Senior alumni discuss empowerment, digital marketing at MICA’s Grand Alumni Meet

28 Jan,2014

By A Correspondent


A business conclave was the highlight of the annual Grand Alumni Meet of the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, held on January 25 and 26. Senior alumni were on the panel of two discussions held on the occasion. Abdul Mujeeb Khan, Managing Director at Tamkeen Solutions, Shreya Jha, Vice-President, Marketing and CSR, Fullerton India Credit Company, Mansi Joshee, Consultant, WHO [India] and Pawan Sarda, Founder, Seventh Sense, were the panel of speakers on ‘Empowerment Marketing: CSR as a Potential Branding Tool”. For “Marketing in the Disruptive Digital Age”, MICA had Siddharth Sethi, Lead of Digital, Mindshare, Kumar Deb Sinha, Digital Content Lead, Group M and Manisha Rana, Senior Online Marketing Manager, Kindle, Amazon, as its panel of speakers.


Welcoming alumni and the panellists, Dr Nagesh Rao, President and Director at MICA said: “MICA has evolved tremendously in the past decade, across all its varied platforms, but I’m proud that we are still rooted in our essence- which is what keeps our alumni coming back for more!”


In the session on Emplower Marketing and CSR, observing the natural social behaviour of humans, Pawan Sarda noted, “The trend of monetization really makes it difficult for one to discern if we are really doing good deeds, or deeds that are perceived as good- charity seems to be feeding on guilt, when it should actually be built on a capital of strong character.” Echoing his observation, Shreya Jha quipped, “Of course there is a business agenda to CSR activities, but when you do them with genuine sincerity, people usually return the kindness!” Adding to her statement, Mansi Joshee said, “Activating CSR the way it has traditionally been done by Indian giants such as the Tatas and the Birlas makes perfect sense. Though ROIs cannot be measured in exactness, brands that stick to what they fundamentally believe in will surely be successful, since it would be the driving force behind all their CSR and other endeavours.” On an agreeable note, Abdul Mujeeb Khan commented, “Listening, positive communication and being connected are the core basic values of all human relationships. It is high time that these should be applied to businesses to serve the ultimate purpose- being well-connected to the consumer.”


While many see the digital world as a boon, there are those who equally believe it to be otherwise. Moving from a generation that demanded ‘drive awareness’ and ‘creating buzz’ as its most sought after marketing strategy, the focus now lies on a new digital age where crafting an entire customer experience that  keeps customers engaged on several  digital platforms, is quite in demand.  Nonetheless, people still do respond to TV ads, in-store promotions, manned counters in stores, brochures et al. In addition to all of these marketers need to find new means to break into apps, mobile devices, social platforms – the digital world. Echoing the same, Siddharth Sethi observed, “Enabling the consumer with engagement plus advocacy is the new mantra, as opposed to the age-old tradition of creating awareness. Six years ago, clients needed to be convinced repeatedly about digital marketing. Now, though the budget is still limited, it enjoys relevant, yet wavering importance across almost all industries.”


To this Kumar Deb Sinha added, “Despite the low-budget allotted to digital marketing, the client is always asking for an encore of a digitally successful campaign.” Manisha Rana noted, “While Indian marketers do understand the digital media and its nuances, they are still playing it safe- they are yet to make digital media a more personal experience for the consumer. It is an ideal mix of the traditional and the digital media that would enable the consumer to enjoy a holistic experience.”


Senior journalist and MxMIndia editor-in-chief and CEO Pradyuman Maheshwari was moderator of both the discussions. “Given that the panellists were fairly senior in experience within their respective industries and that the topics were of relevance to current times, the students and the recent alumni must have surely found the discussions quite interesting. The generous amount of time allotted for both the topics also gave room for meaty and honest discussions to come forth,” he said.


Preceded by a karaoke, bonfire and a movie screening, the conclave gave an energetic start to the Grand Alumni Meet, followed by lunch, a cricket match and a few games of football and basketball. The Grand Alumni Meet ended with a lively Alumni get-together.


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