Manmohan Taparia
Jan 02, 2012

Looking Back: 2011, Going ahead : 2012 - Mythili Chandrasekar

Mythili Chandrasekhar, senior vice president and executive planning director, JWT India shares her thoughts

Looking Back: 2011, Going ahead : 2012 - Mythili Chandrasekar

As we embark into the new year, top A-Listers comment about the gains in the year gone by. We analyse their predictions and trends, and why they believe 'India should start performing at a minimum of 60% instead of the current abysmal levels'. We start off with Mythili Chandrasekhar, senior vice president and executive planning director, JWT India. 

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?

Of course India is the future and growth will come from small towns. It is now a cliché to talk of increased incomes, and increased exposure to media and the internet and even demographic dividend or low cost structures. The challenge is: what value propositions should marketers approach these markets and how should foreign brands craft their entry strategies and work out their ROIs.

How can we sustain a strong and diverse talent pool in ad land which has equity across the globe?

Ad land’s talent pool – each and everyone needs to acquire one new skill in addition to their core competence. One must learn to draw from specialist skills operating at the periphery of ad land – be it music, design, TV programming, digital content. For planners, it lies in the areas of analytics, new product design, digital research and more. We need teams with expertise in verticals – luxury, retail, technology, automotive and so on. To have equity across the globe, after doing the many things, we need to be specialist in some new age areas.

If you had to start this business all over again in 2011, you would...

If we started this business all over again one would do it with an integrated structure; meaning have all skill sets – brand stewards, digital experts, media people, PR and activation all under one roof. This is the structure of the future. The original structure needs to come back, in of course, greatly advanced shape and form than those days, as each discipline has become so much more specialised and sophisticated. Added to this, we need a strong analytics component that integrates not just agency components but integrates better with the client’s market realities. More of other kinds of specialists need to now be available on demand as well – be it rural or luxury, retail or technology, trend spotting or content creation.

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