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IMRB’s Consumer Portrait 2009 seeks ways to beat economic slowdown

21-February-2009
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IMRB’s Consumer Portrait 2009 seeks ways to beat economic slowdown

IMRB International organised its annual Consumer Portrait symposium on February 18 and 20 in Mumbai and Delhi, respectively. Consumer Portrait is an annual event, which is attended by top marketers and communications professionals from various sectors. The 2009 Symposium focused on insights and strategies to help marketers beat the ongoing global slowdown. The event included presentations from senior research professionals and a panel discussion, in which eminent specialists from marketing, communication, economics and sociology participated. IMRB Consumer Portrait 2009 is an annual event initiated by IMRB International and is in its second year.

Harjyoti Ghai, Group Business Director, IMRB International, kicked off the Symposium by sharing her learnings on the Twenty-20 generation. The highlight of her talk was the adverse impact on the Indian consumer’s key priorities and concerns in recent times of uncertainty and anxiety. Ashutosh Sinha, Senior Vice President, IMRB International, shared his perspective of how consumers receive and decode communication and, therefore, the imperatives for advertising professionals. The other experienced researchers from IMRB highlighted how digital media and retail activation could be two cost effective and impactful media vehicles for marketers, especially in times of slowdown.

Speaking about the event, Thomas Puliyel, President, IMRB International, said, “It is exciting to see the role that information and insight can play in a period of great uncertainty and change.”

The panel discussion was moderated by Indrajit Gupta, Editor, New Business Magazine, Network18 Group. The panelists participating in the discussion included Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT; Dr Siddhartha Roy, Economic Advisor, Tata Group; sociologist Dr MN Panini; and Gurpreet Singh Amrit, Deputy General Manager – Marketing, Bajaj Consumer Care.

JWT’s Harris spoke on the important role that market research could play in identifying the changed need of the consumer due to the slowdown. He said that it was the right time to focus and address the consumer by tapping through the right channel of communication and altering the offerings as market demands.

Dr Siddharth Roy further gave insights on how 5.5 per cent real GDP growth that we had witnessed in the last financial year could be compared to the average rate during 1997-98 and 2002-03. He also emphasised that this could finally lead to reversal of trend subsequently. Dr. MH Panini expanded on critical sociological changes happening and identified the increasing impact of vernaculars in shaping the Indian society of the future. At the same time, he spoke of the slack in the India social layers identifying opportunities for tighter integration and, therefore, efficiencies through new interventions, including the way in which communication technologies are removing the slack. Finally, he spoke about opportunities for entrepreneurship inspired by the new model of innovations like Nano cars build on open-system clusters.

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