India@Cannes: Balki & Shekhar Kapur talk of how to do business in India

20 Jun,2012


By A Correspondent


Shekhar Kapur

One of the most exciting sessions on Day 3 of Cannes Lions 2012 – and not just for Indians – was the one by Lowe + Partners titled Global India. Oscar-nominated film director Shekhar Kapur and filmmaker and Chairman & Chief Creative Officer of Lowe Lintas, R Balki were in discussion with Wired editor David Rowan. On the seminar agenda was a look at the creative heritage of India and its influence on global culture and enterprise. This was the first time that Cannes Lions featured a seminar dedicated to Indian creativity and its global influence.


Introducing the speakers, IPG Chairman Michael Roth stated that the session at Cannes was an indication of the importance of India in the global economy. Speaking of the growing importance and the shifting focus to India, Mr Balki said, “What has changed over the years is that earlier, India was judged globally. Today, India is the jury, be it the global products or ideas.” Talking about Indian creatives on a global platform he admitted that a lot of things don’t make any sense to the rest of the world. But he also pointed out that brands who have tried to implement global theory, have messed up in India. He said, “Global brands have to come to India selling like a local brand. Any global thought has to be highly ‘Indianised’ to be implemented in India. And, it’s a difficult job.” Mr Balki added, “If you want to know India, watch ‘The Story of India’ by Michael Woods.”


R Balki

Furthering Mr Balki’s point of an ‘Indianised’ idea, Mr Kapur remarked that India was a land of imagination. He said, “The West calls us melodramatic, we call it mythical.” He added that any idea to work in India has to be magically ‘Indianised’.


Speaking on the impact of social media, Mr Kapur agreed that social media was set to change the way we live but not advertising. He also agreed that social media holds an opportunity for India and he said that the new real estate is the social media. He said, “Fifteen per cent of the world’s teenage population will live in India. So there will be a large number of consumers on social media. This will make us an influencing economy, if not a dominant economy.”


Discussing his views on social media and its impact, Mr Balki remarked that social media currently in India is a one-sided communication, where we are expressing ourselves but not accepting messages. Talking about the Indian economy, Mr Kapur said that Indians needs to move from being job-makers to job-creators.


Sharing tips for global brands entering India, Mr Balki said, “Stop looking at India as a market and you will succeed. And, let the Indians do the things in India.” Mr Kapur added, “When the West stops looking at India as a market and starts looking at it as a culture, they’ll make it there.”


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