ILLUSTRIOUS MICAN ALUMNI DELIBERATE UPON THE EVOLUTION OF THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY | Press Release

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MICA’s Grand Alumni Meet took off to a sparkling start here at the campus, with an inaugural function followed by the business conclave, “CROSSROADS 2015”. In the ceremony attended by industry stalwarts, faculty and students, the topic discussed was ‘The New Age Mad Men’.

The discussion saw illustrious MICAn Alumni, who belonged to either Traditional agencies or Digital agencies, deliberate upon the evolution of the advertising industry. They spoke about how exciting advertising is as a profession and shared their thoughts about the business. Dennis Koshy (Vice President, DraftFCB), Ganga Ganapathi (Vice President, Ogilvy & Mather) and Shweta Bhatnagar (Vice President,Lowe Lintas and Partners) represented the traditional agencies. Prapti Banerjee (Mobility & Digital marketing Consultant), Ajinkya Pawar (Strategist, Junxion) and Ajay Gupta (Brand Partner, Rediffusion-Wunderman) represented the Digital agencies. The conclave was moderated by Madhukar Sabnavis (Country Head, Ogilvy & Mather).

On being asked about the culture and daily ups and downs in the industry, Shweta Bhatnagar said, “for me the industry has been really rewarding. Clients expect you to have the ability to think of the brand beyond the here and now. Planners have the power to steer the brand in whichever direction they want.” Prapti Banerjee agreed by saying “There are moments of frustration when you feel your ideas are not getting heard and the client is not interested in your path breaking thoughts. Also, when there is work there is too much of work or too much of rush. In spite of all this the kind of satisfaction you feel when you see your creative effort bear fruit – it wipes out those 100 days of frustration.” Ajinkya Pawar added, “People around you will believe in you and enable you to do great things. They will stand behind you. In planning, the first two years are very challenging and your ideas aren’t necessarily visible all the time. However, once you’ve proved your mettle, it changes so it is up to you to always try and be ahead of the curve.”

The panelists discussed recent changes in the ways of working in the industry. As per Dennis Koshy “There is a before and after. There is a difference in how things were before and how things are now.  You need to know what used to happen a decade before in order to understand things better.  However, the more things changed the more they remained the same because at a fundamental level this business is all about ideas.” Prapti Banerjee gave an industrial perspective on how brands and organizations now spend more on the digital space by saying  “At the end of the day we are in the business of talking to the consumers, the business of communicating new ideas - but the way we are communicating these ideas is changing. We are trying to incorporate technology, which is why under one single brand there are multiple agencies.”

The discussion also touched upon the role of client servicing. Ganga Ganapathi affirmed how communication and consumer touch points have expanded “With client servicing it is our job to erase the divide between agencies. One simple way to do so is storytelling, which is never going to go out of fashion. Generate interest, generate desire, make them buy, like the experience, and come back and buy again. Its simple. It is one to one communication. After all you are the face of the brand - if the client trusts you then everything falls into place.” Ajay Gupta spoke of the one important thing that everyone in the industry needs to keep in mind “when you start talking the language of data, it becomes easier to sell an idea. Because these are hard facts, which clients will believe.”

In the end Mr. Madhukar Sabnavis summed up the discussion by going over the pros and cons of being a part of the industry, its journey so far, and the way it continues to evolve on a day-to-day basis.

About the Moderator : Madhukar Sabnavis | Country Head – Ogilvy & Mather Madhukar Sabnavis, an alumni of St. Stephens Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, started his advertising career with Clarion advertising and moved to Ogilvy & Mather in 1988. He is currently the country head of Planning and discovery, India. In his illustrious career, he has been worked on creative campaigns of innumerable brands including Asian Paints, Coca Cola, ITC, Unilever, to name a few. Under his leadership of planning in India, O&M has become the most awarded Indian agency at the Indian Effies and Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards. Apart from being an active member of a number of industry organizations, he is an avid writer and has a monthly column on the editorial page of Business Standard.

About the Speakers

Dennis Koshy | Vice President - DraftFCB

Graduate diploma in Field Ornithology – check; State level badminton tournaments – check; Marathons – check; World War nut – check. Koshy, a MICAn from the batch of 1997 batch sits on the chair of Vice President - Bangalore at FCB. In his 17 years of career spanning across brand communication management and general management in advertising agencies across Mumbai and Bangalore, Dennis Koshy has handled and changed lives of innumerable brands.

Ganga Ganapathi | Vice President – Ogilvy & Mather

Ganga Ganapathi comes with almost 17 years of work experience in Advertising and Analytics. She is Vice President at one of the most prestigious advertising agencies of the world, Ogilvy and Mather. A MICAn of the 1998 batch, Ganga is passionate about enabling data driven decision making across Marketing disciplines -she attributes this to the experience she gained over a 5.5 year stint in the Analytics organization at HP.

Shweta Bhatnagar | Vice President – Lowe Lintas and Partners

A psychology graduate and a MICAn from the batch of 2003, she interestingly explains how she got into Advertising and Planning – her love for trying something new every day paved her way to Advertising and her love for both chaos and order pulled her into the world of Planning. Currently, she holds the key post of Vice President – Strategic Planning at Lowe Lintas. Over the 11 years industry experience that Shweta has, she has worked with almost all the prime Advertising agencies like JWT, McCann, Lowe and Publicis and has seen various brands undergoing major transformations and changes over years.

Prapti Banerjee | Mobility & Digital marketing Consultant

A national level debater and a brilliant orator, what sets Prapti apart is her desire to work for the social causes around the society and her keen interest to join a non-profit board. She left MICA in the year 2004 only to fall in love with anything and everything revolving around Marketing and Advertising. A career spanning across almost a decade and roles ranging from that of being the Group Head of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. to being the Business Director of OMD India, Prapti now a days indulges in giving consultation on Mobile Media occasionally.

Ajinkya Pawar | Strategist at Junxion

Ajinkya is a strategist with wide experience in advertising and marketing consultancy. Alumni from the batch of 2009, with more than 5 years of experience in strategy roles, he brings strong expertise of applied common sense to the not-so-complex world of strategic communications. Earlier, as a strategy lead with Publicis India’s digital wing, he led many a brand's first successful foray into the rewarding world of digital communications and helped grow the digital wing of Publicis with numerous new business wins. He has previously worked with DDB Mudra and Publicis with brands such as Volkswagen, Maruti Suzuki, McVities, Beam Global, cleartrip and so on. Currently, he is a strategist for Junxion, a rapidly growing specialized firm that works with NGOs and mission driven businesses to catalyse progress on social and environmental sustainability.

Ajay Gupta | Brand Partner – Rediffusion - Wunderman

The first thing that is strikingly different about Ajay Gupta, a MICAn from the batch of 2008 is that he loves to take time out to teach students at various B-schools in the country and stays connected with the youth who are ready to take over the corporate milieu. Currently holding the position of National Brand Partner at Rediffusion Wunderman, he does everything from forming strategies to spearheading business pitches across offices. Throughout his career, spanning across almost 8 years, Ajay has garnered unmatchable experience in brand management, digital communication and direct marketing following his mantra that real ideas come from real life.

About MICA

Established in 1991, MICA is the first residential institute in the country and perhaps in the Asia-Pacific region, dedicated to creating Leadership in Strategic Marketing and Communication.

Its spirit lies in its grasping of contemporariness, addressing the needs of an ever-changing environment. The MICA brand assures effective delivery of Strategic Marketing and Communication solutions to the industry, government and community.

Today, it is the alma mater of professionals serving in leadership positions in some of the best known companies in India and the world, in marketing, brand management, research & analytics, advertising, media, digital and other strategic marketing and communication-driven businesses. 

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