In one of the first issues of Campaign India, Peter Mukerjea wrote a piece on how important holidays are for economies such as India’s.
To quote from his piece (you can read the entire column here):
“Every time there’s a holiday, most people go out with friends, family or friends and family.
They party or go out for dinner the night before as they can get up a bit later the next morning, they go to the movies, go out for lunch, take the kids to the zoo, go to the mall, go to the park, or to the seaside…”
“If it’s a long weekend, they may go away to stay with family and friends – either in a hotel or guest house or whatever…”
“What they do is spend money doing all the above. And when they spend money across all these consumer opportunities and products and services it moves goods off shelves and keeps the wheels of the economy going at all levels of the socio economic strata…”
The last few days have seen announcement after announcement of cancellations of New Year celebrations and events – not because of security fears, but because the hosts do not believe that one should celebrate anything so soon after the terrorist attacks.
I know two individuals directly affected by the attacks. One was Rohinton Maloo, who, sadly, lost his life in the Trident attack. The other, Rahul Welde, thankfully, survived.
The last ten instances when I had met either Maloo or Welde were at industry events and industry celebrations. I attend a lot of these events for the sole reason of being able to catch up with other industry professionals and share thoughts over a drink or over dinner.
And in attending these events, I have had the pleasure of meeting more Maloos and Weldes.
The health of the advertising and media industries is directly dependent on the health of products and services, on the health of the economy. If celebrations came to a halt, a number of clients of agencies and media products will necessarily cut down on their spending.
This morning, I read that the Bombay Gymkhana has decided to cancel their New Year festivities.
I also read that the Brand Equity will host a party tonight to announce their agency reckoner. I’m relieved.
Because events such as these are not just celebrations. They are also occasions to meet your peers, discuss industry issues, make new contacts – and perhaps do business.
And, funnily, I’m certain Rohinton Maloo would not grudge my attending an event or a party or my catching up with friends at Blue Frog for a hard drinking evening.
Not this evening, not this week, not next month.