‘Without Innergy, there is no Synergy’ was one of the first things I listened to when I entered the Synergy universe. Sitting across from Ahmed Kapadia as he enthusiastically talked about his vision in advertising, was quite an experience – in my head, I was reliving the adventures of an adman who had climbed the ranks through the years to create an advertising empire that needs no introduction. I couldn’t help but wonder what he meant by Innergy and how it was so integral to the agency.
From burning the midnight oil with like-minded colleagues to breaking a dance move between meetings, Synergy proved to be nothing short of a full-fledged roller-coaster ride.
The Philosophy of ‘Innergy’
When I heard this word being used for the first time, I was surprised at how great of a status it was given – to be accompanied by the thought that the very existence of Synergy depends on it. It gave me the vibe of ‘energy’ from the way it sounded, but it was definitely more than that. Eventually, Mr Kapadia made it clear to me – it is the inner force that drives Synergy and resists mediocrity at every level. When an advertising professional discovers this innate energy, they are driven by the passion and hunger to do something great. It could be anything – creating a campaign, launching a product, telling a story, or even laying the foundation for an advertising empire.
It is a known fact that advertising is a passion-driven profession featuring high pressure work environments and tight deadlines for multiple projects at a time. However, for many advertising professionals, the daily grind becomes inevitable and their creative flairs find a comfortable spot where the focus turns to churning out the work, rather than spending time on making it better and better. Innergy goes a step further than just the passion for the profession and refers to a hyperactive state of smart ambition, where every single project is viewed as an exclusive one and is brought to life with ‘Synergy’ at the core.
Synergy As a Strength
I always wondered why the agency was named Synergy. Was it referring to the synergy of thoughts brought together by many creatives working on a single project, or was it about the synergy that advertising folk created with audiences in their campaigns? In simple terms, Synergy refers to the ability of breaking down a task and dividing it among peers based on their strengths – all those strengths combined form the Synergy with which excellent work is then produced. This is not possible if even a single person lacks Innergy, because then an integral part of the work is compromised.
One of the things that captivated me most at Synergy was AK’s vision of creating leaders – he entrusted the leadership team with strong authority and counted on their Innergy to drive the management of work efficiently. My leadership abilities were put to the test, and further polished, when I was entrusted with tasks that pushed the art of effective management and wise decision-making.
Resisting Mediocrity at Every Level
The one thing that Synergy seemed almost allergic to was mediocrity. Unless an idea excited you or your audience, it was deemed mediocre. In fact, the leadership at Synergy often held sessions condemning the mediocrity – and its widespread appreciation – which has damaged the Pakistani advertising industry for so long. Even the most well-thought strategic processes and creative interpretations were put to the test and pushed to the very core, challenging every individual to not just create logic, but build a story that speaks to audiences at a deeper level.
Fearless, Ruthless, and Relentless
As the only advertising agency with its own publication – run by an independent team of journalists – Synergy offered its people a very unique opportunity. This was the first time I was told that I was welcome to challenge the status quo openly and fiercely, whenever I liked and however I liked. I thought that even if I did, my thoughts would be supplemented by a disclaimer such as ‘the views expressed by the author do not represent the views of the publication’ – but was surprised to discover that the management was ready and willing to stand by you, especially if your views have the potential to improve the overall advertising scene in the country. The love for brilliant work and status quo-challenging concepts was so great that if a client wasn’t willing to run a potentially award-winning campaign, the agency would take it up as one of its own projects – and see it through to execution.
This reassurance is more than sufficient for a passionate young individual who wants to make a difference in the industry, and not just be another cog in the wheel.
Manufacturing Visionary Leaders
Ahmed Kapadia, along with his immediate team members crafted this ‘Synergy universe’ as a manufacturing facility for leaders – where you could enter as a dysfunctional individual with no purpose and exit as a true leader – subject to the discovery of your Innergy. The agency culture is such that agility, leadership, and management capabilities are integrated across all members of the Synergy family.
Despite the fact that my time at Synergy Dentsu was short-lived, I felt as if I have spent a lifetime here and was trained by some of the most daring and courageous minds in Pakistani advertising. Ahmed Kapadia wasn’t joking when he said that without Innergy, there truly is no Synergy.
Having discovered my own Innergy, I am forever a member of the Synergy family, no matter where I go.