Social Media Week Mumbai: A Recap

30 Sep,2013


By Fatema Rajkotwala


It was India’s first attempt at what has been a rage internationally. Social Media Week Mumbai happened in the metrop from September 23 to 27 at five different venues from South to North West parts of the city.


Many of the movers and shakers of the digital world converged at India’s first ever dedicated week for social media – Social Media Week’13 or #SMWMumbai. Brought to India by New York’s strategy firm, Crowdcentric, SMW is in its fifth year and has been instrumental in bringing together marketers and advertisers together in over 20 cities globally. For those who could not make it to the #SMW’13, let us take you through the week’s highlights and takeaways with this Executive Summary (Disclosure: MxMIndia was Trade Media Partner of Social Media Week Mumbai).



Key Learnings and Insights

If one were to sum up the pearls of wisdom gathered from the many conversations, discussions, debates and chats at #SMW, these are our picks:


- Engage, Engage, Engage

- Collaborate and create to translate into consumption and sharing

- Cross-platform integration is essential

- Internet penetration and more specifically, social media users in India represent a small subset of the diverse Indian population

- Choose your social media tools with caution, but your analysts with more caution

- The social media community and audience is yet to evolve in India

- Your collective audience will always be smarter

- There are no rules or rights and wrongs in social media yet

- Mobile is the next big platform

- Focus on the trend, not the data point

- Social media is not cheap - to be truly digital and social, brand need to think 365 days, not 360 degrees

- Marketing is no longer about creating awareness but what you can do with and for consumers.


Organised by Bengaluru-based marketing services firm R Square Consulting, the week’s agenda saw events held at five locations, over a wide range of themes that spoke on ways to integrate social media in business strategies, how it impacts media and publishing as we know it, politics, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and culture, education and learning and health and wellness. The platform also presented unique opportunities to learn, interact, network and party as it was kept open to the general public.


Day 1- Monday, 23 September

SMW unofficially began on Sunday, 22 September with Mega Pink, a run with Milind Soman for women’s fitness.


Monday September 23, had a range of interesting sessions lined up at Bluefrog, Lower Parel to kickstart conversations.  An explosive debate organized by IAA with industrious participants such as Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharti, Suhel Seth, Dr Subramanian Swamy, senior BJP leader and Kiruba Shankar, digital entrepreneur on “Social media does not contribute to the socio economic growth of the country”, entertained and gave audiences food for thought.


The day also saw Kalyan Varma, well-known wildlife photographer taking about social media for entrepreneurs; a session by Ben Shiem, Director – Social Media Week, Crowdcentric and Alex Oberberg, Global Head of Markets Engagement, Social Media and Digital, Nokia. Panel discussions on “Social Media: Global platforms and local cultures? Perspectives from different regions” and “Women’s health and fitness: Is social media helping the cause?”,  saw interesting perspective from Unni Radhakrishnan, Head of Digital, South Asia Maxus Global, Max Hegerman – Managing Director, Edelman Digital India; actor, Gul Panag; Devika Bhojwani, social activist and cancer survivor and Dr Sudeep Gupta, professor of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital.


The evening concluded with an interesting discussion on how social media has impacted the Indian music scene, followed by live performances by Ayush Shrestha and the band, Coshish at Bluefrog, Lower Parel.


Day 2 – Tuesday, 24 September

The second day of SMW witnessed a range of sessions on how social media impacts various spheres such as journalism, education, politics, personal branding and data insights on advertising investment on Facebook. The venues for Day 2 and Day 3 were Bluefrog and The Barking Deer, Lower Parel.


A panel of publishing gurus discussed the role of social media in journalism today. Siddharth Bhatia, senior journalist and author; C P Surendran, editor-in-chief, DNA and Sachin Kalbag, executive editor, Mid-Day shared their valuable experience and insights with the audience and with Pradyuman Maheshwari, editor-in-chief, MxMIndia who moderated the session.


The second enlightening session of the day was Social Squared’s panel discussion on “The Role of Social Media in Politics” with Priti Gandhi, Head Mumbai BJP Communication cell; Mayank Gandhi, Head Mumbai Aam Aadmi Party; Dilip Chalil, Secretary – Indian National Congress; Priyanka Chaturvedi, national spokesperson for the All India Congress Committee; and Gul Panag, model, actor and Twitter buff.


Other informative events of the day were panel discussions on pertinent topics such as “Traditional Social Media – Done! What next? – Influencer Relations!” by MindShift Interactive; “Hardwiring SoLoMo to Business and not just to Marketing” hosted by AD2C and a presentation by Alexandre Corso, Head of Asian Business Unit, KRDS on “Inside Facebook Insights and Mapping it to GRP”. Mr Corso shared innovations within Facebook that will be game changers and optimistic statistics to help marketers sell and yield better returns for their client investment monies.


The evening switched to the theme of music with an event on “Music Makes Mumbai Go Round” hosted by Drizzlin Media. Audiences were then treated to a live performance by band, Empty Café.


Day 3 – Wednesday, 25 September

Taking a closer look at how social media conversations are dominated by entertainment and cricket, MxMIndia called upon Hemant Kenkre, former cricketer, commentator and PR consultant; Deepa Gahlot, senior journalist, award winning film critic and Head of Theatre and Films Division, NCPA; and Krishna Vilasini, Genesis Marxstellar to share their insights.


Another point of scrutiny was the negative practices prevalent in social media, and how crowdsourced journalism can be used effectively for content creation. Discussions also percolated around youth and how social media has affected and benefited women entrepreneurs in India. Some of the speakers of the day were Gauri Vij, Editor, Time Out Mumbai; Ekalavya Bhattacharya, Head, Digital, MTV India; Ashwath Ganesan, National Strategy Director, Social @ Ogilvy; Iyer Premkumar, Head, Online Marketing, Gozoop; Saugata Bagchi, Vice President, Tribal Worldwide; Naman Sharma, founder and CEO, U’th Time Magazine; Malini Agarwal, founder and blogger-in-chief, MissMalini Publishing; Pooja Dhingra, founder, Le 15 Patisserie and Priyanka Khanna, fashion features Editor, Vogue India.


Y B Chauhan Centre hosted an interesting set of events including a workshop on digital media by DMTI; “Social by Design” by KRDS and “Mobile governance” by IMI mobile. At evening, there was a live performance by Neeraja Arya and Nitesh More on djembe.


Media agency, GroupM’s office, Goregaon was the third venue of the day where the agency held crowd-pulling sessions such as “Brands in the Youth X Social equation: Expectation & Serendipity”; “Search <3 Social” and “MasterSpeak: Socialization of Branded Content”. Music artist, Winit Tikoo and Sriram Sampat performed live to end the evening.


Day 4 – Thursday, 26 September

As SMW was coming to a close, you could choose your pick of events from an array of sessions for the day.


At Bluefrog, FoxyMoron held a session on aspiring digital marketing entrepreneurs. Numbers and more were discussed by Mindshift Interactive in “Social Media Analytics – Going Beyond Numbers”.


Other sessions included “Mobile Photography goes Social in The City” by AVID Learning; “Learning Experiments with Social Media” hosted by Jardine Lloyd Thompson India and “Integration & Importance of Search Marketing in Social World” by Web Marketing Academy at The Barking Deer. The final session was hosted by Indian Bikers Week on “Challenges of Riding in India. How social media can help propagate?”


Sessions at GroupM began with a live music performance by Pratyul Joshi. Next was Madhouse’s session titled, “Next stop: Mobile”, followed by sessions on managing customer expectations better by IMI Mobile and interpretation of data and actionable insights by GroupM. The most scintillating session for the day however was the panel discussion on the topic, “Cinema in the age of the internet”. Part of the conversation were Rohan Sippy, Bollywood Film Director and Producer; Guneet Monga CEO, Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt. Ltd and Pragya Tiwari, Editor-in-Chief, The Big Indian Picture.


Day 5 – Friday, 27 September

The final day of SMW’13 was organized by GroupM at Westin Hotel, Goregaon. After the opening address by Rohit Varma, Co-Founder, R SQUARE Consulting (CO) and Toby Daniels, Founder & CEO, Crowdcentric, the day covered talking points such as the changing face of advertising agencies in the dynamic social media scenario, brand building, media analytics, technology innovations, the consumer angle to social media, experiential marketing and much more.


Through the day, influencers from their fields discussed and debated various topics at hand. Some of the speakers were Karthik Natrajan, National Director – Social Media Insights, GroupM; Viral Oza, Director Marketing, Nokia India; Ayeshea Perera Executive News Producer,; Anika Gupta Product Manager – Citizen Journalist Digital CNN-IBN; Ramaa Sharma Digital Editor BBC; Lakshmanan Narayan CEO & Co-Founder Unmetric; Krish Ashok, Head – Web 2.0 Innovation labs Tata Consultancy Services and Anant Rangaswami, Editor, Storyboard.


The entertainment for the evening was a shot of soothing live music by band, Filter Coffee.


Day 6 – Saturday, 28 September

As part of the Indian Bike Week, bike enthusiasts gathered for the “Chai & Pakoda Bike Ride” at Fountain Hotel, Western Express Highway No. 8 at 7am for an 82 kms bike ride to Hotel Ahura, NH 8.


Through the week, NCPA hosted open exhibitions for photography, lifestyle and culture lovers. “Call of the wild”, “Click Rights”, “Mumbai on Canvas” and Phototalk by Kalyan Varma themed on Mumbai, wildlife photography and art were held at the Piramal art gallery, NCPA.


For those eager to learn, a master class workshop on Mobile Photography by Nokia, a creative workshop by DMTI, a Creative Writing workshop by Yellow Seed Content Solutions and art workshops by Amol Pawar, Kavitha Kale, Neena Singh, Devyani Parikh and Rahul Dangat were also enthusiastically received.


To celebrate – was another important aspect of SMW. The opening and closing bashes, coupled with Miss Malini’s Bombay Street Style Party hosted at Olive Bar and Kitchen and The Barking Deer Meet pulled crowds from all walks of life.


Among the various partners of the Social Media Week (other than MxMIndia) are: BBC, SAP, IMIMobile, Germinait, MindShift Interactive, Unmetric, GroupM, chlorophyll, Genesis Burson-Marsteller, Crossworks, Avid Learning, Sportskeeda, Yellow Seed Content Solutions, Social Samosa, Page Traffic buzz, Social Times, Time Out magazine, Cartel Advertising, Miss Malini, authorSTREAM, and The Indian Networker.


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