No industry event is as large as Goafest: Raj Nayak

11 Apr,2017


While he’s had the good fortune of trusted industry persons as part of his Advertising Club team, a glitch-free Goafest and more importantly the Abby Awards are feathers in his cap. Raj Nayak shared his thoughts with MxMIndia on Goafest 2017 and says his own role in raising the bar


Your final thoughts on how Goafest andAbby 2017 have been? It’s your secondas President of the Ad Club…

Last year, we got very good feedback. I wasn’t there due to backache, so as President of Ad Club, this is my first Abby where I’m physically present and seen what’s happening. If you look at numbers, we’ve grown over the previous year, more entries and things like that. That’s a good sign because it shows resilience of the industry and that it’s growing. That’s one good part. If you look at the sessions, the feedback from people also says the sessions this year were fabulous. Exceptions to the rule are one or two sessions that were not too great. The feedback that journalists also gave was that it was very well-curated.


So what has changed?

Many years ago at Goafestwe used to shy away from paying people to come and speak. We’ve broken that. Now we’re willing to pay for a good speaker, to fly her or him, we are willing to do things. I think that’s been a shift. Knowledge seminars have been excellent and Day 1 was packed, Day 2 was packed as was Day 3 was packed. Ah, the Day 3 morning saw lesser crowds as people were partying till 5 in the morning! I went to my room at 4am because it looked like a night festival! It was buzzing with activity! I think it’s a good thing. We’ve also drifted to a certain extent. That’s to be fixed. For senior management, giving four days is a challenge. I don’t have readymade answers on how to address this, but it’s one area we need to find a way a solution.


Over the years, we’ve seen Goafest growing from a festival of advertising professionals to one for media and entertainment too…

Yes! It’s a festival. I would like to change the name from Goafest to Goa Festival. It brings so many people together. There is so much of a camaraderie. It’s also a recruiting ground for seeking jobs. I know of my dear friends who conducted business deals in the two-three days. It all depends on how you look at it. Can we put a structure to it to say it can be a place to conduct job interviews and business? The problem is not in visualising or doing things. The problem is in the infrastructure.


One of the things which a lot of people have said is that you have raised the bar after you took charge of Ad Club? But don’t you think you’ve raised it so high that it will be a tough act to follow?

I don’t think I have. It would be unfair to all my predecessors in the past. It has been built brick-by-brick by them over the years. I’ve come at a later stage when three-fourth of the building is already built and I’ve put the roof and people say, oh, now the house looks complete.


But you’ve put a lot of glitter and finesse on it.

I think I bring a bit of passion to the table. I think that’s true for every person who’s been there before me and sometimes someone may have had a good or a bad year. And that’s the challenge. That’s what I want the whole industry to know. Next year, someone else will be the president. It’s a not for-profit kind of business. Everybody is giving their time pro bono. It’s an industry event, for god’s sake. If you’re from the industry, be a part of it. Don’t be an armchair critic. Drop in and say: “I will be a part of the committee. This is what is wrong with the Goafest, I want to fix it.” Have the balls to do it and you can quote me on it. Don’t criticise and say: “Oh no, we don’t want to do this.” Because there is no other industry event in the world which is as large as Goafest which is run by industry bodies. You heard Mr Amitabh Kant speaking. He said, “One of the things about the whole presentation. I was so inspired. All these were made by Indians.!” He mentioned Piyush’s and Sunil’s name.

Your heart was swelling with pride because it was Make in India. Made in India. We have the talent, we have the people. This is an industry event where everything is about Make in India, made by Indians, for Indians… come be a part of it. I’m going to fade away into the sunset, but for the future generation it is important that leaders like us show the path and create something that the future generations should respect. It’s not about your or my ego. We’ll all go into the sunset. But, for the future generation, you have the opportunity to build something that history will remember you for.


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