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The post-lunch session turned out to be enriching and candid. It also gave some interesting glimpses into the future trends. Business Consultant, Start up advisor and Thought leader, Samar Singh Sheikhawat set the agenda as moderator for the Spirit of Change panel discussion and touched upon sub topics like ‘Baby Boomers and Gen Xers;’ ‘Do marketers and advertisers really keep women in focus while formulating their strategies?”, ‘Growing purchasing power among women and its impact on the industry’ and ‘Perspective from women’s side.’

The luminaries who shared their insights from the dais included Deepak Roy, Executive Vice Chairman, Allied Blenders & Distillers Pvt. Ltd., Anant S. Iyer, CEO, Alcobrew Distilleries India Pvt. Ltd., Roopak Chaturvedi, Director, Sales, Bacardi India, Madhulika Bhattacharya-Dhal, Founder-Director, La Cave, and Puneet Kahlon, Director, Business Development & Marketing Communication, Outbound Marketing Pvt. Ltd.

Marketing experts say that continually mapping change is the only constant in their profession. However, the marketing tools to gauge the changes do change with age. Industry veteran & session Moderator of the ThinkPad Session 3, Business Consultant, Start up advisor and Thought leader, Samar Singh Sheikhawat contextualized the discussion by pointing out that more than advertising, millennials believe in vloggers, bloggers, rating, word of mouth, reviews and recommendations. He also posed the pertinent question that whether consumer choice is driving brand fortunes. According to him, Indians are very proud of their ‘Indianness’ and at the same time are very open to western ideas and brands.

He was of the opinion that though customers remain largely loyal to their brand as a result of influence of various factors like familiarity, comfort, inertia, force of habit and availability, but urbanisation, media penetration and growing aspirations were bringing shifts in such loyalties.

He also pointed out what many psychologists say about women, that they think inward while men think outward.

Made in India is in fashion

Deepak Roy, Executive Vice Chairman, Allied Blenders & Distillers Pvt Ltd., said in his growing up years, anything Indian was regarded as passé by the Indian elites and they would prefer to not identify with it. “But during the last three decades this is one big change that has happened. Indians now take pride in being Indian irrespective of their class and geographic location,” explained Deepak. Then he very intelligently applied this social trend in the context of India’s alco-beverages industry. “Who would have thought that 10 years ago we will have Indian products standing next to global single malts?” he queried. At times, he observed, some of the Indian made alcoholic beverage products were now a days priced more than their global competitors.

“Today, we have some of the best single malts coming from India. Our brand Sterling Reserve, is in its secondyear, but has already crossed 3 million cases. In Dubai, I saw Indian gins standing next to global brands, in commanding price poin ts and flying off the shelves,” he asserted while expressing that this trend of India made alco-beverage products rubbing shoulders with premium foreign made alco-beverage products would continue. According tohim, not only the quality of products but packaging too has improved hugely over the last decade as far as many India’s alco-beverage brands are concerned.

However, he opined that “Loyalty has always been a challenge in any market and more so, in this environment.” According to him, “The challenge to marketers is of  a different kind now since consumers have become very smart.” Deepak viewed that advertisements were still relevant and can do better on digital market platforms. “You need to engage with consumers and if you know how your brand values are in sync with their values you have won half the war,” he pointed out.

More interesting insights in the latest issue of Spiritz January 2020