Goafest 2009 formally began with the Media Conclave held at the venue on Thursday afternoon. The theme for this year's conclave was "Making the Best of the Slowdown," which saw large attendance from marketers who participated as speakers.
Dr Pawan Goenka, president (automotive sector), Mahindra & Mahindra, spoke about how India was better positioned to deal with the downturn due to the inherent Indian mindset of frugality.
Goenka, an old hand in the automobile industry, opened the session by admitting his faux pas of being dressed in a suit. Removing his tie and jacket, he dwelt on the aspect of ‘Frugal Mindset’ of the Indian market place that puts it in a better position than the rest of the economies in the world. “The recession could not have come at a better time than new for a lot of Indian companies,” he said. “When the top and bottom lines are growing at a buoyant rate, some fat accumulates on the body. This is a good time to trim excess fat.”
His mantra for this recession was to manage the present without mortgaging the future by: focusing on cash through efficiently managing inventory; taking care of the supply chain and by building strong bonds with the employees. He also stressed upon the importance of creating connect with one’s customers during lean times. “Customers are looking for assurance and it is a good opportunity for a company to build long term relationships and thus build brands during these times.”
He wrapped up with an advice, “Keep the excitement alive!”