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Every crisis is an opportunity as it brings the best out of us: HUL's Hemant Bakshi

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Every crisis is an opportunity as it brings the best out of us: HUL's Hemant Bakshi

Times are turbulent and challenging for advertisers. With world events impacting our lives, we need to understand how to cope with such an environment. Keeping this in mind, Indian Society of Advertisers is organising the first-ever Global CEO Conference on ‘Navigating a VUCA World’ on October 30, 2013 in Mumbai. The goal of this conference is to sharply dissect the tough scenario we are facing and to find out how organisational processes and practices need to be recast to deliver to this new VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. The conference is being held in partnership with exchange4media.

Hemant Bakshi, Executive Director, Home and Personal Care at Hindustan Unilever and the newly-elected ISA Chairman shared the objective behind such an event with us, “As advertisers, we need to learn from each other and understand what is the best way of leading the business during such a period. ISA and advertisers are determined to get the best thought leaders in the world who will share their experiences, which can be valuable for everyone. We are not doing this as a one-off event; we will be doing this annually. As ISA, we want to create a brand with Global CEO Conference and the intention here is to share the best practices with everyone in the industry.”

He further added, “The environment around us is becoming very difficult and complicated. We want to make sure that the interest of the advertiser is taken care of whether it is a large or a small advertiser.”

The market sentiment may not be upbeat right now, but Bakshi is still positive. “I personally think that every crisis is an opportunity. Crisis brings the best out of us. People who really reinvent during this period are those who come out really strong. My own view is that it is a great opportunity. We must also keep in mind that businesses go through cycles. Good times eventually follow difficult times, and companies come out stronger during such crisis.”

2013 is nearing to an end. So how does Bakshi look at the year gone by, “2013 is a VUCA year. At the start of the year, I wouldn’t have predicted that nine months down the line, we would be in such a state. I personally think if you have a clear vision for your business and if you are willing to be adaptive, then you don’t get too fixated on the path that you take. It is a year in which leadership with an inspiring vision is required to succeed.”

Unilever CEO Paul Polman is the key note speaker at the day-long event. Other speakers include R Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons; Manu Anand, President, India and South Asia, Mondelez International and Managing Director, Cadbury India; Ravi Kant, Vice Chairman, Tata Motors; Marten Pieters, Managing Director and CEO, Vodafone India; and Pawan Munjal, MD and CEO, Hero Motocorp.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.