The Gupta Partnership’s lineage is an interesting one and makes a very human story.
When Ash Gupta was a young hi-flyer at Ford of Europe, he was placed on the Ford Fast Track program, destined to become a Director of Ford of Britain as reward for helping to give birth to the fastest 0-1 million car in automotive history, the Ford Fiesta. The catch was he had to spend five years in new areas of Ford to build experience, Treasurer’s Office, Finance Staff, Production Planning, all nightmare stuff for someone in love with his job in Ford’s European advertising department.
The first assignment was Field Sales in Scotland back where he went to school and University and that’s when Christine comes into the scene. Knowing she would never see him if he were married to Ford she gave him a choice. Ash made it and told his boss, Bob Currier Vice President Sales & Marketing, he was going to stay in Scotland and marry a lady instead of Ford. Six years later Bob became the Chairman of the company that grew from this very human decision point.
Ash Gupta Communications Group, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, established a reputation for sparkling creative work, won many awards, and specialised in "precious brands" such as Harris Tweed, Theakston Ales, Glengoyne Malt Whisky and The Scottish Salmon Smoker’s Association. They won ITT, their first international technology account in 1982 within a year of starting the agency, and still work for that client today, except that now he is the CEO of Dialight plc, world leaders in applied LED technology. At one time they had almost every European Ski brand from Salomon to Rossignol and Nevica on their client list, not to mention two golf club brands plus Golf Monthly!
"Ash Gupta," as the agency came to be known, became well known in media fashion circles working with many world class designers such as Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood on Harris Tweed. The venture capital community used Ash Gupta to relaunch many high profile MBOs like Lovable Lingerie, Carron and others. Retailers like Phil Harris of Harris Queensway and Tom Farmer of Kwik-Fit soon swelled the agency’s national turnover.
They handled many consumer finance and investment trust products from launching The Royal Bank’s consumer credit Style Card using the Flintstones for their TV commercials to Scottish American Investment Trust, "SAINTS" creating the UK’s first ever investment trust ad.
Even venerable clients like The Reader’s Digest awarded them their pan Europe account based on their strategic strength and the Prince of Wales commissioned the agency to design his new corporate identity for The Prince’s Trust, which their youngest designer presented to His Royal Highness at his party in a Birmingham tram-shed on the occasion of his 40th birthday. Incidentally, Ash’s R&B band topped the bill at that party!
Ash Gupta created many firsts in Scottish advertising bringing the Ford "can-do" work ethic to the industry and thus gaining the first quality institutional investment through Ivory & Sime’s Personal Assets Trust. Their reputation led them to gain no less than five operating divisions of Scottish Courage, the first non London Agency to do so, even launching Newcastle Brown Ale in the USA. In order to create a cash exit for their institutional investors they sold in 1987 to a quoted trade partner and then eighteen months later bought themselves out by way of an MBO, responding to clients’ wishes. Within ten weeks they had won the pan-Europe account of Air UK, part of KLM, and opened a second office in Covent Garden, London with first class creative talent from that city.
In 1993 they joined forces with Kevin Morley’s KMM, Europe’s first integrated communication company, then when Kevin sold to Lintas three years on, they set up The Gupta Partnership just as the digital era began to take off and the role of traditional advertising in the marketing mix began to give way to more direct and personal forms of communication. After the Lintas split the Gupta Partnership retained many clients and began to acquire more technology clients in particular. These ranged from global corporation ADP to local software hot-shops. Taking an active role in First Tuesday Scotland significantly raised the partnership’s profile in this sector and the benefits of its networking opportunities became a key element in our approach to business today, as illustrated by our active role in organising CloudCamp and other events to promote disruptive technologies.
During this time Ash’s link with Ford came full circle from the Ford Transportation Planning Office, which he helped set up in the early 1970s, when he was asked to help launch the company’s Norwegian electric car acquisition, Th!nk, the world’s first production electric City Car. His early Ford experience and lasting enthusiasm helped to make the Th!nk@boutEdinburgh launch into a real PR success story. Fired by her own enthusiasm after driving the Th!nk for a year, Christine also started Mygreenwheels, a blog about developments in the electric car sector.
By growing and leveraging their knowledge and unique experience of sustainable transport just at the time that the effects of climate change and diminishing fuel resources are becoming widely recognised, Ash and Christine have now become established as independent consultants in sustainable transport winning business from both government and commercial clients.
In 2007 they were appointed by Scottish Enterprise to produce a mapping study for Scottish Development International on the sustainable automotive technology arena in Scotland. One of this study’s eight recommendations then became the focus of a further study into the feasibility of a sustainable transport centre of excellence and a third study into project electric vehicle volumes up to 2020. In addition to that the Gupta Partnership are now consultants to Wall Street, Hong Kong and London stock brokers on the sustainable transport sector and Ash is in demand as a speaker on the sector at events such as the 2009 All-Energy conference.
If you'd like to talk about your marketing problems, you can contact us at any time. And if you’re involved in a sustainable or disruptive technology, we’d be particularly interested and able to help you.