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Mobile can help reach 700 mn to 800 mn people in India: Hemant Bakshi

28-August-2013
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Mobile can help reach 700 mn to 800 mn people in India: Hemant Bakshi

The jury meet for the second edition of The Smarties India 2013 was held in Mumbai yesterday. The Smarties India 2013 will identify and award mobile marketing campaigns across 20 categories in mobile strategy and industry focussed awards. Started last year in India, The Smarties is in its 9th year globally.

Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific shared that the number of entries in India has increased in great numbers. This year we have shortlisted around 70 entries for the jury to judge, which is not an easy task, he said.

Yateesh Srivastav, COO of AEGON Religare Life Insurance Company appreciated the fact that mobile as a medium is being taken seriously. “Great that it is getting treated as a media and this is a welcome step in the right direction,” he said.

For most marketers, mobile has now become an integral part of their marketing campaigns and the spends on mobile seem to be rising. With the kind of reach and engagement it provides, no doubt marketers are now putting on their thinking caps to tap this potential.

Chandramouli Venkatesan, RCT Lead Chocolate Category, Asia Pacific, Cadbury lists down three main reasons for this, “Firstly, no other device has these many numbers. Secondly, opportunity to market on mobile is huge. People look out for their mobile phones as soon as they get some breathing time. And lastly, since it is a voluntary act, the stickiness is much higher.”

Hemant Bakshi, Executive Director, Home and Personal Care Business, Hindustan Unilever seconds this thought by adding, “Mobile is an incredible opportunity for marketers with a variable 700 mn to 800 mn people having mobile phones in our country. Around 100 mn to 200 mn consumers can be accessed only through mobile. So, it is a great opportunity to reach out to consumers, which is otherwise difficult through traditional media.”

Clearly, mobile phones throw a plethora of opportunities for marketers; however, where does India stand on the global map? Are Indian marketers missing out on something big which can be learned from the western counterparts?

“For the last one year in most global platforms, the Indian entries have been scoring pretty well. I think we are doing something right as we have not focussed only on youth-centric or metros for new media. We have not been blind to the fact that even lower socio-economic class or interiors of India are crucial. The other markets should learn from us on how to use this medium in such a widespread manner,” said Jasmin Sohrabji, Chief Executive Officer, SEA and India, Omnicom Media Group.

The jury chair was headed by Hemant Bakshi, Executive Director, Home and Personal Care Business, Hindustan Unilever. Other jury members were Jasmin Sohrabji, Chief Executive Officer, SEA and India, Omnicom Media Group; Chandramouli Venkatesan, RCT Lead Chocolate Category, Asia Pacific, Cadbury; Ajit Varghese, MD, Maxus South Asia, Maxus & Motivator; Tushar Vyas, Managing Partner, GroupM South Asia; Yateesh Srivastava, Chief Operating Officer, AEGON Religare Life Insurance Company; Shubhodip Pal, Chief Marketing Officer, Micromax; Shaswati Saradar, Director General, MRUC; Suvodeep Das, Marketing Director, Reliance Brands; and Dnyanada Chaudhari, Chief Operating Officer, Madison Media.

The Smarties India 2013 will be held on 5th September, 2013 at The Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon as part of MMA Forum India 2013.

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