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iProspect India, the digital performance agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, has roped in Dinesh Swamy as National Creative Director.

He will be reporting to Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India and will be based out of Mumbai office.

Dinesh, a Digital player, comes with over 17 years of experience and brings with him a strong digital orientation with experience across agencies such as BBDO Proximity, Tribal DDB, Digital Law & Kenneth, SapientRazorfish & Liqvd Asia.

He follows customer-centric approach with game-changing technology at its core. His ever-growing portfolio includes clients like Idea Cellular, MTV, Reliance Mobile, Volkswagen, Renault, Hero MotoCorp, Visa, Tourism Australia, UltraTech Cement, Sanctum and Jeep amongst others.

Some of the successful campaigns that bloomed under Dinesh’s leadership are MTV Roadies, Idea Cellular - Use Mobile and Save Paper, Reliance Mobile - Go for it, Hero Motocorp - Hum Mein Hai Hero and building Social media community for Visa in India. He also managed campaigns such as UltraTech - Colours of grey, building Bengal Warriors Community and the launch of Jeep Compass digital assets to name some. He was also on the jury panel of Adfest Asia Awards, Goafest, Media Apac, New York Festivals and Tambuli.

Talking about his appointment, Dinesh said, “I am excited to be part of this ever-evolving network, which changes with the dynamic consumer behaviour. I Strongly believe creative act is a responsibility, where the end user gets to experience the ideas. I love the medium because it is tangible; it makes you accountable and above all, it can be measured. I am looking forward to create something innovative at iProspect along with the team.”

Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India said, “There's no denying that the degree of creative quality always has an impact on marketing effectiveness. In the future, successful brands will be those who combine creativity with emotion, data and technology to make meaningful connections with the audience. The appointment of Dinesh Swamy as National Creative Director will strengthen iProspect’s capabilities in the area of ‘data driven creative’. His experience of technology and smart creative solutions will add to our existing proficiency in media performance and we will be able to offer holistic solutions to our clients.”

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 00:00

MMA India holds first ever Ideathon

The 30-hour hackathon brings together the best of Bangalore’s young tech enthusiasts to tackle brand challenges in the 21st century.

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) in India will introduce its first ever Ideathon, a 30-hour nonstop hackathon to address and solve brand challenges in a highly competitive environment. The event, which will take place on 25 – 26 August 2018 at K-start Respace, is targeted at tech-driven entrepreneurs and students. The first of its kind, the Ideathon will also be introduced at the upcoming MMA Forum in September.

Bringing together the brightest and youngest minds from across Bangalore, the event, run in partnership with IncubateIND, will see advertisers from big brands across industries present their problem statements. Participants are then expected to come up with a solution and present their proposals after a 30-hour nonstop hackathon.

As mobile continues to occupy maximum time and attention of consumers today, brands need to seek new and innovative ways to stand out and effectively reach their consumers. More than a place to share ideas, the Ideathon will also act as a platform for industry practitioners and students to network.

“The rapid growth of mobile adoption in India alongside the competitive landscape it operates in prompts companies to rethink their strategies when it comes to growing their businesses,” said Moneka Khurana, Country Head at MMA India. “The Ideathon will bring fresh insights from some of the best and most creative young minds in Bangalore, challenging brands to think outside the box and look at the multitude of possibilities mobile presents.”

Brands that will be participating in the Ideathon include Unilever, Vodafone, Tata Chemicals Limited, and Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. Despite coming from different industries, they all face challenges when it comes to engagement on different levels, especially in a mobile environment. This Ideathon provides a platform for brands to bring their individual problems to light, allowing the younger generation to use their creativity and talent as they do a deep dive into individual brand issues, providing solutions that are relevant to todays mobile audience. (Individual brand problem statements can be found here)

“Vodafone seeks to partner India and the world in building a future which is exciting. In an era of technology, via this MMA Ideathon, we are keen to see some innovative and creative solutions coming from these young minds who are working on the designated briefs. It will certainly be interesting to watch how these young teams approach complex business and brand problems of today, and I’m sure there will be several fabulous nuggets to takeaway for the participants as well as the jury,” said Siddharth Banerjee, EVP-Marketing, Vodafone India.

“Most of us (the business and marketing fraternity) have been solving business problems or marketing challenges, and connecting with consumers in a particular way for decades now. Through this Ideathon, the future generation will get a chance to tackle real-life scenarios and will empower them to speak their minds and come up with a possible solution which we might not have thought of. It is also a good opportunity for us to meet these young talents and possibly work with them in the future”, said Pankaj Parihar, Vice President & Head, Digital Marketing & Transformation, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.

“Events like this are a great way for brands to hear from a generation of young talents who grew up in a mobile-first environment. Likewise, this Ideathon will allow future technopreneurs to get real insights from brands,” said Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, MMA Asia Pacific. He added that while this is only the first event of this nature, he looks forward to seeing more events like this hosted by MMA across the region.

Display of Best Discipline and Skills: The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind on National Geographic’s documentary on The President’s Bodyguard

National Geographic’s ‘The President’s Bodyguard’ to celebrate the rich traditions and legacy of one of the oldest regiments of the Indian Army

National Geographic, a brand that has a rich legacy of 130 years of telling the most inspiring and spectacular stories, announced an exclusive documentary on one of the oldest regiments of the Indian Army, The President’s Bodyguard. The film, which will definitely hit the patriotic chord with the viewers, is set to premiere on the channel on the 72st Independence Day at 9 pm.

Commenting on National Geographic documentary, the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, said, “Ceremonial occasions like the Republic Day parade, the President’s address to Parliament, oath-taking ceremony of a new President, or receiving a visiting head of state, are watched keenly in India and abroad. The President’s Bodyguard displays the best traditions of discipline and skills of our Armed Forces. Their flawless turn-out and impressive bearing speak for the heritage of our country, and our Armed Forces. But behind their skills, while standing erect or on horse-back, is years of hard work and the relentless pursuit of perfection. These are untiring, dedicated and brave soldiers – as good as the best in the world. I am very proud of them.”

A special screening of National Geographic’s The President’s Bodyguard will take place at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 14, 2018. The event will be graced by The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind and will be attended by representatives from several ministries and forces.

Uday Shankar, President of 21st Century Fox, Asia; and Chairman & CEO of Star India, said, “The President’s Bodyguard is the story of India’s historic and heritage cavalry unit, and one of the senior most regiments of the Indian army. Its glorious history of service to the nation and pursuit of excellence makes it unique and we are incredibly proud of bringing its story to our viewers. National Geographic, over many years, has showcased history, science, geography and cultures around the world and is the only platform which can do justice to the rich legacy of these untiring, dedicated and brave soldiers and their military traditions.”

The President’s Bodyguard is narrated by Amitabh Bachchan, whose voice strings the film together. Complementing National Geographic’s spectacular storytelling, Amitabh Bachchan’s powerful narration will bring the story of the regiment’s legacy and tradition to life.

Says Mr. Amitabh Bachchan 'As a nation of diverse cultures, patriotism is a very strong term that resonates with every single person living in the country. The love for patriotism is at its peak on many occasions, out of which the Independence Day remains one. I feel National Geographic’s film is a complete package which brings forth the stories of some selfless men who have put national duties above any other interests. The film will surely take the viewers a step closer to the history and heritage of one of the oldest cavalry units of our homeland.”

It was way back in 2003, when National Geographic established itself as a pioneer in the Indian television industry, by partnering with various branches of the Indian Armed Forces, to bring to viewers, access to the forces like they had never seen before. In that year, National Geographic’s ‘Mission Everest’, that featured the Indian Army was India's first televised reality-adventure, and it marked 50 years of Mt Everest's ascent. That was just the beginning of National Geographic’s legacy of bringing the most exclusive content on Indian Armed Forces to the viewers. The brand went further and brought some of the most inspiring stories from all three forces – Indian Air Force, Indian Navy & Indian Army. However, along with giving viewers an exclusive access to these forces, National Geographic also told their stories in the most powerful and cinematic manner, giving viewers a completely immersive storytelling experience. An experience that has not only moved them with emotions but also made them connect with our nation’s bravest men and women. A testament to this was when National Geographic’s exclusive documentary ‘BSF – India’s First Line of Defence’ broke viewership records, and premiered as the most watched show of the Infotainment genre.

With this rich heritage of creating the most powerful storytelling of the Indian Forces, National Geographic is all set to once again give its viewers an unprecedented access by taking them inside the world of the President’s Bodyguard. The President’s Bodyguard is the oldest surviving mounted unit and is one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army. The regiment, which has 245 years old legacy, and is made up of almost 200 soldiers, represents supreme and selfless service. Be it the Republic Day Parade or the President’s swearing-in ceremony, these men have upheld important traditions which have been passed on to generations, many times over the last two hundred years.

 

The President’s Bodyguard will premiere on National Geographic at 9 pm, on August 15, 2018. The documentary will also be available on Hotstar.

"Initially it was very difficult because as an RJ, it was all about me and my show – that’s all I ever thought of. But when you start managing a company then you need to put your people ahead of you. You need to think of thousand more variables that affect your life like sales, cash flow, people problems etc. Life as an RJ was all about individual talent and my own ability. Now the tough part is to extract brilliance from other individuals who form a part of my team. Inspiring people to be their best is a full time job but I thoroughly enjoy it." Said Rahoul Bhaargava - Founder, Creative Antenna.

In an interview with MediAvataar India, Rahoul divulged all about Creative Antenna and how Indian consumer is now willing to pay for audio content.
Here is the complete Q&A....

MediAvataar: How do you define Creative Antenna and your business model?
Rahoul: Creative Antenna is a provider of content, products and end to end managed services for a mobile first ecosystem. Simply put, we make products that engage a mobile carrying customer. Our products are sold as a subscription or pay per use basis to customers via telecom operators.

MediAvataar: Who is your target audience?
Rahoul: Anyone & everyone who uses a mobile phone.

MediAvataar: Tell us something about the size of the industry.
Rahoul: About 300 Crores monthly.

MediAvataar: Is this service for only big brands or smaller outfits can also budget it in?
Rahoul: This service is for brand of any size that wants to reach out to its potential customer who carries a mobile phone.

MediAvataar: How do you look at your competition?
Rahoul: Competition keeps us on our toes. It helps us to keep focus on goals and continuously improve ourselves so that we stay relevant and ahead of the curve always.

MediAvataar: What do you think is your USP?
Rahoul: Though we are a mid sized company, we function as a start up. Our entire team is very hand on and works round the clock. Our team size is small so we can monitor and control our environment, which ultimately helps in quality output.

MediAvataar: How has the consumption of audio content changed over a period of time?
Rahoul: Audio content used to be for community consumption in the 70s. Television took its place in the 80s. Audio content listening since then became a very personal affair. Smaller radio sets, Walkman and IPods further helped & aided this personal listening habit. People now need more niche content. If something unique is dished out, then they will pay for it especially the A category listeners living in Tier I cities. That I feel is the biggest change – the fact that the Indian customer is now willing to pay for audio content.

MediAvataar: You have been creatively involved in radio, earlier as RJ and now as a business man, tell us about your transition and is it easier to be the former than latter?
Rahoul: Initially it was very difficult because as an RJ, it was all about me and my show – that’s all I ever thought of. But when you start managing a company then you need to put your people ahead of you. You need to think of thousand more variables that affect your life like sales, cash flow, people problems etc. Life as an RJ was all about individual talent and my own ability. Now the tough part is to extract brilliance from other individuals who form a part of my team. Inspiring people to be their best is a full time job but I thoroughly enjoy it.

MediAvataar: Tell us about your clientele and how do you market your services?
Rahoul: My current clientele consists of all the telecom operators but I’m now also targeting potential clients in aviation, banking and hospitality sector who need entertaining content on audio & video for their customers.

MediAvataar: What are your future plans?
Rahoul: Mobile ecosystem is a very dynamic place and things change very quickly so I won’t comment on future plans that are too distant but in near terms we want to replicate our services - that have been successful in domestic market – in international telecom operators. Work has already started on those lines.

The advent of the e-commerce boom brought about a paradigm shift in operations in varied sectors across the globe. Just as any novel force stands to challenge the status quo of the traditional ways, e-commerce disrupted various businesses including the apparel retail industry. As per the latest KSA Technopak Report, while India’s GDP is likely to grow by 7%, the apparel retail sector is expected to grow by CAGR of 9.7% for next 10 years.

Back in 2014, the Morgan Stanley Report had predicted the e-commerce growth at 37% CAGR that is close to USD 13bn for the year 2018. The prediction is very well coming true! Apparel e-commerce has eventually grown by 45% CAGR in the last 5 years and is expected to take on the value of a whooping 7bn - 8bn by 2020. The numbers in the reports, while being clearly indicative of where the apparel sector is headed, also speak volumes about the unprecedented growth of the apparel e-commerce segment. Of course, it can be argued that there is no disparity between what proportions of sales are coming from increased consumption and what are stemming from the share of the retail industry. But, the argument doesn’t stand to change the consumption trend or consumer preference and their growing lean towards apparel e-commerce.

However, the retail sector has also brought about significant changes in keeping with the evolving trends and preferences and the landscape at large. Retail spaces are taking innovative measures to attract the customers and give them a comprehensive shopping experience. Let’s dive deep into how the impact of e-commerce is re-shaping the apparel retail industry.

Omni / Endless Aisle

I have always believed in the amalgamation of virtual endless aisle inside retail stores, which is simply making available interactive tabs and surfaces for the consumer to pick and choose, customize and even have the product delivered at their doorstep. The retail space makes the selection process easier for the customer and adds to the whole experience of receiving endless options, to making purchases from the store as well as opting for customizations and home-delivery of products through the virtual experience. Stores are looking at various versions of implementing such practices to deliver a better customer service.

Personalization

Store managers and staff leverage their direct connection with the consumer to deliver truly personalized recommendations. Brands also take educating and training the store managers and staff seriously. The customer gets to try on clothes based on their body-types and accordingly ask for required garments to make purchases on-the-spot. The whole activity stands to be a major differentiator that continues to pull customers into the retail space.

Discount Parity

Today, brands have become extra cautious that the discounts they offer in-store and on the brand’s e-commerce platform match each other. This new practice now directly translates to higher discount rates in the retail stores; it has brought about the consumer to believe that the offerings post-discounts are available at more or less similar price-points, as on the brand’s e-commerce portal. As a result, there is a shift in consumer bias toward e-commerce, who are now also seen browsing retail stores during discount periods.

Newer Markets

E-commerce came and won over consumers, including those in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns who may not have access to certain brands available in the cities. However, when e-commerce proved the sales potential in these cities, brands were quick to open their retail outlets in these regions since the market was already being built by e-commerce, and they could then leverage the standing through retail outlets.

Mall Culture

E-commerce obviously creates the convenience of buying from home and hence, footfalls drop in physical stores. To overcome that particular challenge, malls are carrying out on-ground activations, discounts, compelling events such as food fiestas and offering crèche facilities as well as indoor play areas for kids, all of which assists with attracting consumers. During festivals like Diwali or Christmas, malls also have local celebrities visit stores. Brands happily partner with the malls to create a buzz and deliver a luxurious experience to encourage more footfalls in stores.

Rationalised Rentals

Indian retail rentals have been one of the highest in the world, and that is gradually changing. It is interesting to witness the numerous sectors e-commerce has impacted. With a drop in footfalls at retail stores owing to e-commerce, the rentals are being renegotiated and moreover, are now being linked with sales. The practice has marginally reduced the pressure from the brands, and profitability is not as deeply impacted.

Dropped Prices

E-commerce assists local manufacturers to reach out to potential buyers across the country/world at once. This gives consumers the choice to receive great value and infinite options with hundreds of manufacturers reaching out to them. Inadvertently, premium brands have to retain or reduces prices; and while margins do come under pressure, brands are hopeful that it will always add up to corresponding sales.

In a nutshell, the consumer has emerged as the king, with heavy discounts on e-commerce platforms, as well as with privileges in-store and a more refined shopping experience at malls. It is certainly a major win for the consumers, while the brands, manufacturers and the supply chain at large grapple and adapts with the evolution of the landscape to deliver more value to the customer and maintain its standing in the markets.

 

Authored by Vipul Mathur, Brand Marketing Expert and Brand Head, SKULT

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