CHI & Partners

You might not have heard of CHI & Partners, but you’ve probably seen some of its work. The advertising agency has created advertising campaigns for clients such as Samsung and The Sunday Times.

Johnny Hornby, the agency’s Founding Partner, attributes its success to a combination of good fortune, great chemistry between its founding partners and a talented team that produces great work for clients.

These qualities helped the agency survive the previous decade. "We were admired by our bigger international competitors for having a domestic business that we controlled, but then we found that having domestic business in banking, cars and retail in 2008 was a dangerous place to be," Johnny recalls.

"But it taught us the hard way to really understand costs and our business will never get ‘fat’ again."

  • The founders of CHI & Partners expect the company to double by 2016

Despite such challenges, CHI & Partners has doubled in size since 2007 and expects to double in size again by 2016. The agency has enjoyed even greater growth recently by diversifying into different channels such as direct, digital and social media, and different regions including New York and Asia. "The pace of change is a challenge to established ad agencies and those that don’t move and move fast will perish," Johnny emphasises.

He reckons that when it comes to work, there’s nothing more rewarding than building your own business. "It really makes you wonder why you ever wasted all that time working for someone else."