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Goafest 2011: Interactions, not debates

Anamika Butalia     April 10, 2011
Reliance ADAG President (Brand & Marketing) Sanjay Behl
Reliance ADAG President (Brand & Marketing) Sanjay Behl
Over the years, Goafest has always hosted debates during the Conclave, the preliminary events to the official opening ceremony. This year around, there's been a paradigm shift. The debates have given way to interactive discussions.

The second session of the Conclave focussed on what learnings the ad world could imbibe from other service industries. One of the most interesting inputs came from Sanjay Behl, President - Brand and Marketing of Reliance ADAG. Behl said that at any given point, advertisers are focussing on top quality servicing and production yet something seems amiss. "They provide good solutions for their clients no doubt, and yet they may perhaps create good advertising solutions specifically to enter them in as nominations at award functions," says Behl skeptically. He adds, "Therefore, I say that attitude is more important."

While business needs to be calibrated with experience, employees should be managed well to ensure a balanced approach considering how fickle the industry seems. "No one can excel at everything but an employee management framework is key to addressing reasonable ability and motivation for excellence," explains Behl, who believes that customers and clients are inclined towards bearing the cost of excellence.
Sharing the podium with him is Farokh Balsara, Partner and National Leader, Media and Entertainment E&Y. Balsara discussed that talent moves within and to other advertising agencies. This leads to a sense of inbreeding of ideas. "For a healthy balance towards operations and ideating, there  needs to be at least 10 per cent of the workforce to be 'outsiders', who are bound to bring in refreshing perspectives - as an end-consumer as well as towards a campaign," says Balsara.

He also adds that this workforce may be brought in from any other background of work. "The best creative brains are loaded with administrative work that siphons their talent and time - both of which form the crux of the industry." This, Balsara adds, also leads to another major concern: revenue leakages. "An internal audit to analyse the feasibility of taking on a new account is paramount to plugging leakages," he adds.

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