Consumers desire a human interaction, says Sunil Kataria at ISA CEO Conference

At the second edition of the conference, Kataria, CEO - India, and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products and Chairman, ISA, spoke about the seven paradoxes in the industry

Sunil Kataria

Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) had its second edition of ISA CEO Conference yesterday and the theme was connectedness paradox. Sunil Kataria, CEO, India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products and Chairman, ISA, set the ball rolling at the conference with a detailed listicle on what are the many paradoxes panning around different organisations. The first one is Scale VS Intimacy. “We are finding that with connectedness you can intervene consumer at a very personal level. You can influence the consumers at an intimate level and influence them,” Kataria explains.

Moving on to the next paradox, “The second paradox is Data Vs Insight. India today has lowest data rates in the country. More and more data leads to less insights. We have to train teams to create meaningful insights,” Kataria points out. The third paradox is Micro targeting Vs Priavcy. “We need to be careful of not infringing the privacy of individuals. Bombarding consumers with messages is not very constructive,” he said.

The fourth paradox listed out by Kataria is Human interaction VS Digital touch. “The whole piece of convenience is well established. But consumers desire a human interaction," Kataria explains. He then points out the fifth paradox, “Established scale brands Vs Insurgent brands. There is a change in consumer behaviour. They are willing to experiment with newer brands,” Kataria reveals.

The sixth paradox, as explained by Sunil Kataria, is Short Term Vs Long term. He explains, “One thing I have seen all the metrics are in moment action trends. Brands are built for long term and to be relentless towards making it big.” He also adds, “Brand building happens over a long term. There have been multiple brands which has been relentlessly building brand equity assets. So the big question really is how organisations balance the short term of here and now. It’s a very critical piece of thought.” 

The last, and as per Kataria, the most important paradox is Legacy organisation VS Agile enterprise. “Legacy organisation has certain kind of business structures. Connectedness requires a great amount of agility. Who doesn’t want an agile organisation? You ask any leader I want to build an agile organisation. There are two hard truths that stop these organisations from being agile. All large organisations are built on two kinds of cost focus. One is the cost of excess capacity and second is the cost of excess capability. A huge focus is on how to minimize these two costs. There is one cost that we have never built in our model is the cost of delay. That never transpired in our minds at all. If the legacy organisations have to become agile, they to put cost of capacity and add cost of delay to it. Once you start doing that you will start building your structures.”

Kataria sums it up saying, “An Agile organisation is defined only by the least common denominator of the agility. That is the big paradox on how do organisations move from only being experimentally agile organisations to agile at scale and finally becoming a fully agile enterprise. So in a nutshell, if you look back, these are the six big paradoxes which the connectedness is throwing for business leaders across the industry.”

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