The International Advertising Association (IAA) India chapter started a three-day summit in Le Meridian, Kochi to mark 25 years of its existence. At the inaugural ceremony of the Silver Jubilee summit, Srinivasan Swamy, president, IAA India Chapter and VP - Development, IAA Asia Pacific in his welcome address stressed on the importance of staying ahead of time.
"It's been a very interesting 25 years, and we have done a lot but more important is what we want to achieve in next few years. I have globally embraced the theme of 'What's coming next' because our competitiveness will only improve when we know what is coming next and be prepared for it. We have 11 international speakers from various parts of the globe and 10-11 Indian speakers who will give interesting perspectives on what lies ahead of us. Over the next two days it is going to be a great learning experience," he said.
Faris Abouhamad, IAA chairman and global president congratulated Swamy and his team for their relentless efforts in the country. Stating that India holds immense potential as a market, Abouhamad added that in the coming three years, India could be the top three advertising spenders in the world.
Amitabh Kant, secretary, Industrial Policy and Promotion, Govt of India delivered the key note address that traced how some of the best tourism campaign he has worked on put India's tourism brand image on a global map.
Kant, who has been associated with successful campaigns like 'Incredible India', 'Oh Kerala', 'Athithi Devo Bhava,' said that branding is not just about advertising. He noted that brand building is about delivering effective results, and a brand cannot be created out of a terrible product.
Stating that the 'Make in India' campaign, an initiative launched by the government, will take the brand India to the next level, he added that, "If India grows at the rate of 9-10 per cent year after year and there is improvement in infrastructure, civic governance, education, poverty alleviation, India's branding will go up. Indians must realise that branding is about delivering. It is about the convergence and integration of good advertising and on-ground delivery."
Kant concluded his address stating that while the future for India is about becoming a contemporary economically strong nation it must retain its heritage and values. He added that branding is about people and taking ownership, and Indians must realise that.
Meanwhile, Pradeep Guha, summit chairman and area director, IAA Asia Pacific introduced the Guest of Honour at the inaugural ceremony, actor Shah Rukh Khan, who enthralled the audience with his charm and spoke on the importance of advertising and branding.
He stressed on the importance of empowering women in the ad world, and the need for authenticity when it comes to branding.
Concluding the ceremony Monica Tata, honourary secretary, IAA gave the vote of thanks.
The IAA, headquartered in New York, is an integrated advertising trade association with membership representing advertising agencies and the media. It comprises of corporate members, organisational members and educational affiliates, as well as 56 chapters with individual members and young professionals from 76 countries.