As one of Malaysia’s longest-serving homegrown players, Rantau PR’s 18-year heritage gives it considerable amount of experience in a PR market that remains relatively under-developed.
Founded in 1992 by MD and majority shareholder Janitha Sukumaran, Rantau is now a mid-sized offering in Malaysia, with 10 executives that focus on lifestyle, tech and business PR.
Unsurprisingly, 2009 was not a particularly easy year, but Rantau was able to retain all of its clients and staff – thanks in part to a decision to extend credit terms for its most loyal retained clients.
Low staff turnover is testimony to a management team that features two 12-year veterans of the agency. One is account director Julia Nicholas, who also heads client servicing. The other, director and shareholder Gogulan Dorairajoo, oversees business development, and has been instrumental in growing digital services into a genuine revenue stream for the firm.
The agency’s core strength is local media expertise, which is fuelled by a focus on results that is evidently appreciated by repeat business and referrals. To this, the agency has also attempted to marry on-ground execution and digital services.
In 2009, these approaches paid off, with Rantau eventually growing revenues by 10 per cent, boosted by its work on the first phase of EON Bank’s rebranding programme. In total, Rantau added four new retainers in 2009, ending the year with a client list that includes Apple, Johnson & Johnson Visoncare for Acuvue, EON Bank, Logitech, NComputing and Electrolux.
Rantau also became the first Malaysian firm to join the IPREX global network, through which it will doubtless hope to improve its international reach. Already, the agency has been able to secure more business from Hong Kong and Singapore.—AS