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How do you define the Indian youth and what attracts them the most?
Shamik Sengupta, Creative Director, Fortune Communications Hanoz Mogrelia, Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi Anu J, Creative Director, Creativeland Asia Nilesh Vaidya, Creative Director, Euro RSCG India
 
Madhukar Kamath, President, AAAI

"This year, the teams at AAAI and Ad Club Mumbai, have worked very closely to ensure absolutely perfect rounds of judging.  Get the Industry's best creative minds together, have eminently experienced jury Chairman, insist on higher standards, encourage in camera discussions, make sure you have  external audit and monitoring personnel and what you get is a perfect recipe for a truly international standard judging event"

 


Madhukar Kamath, President, AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India)          is one of the key figures behind the GoaFest 2008. Kamath, Managing Director and CEO, Mudra, has more than 26 years of experience in the advertising and marketing domain. Though he began his career with the erstwhile Clarion McCann, he has been with Mudra since 1988, except for the four-year period in between, when he joined the Cordiant Group to bring Bates to India, complete an acquisition of Clarion and establish Zenith Media and 141 Worldwide. Kamath came back to Mudra in April 2003. He holds a Bachelor's degree in economics and a Master's in business management.

In conversation with exchange4media's Rishi Vora, Madhukar Kamath speaks on how GoaFest 2008 is bigger and better than before.

How have you seen GoaFest evolve as an advertising festival in India since it was first celebrated in 2006?

Goafest has evolved considerably since it first started in April 2006.  Goafest 2008, the 3rd edition will be considerably bigger.  5 dimensional in fact.  An exciting conclave, a competitive media awards evening, a well contested Abby awards, a veritable list of internationally recognised speakers, and ofcourse the fabulous Advillage which is the venue for learning, networking, fun and frolic.   Each year, effort has gone in to learn from the earlier experiences and make the festival a better event.  The number of delegates have grown, the number of agencies participating have increased considerably, the number of entries doubled, the quality of international speakers improved and more importantly, the arrangements and the setting provide the perfect base for a greater degree of fun, the building of camaraderie and the festival spirit.

What are thoughts on the GoaFest judging standards?
This year, the teams at AAAI and Ad Club Mumbai, have worked very closely to ensure absolutely perfect rounds of judging.  Get the Industry's best creative minds together, have eminently experienced jury Chairman, insist on higher standards, encourage in camera discussions, make sure you have  external audit and monitoring personnel and what you get is a perfect recipe for a truly international standard judging event. 

GoaFest have been giving a lot of importance to young creative minds in the industry? What is in it for them in the 2008 event?
Goafest 2008 will also encourage the participation of young creative minds in the Industry.   800 under 30s are being sponsored vis-a-vis, their travel, stay, boarding and lodging, for just Rs.7,777/-, which is the registration fee.  The platform is perfect for the young creative minds to observe, interact and learn from the peer group, the industry leaders and the international speakers.  GoaFest 2008 promises to be the best ever, in the Indian Creatives.

Do you think GoaFest has now reached a level from where it can take bigger strides and expand its wings to become an international event?
Conceptually speaking, yes.  However, I would see the AAAI waiting for a couple of more years before making it any bigger.  Nevertheless, GoaFest 2008 is already as the Cannes of Asia by Scott Goodson.

I understand that the thought process behind GoaFest in 2006 was to create a one-week event like we have international events like the Cannes Lions. When would the industry see this thought being turned into action? 
That was one of the thoughts we began with.   But let's be honest.  Organising an event of this nature, size and representation requires a great degree of investment, time, effort and money.   Let us, therefore, take it step by step and keep building on the format as we grow in subsequent years.

Apart from GoaFest, what are the various initiatives the industry is taking to nurture raw talent?
Periodic Seminars by the AAAI, the few training sessions, the evening speakers' series by Ad Club Mumbai, the various learning workshops, MICA, Northpoint, etc. are all excellent initiatives taken by the Industry to nurture talent.

If you were to assess and review the year 2007 as a whole for the industry, what are the core points you think have made a difference in the industry past one year? Please share specific areas that you think needs due consideration…
2007 has been a pretty good year for the Industry.  We have seen good work, we have seen lots of Account movements, we have had new businesses coming into the picture and spend levels increasing gradually.

However, as I look back up on 2007, what strikes me at once, is the emergence of a new lot of national creative directors.  Sonal Dabral, Bobby Pawar, Priti Nair, Sagar and Ramanuj, to name a few have already gotten down to building the teams and noteworthy campaigns.  The second point that strikes me is the welcome trend of creative heads being named Chairman.   Prasoon and Balki joining Piyush as Chairman of their respective agencies, is a significant step.    Another interesting development is the entry of new players like Wieden & Kennedy, BBDO India, BBH etc.. At the same time, we have also seen a successful emergence of newer creative shops, Creative land being one of them.

On the Media Agencies front, we are seeing rapid growth in terms of skill sets and services being offered.  The biggies are naturally getting bigger and bigger.  Yet, there is intense competition vis-a-vis knowledge creation and service levels.

How has the industry grown revenue wise? What progress has it made from last year in terms of market growth?
Approximately 15-20%.   The growth has been steadier compared to last year.

What is your take on the compensation done by the clients in general? Do you think that agencies are under cutting a bit more than usual?
This issue occupies our mind constantly.   There is a rather desperate need for new benchmarks as well as self-regulatory practices.  I sincerely believe that the compensation paid out for creative business solutions that we offer should perhaps have been enhanced.  The value is only now being slightly realised and I am certain that the only way to go is UP

 
 
 
 
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