Storming with Insights!

11 Aug,2016

The launch of the website Insight Buzzar- a platform for storytellers to share their stories with the world

 

By Anuka Roy

 

The All India Management Association (AIMA) in association with Storm the Norm – a thinktank of passionate bunch of marketing, innovation and entertainment professionals hosted a conclave called ‘InsightStorm’. It was an interesting format where leading lights from art and business came together to share the insights from their respective fields and also get insights from each other.

 

“The best insights are gained from conversations,” said Firdose Vandrevala, President, AIMA in his welcome speech at InsightStorm, the first edition of which was held on Wednesday, August 10.

 

The Conclave was divided in to two halves. The morning half was called ‘Being Extraordinary’ and the post-lunch half was called ‘Doing Extraordinary’. These two broad categories were further divided in to sub-categories.

 

In the ‘Being Visionary’ session, Indian film and television actor Kabir Bedi represented the art side and shared insights from his life and career. “Opportunity is a very strange thing and it does not come with marching brass bands,” he said. Bedi reminisced about the financial struggles he went through during his college days and which in turn helped him in being motivated to achieve and aim for bigger things. His concluding insight was, “Success is not an end. There are other worlds to conquer.” Ajay Bijli, owner of PVR Cinemas, represented the business side. But this session was a little different. Instead of Bijli sharing his insights straight away, he was asked three questions through which he explained the insights. He shared with the audience how his mini goal of offering something new to cinema goers gave birth to a bigger opportunity and more importantly the introduction of multiplexes in India.

 

The next session was about ‘Being Pioneer’. Multidisciplinary artist and storyteller Raghava K K and Shabir Momin, MD and CTO at ZengaTV.com represented art and business respectively. This session was predominantly about the art of storytelling and how it can be used profitably for business purpose. “Live the best story you can create,” said the storyteller. Momin narrated a personal experience of how his talented sister-in-law was initially hesitant to commercialise her painting talent but now, with his help, she is an established painter. Momin’s insight: “Do not mind, I will convert your art in to movement.” Finally, they both had a common insight for the audience. “Story is the new money and the companies who understand it will flourish.”

 

On one hand there was the national award winning film producer, screenwriter and director Vikas Bahl representing art and on the other side Ananya Birla, founder of Svatantra Microfinance, one of the youngest participants of the Conclave represented business. Birla spoke how at the mere age of 17 she wanted to be an entrepreneur and a catalyst for change in rural India. She said, “There are no finishlines, just milestones to be celebrated.” Bahl said that trust is a very important factor in being a leader. So, the trust on thoughts and people should always be maintained. He also added, success and failures should be embraced equally.

 

In the midst of these insightful sessions, Anisha Motwani and Ranjan Malik, Co- founders and Managing Partners, Storm the Norm Ventures, launched their website Insight Buzzar, which will be live in the next few weeks. It is a platform for storytellers to share their experiences and stories, which can be under any category from business to entertainment or anything they want to share with the world.

 

Actor, model, producer and social activist Dia Mirza and Neeraj Roy, MD and CEO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment were the speakers in the ‘Being Innovator’ session. “When an individual’s thoughts are inclusive of humanity, then an individual’s happiness in benefitted by multiplicity,” said Mirza. She spoke about personal experiences and how sometimes most of us tend to think our personal problems to be much bigger than the real problem that exists in the world. Roy made the audience laugh by stating that he founded the company on April Fool’s Day and that is why his people do not take themselves seriously. According to Roy, “Storytelling will become more immersive, interactive and gamified, with video becoming like ‘Air’.”

 

Two successful business stories were shared by Radha Kapoor, Founder and Executive Director, Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) and Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors – Viacom 18 respectively. Kapoor described the journey of ISDI and shared her insights. She said, “Good design may not always make commercial sense but going forward every business must make great design sense.” “We wanted to jump out of the box, we wanted to break free,” said Nayak about how the channel was conceived. He explained the journey of Colors so far. He concluded by saying, “Breaking the status quo and finding a differentiating factor is the key.”

 

The ‘Doing Extraordinary’ part of the conclave started with Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-chief and President, Times Network and Sam Balsara, Founder, Chairman and MD, Madison World and Madison Communications.  The session was on ‘Conceive’.“Go with your gut feeling,” said Goswami. He said that during the Commonwealth Games scam story, he was initially paranoid whether to break the story or not but ultimately he went with his gut and broke the story. A veteran marketing services professional, Balsara said, “It is an advantage to recognise that you are at a disadvantage. And, if it is safe, it is risky.” According to Balsara, many great ad campaigns do not see the light of the day because they could not be sold. Hence, the ability to sell is very important.

 

The ‘Design’ session was initiated by Ashwin Sanghi, Author and Mahesh Murthy, Founder, Pinstrom and Co-founder, Seedfund. Sanghi narrated a funny story about his first book. When he went to a bookstore to see how his book was doing, he could not find it initially. Finally when he did find it, he purposely went and kept it in the best seller’s shelf. “An effective lie is one that stays as close to the truth as possible,” he said. Murthy described his investments in startups and how he noticed that the biggest brands in the world do not advertise. He said, “The dominant brand or name in a category is now the one who spends the least on advertising.”

 

Rohan Joshi, stand-up comedian, writer and television presenter and Ashish Hemrajani, Founder-CEO, Bigtree Entertainment helmed the ‘Launch’ session. Joshi stressed on the obsession of clients about videos going viral and advised them not to think about the same since it takes away the essence from the larger picture. “A brand cannot demand a ‘viral’. It can only demand content. Virality is the internet’s decision, not the client’s,” he said. Hemrajani explained the rollercoaster ride of bookmyshow.com and how bid data helps them knowing their customers. He said, “Creating friction by asking information from users does not make for learning enough about your users.”

 

The participants of the ‘Scale’ session were founder and blogger of MissMalini.com, Malini Agarwal and Radio Jockey, Actor, Anchor, Writer and Director Roshan Abbas. The common element between both of them was that both dared to dream and have been very successful in their respective fields. This session was predominantly about finding happiness in what you do and being happy in general. “It is great to scale fast but it’s ultimately about how long you last! Iconic brands are designed for longevity,” said Agarwal. Abbas stressed on the fact that it is important to find your replacement, so that you can focus on what has not been done. He said, “Start with spirit. Supplement with systems. And, find the balance between them.”

 

Earlier in the day, painter and sculptor Jatin Das shared his story with the audience. He expressed his disappointment about the changing scenarios in terms of art and how commercialised it has become. “We buy more and see less, media celebrates the rich not the richness of our culture, change that at a primary level,” he said.

 

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