afaqs!

100 words

A look at what's keeping ad/media/marketing folks excited these days - in 100 words.

The Indian snack market continues to be dominated by chips, extruded snacks and traditional sweets and salted savoury snacks. In the snacks segment, new launches and investments have followed a set pattern - there is a tendency to follow leader brands. This has led to the growth of me-too brands. A differentiator brand helps create more value for consumers. Also, a key emerging category is gourmet foods (in snacks) which is fast gaining acceptance with more Indians travelling overseas, and getting exposed to new products and flavours. International gourmet snacks are now widely available at supermarkets and modern trade.

Vikram Agarwal, Director at Greendot Health Foods (makers of Cornitos Chips)

IoT (Internet of Things) and 'smart' devices have become the next big thing, and the current market climate in the country is gripping. It is hard to imagine a world without smartphones, laptops and other such devices today. There are breakthroughs every day and we are pushing the boundaries of conventional technology. Consumer preferences are evolving continuously making it important for brands to match the pace. Living in a world that is dynamic, governed by consumer preferences and powered by avant-garde technology, keeps me on my toes and makes it an exciting industry to be in.

Arindam Saha, Marketing Head, Asus India

Marketers in the construction and glass industries are slowly adapting ideas and methods that would traditionally be executed in the B2C industry, as consumers today are expecting personalised experiences with accessibility anywhere, anytime. While technology enables marketers to offer unique experiences with personalised apps, virtual and augmented reality, they are also exploring other innovative ways to stay close to customers. Creating 'Experience Zones' is another approach that offers hands-on familiarity with products and services. For a company to grow sustainably and thrive, it is imperative that it understands and embraces these trends.

Vikram Khanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Asahi India Glass

The media is going through a process of digitisation and transformation creating avenues to be closer to its consumer in everyday life. Technology will be a key driver for change and 2017 will be a year of digital focus even for us. Regional print media is taking steps to re-energize its content with a creative and fresh approach keeping in mind the changing reading pattern of today's consumers. Although spoilt by habit, regional media has shown an increase in readership even in the age of mobiles and applications. Print media shall continue to garner a large share of the advertising pie.

Rishi Darda, joint managing director and editorial, Lokmat Media

Digitalisation, autonomics and IoT are what excite me. Technology has empowered consumers with seamless discoverability and accessibility, redefining customer experiences. Recent times have seen digital companies literally invent the future. Autonomics (Automation and Artificial Intelligence) - is perhaps one of the greatest opportunities. As long as we focus on using machine learning for good, providing right balance of power, and right standards, the benefits will have a transformative impact on future. To thrive in an interconnected world, companies will need to embrace the all-pervasive IoT. This induction requires a confluence of technologies and specialised IT support to seamlessly integrate physical and digital worlds.

Apurva Chamaria, vice president and head of corporate marketing -HCL Technologies

The consumer durable industry has been on a high-growth trajectory. From 'digital India' to 'make in India', we are evolving with great velocity. The interesting part of our business is the various challenges we face on a daily basis related to technology and production. Technology of course, is ever-changing and dynamic - in this industry especially, and what is new today might become obsolete tomorrow. To tackle this situation, we envisage capturing the 'connected consumer device' segment via smart home appliances. This zeal to develop innovative and technologically advanced products is what keeps us going.

Anirudh Dhoot, Director, Videocon

I haven't seen any sector in India transform as radically and swiftly as the Fintech space. Ironically, multitudes of naysayers felt that the, traditionally staid banking systems would be relatively insular to the tectonic shift that technology catalysed.

But the way we transact has undergone a significant change. From the demise of physical banking, to ATMs, to plastic money, to online banking, to mobile banking, to mobile wallets and online financing - the list is endless.

India is a unique market where the emerging digital modes of payment and cash will continue to co-exist, and presumably, even flourish simultaneously.

Pratik Seal, Group CMO, AGS Transact Technologies (makers of Ongo)

These are exciting times as we see surging interest levels in the co-working space segment, catering to entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and professionals. Technology integration in co-working is becoming the next big thing, enabling guided discovery and app/web based real-time bookings and community engagement. In fact, early integration of technology in the designing process with 3D visuals and new age Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems will accelerate the creation of flexible work-spaces. The co-working movement coupled with innovative technology is redefining office space consumption in India. Flexibility and affordable pricing will become the key success factors for this industry in 2017.

Amit Ramani, founder and CEO, Awfis Space Solutions

With increased penetration of technology in our lives, it's exciting that the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) will transform everyday objects into an ecosystem to communicate sense or interact with the environment. As per Gartner, by 2020, IoT will reach 26 billion installed units excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones - a 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009. The market will also witness an up-trend in smart homes involving connecting of every imaginable electrical or electronic device. As technology advances and prices decline, smart home appliances are expected to be widely adopted- making this an opportune time for manufacturers to drive proliferation of IoT.

Pankaj Rana, business head, mobility division, Panasonic India

"The consumer durable industry is very dynamic, and to stay relevant one has to decide quickly - literally on one's feet. While competition becomes tough with each passing day, strategies and competitor's decisions need countering - almost on a weekly basis, to stay relevant. Technology, aesthetics, share of recommendation, visibility and consumer finance are other influencers. This competition brings in the exhilaration of a challenging environment, which I believe is the most exciting part of being in this industry."

Amitabh Tiwari, chief operating officer, Sansui

Social media is constantly evolving and so are marketing strategies. There's been a paradigm shift in the power between customers and brands. So far, brands have been using popular bloggers and celebrities to influence potential buyers, but the sudden rise of the new age 'everyday consumer' has prompted brands to sit up and take note of gamechanging influencers, who are now 'corporate storytellers', dedicating more time than ever to bond with customers. As this knowledge flow guides consumer perceptions, brands need to strategically influence consumer research patterns. These perspective developments in the marketing ecosystem will keep brands on their toes.

Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel

It's a phrase I use a lot but we truly do live in ' the age of disruption', and that's super exciting. We no longer have to put ourselves in silos of advertising, creative, mainline, digital, offline, below the line or above the line...there is no line now! All we need to do is hop on, create and form popular culture rather than follow it. Anyone can be a go-to media company that is able to give strategic creative solutions, driven from firm data insights in lightning speed- at the best cost possible. What's not to love about that?

Varun Duggirala, Co-Founder, The Glitch

Creativity makes way for infinite space to experiment, rendering a dynamic nature to the media and entertainment industry. Being a part of a brand like MTV- which consists of a very young and motivated workforce, has allowed me to witness how technology has narrowed down the gap between rural and urban audiences. It is essential for media brands in India to be relevant at all times to build recall and resonance amongst our audience. We need to always be informed, innovative, creative and relevant that makes being a part of this dynamic industry an exciting experience.

Shalini Sethi, Content & Programming Head, Youth Entertainment, Viacom18

"It is the infectious enthusiasm of creating value that keeps me excited about the business today. I work with an institution with a proud legacy and have the privilege of transforming it into a socially high-impact organisation with significant reader, advertiser and community engagement. It is interesting to see that the fundamentals of good business practices and cross-functional teams, working with a common goal, can work wonders irrespective of industry and company context. The sheer dynamism and emerging market opportunities in our industry are enough to believe that 24 hours a day are not enough."

Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group

"These are exciting times in the stationery space especially since today's children are well informed and prefer using superior products - thanks to social media. Schools have been imparting all-round education and are not just looking at academic curriculum, but are making children aware of pressing social issues facing the country. Kokuyo Camlin has been riding this digital wave with initiatives like tree plantations, Clean India and promotion of art. Our Camlin Experience App for smartphones gives children an almost real life experience of art."

Saumitra Prasad, Chief Marketing Officer, Kokuyo Camlin