The two-day annual marketing seminar, Synapse 2005, held at the Indian Institute of
Management, Kozhikode on July 23-24, saw top marketing gurus expressing their views on the theme 'The Brand New World: Local Competencies, Global Challenges'.
The theme of the event was chosen keeping in mind the changing face of marketing, where the old rules no longer hold and new market dynamics evolve overnight.
The event - organised by Mpower, the marketing interest group at IIMK, and supported by CII and ITC - gave the students an opportunity to interact with industry stalwarts and get insights into the dynamcis of the Indian market.
While inaugurating the seminar, D.S. Bro ca, chairman, Post Graduate Programme, talked about students getting a dose of real industry challenges and stressed the need for socially sensitive corporate citizens.
Hemant Mallik, VP marketing, ITC Foods, delivered the keynote address. He gave an account of ITC's foray into the food industry and highlighted ITC's concept of 'honest pricing' and the rural initiative 'e-choupal'.
Sharing first-hand account of rural marketing was G. Ravi Prasad, VP marketing, Murugappa Group (Godavari Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd). He pointed out that innovation in reaching out to the villages of India is the need of the hour.
Stressing further on the potential of rural marketing was Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc., who held the urban market responsible for creating misconceptions and felt just the tip of the iceberg has been tapped where rural marketing is concerned.
In the light of the recent change in patenting procedures, V. K. Chandrashekaran, VP sales & marketing, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, gave a comprehensive overview of the patents regime in the country. He also attributed India's favourable position in the global scenario to a large talent pool and Indian innovativeness.
Adding further on the need for innovations in the fast changing, competitive market, was Vijay Balakrishnan, principal sales & marketing officer, Bharti Televentures. He remarked, "Our only source of competitive advantage is our people and the service they provide."
R.Balakrishnan, national creative director, Lowe, stressed on the fact that advertising was just not about award-winning creativity, but about getting rewards in the market for the client.
Representing the Retailers Association of India (RAI) was its CEO Gibson Vedamani. He spoke on in-house brands. For an in-house brand to succeed, he felt that there must be a brand vision and transparency in dealings.
From the marketing research space, Sandeep Budhiraja, associate director, AC Nielsen ORG-Marg, talked about the making of cult brands. Backed by radical examples from both the national and international arena, he emphasised how cult brands dare to be different and don't sell a product or service, but a lifestyle.
S. Ramachandran, principal consultant, Littler Associates (Ex VP Sterlite Industries) drove home the point that most of the market research is not fully leveraged. He added that an understanding of the basics behind any methodology used for market research is essential.
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