The Summit was set rolling by Mr. A. Mahendran – Managing Director, Godrej Consumer Products. He discussed novel strategies adopted by Godrej over the years to sail through ever changing markets, customer needs and mindsets. Some of them included focus on Consumer intimacy, Co-creation, Neuro-marketing and Social Media. Following this, Mr. Ranjan Goyal, CEO, Edvance Pre-schools discussed the ‘Future of Marketing’, and joked that the reason why we have two ears and one mouth is because we are expected to hear more than talk and this skill is especially valuable to marketers. The inaugural session ended with Mr. N.V. Subramanian, Entrepreneur and Founder, ZuppShop Pvt. Ltd. shared his views on the ‘Future of Retailing’ and opined that Retail Sector will see sharply focused niches providing customized solutions to customer needs. He helped us identify how customers are increasingly crunched for time and space and is continually seeking entertainment and engagement, thus hinting at what we as future marketers must expect.
Our esteemed panelists of the discussion that followed ranged from the insightful Mr. Ajay Jethi from Reliance Mutual Fund, the young and thought provoking Strategic Alliances Manager from Café Coffee Day – Mr.Gerald Dsouza, to the very jovial Ex Vice President of Jyothy Laboratories-Mr. Rajam Ravi, and not to forget the dynamic, absolutely suave Mr. Anand Narsimhan of Times Now who moderated the discussion. The topic was ‘Is marketing dead? : Time to Rethink.’
The panelists being from various industries not only spoke about their particular industry but also gave us a wholesome picture. The Question and Answer session was made interesting because Mr. Anand diligently chose questions and put it across to the panelist who could answer it most appropriately. The panelists also illustrated their responses in a way we could best understand and relate to. The best part was that the sanctity of the discussion prevailed and didn’t turn into a debate at any point in time and everyone unanimously agreeing to the fact that Marketing isn’t dead.
Marketers always keep wondering about ways to please and delight their customers and customers, the way they are continue to remain elusive. The Panel discussion that followed captured the essence of this fix as panelists discussed ‘Catch the Consumer if you can’. The panel consisted of Mr. Rajith Nair, Director, Digital Solutions, India, Millward Brown; Mr. Parthip Thyagarajan, Co-founder, WS Media Group and Mr. Rajiv Banerjee, Editor, Brand Equity. Mr. Anand smartly moderated the session by posing relevant questions to the panel exposing the various facets of the mysterious modern customer.
Finally, the last session of the day aimed to bust many-a-myths in our minds about Sales and Marketing. The panelists, Ms. Vanita Visvanath (Sr.Manager – Marketing – Lavasa Corporation Ltd.), Mr. Pratyush Gaur (VP- Percept Group), Mr. Rahul Ramachandran (Deputy Brand Manager – Parle Products ltd.) and Ms. Nimisha Nair (Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd) informed us about the various avenues available to us in the field. Mr. K.V. Ganapathy moderated the discussion and fielded our numerous questions to the panelists who answered the questions in a patient and crisp manner.
Having smart, successful people amongst us and most of them being Alumni of SIESCOMS, made us feel empowered. The fact that all the speakers had started off like us gave us the hope that we could get there from here. Also, a renewed thirst to learn more, analyze more and engage more has awakened!
Riddhima Sharma & Sharon Mary John
Images courtesy : Nikhil Anand, Pranay Narayani.