There was a steady stream of Indian advertising gurus converging on Goa throughout Wednesday. The three-day GoaFest 2009 kicks off at Cavelossim Beach from April 2, 2009, with the Industry Leadership Conclave. The Festival this year assumes special significance, coming as it does amid a global economic slowdown and some ‘Jai Ho’ cheer for India. Colvyn Harris, Madhukar Kamath and Bhaskar Das have done a commendable job of getting nearly everyone from the Indian advertising industry to take part this year.
After some initial speculations about whether the Festival would be held this year at all, given the current economic downturn, the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Festival Chairman Colvyn Harris have managed to pull it off. Given the theme of ‘Why Waste a Good Recession?’, GoaFest this year will attempt to make the most of the economic crunch.
With Harris at the helm, the GoaFest Committee is co-chaired by Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal, and Suman Srivastava, CEO, Euro RSCG. The other key members of the Committee include Madhukar Kamath, President, AAAI, and MD & 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.
Harris informed that the attempt this year was to ensure unprecedented focus on “knowledge and learning”, and hence, the tagline ‘Use the right brain’.
GoaFest’s claim of being the largest advertising festival in Asia is supported by some attendance numbers. Close to 3,000 delegates had attended the Festival last year, this year will be no different. This apart, both Creative Abby and Media Abby have seen some of the highest numbers of entries this year. On these two counts, the year has not been a dampener.
The agenda this year is easier on the attendees even as the quality of participation is top-notch. The Industry Leadership Conclave is one platform that discusses and debates issues pertaining to the media and the ad fraternity. Some of the speakers that would be heard here include Mahindra & Mahindra’s Pawan Goenka, Nokia’s Vineet Taneja, Google India’s Shailesh Rao, and McKinsey’s Toshan Tamhane.
The opening day will also see some of the most renowned media and ad gurus on a ‘Fight Back Panel’, which would be moderated by R Sridharan, Senior Editor, ET Now.
For those who can’t make it to GoaFest this year, exchange4media will be bringing detailed news reports and updates on our website, and though special newsletters – both print and mailers.
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