Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Mumbai, as part of its annual seminar series, organised Continuum 2003. The seminar ‘Creating Value through Marketing’ focussed on marketing strategies. The speakers comprised names like R K Sinha, VP soaps, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd., Aditya Gupta, AVP Marketing, Shaw Wallace and Co. and M G Parameswaran, Executive Director, FCB Ulka.
Each speaker spoke of creating value through marketing. The result was an insight in the current scenario of various industries. The session began with Sinha, who said that marketing alone did not create value. He said, “All functions have to work together to create value.” He further added how the job of the marketer was to identify the areas where consumers, knowingly or unknowingly, made compromises. These gaps have to be filled in the course developing a category itself and this primarily is the job of a market leader.
Gupta, who followed Sinha in the series of presentations, too spoke about the role of the market leader citing the case study of Royal Challenge. He explained that the share and leadership of Royal Challenge was so strong that the company neglected competition and faced the consequences as well. He said, “Shaw Wallace believed that there was God and then Royal Challenge or perhaps Royal Challenge was even before God. However when the market share was being eaten into by other brands, research was done to get to the root of the problem.”
Explaining how the communication for Royal Challenge and marketing activities changed 1999 onwards. He spoke of the various associations that the brand got into and how competition after a while followed the step of similar associations.
After Gupta the floor was open to Paul Abraham, COO, ABN-AMRO, responsible for the bank’s operations, financial control, information technology and support services. Abraham too spoke of creating value through marketing but with a focus in the banking sector. He explained how banks had to convey to the consumer a sense of security and how communication played a major role in portraying the image and hence augmenting marketing resources.
Deepak Khosla, GM-Central Marketing, Patni Computers System Ltd. made the next presentation, which stressed the importance of marketing in the IT sector. The day ended with Parameswaran, who spoke about the importance of advertisements in the marketing strategy for any industry.
Each presentation was followed by an interesting exchange between the students and the speakers. The speakers solved the theoretical queries of the students with insightful replies resulting from their practical experiences. In all, Continuum 2004 presented a comprehensive look at the marketing scenario today in various industries and how the gurus tackle everyday problems.