AdAsia Exec Summary: Lively sessions mark Day One

02 Nov,2011

By Tuhina Anand

AdAsia 2011 was inaugurated with the anthem of the Republic of AdAsia and a performance by the Shillong Choir Group.  This was followed by lighting of lamp by the Minister of Information & Broadcasting Ms Ambika Soni along with Dr Bhaskar Das, Co-Chairman of the Organising Committee and President, The Times of India Group and Mr Madhukar Kamath, Chairman Organising Committee for AdAsia and Group CEO and MD, Mudra Group. The flag for AdAsia was hoisted by Shahrukh Khan who also addressed the audience and reminded people of all the brands he has endorsed in his short speech. He however did emphasise that he believes advertising is not just for entertaining but about informing the consumer of a product so that when he or she is making a purchase he can make an informed choice.

The keynote address was delivered by Mr Ram Charan, Author, Speaker and Business Advisor. The first session of the day was on ‘The Game Changers’ where Mr Harish Manwani, Chief Operating Officer, Unilever , and Chairman, Hindustan Unilever Ltd gave an insight into the company reinventing itself according to the changing times.  Mr Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO, Interpublic posed questions to Mr Manwani who answered all with aplomb. The key that emerged from this session was on the importance of adapting to the changing environment thus making the brands relevant to its consumers while at the same time being able to sell its products.

The second session was on ‘Decoding the New Age Consumer’  where Mr Adil Zainulbhai, MD-India, McKinsey and Company Inc and Mr Laxman Narasimhan, Director, New Delhi, McKinsey & Company Inc, Mr Kochi Yamamoto, GM, Global Solutions Center, Dentsu tried to understand the behavioural pattern of the ‘New Age Consumer’.  The session gave insight into the changing world where the future remained uncertain and how marketers are grappling with this reality and trying to understand today’s consumers.

Tom Doctoroff, JWT, North Asia, Area Director, Greater China CEO moderated the next session on ‘Asian Creative? A New Brief. On the panel were Akira Kagami, Global Executive Creative Advisor, Dentsu, Bruce Haines-Chief Strategy Officer, Cheil Worldwide, Kitty Lun, CEO, Lowe China and Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and CD, South Asia, O&M India. The panel gave an insight into creative from different countries where they operate including Japan, Korea, China and India. While Ms Lun talked about challenging authority and showing by example to help youngsters come up with great ideas. Mr Pandey brought into fore the relevant issue of remuneration where he stressed, ‘if you want good people, start paying them better’. Defending  standard of Indian advertsing, Mr Pandey said, “Just because a market is not in international domain for a century doesn’t mean that India is not into brand building.” He mentioned The Times of India and Cadbury’s advertising over the years that have made them successful brand in the country.

Mr Kagami on the other hand who too was on the panel discussed the importance of corporate brand building that is critical in Japan as this helps in creating trust for thecorporate and its brands.

Nikesh Arora, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer Google gave a ‘Google’ angle to his session where he began by asking people to put questions to him as QandA was not allowed in the earlier sessions. This set the mood for his session.  The next discussion was on ‘From Chat Rooms to Twitter…What Next?’. Kate Day, Communities Editor, Daily Telegraph Online, Arvind Rajan, MD and VP, Asia Pacific and Japan, LinkedIn, Earl Wilkinson, Executive Director and CEO, INMA were on the panel which was moderated by Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Vivaki.

The last session of the AdAsia on Day 1 was on India 2020 where Kurush Grant, Executive Director, ITC, Sanjay Kapoor, CEO-Bharti Airtel Ltd, India and South Asia, Ravi Swaminathan, MD and Regional VP (Sales and Marketing), AMD South Asia shared views on how India can be made a truly global brand in the next 10 years. The session was moderated by Pankaj Ghemawat, Global Strategist.

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