In the recently held IAA Retrospect Prospects event in Mumbai, Shivakumar spoke on 'Looking back - Going ahead', especially for companies and the advertising industry.
Pointing out some of the key turn of events in 2013, Shivakumar stated how the year saw emerging markets, which form a huge chunk of revenue for MNCs today, slowing down. He also believed the concept of the public company was becoming obsolete, with rising private equity companies coming up. Interestingly, 50 per cent of businesses in Asia are family owned as compared to western countries. Even the tenure of CEOs has shrunk from eight to six years. In the US, 40 per cent CEOs don't last for more than two years, whereas in India it's five years.
Also, the penetration of mobile phones, especially touch phones, have brought a lot of women and children into the consumption fold.
Shivakumar also touched upon the power of social media in making or breaking of a brand. This, he highlighted, by showing five of the most liked and disliked ads which generated a lot of social conversation. "Social conversation is rich. We say consumer is the King. And today, the King has a voice and if it's not favourable, you are dead," he stated. Also, women and issues about women will be on advertising centre stage in future, he predicted.
Looking ahead, Shivakumar said that the expected GDP growth in the US is said to be 2.5 per cent and Asia, 5.7 per cent. "This is the first time since 2008 that all the regions are showing positive growth, the biggest being the US. In fact, for the first time in 15 years, USA will add more to its GDP growth than China; imagine what this will do to world trade," Shivakumar said.
Interestingly, he estimated India's GDP to grow at 4.4-5 per cent this year, as he felt the upcoming General Elections may have "sentimental" change on the GDP.
He summed up his talk with six thoughts - moving from penetration route to focusing on consumption economy and the infrastructure necessary to address the consumers' "wants" today. Having strong partners, understanding and delivering brand value in service industry, the need to look at different business models and technology, innovation, speed in execution, choosing celebrity brand ambassadors on the basis of facts, and integration of agencies (creative, media, digital and brand) were some of the concerns that he underlined.
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