Building a leadership team in the advertising industry – What’s the best way to do this as an outsider?

I’ve built a Creative Communications company in the last 5 years. We have stable clients. Now i’d like to build a core group that can take it to the next level. People who are better than me with specific skills in Art and New Business Acquisition.

I would want to dedicate myself to pursuing the creative strategy and building new tools on the media front.

Answered by Meeta Malhotra

Hey Kuber, first of all congratulations on building a stable Creative Communications business.

In my experience, there is only one way to building a crack leadership creative team in the advertising industry and competing with the big incumbents – you have to offer equity.  This is what I would recommend:

Study the advertising world closely. Make a list of agencies whose work you like. (Helpful to view lots of ads and see who made them or ask your existing clients who their ad agencies are)

Identify creative and strategy/ planning  people in each agency. (Linked in is best solution). If it’s a big agency, look for the second rung. If it’s a smaller agency, look for their top people.  Reach out and start a conversation. Appeal to the entrepreneur in them. Here is a chance for them to build something of their own. If possible, hire a team who has worked together before.

Meanwhile, get an expert to structure your company shareholding for ESOPs and expansion. Also get advice on how to organise systems internally so you can retain senior hires.  Sometimes that is harder than the acquisition piece. Good luck!


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