The two-day India Brand Summit kicked off in Mumbai on September 22, 2006 and Day One saw participation from the who’s who of the industry. The morning session delved on evolving marketing strategies and the growing Brand India. The Summit was inaugurated by Marico Industries Ltd Chairman and MD, Harsh Mariwala. Mariwala, who spoke on the changes in marketing strategies and the new rules that need to be adopted. He stressed on the need for innovation and the need to incorporate it on a daily basis.
Mariwala also spoke on the challenge of building global brands by leveraging the Indian advantage in products such as Indian tea, basmati rice and oils. He said, “You have to reinvent yourself with innovations as the environment is changing.”
The key session in the first half was ‘The Elephant can Dance – Why brand India is suddenly cool?’ Chairing the session was Hindustan Times Editorial Director Vir Sanghvi. The other panellists included film producer Mahesh Bhatt, Hutchison Essar Ltd Deputy Managing Director Sandip Das, Saatchi & Saachti MD V Shantakumar, and ICICI Bank Ltd Joint MD & member of the board Lalita Gupte.
Bhatt began the session by speaking on the corporatisation of the Indian film industry and the foreign investors’ interest in the field. Das spoke on the re-merging of the Indian economy and buoyant mood of the nation. He also threw light on the youth target, which had become an attraction point. He identified industries like software and services in India as some of the key reasons why the economy was looking up.
Shantakumar brought in the advertising point of view to Brand India. He spoke on brand being a thought out promise than just an accident and a need to innovate to achieve perfection in creation of a brand that lasted.