GoaFest 2008 has been providing a platform for young and talented creatives to learn, hone their skills, and interact with industry veterans. The Festival has a special package to attract young talent, and since last year, it has had reasonable success in doing so. But apart from GoaFest, what is the industry doing to motivate and nurture young talent? exchange4media asks ad honchos on what they think the industry has on offer to the youngsters.
Jagdip Bakshi, CEO, Contract Advertising, and Chairman, GoaFest 2008, believes that the industry still needs to do a lot in encouraging youngsters. Bakshi said, “We realise that there is not much at the moment for the young ones, and thus, GoaFest, I would say, is just a beginning in this direction. The industry should have many more such initiatives to ensure that the future of Indian advertising becomes even more promising. People in Mumbai and other metros have got enough to up their creative quotients, but I am not sure if other smaller regions of the country can provide that kind of support to the youngsters in the industry.”
Bakshi further said, “One may be fortunate enough to join a big agency that has a culture of training and development. But if one joins a smaller place or is in some semi-urban region, he or she is very much out in the cold unless there is an entire industry initiative to make something happen. Initiatives like MICA/Mudra and GoaFest are only two initiatives in the last 10 years that the industry has seen. The rest of them are mostly unorganised and haphazard. They are not annual or properly organised programmes for the young people.”
Nakul Chopra, CEO & Managing Director, Publicis India, is appreciative of the fact that GoaFest has recognised the need to include many youngsters. “GoaFest has realized that they (the youngsters) are our future and that typically they don’t get to attend as many award shows or advertising events as the seniors do. It is fantastic that GoaFest has a special package for the young people to draw them in bigger numbers. It is a great opportunity for them to learn, to imbibe and to celebrate,” he said.
But when it came to overall industry initiatives, Chopra said, “Sadly, we are not doing enough. Again, I am not sure that this can be tackled at an industry level. Attracting talent and nurturing it will need far higher initiative, both at the industry and individual agency level. Clearly, our industry (whether collectively or individually) does not have a great track record in this area. And this shows in the quality of talent we can today attract – it shows in our ability to retain talent.”
He further said, “I fear too much emphasis is laid on recruiting the talent. The question is not whether we can recruit from ‘A’ level management schools or ‘B’ level management schools, the real question is what we make these recruits do. Perhaps the time has come for the industry to examine some fundamentals like basic organisational structures and departmental silos, but these will need serious restructuring before we can address issues of talent.”
Subhash Kamath, CEO, Bates David Enterprise, emphasised the importance of nurturing talent for future. He said, “It is vital for the advertising industry to invest a lot in educating and training young creative talent that is there in India. Both the AAAI and the Ad Club has recognised this, and thus, have come up with special packages for youngsters. We also recognise great work done by young creatives separately as a category to ensure that they produce even better quality work in future.”
Speaking on initiative that the Ad Club has been taking in shaping up the youngsters, Kamath said that be it Emvies, Effies, Ad Review or any other annual Ad Club event, there was a constant effort to include students and young advertising professionals so that they could interact with industry veterans. Ad Club also organises several workshops and seminars for students to learn, and I believe these initiatives should be done more often to ensure great young creative minds enter the industry in good numbers every year.”
Suman Srivastava, CEO, Euro RSCG, said, “Young and fresh minds are critical for every industry, but more so for a creative industry like ours. I don’t think we are doing enough to develop young people. We need to do more to raise the desirability of our industry among the best and brightest young people.”
GoaFest 2008: With AAAI, Ad Club joining hands, there’s no scope for duplication, says Jagdip Bakshi
GoaFest 2008: 1,194 registrations received from 109 companies in the first week
Goafest 2008: Contract Advertising creates the campaign buzz for Festival