With an approximate size of Rs 1200 crore, Chennai market is fairly big to be ignored. With that thought, we bring in voices from the communication industry of Chennai on how long it would take for Chennai to emerge as a powerhouse.
Anilkumar Sathiraju, associate vice-president and head - South, Mudra Max, feels, "Chennai has had the power & everything to become what a Gurgaon is today, but unfortunately things are the reverse right now, where most of the biggies have either moved to Mumbai or Delhi. Infact some of the big companies’ marketing offices have moved to Delhi/Mumbai."
Oviachelven R, creative and managing director,Rainmakers, highlights, "Cities turn out to be economic magnets because of their cosmopolitan nature. Although Chennai was the only metro in the south and to that extent it had an advantage over the other south Indian cities, maybe over time this advantage has not been used well. Chennai has been perceived to be an inward looking market for a while now. One of the things that come to mind is the story of Kishore Biyani’s Big Bazaar. He has been quoted as saying that he got the idea for Big Bazaar from a Chennai based retailer ‘Saravana Stores’. He studied how they were running their retail outlet in T. Nagar and modelled Big Bazaar on that concept. Now the question to be asked is ‘why didn’t Saravana stores expand this concept to other cities in India. This is the point where brand chennai being inward looking kicks in."
Anbuchezhian, branch director, Law & Kenneth Communications, Chennai, says, "It’s a long way off. Unless organizations look at Chennai as their corporate headquarters this is a far cry. Right now Chennai takes preference for a manufacturing base rather than a Corporate HQ."
ML Raghavan, vice-president and general manager, JWT Chennai, states, "Chennai can take off in the immediate future only if one of the following two happens: 1) Chennai based brands which so far have been state or south centric decide to take the big leap in terms of investment, scale, size and decide to go national or international. 2) Large Indian business groups or for that matter even multinationals who want to take advantage of real estate (availability and price), and intellectual capital decide to setup or move their corporate headquarters here. I don’t think we can put a time horizon for this to happen. These decisions go way beyond the purview of the advertising industry."
To get an indepth insight into the trends shaping up the Chennai market, follow this fortnight's Chennai Special Issue in print.