IAA Leadership Awards 2015 presented

20 Apr,2015


By A Correspondent

CMO interviews by Dyanne Coelho


It would be wrong to single out any single IAA Leadership Award winner. All them are super-achievers. Along with a host of top marketers (see list below), Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited managing director Vineet Jain and India Today group Chairman and Editor-in-Chief were among the top mediapersons presented with the IAA honours. Arundhati Bhattacharya of the State Bank of India was CEO of the Year. And CVL Srinivas and Prasoon Joshi from adland were Media Agency Head and Creative Agency Head respectively. Leading mediaperson and director of the Eenadu Group I Venkat was awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame by the India Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA).


Mr Venkat and several other leading media, advertising and marketing leaders were presented awards at the third annual IAA Leadership Awards in Mumbai. The event, presided by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, saw leading lights of the fraternity in attendance. The awards presented were:




Sanjay Tripathi (HDFC Life):

Marketing is very important in this field. It is not like other industries where the product changes every year. We sell the same product for 20-25 years. We need to understand the needs of our customers and cater to them. When a customer buys an insurance policy, he/she looks at all aspects, not just the price. They need to be able to trust us for a long time period and we can instill this trust through our marketing and service. We need to maintain our efficiency through the years.


Darshan Patel (Vini Products)

Marketing is a key thing, and we need to differentiate from what others are doing and if you do the right thing, you are going to be successful in this field. First of all, my products were different from what other companies were offering, and I kept investing in my brands, and I advertise how my brands were very consumer-oriented and it was accepted.


Debarata Mukherjee (Coca-Cola)

It is competitive from the outside, but if you look at the industry from the inside, the per capita consumption is very low, so the real need is to grow the market. The percapitas in India are 15, 16, compared to global averages of 95, 96. We are competition-aware, but not competition-focused. It is good to be aware of what others are doing, but I think collectively we have the mantle of growing the industry. If you look at the water space, it is all unbranded, but you’ve got the Kinley commercial which is about trust in every drop, creating a brand in a category with so much competition. So I think the task is to make sure that we have sustainable, profitable, competitive advantage by building brands through marketing. While competition is important, all of us have accountability on the mantle to grow the business together.


Yadvinder Singh Guleria (Honda Motorcycle & Scooter)

See,. a job for a marketer in India is difficult, because you cannot have the same language to communicate with the entire demographic of the country. We have a large geographical spread and different languages, and at the same time we do not have a so-called national language. Every region has so-called likes and dislikes, so this becomes a real challenge for any marketer in India to have a common linkage and to be able to connect the dots between various regions, to arrive at one communication for the brand.


We take regular feedback from our regional teams who are sitting in the market and try to find a connection to bring them together on a particular point. Then somebody at the corporate level takes a decision so that we are at the pulse of the market.


Amarjit Singh Batra (OLX)

India is a market where internet penetration is very, very low. Now it is a bit better than what it was a few years back. Still I think we are about 20-30 percent of the market which is very low compared to a 1.2 billion population. What marketing allows you to do is to reach people beyond people who are on the internet. I’m talking about offline marketing here. It helps with the battle of the minds as well as the battle of the market share, because it allows you to reach out to everybody, and those people will also be on the internet sometime. So as an internet brand I think it’s important to also look at offline marketing as a tool, and I think most of us are doing it today.


One way we did that is via marketing to create awareness of the brand. We have also taught people as to how to go about using OLX. Our marketing campaigns have also got education about how to use our brand. One more thing is that we have realised that India is not going to be on PC, so we have developed our brand for mobile and we also used marketing communication to tell people that you can use your mobile to access OLX. With that we were able to move the market faster than what it was.


Congratulating winners, Mr Sinha said, “Politics is like marketing in many ways. In my experience I have learnt that Indian consumers are a very different lot, very different from consumers internationally. They are emotional, relational and definitely need value for money – paisa vasool is a must. So when we are speaking to the Indian consumers as marketers, much as we in politics do, we need to keep these aspects in mind.”


Speaking on the occasion, Srinivasan K Swamy, President of IAA’s India Chapter said, “This is only the third year of the IAA Leadership Awards and it has already established itself as an industry standard. I would like to thank for the support I received from Raj Nayak for putting steam behind an award that the industry looks forward to.”


Speaking about the initiative, Raj Nayak, CEO, COLORS said, “IAA is undoubtedly the best platform in the industry bringing together creative minds, and the IAA Leadership Awards celebrates the leaders who empower like-minded individuals to push their boundaries with great campaigns and hard work. Associating with the event is an absolute honour and we would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to the winners for their contribution towards the development of the industry. We look forward to further our association with IAA and continue to applaud the efforts put in by professionals on this national platform.”


Also speaking on the occasion were Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 and Kaushik Roy, President – Brand Strategy & Marketing Communication, Reliance Industries Limited. Network18 Group CEO AP Parigi joined Messrs Swamy, Roy and Nayak in the presentation of a memento to the minister.







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