Industry heads welcome Sitharaman’s ‘Balanced Budget’
While most industry heads have lauded the Bharat Net allocation and impetus to start-ups, some players say there is an absence of big gun announcements and feel-good measures
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget on Saturday with the assurance to increase the income of Indian citizens and strengthen their purchasing power.
Highlighting the importance of innovations that disrupt established business models, she made a quantum jump by calling data as the new oil. The FM has announced that the government will soon roll out a policy to enable the private sector to build data centre parks throughout the country. Experts believe that such a special economic zone will surely help them connect with people in a more impactful way.
The budget has also introduced a new simplified personal tax regime. With new income tax slabs/rates and a tweaked exemption structure, the FM has slashed the tax rate for those in the Rs 5-15 lakh tax bracket. While a new tax regime has been put in place, those who want to be in the old regime with exemptions can continue to pay at the earlier rates.
The government has also acknowledged the role of entrepreneurs in creation of both capital and jobs in the country.
Experts believe the Budget has the scope to revive domestic economic growth that has slumped to the lowest in the decade. Boosting physical infrastructure, expanding digital connectivity and growing use of technology in government functioning are important building blocks for long-term growth of the Indian economy, they said.
Ashish Bhasin, CEO, APAC and Chairman India, Dentsu Aegis Network, says: “I think this is a good budget in some ways because it has attempted to put money in the hands of the middle class through rationalisation of tax rates as well as has concentrated on looking after the agricultural sector, including introduction of best practices like storage for producers and other measures. However, I do feel that the expectations from the budget were much more and it does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity.
While it is good to see that the dividend distribution tax has been abolished, I expected more on the rationalisation of direct taxes, particularly the cess introduced over and above the tax rates.
It is good to see efforts being made to encourage new-age skill development as well as helping the start-ups and what's particularly interesting is the proposal to set up data centre farms all over the country. This will prepare India for the economy of tomorrow. It is also good to see attempts at simplification of taxation through digitisation but the proof of the pudding will lie in seeing its implementation on ground.
It would be fair to say that at best it is a mixed budget and while there are some encouraging decisions, enough does not seem to have been done for the situation the economy is in.”
Coming to the entertainment and media industry, experts are happy seeing the big steps in the digital sector. Although there was no direct reference to the media and entertainment sector in Budget 2020, the focus on improving India’s digital connectivity has impressed Girish Menon, Partner and Head, Media and Entertainment, KPMG in India. According to Menon, the given importance to digital connectivity bodes well for the sector.
Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO, ALTBalaji and Group COO, Balaji Telefilms, feels that the overall budget has been exemplary with equal consideration given to entrepreneurship, job creation and youth of the nation.
Pantvaidya has appreciated the step to promote digital connectivity through the BharatNet programme and connecting 100,000-gram panchayats through an optical fibre network. This is one more important step taken in the direction of achieving the vision of a Digital India where rural India gets placed on the digital map.
According to Anil Rai Gupta, CMD, Havells India, Union Budget 2020 has managed to address some key issues around infrastructure spending, electrification and affordable housing that present a significant business opportunity.
Rai, particularly, sees this having a positive impact on the roadmap for the electrical and building segment players. “Further, the allocation of Rs 22,000 crore to power and renewable sector and Rs 27,300 crore for the development of industry and commerce for the year 2020-21 will accelerate growth opportunities for the electrical industry.”
While Rai sees this as a pro-development budget for the electrical industry, Prashan Agarwal, CEO of Gaana, has also appreciated the efforts of the government.
Talking to exchange4media, Agarwal commended the efforts of the government to boost the digital ecosystem in the country. “The increased focus on improving connectivity under the Bharat Net scheme and the emphasis on Artificial Intelligence will allow OTT players to offer bespoke and personalized solutions to consumers,” he added.
E-Commerce platform Snapdeal CEO and Co-founder Kunal Bahl says: “Thankful to the FM for accepting the start-up sector's request for ESOP taxation reforms. Also, the higher time and turnover limits for carrying forward of losses for start-ups will enable them to optimise growth decisions in the formative years.”
According to Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO, India South Asia: “A grant of Rs 2500 crore for tourism promotion and the development of 5 iconic archaeological sites and museums in the country are bright indicators of the renewed focus of the government on the travel and tourism industry.”
Sahil Vaidya, Co-Founder & Director, The Minimalist, says: “It is sure that the government is heavily focused on becoming an entrepreneurial superpower.”
According to him, by investing in the MSME sector, the government’s support towards new companies will go a long way in producing high growth business. Furthermore, the tax waiver on ESOPs will enable more talent to place their bets at an early stage for disruptive start-ups, which have the potential to become the corporates of tomorrow.
Sameer Makani, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Makani Creatives, believes that Budget 2020 aims at the betterment of all sections of the society. “The key highlight is certainly the tax regime where the government has proposed alternative tax policies and new rates to benefit the taxpayers,” he said.
“The vision to improve the start-up scene in the country will help in creating more job opportunities and further ensure economic growth. The skill development programme will enable overall personality development in comparison to Budget 2019. MSMEs will experience a 71% rise over and above the budgetary allocation,” Makani added.
Talking on this aspect, Chetan Asher, Co-founder & CEO, Tonic Worldwide, said that this Budget makes him optimistic about the growth of the digital ecosystem.
“The Rs 6,000 crore allocation towards BharatNet will give last-mile connectivity the impetus that it needs and pave way for digital transformation at all levels. Allowing private players to build data centres and encouraging the production of mobile and network devices will complement each other in growing the ecosystem,” Asher said.
Apaksh Gupta, CEO, One Impression is thrilled that the government has recognized data as one of the driving forces of the economy.
"The digital industry thereby requires a solid approach towards data centres, allowing to create incredible content and streamline/automate processes. This policy will create tremendous benefit the digital growth of the nation," Gupta says.
On Budget 2020, Amit Doshi, Founder & CEO, IVM Podcasts says, for digital media to flourish in India it’s important that there be minimal latency when people are trying to consume content. A strong policy promoting local data centre parks is one of the critical steps needed to move into an instant on-demand world, he added.
As the CEO & CTO of a start-up, Silky Singh of Ripsey, also thinks that this budget is very beneficial for start-ups. "We are very happy that the government is encouraging early-stage start-ups by setting up a seed fund. We believe that data is the new oil and is elated to see the government focus on it."
While the budget perfectly takes care of the start-ups, taxpayers and digital players, it also contains several clauses to strengthen the tour and travel industry too. Shailesh Gupta, CEO, YOLO Travel Tech Pvt Ltd, feels that this Union Budget has some well thought out initiatives such as reducing income tax for individuals and providing emphasis on connecting India.
He has welcomed the Union Budget's emphasis on making the transport sector more conducive by proposing Rs 1.7 lakh crore for improving transport infrastructure and provisioning Rs 2,500 crore to develop the tourism industry.
The strategic initiatives such as development of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and 2 other corridors by 2023 is being hailed as a step towards increasing trade and commercial activities and providing a livelihood to hundreds of thousands of families.
With tourism being one of the fastest growing industries in our country, Zubin Saxena, MD and VP Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, says Budget 2020 brings quite a few favourable announcements like 100 new airports by 2024, Tejas trains for iconic destinations and restoration of museums and these would definitely lead to a positive impact on the industry.
Manish Rathi, CEO & Co-founder, IntrCity by RailYatri, has applauded the focus and thrust on road transport with Rs 1.7 trillion allocated towards the transport sector.
“The accelerated development of highways and the Delhi - Mumbai expressway will enable the growth of intercity bus travel. We see a wider industry focus and excitement in intercity transport due to the steps taken in Budget 2020,” Rathi said.
Further, talking about the importance given to start-ups, Rathi said it was encouraging to see the government taking concrete steps to encourage growth in the ecosystem.
“The removal of Direct Dividend Tax will attract more investors and in turn strengthen the ecosystem. The introduction of the investment clearance cell at the Centre and State levels will encourage people in the remotest parts of the country to become entrepreneurs,” he said.
KE Ranganathan, MD, Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd, believes it was a well-thought out Budget giving due importance to all 3 focus themes - aspirational India, economic development and a caring society.
As a right step, spending by the government has been stepped up substantially to boost demand for various sectors. “It's a good budget with clear focus areas to revive the GDP growth and make people of India live a happy life in 2020-21 and beyond,” asserts Ranganathan.
Sanjay Vakharia, CEO, Spykar Lifestyles, also feels that this was a balanced budget and delivered what best it possibly could offer. However, he said the big gun announcements that the industry was expected to stimulate the economy were missing. The absence of feel-good measures has left the budget falling short of expectations.
“The industry had requested the government to bring in measures that would grow demand and spur consumption. But besides a few changes to the personal income tax rates, not much is seen impacting the demand and consumption story”, Vakharia added.
Speaking on Budget 2020 Akshaara Lalwani, CEO and Founder, Communicate India, states that, "The budget is rightly woven around Aspirational India, and following its implementation, it will result in a wave of entrepreneurship in our country which has been the core of innovation."
Union Budget 2020 represent Modi's commitment to the development of women and protection of their rights and helping them overcome hurdles they face, said Lalwani.
While, according to experts, most industries received significant consideration in the budget, Shobhit Mathur, Dean at Rashtram School of Public Leadership, feels the government could have thought something better for the education sector.
“The announcement in the Union Budget of almost Rs 1 lakh crore for the education sector is most welcome. However, supporting research and innovation and increasing access to high quality higher education should be the priorities,” said Mathur.
The government should use the funds to set up a National Research Foundation (as suggested in the Draft New Education Policy) focused exclusively on improving research and innovation, he suggested.
In conclusion, we can say Budget 2020’s focus on start-ups and technology will be a boost to companies that are executing cutting edge design thinking to enable the best of digital products for a booming digital economy.
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube
MANJA takes responsibility for Kapil Dev's 'abduction'
A picture of a bound-and-gagged Dev doing rounds on the internet was part of Disney+ Hotstar's latest campaign by MANJA for ICC Mens Cricket World Cup 2023.
By e4m Staff | Sep 26, 2023 1:38 PM | 1 min read
A picture of cricket great Kapil Dev has been doing rounds on the internet, showing a bound and gagged Dev being led away. Many on the internet, including Gautam Gambir, raised concerns about Dev's safety after the out-of-context picture was widely circulated on Twitter and other platforms.
The mystery has been solved after integrated creative agency MANJA took "responsibility" for the so called abduction.
To take Disney + Hotstar to the mobile screens in small town India, the agency developed a campaign to announce the free streaming of the ICC mens Cricket World Cup 2023.
With the villagers taking Kapil hostage, this Western style drama plays out to bring to light the free streaming option on Disney + Hotstar, with a data saver mode as well to make sure that that viewers get the best quality whilst consuming less data.
Campaign is live on TV and Digital in the build up to the upcoming World Cup.
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube
Katrina Kaif is UNIQLO's first Indian ambassador
The Japanese company aims to leverage India's expanding fashion market with this association
By e4m Staff | Sep 26, 2023 11:59 AM | 1 min read
Katrina Kaif has been roped in as the first Indian brand ambassador for Japanese fashion company UNIQLO.
The actress, when asked about this association stated, “I am very excited about my partnership with UNIQLO. Personally, I have always been fascinated with Japanese culture and their design aesthetics. UNIQLO has been my go-to brand for my daily essentials and over the years I have admired how functional and innovative their products are. Their simple, high-quality clothing is also very versatile, and perfect to build one’s everyday wardrobe with.”
The association aims to leverage India's expanding fashion market and the youth demographic who admire her style and charitable endeavours.
Alongside her role as UNIQLO's ambassador, Katrina also serves as the brand ambassador for Etihad Airways.
View this post on Instagram
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube
ABCD in Marketing: Harnessing technology for consumer impact
Guest Column: S Krishnamoorthy, Co-Founder, Xeno Reality, and Dr. Srinath Sridharan, policy researcher & corporate advisor, explain marketer's increasing reliance on data-driven insights
By S Krishnamoorthy | Sep 26, 2023 11:35 AM | 11 min read
In today's digital age, marketers are at the forefront of a technological revolution that is reshaping the landscape of consumerism. With the rapid advancements in technology and the increasing reliance on data-driven insights, marketers have transformed into technocrats, leveraging cutting-edge tools and strategies to drive business success.
Technology has become an integral part of modern marketing, revolutionising the way businesses connect with consumers. Technocrat marketers understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve by embracing emerging technologies and leveraging them to their advantage. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to big data analytics and automation, these technocrats harness the power of technology to unlock valuable insights, streamline processes, and deliver personalized experiences at scale.
In today's hyperconnected world, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. Its transformative power has seeped into various industries, revolutionising the way businesses operate. In the realm of marketing, the adoption of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Business Analytics, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Digital platforms has redefined the landscape, enabling companies to connect, engage, and understand their customers like never before. Data has emerged as the lifeblood of modern marketing, providing technocrat marketers with the insights needed to make informed decisions. Through sophisticated analytics tools and robust data management systems, marketers can collect, analyse, and interpret vast amounts of consumer data. This data-driven approach enables them to understand consumer behaviour, identify trends, and tailor marketing strategies to meet the evolving needs and preferences of their target audience.
Technocrat marketers recognise that data is not just a buzzword but a strategic asset that drives business growth. In the digital age, data has become the currency that drives business decisions, and marketers have embraced its power to transform their strategies. With the rise of technology and advanced analytics tools, the availability and accessibility of data have reached unprecedented levels.
The Power of Personalisation: Gone are the days of mass marketing and generic advertising campaigns. Today's consumers expect personalised experiences tailored to their preferences and needs. Data provides marketers with invaluable insights into customer behaviour, enabling them to understand individual preferences, purchase patterns, and demographics. Armed with this knowledge, marketers can create targeted, relevant, and personalised campaigns that resonate with their audience, leading to higher engagement, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction.
Uncovering Consumer Insights: Data allows marketers to dig deep into consumer behavior and uncover invaluable insights. By analysing consumer data, such as browsing history, purchase behaviour, and social media interactions, marketers can gain a comprehensive understanding of their target audience. This understanding goes beyond demographics and delves into the psychology behind consumer decision-making, enabling marketers to create impactful messaging, compelling offers, and effective marketing strategies.
Optimising Marketing Strategies: Data-driven marketing enables marketers to optimise their strategies and make informed decisions. Through data analysis, marketers can measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, track key performance indicators, and identify areas for improvement. This iterative approach allows for continuous refinement, ensuring that marketing efforts are efficient and yield maximum results. By leveraging data, marketers can allocate resources more effectively, target the right channels, and refine their messaging to resonate with their audience.
Anticipating Customer Needs: Data empowers marketers to anticipate customer needs and stay ahead of the curve. By analysing historical data and monitoring trends, marketers can identify emerging customer preferences and changing market dynamics. This foresight enables businesses to proactively adapt their strategies, develop innovative products, and meet customer demands before they become mainstream. With data as their compass, marketers can navigate the ever-evolving marketplace and position their brands as industry leaders.
Enhancing Customer Engagement: Data-driven marketing facilitates enhanced customer engagement and interaction. Through various touchpoints, such as social media, email marketing, and website analytics, marketers can capture valuable customer data. This data, combined with advanced analytics and CRM systems, enables businesses to deliver personalised communication, targeted promotions, and tailored recommendations. By leveraging data to engage customers at the right time, in the right way, marketers can foster deeper connections, increase brand loyalty, and drive customer advocacy.
Ethics and Privacy: While data-driven marketing offers immense opportunities, it also brings ethical considerations regarding data privacy and security. Marketers must prioritise responsible data usage, ensuring compliance with regulations and safeguarding customer information. Transparency and consent are crucial in establishing trust with consumers and maintaining long-term relationships. Marketers must strike a delicate balance between utilising data to deliver personalized experiences and respecting the privacy rights of their customers.
Immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can greatly enhance marketing strategies in the digital age. By incorporating AR/VR experiences into their campaigns, marketers can create immersive and interactive brand experiences that captivate consumers. AR can be used to overlay virtual elements onto the real world, allowing users to visualise products in their environment before making a purchase. VR, on the other hand, offers a fully simulated environment, enabling users to explore virtual spaces and engage with branded content in a highly engaging and memorable way. These technologies can provide a unique and personalised experience, driving customer engagement, increasing brand loyalty, and ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.
With AR/VR, marketers can leverage the power of storytelling to convey their brand message in a more compelling and experiential manner. They can create virtual showrooms, allowing customers to virtually browse and try out products, which can be particularly valuable for industries like furniture, fashion, and automotive. Additionally, AR/VR can be utilised in events and activations, enabling attendees to interact with virtual elements and participate in immersive brand experiences. These technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way marketers connect with consumers, making marketing campaigns more memorable, impactful, and effective in driving business success.
Focusing on the ABCDs of marketing
Immersive technologies have the potential to enhance the ABCD of marketing, by providing engaging and interactive experiences for users.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer in the marketing domain. With AI-powered algorithms and machine learning, companies can analyse vast amounts of data, derive valuable insights, and make data-driven decisions. From personalised recommendations to chatbots offering seamless customer service, AI enables marketers to deliver customised experiences at scale. The evolution of AI has transformed marketing from a static, one-size-fits-all approach to a dynamic, hyper-personalised strategy, creating deeper connections with consumers. Immersive technologies like AR and VR can leverage AI algorithms to deliver personalized and contextual experiences. For example, AI-powered chatbots can be integrated into AR/VR interfaces, allowing users to have realistic and interactive conversations with virtual assistants. This combination enables businesses to provide real-time assistance, personalized recommendations, and customized interactions, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction.
Business Analytics has revolutionised the way marketers understand consumer behaviour and make informed decisions. By leveraging advanced analytics techniques, businesses can gain insights into customer preferences, market trends, and competitors' strategies. This data-driven approach enables marketers to identify target segments, optimize campaigns, and predict future market dynamics. Through real-time analytics, businesses can pivot quickly and stay ahead in a rapidly changing market landscape. Immersive technologies can augment business analytics by visualising data in three-dimensional spaces. With AR/VR, marketers can explore complex datasets and visually represent information in a more intuitive and immersive manner. This enables deeper insights and faster decision-making by allowing analysts to interact with data visually, identify patterns, and discover hidden correlations.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has evolved from managing basic customer information to a comprehensive strategy for building and nurturing customer relationships. CRM platforms allow businesses to centralize customer data, track interactions, and personalize engagement. By understanding individual customer preferences and behaviors, companies can tailor their marketing efforts, anticipate needs, and deliver exceptional experiences. CRM has become a cornerstone for businesses seeking to establish long-lasting relationships and foster brand loyalty. Immersive technologies can transform the way CRM systems are used, enabling marketers to have a more immersive understanding of their customers. With AR/VR, marketers can visualise customer data in a spatial context, gaining a deeper understanding of customer preferences, behaviors, and interactions. This immersive view can assist in identifying opportunities for personalized engagement, tailored offerings, and proactive customer service, ultimately improving customer relationship management and driving loyalty.
The rise of digital platforms has transformed marketing from a one-way communication channel to a dynamic, interactive space. The advent of social media, mobile apps, and online marketplaces has opened up new avenues for businesses to engage with consumers. Digital marketing enables targeted messaging, real-time feedback, and measurable results. With the ability to track consumer interactions and preferences, marketers can refine their strategies, optimise campaigns, and drive higher conversion rates. The digital revolution has democratised marketing, allowing businesses of all sizes to reach global audiences and compete on a level playing field. Immersive technologies can revolutionise digital marketing by creating interactive and memorable brand experiences. With AR/VR, marketers can go beyond traditional advertising formats and offer immersive campaigns that allow users to engage with branded content in a virtual environment. For example, AR filters and VR experiences can be used to showcase products, provide virtual try-on experiences, or transport users into immersive storytelling narratives. This level of interactivity and immersion can significantly enhance brand awareness, customer engagement, and conversion rates.
The shift towards technology-driven marketing is propelled by the widespread adoption of technology by consumers. Today's consumers are digitally savvy, connected, and expect personalised experiences. They willingly share their data in exchange for tailored recommendations, convenience, and relevant content. This abundance of consumer data has fueled the need for technologies like AI, Business Analytics, CRM, and Digital platforms to harness its potential and deliver value to customers. As technology continues to advance and consumers become even more data-centric, the seamless integration of these technologies will be essential for businesses to thrive and meet the evolving needs of their customers.
India focused approach
In the Indian market, it is important to consider the country's diverse cultural and linguistic landscape. Marketers need to adapt their technology-driven strategies to cater to different regions and languages within India. This could involve translating content, customising campaigns based on regional preferences, and leveraging local influencers or platforms that resonate with specific audiences. India has witnessed a significant growth in smartphone adoption and internet penetration, with a large portion of the population accessing the internet primarily through mobile devices. Marketers targeting the Indian market should prioritise a mobile-first approach, ensuring that their websites, apps, and digital campaigns are optimised for mobile devices. Additionally, leveraging mobile messaging platforms and mobile advertising channels can be effective in reaching and engaging Indian consumers.
While technology-driven marketing has become a necessity, it's crucial to consider the cost-effectiveness of implementing these solutions in the Indian market. India has a diverse market with consumers from various socio-economic backgrounds. Marketers should explore affordable and scalable technology solutions that can deliver value without imposing significant financial burdens on businesses. This could involve leveraging open-source tools, cloud-based services, or partnerships with local technology providers to optimise costs while delivering impactful marketing outcomes.
While global e-commerce giants have a significant presence in India, the market also has well-established regional e-commerce platforms. Marketers targeting the Indian market should consider partnering with or utilising these regional platforms to reach a broader customer base. Understanding the preferences and shopping habits of Indian consumers on these platforms can help tailor marketing strategies and optimise product placement for maximum visibility and sales.
India is a linguistically diverse country with a wide range of languages spoken across different states and regions. To effectively connect with Indian consumers, marketers should consider incorporating regional languages and cultural nuances into their marketing efforts. This could involve creating localised content, using local language, and adapting messaging to resonate with specific cultural contexts. By recognising and respecting the diversity of Indian culture and language, marketers can build stronger connections and establish trust with their target audience.
In recent years, data privacy has become a significant concern globally, and India is no exception. Marketers operating in the Indian market must prioritise data protection and adhere to relevant privacy regulations. Implementing robust data security measures, obtaining proper consent from consumers, and being transparent about data usage practices are essential to build trust and maintain strong customer relationships. Demonstrating a commitment to privacy and data protection will be crucial for marketers to navigate the Indian market successfully.
The Indian marketing fraternity is gradually embracing immersive technologies, recognising their potential to revolutionise customer experiences and engagement. While the adoption is still in its early stages, there is growing interest and experimentation with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in various industries. Companies are exploring the use of AR/VR in areas such as product visualisation, virtual showrooms, experiential marketing, and interactive brand experiences. With the rapid advancements in technology and the increasing smartphone penetration in India, it is expected that immersive technologies will gain more traction in the coming years, paving the way for innovative and immersive marketing strategies across the country.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the authors and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube
Market dynamics are in favour of D2C brands: Bhavik Vasa, GetVantage
In this edition of e4m's D2C Revolution series, Vasa, Founder of GetVantage guides entrepreneurs about the different avenues of raising capital and the need to have a financial 'toolkit'
By Sohini Ganguly | Sep 26, 2023 8:50 AM | 2 min read
“There could not have been a better time than now, in India, to build a brand,” said Bhavik Vasa, Founder, GetVantage as he engaged in a conversation with exchange4media for its D2C Revolution series.
Vasa shares that in today’s time, a D2C brand in any category can literally be started from the kitchens and garages of homes. “There has been a commoditization around technology, around digital marketing and reach, distribution has become simpler and seamless. It has become a level playing field for an Indian challenger brand, to compete with any global player,” he said.
Market dynamics at the moment are playing in favour of D2C brands, Vasa shared. “I tell the brands under my portfolio that D2C is a channel. It is probably the starting point for emerging brands to get in. The founders need to look at themselves as an insurgent brand, rather than just a D2C brand, which means even if you’re not omnichannel, you at least have to be multichannel,” he added.
Speaking of challenges that the D2C brand founders are facing, Vasa shared that the lack of awareness around raising capital is the one and only challenge facing the founders at the moment.
“The founders need to be aware that there are multiple options to raise capital. They need to have a financial toolkit, which allows them to see that while equity capital may be needed in some cases early on, the growth capital may be raised via different alternatives like revenue-based financing, cash flow-based funding, etc.,” he explained.
Delving deeper into revenue-based financing, Vasa advises that founders need to build a business that is at least revenue-generating. He says that not every business has to be profitable from day 1, but it needs to be able to generate revenue month on month.
Speaking about localisation being a rising trend in the D2C space, Vasa says that there is growth in every direction. “When a brand knows what it stands for, and which segment it is catering to, it will define whether the brand has to go deeper into India, or go on a global level outside India,” he said.
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube
It’s crucial to live up to the promises your brand makes: Sanjiv Mehta
Mehta, Former CEO & MD of Hindustan Unilever, addressed the winners of IMPACT Top 30 Under 30 2023
By e4m Staff | Sep 26, 2023 8:51 AM | 4 min read
Sanjiv Mehta, Former CEO & MD of Hindustan Unilever, was the Chief Guest at the tenth edition of IMPACT Top 30 Under 30 awards. He gave a special address and answered questions posed by the winners of the coveted list.
Addressing the question of gender diversity in workplaces and the challenges female professionals face due to intangible prejudices, like male group dynamics and token diversity appointments in leadership roles, Mehta shared, “I believe that humanity has done injustice to women. If you go back to the past, women were equal partners. But over the years, there has been injustice. When I took over as the CEO of HUL, we had 18 per cent women in management. When I left, we had 46 per cent. And a clear pathway that in another two years, we will be gender-balanced. When it comes to women, they don't have to be like men to succeed. They have to be absolutely comfortable in their skin. They bring in strengths which men don't have, and they will be able to blossom only when they are able to play to their strengths. Organizations focus on how to help people improve their development needs. But beyond a certain point, that's the wrong way to look at it. We need to ask ourselves how we play to a person's strengths. When you're comfortable in your own skin, you will excel in what you do.”
He further highlighted the importance of gender diversity in the consumer goods industry, emphasizing the strong business case for having women represented in management roles, “I'm from the consumer goods industry. Consider this: 75% of decisions are made by women, and most of our consumers are women. It's crucial to reflect our consumer base in our management team for a strong business case, regardless of social justice concerns. Before India and South Asia, I ran Unilever's business in North Africa and the Middle East. In 2008, there were only two women in our Saudi office. Today, Saudi Arabia, under Mohammed bin Salman, is more progressive. When I left as chair of North Africa Middle East, 48 per cent of the office was comprised of women. We aimed to make Unilever Arabia the best workplace for women, following country laws for separate spaces, though the women we recruited rarely used them due to the comfort we provided. So today the world is at your feet. I don't think, at least in my lifetime, there's been a better opportunity for women to succeed in India and the world at large,” he said.
Mehta discussed the enduring relevance of established brands and the key factors of purpose and performance in branding. “First and foremost, it's crucial to approach business with the perspective that it can be a force for good and that brands, in particular, can also serve this purpose. Many people mistakenly believe that traditional brands are no longer relevant, but it's essential to recognize that brands are here to stay. From a brand perspective, purpose is a key factor, followed by performance. In today's world, driven by technology and personalization, brands must have a clear point of view, one that aligns with the essence of the brand itself. This doesn't mean merely adopting a viewpoint for the sake of it, but rather articulating something that resonates with the brand's identity. Your brand's vision and actions must move in harmony; otherwise, consumers will quickly notice the disconnection,” he shared.
Citing an example of Lifebuoy during the COVID-19 pandemic, he illustrated the significance of aligning brand messaging with its core purpose, he explained, “Consider timeless brands like Lifebuoy, for instance, which centres around the concept of family health. During the first wave of COVID-19, while most of us were at home, essential goods like Lifebuoy continued production. In a virtual factory visit, a blue-collar worker demonstrated the brand's purpose by showing a bar of Lifebuoy soap, emphasizing its role in protection. This exemplifies what purpose-driven branding is all about - when consumers can associate your product with its intended purpose. However, it's crucial to live up to the promises your brand makes. If you are asked to create advertising that deviates from your product's functionality or the essence of your brand, firmly reject it. Staying true to your brand's promise, values, and alignment with product functionality allows for creative marketing that resonates with consumers, ultimately building strong brands that connect with the hearts and minds of your audience. Stick to your values.”
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube
Reliance Foundation urges fans to wish Indian contingent the very best at the Asian Games
The campaign has been brought to life by Ogilvy India
By e4m Staff | Sep 25, 2023 4:19 PM | 3 min read
The 19th Asian Games has over 650 Indian athletes, its biggest contingent ever, representing the country at the continent’s showpiece event. Reliance Foundation has launched the #LehraDoTeamIndia campaign to celebrate the Indian athletes and encourage the fans to get behind them with the iconic 'Lehra Do' cry as they aim to seek glory for the nation and make the tricolour fly high in Hangzhou, China.
The campaign features some of India’s most decorated and celebrated athletes as well as athletes who will be appearing at the Asian Games for the first time and have immense promise. Among the stars to feature in the campaign are two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu as well as hockey legends PR Sreejesh and Sushila Chanu. It also features veterans Achanta Sharath Kamal (Table Tennis) and Virdhawal Khade (Aquatics), who have represented India at multiple Asian Games. Avinash Sable (Steeplechase) will be looking to add an Asian Games medal to his Commonwealth Games medal from last year, while Tejaswin Shankar (Decathlon) will look to add a decathlon medal to his bronze in high jump from the Commonwealth Games last year.
The campaign also has an eye on the future by including Shaili Singh (Long Jump), Anupama Upadhyaya (Badminton), Simranjeet Kaur (Archery), Mayuri Lute (Cycling) and Yash Tushir (Wrestling), who will all be making their first appearance at the Asian Games but are already among the brightest talents in the country. Abhinav Bindra, the 1st Indian to win an individual Gold at the Olympics, also headlines the campaign. The campaign has been brought to life by Ogilvy India.
Reliance Foundation athletes seek glory at Asian Games: Reliance Foundation’s athletes have been in fine form this year, putting in impressive displays at the World Championships in athletics and boxing, the Asian Athletics Championships as well as the World University Games.
- A total of 19 athletes from the Reliance Foundation will be competing at the Asian Games this year, including Lovlina Borgohain, Jyothi Yarraji, Amlan Borgohain, Jinson Johnson, Manika Batra, Shiva Thapa, Man Singh, Mohammed Afsal, Gulveer Singh, Kartik Kumar, Dhruv Kapila, Anupama Upadhyaya, Simranjeet Kaur, Vicky, Mrinal Chauhan, Tushar Shelke, Ganemat Sekhon, Palak Gulia and Kishore Kumar Jena.
Reliance Foundation also runs the largest corporate sports programs for the development of sports across the nation. Reliance Foundation’s Sports for Development initiatives have been helping kids across the nation to help achieve their sports dreams. These sports programs have a mass reach - promoting inclusivity, providing sponsorships, and sports science and nutrition assistance for the elite as well as promising upcoming athletes.
Reliance Foundation celebrates the spirit of sports – joy, health, grit, determination, winning and losing. And works to ensure that more and more children and youth from all sections of society are able to play sports and, in the process, build a fitter, stronger and more active India. Our initiatives have touched the lives of over 22 million young people since 2013 across the country from 13,000+ schools and colleges, enabling an opportunity for a talented kid anywhere to be able to achieve their dream of a career/glory in sports. We are especially committed to ensuring more presence and success of girl and women athletes in India and design our programmes in a manner that offers them maximum opportunities. At Reliance Foundation, we hope to be the wind beneath the wings of Indian sportspersons and help them reach their true potential. For more information please follow us on https://www.rfyouthsports.com/
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube
IMPACT unveils Top 30 under 30 list, 2023
The 30 winners have been selected from 150+ nominations
By e4m Staff | Sep 25, 2023 9:17 PM | 3 min read
IMPACT Top 30 Under 30 has year after year commemorated the most talented young agency professionals in the A&M space. The flagship property of IMPACT Magazine by the exchange4media Group celebrated the future of the industry in a glittering ceremony attended by top industry professionals, as well as some of the most illustrious names who have been on the list over the past decade. In its tenth edition, the emphasis on Digital is even more pronounced when compared to the previous editions, as the industry races forward at lightning speed.
IMPACT Top 30 Under 30 this year brings to the fore professionals, who are under 30 years of age and yet are accomplished entrepreneurs or gifted admen and women. The importance of these young minds lies in the fact that they look at the world through a different lens, a more modern, and updated one. Their version of truth, reality, and society is what actually matters because they will be the champions of the future. It is pertinent that we understand and recognise their talent.
While addressing the listers of 2023, Dr. Annurag Batra, Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media, and Chairman, BW Businessworld, had some words of wisdom. He said, "Keep climbing Mount Everests in your life, but do not forget to help people."
This year the award features young professionals from varied backgrounds. We have listers from five creative agencies, six Digital agencies, two marketing agencies, one long-form content studio, one ad tech, and two content agencies, among others. The even better news is that some of these are young entrepreneurs who have started their own journey, managing to create a strong impact.
Sanjiv Mehta, the former Chairman of HUL, who was also the Chief Guest at the event, answered questions posed by the listers of 2023. While answering a question on balancing ethics and selling products, he said, "You have to come from a perspective that business and brands are a force for good. Many times, people think that the age of brands is over, but they are completely wrong. When you look at it from a brand's perspective, the most important things are purpose, performance, and in today's world, personalisation. Your 'brand say', and 'brand do', have to move in tangent. If you do not, you will be called out."
Among the 30 winners, we have 12 women listers, and 19 men listers, selected from 150+ nominations. This does not add up to 30, because for the first time we have two joint winners, co-founders of a successful Digital consultancy. The scope of work featured this year transcends that of previous years, as it should.
It is safe to say that at IMPACT, we try to oppose Irish writer, George Bernard Shaw’s cynical quote, “youth is wasted on the young.” Presenting IMPACT Top 30 Under 30 2023 list.
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube