The image of your brand is the content consumers are seeing about it: Anand Kripalu, CEO & MD, Diageo India

The CEO and MD of Diageo feels that with the growing start-up culture, new businesses are bringing different perspective and value additions to traditional models of business

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Aug 31, 2017 7:41 AM

In this era where data is the new oil, the combination of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted businesses like never before.  Brands that were born offline are going digital. The use of technology, data, AI and social mediums have not only made businesses more productive and profitable but also given consumers greater empowerment. 


With the growing start-up culture, new businesses are bringing different perspectives and value additions to traditional models of business.  According to Anand Kripalu, CEO & MD Diageo India, “There are huge opportunities in this new ecosystem provided that businesses are willing to make the bold move.”


Digital transformation


Speaking about the role of technology in today’s time, Kripalu said, “Digital transformation is not about the product alone. It is actually about holistic transformation that companies are bringing in different aspects of their expertise, the agenda they are driving and the bets they are willing to take. In India too, the transformation is shaping up fast. The Aadhar card is a good example. It is needed now to open a bank account, to file IT returns, etc. Imagine the data that is available. It is often being said that India may be economically poor but it’s rapidly becoming data rich.”


Kripalu highlighted the need for traditional marketers to adapt to the new technologies to keep up with the evolving market scenario. “We have grown up as traditional marketers who have spent their life in brick and mortar companies. If we don’t unlearn and relearn there is no doubt that we will be relevant anymore. Technology has often been used in the past to drive productivity but today with the availability of data it is also driving development. This in turn has led to a whole new business environment which combines artificial intelligence, data and content. Businesses are increasingly realigning their priorities in terms of new technologies and new processes and systems so as to significantly impact consumer experience. A lot of traditional barriers that were there in business are breaking down,” he said.


“Moreover, earlier distribution was a major challenge for companies to enter the Indian market but now these barriers are breaking down. In today’s world if a business does not have traditional presence it is unlikely to survive in the long run,” he added.


Challenges for traditional businesses


Explaining how the business environment has evolved, Kripalu said, “It’s no longer that the big company eats the small one, it’s the fast company that eats the slow. Moreover, traditional companies are obsessed with gross margins and it is increasingly becoming a big hurdle to launch a new brand or a new business.”


Ecommerce and brands like Patanjali are willing to operate with different financial models, he pointed out. “The innovation concepts in the traditional companies are hardly about disrupting the business models. So, if you fall in love with the way you see the market and don’t look at the larger picture that could disrupt it, you might survive one or two years but you will not survive the decade,” Kripalu opined.


Brand reputation


Unlike earlier days, content is now being produced not just by the brands but also the consumers, Kripalu explained. “With social media, consumers are in a constant conversation about brands and businesses. What you think you are is no longer the reality. Everybody is creating content. The content consumers are seeing about your brand is the image of your brand. Brand image now has become a combination of all the other content which consumers are sharing. In other words, content is the new king,” he said.


Anand Kripalu was speaking at the unveiling of the BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook 2017 in Bengaluru on August 29.

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