.

Ideas at Synapse, don’t belong to one person. It’s an accumulation of thoughts, discussions and contributions from everyone from our client to the junior intern.

So lets keep ideating and impacting the world positively with creativity and innovation.

My mentors, Ashok Jain, Ex-MD Cadbury’s and Ad Guru, Gangadharan Menon, had once told me, “Aleem, at the start of your career you will create singles (a good logo, a good ad, an attractive headline), then you will create campaigns, after which you will build brands, which will help you build companies.

But it’s only after that the real magic happens.

What’s that? I asked.
Then you will build people.
People that you will nurture and mentor.

Luckily I reached the stage of building people pretty quickly, and I realised that the stage of mentoring was a completely different game altogether. You need a different skill set for this role of life.

It’s a shift one makes from being a musician and facing the audience to turning around and facing your team, like a music conductor does. I enjoy building people, who once in a while have wished me on Teachers Day. It’s a different feeling all together.

My thirst to do more has now gone one step further.

I want to do something for my country. India needs much more, and my quest to improve the conditions my countrymen live in will always be a passion I shall pursue till I can.

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