Looking back: What have been the macro-level gains for India in 2011?
‘Anna’ and ‘Kolaveri di’ formed an unlikely alliance to finally blast the social media into the mainstream. Difficult now for even the most stick-in-the-mud conservative to regard netizen clout as a marginal phenomenon. In the wider context, what we had actually started accepting as the endless quagmire of corruption seems to have grown an end – and there is even a tiny pinprick of light winking at us. All India need s to do is start performing at 60 per cent instead of the current abysmal levels, and everything else will follow.
What kind of work / campaigns / events impressed you the most in 2011; and why?
The mobile space continues to lead the pack when it comes to engaging the consumer. The internet boom will never return, but a lot of the dotcoms are doing terrific work – Shiksha.com, Bigrock, Flipkart come to mind.
They say growth in India will be driven by rural markets, the 350 small towns spread across the country and PSUs. True or false? And why or why not?
I don’t know about the numbers, but this I do know. The biggest mistake we can make is to start talking down because we are talking wider. There is no difference when it comes to aspirations and a hunger for positive change
How can we sustain a strong and diverse talent pool in ad land which has equity across the globe?
Ambi has spoken about Star One, a program we are naturally very proud of. As for the rest, being a talent pool for the world is really irrelevant, and even insulting. This is the most exciting economy in the world, and the fun is in becoming as good as we can be in our context. Someone wants to go abroad, great, of course he or she will do well, and rise to great heights, but that should hardly be an objective, it is a natural consequence
Harish Manwani, the COO of Unilever said: India is the future of the world. Does this statement reflect the reality? Your comment.
If we get our act even 60 per cent together, sure, without a doubt. And the thing is, if we get that far, we will go all the way – we just need to break out of the morass our so-called leaders have sunk us into.
If you had to start this business all over again in 2011, you would...
Every year, every day, is a new start. Luckily, we are in a business when all we have to do enjoy ourselves, enjoy the excitement and the challenge, and try very hard to make sure the consumer enjoys every new way we come up with to engage him or her.
If you could design the Indian business for 2012 with a clean sheet of paper, what were the three things you would do?
We already have started doing that. The larger picture is what we believe we should always be focused on – building BrandWealth. And the everyday stuff of it is to finally start accepting that our brands’ objectives, our clients’ ambitions, our desires, all matter not the slightest to the consumer. And having accepted that, start looking for what does matter in their lives – and find a way to make our brand a part of it
What do you ask the person in the mirror every morning?
Why are you still standing here instead of being at work, you ‘idjit’?