Insights From Sourav Ganguly, Prajakta Koli, Prasoon Joshi And More At Goafest 2024

Insights From Sourav Ganguly, Prajakta Koli, Prasoon Joshi And More At Goafest 2024

Day 3 of Goafest was a celebration of adaptability and creative evolution. From mesmerising stories, intensive knowledge sessions and a wake-up call from a longevity coach, the audience had a lot of heavy lifting to do.

Team BrandSutraUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2024, 01:38 PM IST

At Day 3 of Goafest, the stage was set for a knowledge seminar presented by Femina, titled ‘Indian Women Harnessing the Power Of Identity’. The panel discussion, curated by Femina, aimed to deconstruct the evolving concepts of identity and narrative among Indian women. Among the esteemed panellists were Shilpa Rao, a renowned Indian Playback Singer, Alankrita Shrivastava, a Filmmaker, Tamannaah Bhatia, Actor; and Prajakta Koli, also known as MostlySane, a leading Content Creator. Guiding the conversation is Ambika Muttoo, Editor-In-Chief of Femina.

In this intensive and informative session, the panellists delved into the complexities surrounding the changing ideas of identity, portrayal and narrative, particularly as they pertained to Indian women. In this discussion about the burgeoning digital landscape, Prajakta underscored the unparalleled opportunities available today, stating, "There has never been a better time to be a pioneer in the digital space." Highlighting India's dominant position, she proudly proclaimed, "We are the biggest digital economy." She also shed light on the critical role of consistency on digital platforms, underscoring its magical impact on success. Reflecting on this conversation, Ambika Muttoo said, “Cliches come from the truth,” reinforcing the timeless relevance of well-worn phrases in capturing genuine insights.

Tamannaah, known for her versatility across various industries and mediums, shared her unique approach to her career. "I didn’t confine myself to any identity. I didn’t put my thoughts and opinions in the way of myself. I want to be a medium and I find a lot of strength in that surrender," she explained, showcasing her adaptability and open-mindedness. When Ambika inquired about the path to becoming a brand, Tamannaah offered valuable advice drawn from her extensive experience. "If you want to be a brand, you must learn to give first; this is what I have learned from all the brands that I work with," she stated, highlighting the importance of generosity and contribution in establishing a strong, personal brand.

Through insightful discussions and personal anecdotes, they explored the multifaceted dimensions of identity, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs women face in navigating societal expectations and embracing their authentic selves. The session served as a platform for dialogue and reflection, inspiring audiences to reevaluate perceptions and celebrate the diverse narratives that shaped the identity of Indian women in today's world. 

A yet another insightful Knowledge Seminar titled 'Secrets of Longevity: Adapting our lifestyles to increase our ‘Healthspan’ with Dr Marcus Ranney - Founder and CEO, Human Edge alongside moderator - Anupriya Acharya, CEO, Publicis Groupe, South Asia. Dr Marcus Ranney, a renowned longevity physician, highlighted the paradox of modern healthcare. "We’re living 19 years longer than what we were in the 1950s owing to many factors; however, even though we’re living longer, the problem with that is that we’re living sicker," he remarked, underscoring a growing concern in public health. He also delineated the evolution of medical practice from era 1.0 to the current 3.0. "We’re moving from medicine era 1.0, to 2.0 and now we’re entering medicine 3.0 – preventive, proactive, personalised and participatory," he explained. This new era of medicine focuses on preventing illness before it starts, actively engaging individuals in their health decisions, and tailoring treatments to individual needs.

He also spoke about the emerging field of biohacking, offering practical advice on mitigating the adverse effects of blue light exposure and promoting overall well-being. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of physical activity, suggesting that walking around 8,000 steps daily is ideal for maintaining good health. Dr Ranney's insights provide a compelling vision for the future of healthcare, one that is preventive, proactive, personalised and participatory. This session delved into the secrets of longevity, exploring ways to adapt lifestyles for a healthier and more fulfilling 'Healthspan.' Attendees were treated to insights on wellness practices and lifestyle adjustments from Dr Marcus Ranney, while Anupriya Acharya guided the conversation, facilitating a dialogue on the importance of holistic health and its implications for individuals and society alike.

‘The Art of Storytelling’ was led by Neelesh Misra, a multifaceted Indian Journalist, Author, Radio Storyteller, Scriptwriter and Lyricist. Neelesh’s diverse expertise and passion for narrative craft have earned him acclaim across various mediums, making him a formidable authority in the realm of storytelling. He explored the concept of neural coupling, explaining how our brains respond to characters and events in stories as if we are experiencing them ourselves. Expressing concern, he said, "My greatest worry is that the greatest machinery of communication in the country is not understanding the audience." He emphasised the need for empathy; additionally, he advocated never talking down to the audience and highlighted the overlooked role of purpose in communication.

Furthermore, he warned against commoditising the audience in the name of adaptability. "You are all so powerful that you decide what people purchase, wear, consume amongst other choices they make," he told the audience.

In this captivating session, Neelesh Misra unravelled the intricacies of storytelling, offering invaluable insights into the power of narrative in captivating audiences and conveying messages effectively. Attendees were treated to an exploration of storytelling techniques, from crafting honest and authentic plots to evoking emotions, providing a holistic understanding of the art form's nuances. His expertise and engaging delivery left a lasting impression, inspiring participants to harness the art of storytelling to engage, educate, and inspire with responsibility and accountability.

A dynamic Knowledge Seminar on ‘Customer-Centric Adaptability; Meeting Shifting Expectations; Maintaining Customer Loyalty’ in a Dynamic Environment, focusing on meeting shifting expectations and maintaining customer loyalty in a dynamic environment. Leading the discussion was Tarun Puri, Senior Operating Partner at Lighthouse Funds, Asha Kharga, Chief Customer & Brand Officer at Mahindra Group, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Founder & MD at Roy Kapur Films, with moderation by Anuradha SenGupta, Founder of @anuradhasays.

Through this conversation, Asha highlighted a growing sentiment among Indian consumers, stating, "Indians want Indian brands to succeed." This patriotic support for domestic brands underscores the potential for growth and loyalty within the local market. Thereafter, in response to Anuradha's question about the challenges businesses face regarding data reliance and consumer compliance, Asha emphasised the importance of ethical practices. "They should not at any point feel they are being harassed by our business. We have a clear contact policy. But in the long-term interest of the consumer, it is the right thing to do," she asserted, advocating for a balanced approach that respects consumer privacy while ensuring beneficial outcomes.

Tarun discussed key post-pandemic trends in the consumer goods sector, focusing on premiumisation and commoditisation. He noted the intense competition within the digital realm, which makes brand building particularly intriguing. Subsequently, Siddharth shed light on the dynamic nature of the current film industry, particularly the evolution of movie marketing over the past two decades. He mentioned various contemporary marketing strategies, including mall visits, integrations, interviews, and road shows. Reflecting on past experiences, he shared, "For 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', we spent more on marketing than on production," illustrating the significant shift in how films are promoted in today's competitive market.

In this insightful session, Tarun Puri, Asha Kharga and Siddharth Roy Kapur navigated the intricate landscape of customer-centric adaptability. Through engaging dialogue and expert insights, they explored strategies for businesses to meet evolving customer expectations and foster loyalty in an ever-changing marketplace. These valuable perspectives on the importance of staying agile and responsive to customer needs, ultimately help drive long-term success and sustainable growth.

Another Knowledge Seminar titled ‘Adaptability And Innovation: The Cornerstones Of A Future-Ready Agency’ featured a distinguished panel of industry leaders. Among them were Anusha Shetty, Chairperson & Group CEO of Grey Group, India; Jitendra Dabas, Chief Operating Officer & CSO, India, Head of Effectiveness, APAC, McCann WorldGroup and Babita Baruah, Chief Executive Officer of VML India. Steering the discussion was Dheeraj Sinha, Group CEO for India and South Asia at FCB Group India. In this dynamic session, the panellists explored the vital role of adaptability and innovation in shaping the future of agencies, where the next generation is concerned.

Dheeraj posed the critical question, "What questions should we be asking wherein talent is concerned?" Jitendra responded by highlighting the need for inclusive environments, asking, "Are we creating agencies where younger people are comfortable and thriving?" Anusha, then, addressed the generational shift in workplace expectations, stating, "I hear from senior leaders about culture missing. But the truth is GenZ is the largest workforce today and they want flexibility; 85% of GenZ wants a hybrid work situation. Are we as seniors ready to accept this?" She emphasised the importance of adapting to the needs of younger employees. Additionally, Babita added, "Simple things like setting younger people up for success and fostering a sense of belonging are crucial. Allowing expression and embracing them is key." The discussion underscored the need for senior leaders to evolve and create supportive, flexible work environments for the new generation.

Drawing from their wealth of experience, the panel discussed strategies to hone talent and manage remuneration for the next generation; this would ensure that a lot of us stay agile and ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

Next in line was a Knowledge Seminar, presented by Google, in collaboration with the ISA and themed ‘Evolving Market Landscape: Navigating The New Normal’, which boasted a panel of eminent figures. Shashank Srivastava, a distinguished Member of the Executive Committee at Maruti Suzuki, and Sunil Kataria, Chief Executive Officer of Raymond Lifestyle (India & International), were among the esteemed speakers. Moderating the discussion was Anuradha SenGupta, the esteemed Founder of @anuradhasays. In this engaging session, the panellists dissected the intricacies of the evolving market landscape amid unprecedented change, amidst digitisation.

Shashank stressed the need for agility in understanding consumer behaviour. "We have to be on our toes to keep up with the constant changes in consumer behaviour," he stated. He also highlighted the importance of collecting interactional data from all touchpoints and integrating it. Adding to this, Sunil underscored the varied ways consumers engage with different platforms. "Listening analytically to data is very important," he noted, adding that in-store observations are also extremely crucial. He stressed the value of using first-party data to gain insights quickly and effectively. The discussion highlighted the critical role of comprehensive data analysis in adapting to evolving consumer preferences.

With the assistance of their expertise, they explored strategies for navigating the 'new normal,' shedding light on the shifting dynamics of consumer preferences and market trends. Attendees were treated to a deep dive into the opportunities presented by evolving consumer behaviour through several touchpoints, especially data, gaining valuable insights to inform their strategies in a rapidly transforming landscape.

Thereafter, a Knowledge Seminar titled ‘Adapting to be Accountable’ featured a distinguished panel including Darshana Shah, Head of Marketing & Customer Experience at Aditya Birla Capital; Pawan Bansal, COO of Jagran Engage & Chairman of IOAA (Indian Outdoor Advertising Association); Noomi Mehta, Chairman of the Board at Selvel One Group; and Jahan Mehta, Chief Growth Officer at Oap Mediatech. Leading the discussion was Sam Balsara, Founder, Chairman & MD of Madison World & Madison Communications. In this engaging session, the panellists spoke of the importance of accountability in the outdoor advertising industry and discussed strategies for adaptation in an ever-evolving landscape.

Darshana emphasised the evolving role of multi-screen geotagging and the importance of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising. "OOH must be used as the first medium and not just a recall medium. It's not just about hoardings any more," she stated, highlighting the flexibility of adapting a 10-second feature for OOH. To add to it, Pawan discussed the metrics of reach, frequency, and impressions, noting, "We have a 100-day plan for measurability and sustainability at IOAA." He also spoke about the IOAA certification, which aims to prevent incidents like the Ghatkopar mishap during thunderstorms from recurring. Further, Jehan shared his insights into promoting Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising to prospective clients, emphasising the potential of automation.

The conversation highlighted innovative strategies aimed at amplifying the reach and effectiveness of OOH advertising campaigns. Attendees gained valuable insights into navigating challenges and driving accountability to enhance effectiveness and transparency in outdoor advertising practices.

Furthermore, the next Knowledge Seminar, presented by ABP News and titled Embracing Change: Lessons from The Field to Life featured cricket legend and former BCCI President Sourav Ganguly alongside moderator Boria Majumdar, a renowned Indian sports journalist, historian, and writer. In this captivating session, Ganguly shared invaluable insights gleaned from his illustrious career, offering lessons on adaptation and resilience both on and off the field. Guiding the discussion, Majumdar facilitated a dialogue on the transformative power of embracing change, illustrating how principles learned in sport can be applied to navigate life's challenges with courage and determination.

From being captain to nobody to being dropped, adversities affect everyone, and the downs taught Mr Ganguly to appreciate the ups. His journey underscores how even the most successful individuals face challenges, and how these low points provide valuable perspective on the highs of their careers. He said, “Nothing taught me better than sport; it's a leveller. You know, every next inning, you start from zero.”

He attributed the sport of cricket with imparting a valuable lesson: the ability to instinctively respond with an enthusiastic "I'll do it!" when tasked with a request. This mindset, honed through his experiences on the pitch, has proven invaluable in his personal and professional life beyond the sport. His parting words were a testament to resilience and embracing change, “Circumstances will change, what doesn’t and mustn’t change, for you, is your faith and belief!”

The final Knowledge Seminar of the day, titled The Art Of Adaptability: From Real Life to Reel Life, was set on stage, featuring Indian actor Manoj Bajpayee alongside moderator Prasoon Joshi, CEO and CCO of McCann World Group India. In this engaging session, Bajpayee shared insights into the art of adaptation, drawing parallels between his experiences in real and reel life. Guiding the discussion, Joshi facilitated a conversation on the importance of adaptability in the entertainment industry and beyond, exploring how actors navigate diverse roles and challenges with resilience and creativity.

Manoj Bajpayee, reflecting on his career, shared how he resisted conforming to others' perceptions of him. "The struggle was quite tedious after Satya," he noted, "I was still without work, saying, 'The recognition was heavier than my purse, which was empty.'" He emphasised the indispensable role of stars in cinema, OTT, and television, acknowledging how digitisation and OTT platforms have revolutionised the industry. Manoj also addressed the advent of AI, expressing confidence that AI cannot replicate the unique nuances of his varied characters. "What is reassuring is there is nothing to fear; you are unique and unparalleled. AI will be used very creatively. Humans will use AI, not the other way around.


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