Swami steals the show on Day 2 @ Goafest 2013

07 Apr,2013

Swami Sukhabodhanand

By A Correspondent


Uncertainty may well have been the theme of the past few years, what with the weakened economy and downslides in many industries. Management guru Swami Sukhabodhananda went for the jugular of the topic, opening the innings on the second day of Goafest 2013 with pithy and good-humoured advice to the audience on how to tackle uncertainty.


Speaking on “Uncertainty is also part of life”, he started by examining the perception of uncertainty itself. “You think you are seeing right, but if your context is wrong your perception is distorted,” he said. “We need to perceive our uncertainty properly.”


Uncertainty is the problem, he said, as it distorts our perception of the world. “We operate on fear, which makes us experience uncertainty in a distorted way. Buddha said we never experience an experience because the experiencer pollutes the experience.” Sukhabodhananda had the audience roaring with laughter with intermittent jokes and humorous examples illustrating his points. He told the joke of a taxi driver, who nearly jumped out of his skin when the passenger tapped him on his shoulder. The explanation for his reaction was that it was his first day on the job after 25 years of being a hearse driver.


Shiv Singh, Global Head (Digital) of Pepsi, spoke about “Why no one cares about marketing” and outlined five ideas which he said were important in the current climate.


1 Leaving marketing behind and engage in deeper creative collaboration;

2 Think about experiences, not more ads;

3 Bet on Facebook but not for the sake of mere likes, focus on engagement;

4 Develop a 365-day culture, be with the brand consistently;

5 Capitalise on the India opportunity, lead the world. Nothing can stop you.


Speaking on the theme of “Do what your heart says”, Bollywood director Abhishek Kapoor, who received a rousing welcome with whistles and cheers from the audience, spoke about how his early years had been a time of struggle and a lot of self-doubt. Still, he said, he had persevered because he believed in what he wanted to do. It is all the more difficult to carry on when everyone around you is casting doubts on your goal, he remarked.


By this time the audience may have been mentally gearing up for the awards, but DDB Worldwide’s Chief Creative Officer Amir Kassaei grabbed and held their attention with a no-holds-barred presentation on the “New Creative Revolution”. At the outset he debunked the theory of social media, call in it bullshit. “Digital is the electricity of the 21st century,” he said. “Facebook is a way for people to connect, an infrastructure that can help marketers become more efficient about their brand.”


Receiving another rousing ovation, Mr Kassaei exhorted creative people to stop thinking about awards and about making funky ads. “We are not in the business of advertising, we are in the business of making our clients’ brands and business relevant. Winning awards only proves that you are good at winning awards,” he quipped.


Q&A exchanges followed each speaker’s presentation, with the best two questions in each round winning iPads.


The seminar sessions were punctuated with the much-awaited rain dance, and were followed by the even more awaited Abby Creative Awards.


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