Gujarat has for long been admired for its strong community of shrewd businessmen. The state boasts not only a long list national brands but also entrepreneurs. What's more, it's home to prestigious academic institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, National Institute of Design (NID) and Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad (MICA) - which nurture potential brand creators. So, it made sense for afaqs! to organise the first Brand Owner's Summit in Ahmedabad.
The event, to be held at Core-AMA Management House on February 8-9, will bring together brand owners and brand gurus, who will discuss the mantras and truths in the branding business. The event is powered by monster.com, supported by associate sponsor Bestow and dinner sponsor Khushi Advertising.
So, how has Gujarat managed to hold on to its entrepreneurial streak? And, what is the relevance of a Brand Owner's summit in Gujarat? Brand owners who were asked these questions unanimously agreed that government policies, infrastructure and investment facilities made the state a fertile area for start-ups to grow.
Ganesh Nayak, COO and executive director, Zydus Cadila says the enabling environment, the general prosperity and the high-quality institutions set the state apart. "The policies of the state government encourage both small and large businessmen. There is also consistency in the policy framework and its implementation, which enables businessmen to think and invest with a long-term perspective," he says.
Nayak points out that traditionally Gujarat has been a prosperous state and has probably the highest number of non-resident Indians, which has helped in inculcating innovative ideas through cross cultural exchange. Besides, many are also very good in finance, which helps them to appraise the implications of new ideas and concepts accurately. "Reputed institutes like NID and IIM also reflect on the quality of manpower available in the state," he says.
Agreeing with him, Infibeam founder Vishal Mehta says Gujarat provides the right environment and facilities like infrastructure, resources and cheap manpower to small and large entrepreneurs alike. "The state facilitates enterprises to experiment, explore and grow. Being home to over 3.5 lakh micro, small and medium enterprises, Gujarat is one of the most industrialised states today. All this encourages investment and holistic growth and, in turn, the quality of entrepreneurship," Mehta opines.
With so much going for the state, the summit will further benefit the business community, the speakers feel. "The summit will bring together thought and industry leaders to share their experiences and wisdom with the people of Ahmedabad. It will, hopefully, ignite new ideas and inspire budding entrepreneurs and young managers to achieve market leadership," believes Achal Bakeri, chairman and managing director, Symphony.
Besides sharing of knowledge and branding skills, products and innovations, the summit will also create a platform for young entrepreneurs and aspiring brand managers to interact with people behind successful brands. "The summit provides opportunity for upcoming brands to converse with the brand moguls from across the country. What better ways to interact, learn and share skills and vision, than the brand summit?" asks Mehta.
Concurring with him, Nayak feels that the next breed of entrepreneurs and brand managers are more energetic, creative, talented and experimental. "And, with right guidance and direction, they have it in them to take Gujarat from the India map to the world map," he says.
To enable the interaction with brand gurus, the summit will hold a felicitation night on February 8, a celebratory dinner to commemorate entrepreneurs who took the risk to make it big. Besides Ahmedabad, the two-day summit will travel to other cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
(The event is presented by afaqs!. More details can be availed from the event website http://www.brandownerssummit.com)