Goafest 2009 kicks off, industry's finest brains discuss challenges

Goafest 2009 was set in motion with a day dedicated to knowledge and learning. The Industry Leadership Conclave witnessed the finest brains coming together under one roof to discuss and debate issues and challenges facing advertising and marketing and share their learning’s and thoughts. The conclave formed an ideal platform for opinion leaders and influential minds to reflect on the economic slowdown and its repercussions on businesses, brands and communication.

The conclave committee is headed by the Chairman of Goafest 2009, Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT at the helm and is co-chaired by Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal, and Suman Srivastava, CEO, Euro RSCG. The other key members of the committee are Madhukar Kamath, President, AAAI, and MD and CEO, Mudra Group. Bhaskar Das, President, The Advertising Club Bombay, and Executive President, Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd; Ajay Chandwani, Director, PerceptH and Subhash Kamath, Managing Partner, BBH India.

Goafest 2009 got off the ground with Colvyn Harris, Chairman, Goafest 2009 offering some words of wisdom and indicating that it was time to ‘go back to basics’. Noteworthy heavyweights of the Indian media industry Madhukar Kamath, President, AAI and Bhaskar Das, Co-Chairman, Goafest & President, Ad Club Bombay made the welcome addresses.

The audience included Vikram Sakhuja, GroupM; Raj Nayak, NDTV Media; Sam Balsara, Madison World; G Krishnan, TV Today Group, Prashant Panday, Radio Mirchi and Ranjeet Kate, BCCL.

Dr. Pawan Goenka, President (Automotive Sector), Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. offered a stimulating and valuable keynote address on Managing Business and pointed out the road to recovery. Goenka spoke on the challenges that faced the automotive sector that included dependence on financing and the high input costs. Goenka was convincing in pointing out that the automotive sector in India would continue to grow.

Marketing whiz Vineet Taneja, Head of Marketing, Nokia India followed with his in-depth understanding and precision on building brands while Shailesh Rao, MD (Sales & Operations), Google India, imparting his profound understanding on the ‘Digital Edge’. In keeping with the theme of the conclave both spoke on the various strategies that brands should use in their favour to bounce back during these trouble times. Mr. Rao rightly added “The consumer was the King and now he is God.”

Toshan Tamhane, Associate Principal, McKinsey & Co. inspired pride and captivated his audience with his revisit to the ‘India Story’. The evening concluded with an insightful panel discussion on ‘The Fight Back’ with R. Sridharan, Senior Editor, ET Now as moderator.

The Industry Leadership Conclave marks the first day of the most prestigious annual festival for marketing and advertising professional and one of the most powerful platforms that celebrate the work and the people in Indian advertising. Scheduled for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of April, the theme for this year is “Why Waste a Good Recession?” .

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