29 Jul 2019 19:09 IST

Marketing meet kicks off at IIM Indore

Panelists discuss tech, innovation, influence of AI-ML and support for MSMEs on first day of meet

The annual industry meet was inaugurated at IIM Indore on July 27. The Chief Guest was RS Sachdev, COO, VE Commercials. Prof Abhishek Mishra, Chair, Industry Interface Office, IIM Indore, and Conference Chair for the IIM Indore NASMEI 2019 Summer Marketing & Information Systems Conference, welcomed the gathering.

​Explaining that IIM Indore’s Industry Interface Programme is now elective for PGP participants, who work with industry on live projects, he said: “This year, we’ve introduced an industry consulting module for EPGP participants, and are making changes in the IIP soon.”

​RS Sachdeva delivered the keynote address on ‘Leveraging Technology & Innovation for Competitive Advantage’. Quoting Peter Drucker, he said that marketing and innovation are the only two things required for business success. He stressed that innovation and technology have wrought major changes in the automobile sector. “In the coming years, axle load will be increased, there will be more electric vehicles, and more such diverse and rapid changes in the auto sector”. He noted that the battery prices are also declining and automobiles are now becoming more low-maintenance, bringing about big lifestyle shifts.

Empowering MSMEs

Amit Bhatnagar spoke on on Advances in TV Attribution: Measuring the Sales-Advertising Relationship. He said that companies spend a lot on advertising every year and if they could save half of that, it would be a big saving. ‘It’s time to come up with a new model where the size of the window is increased and it helps identify the baseline sales better. A way that would have long-term impact,” he said.

There followed a panel discussion on Empowering MSMEs which was moderated by Professor Dibyadyuti Roy, Chair- Communications Area & Faculty, IIM Indore. The panelists were Girish Bendigiri, Co-Founder & Director, Augentia; Tomio Isogai, Ex MD Sharp India; Anubhav Gera, Vice-President, Wadhwani Foundation, and Paramjeet Juneja, Director, Capco.

Bendigiri said marketing in this sector has to change with the advent of digital marketing, and it is time for the sector to generate awareness about the new skill-sets needed. Isogai agreed, adding that HR is also a challenge in this sector. Gera said capital is the biggest challenge in this sector, while Juneja noted that bridging the gap between all these challenges is important.

HR issues and AI-ML

On the issue of empowering employees to become assets, Gera noted that policy-makers and the government need to transform HR into assets. Juneja said there should be training sessions and workshops for enhancing employees’ skills.

With AI and ML becoming all-pervasive across sectors, how can we future-proof labour, was the next question raised. Isogai said that in future, AI and ML would be replacing humans, but jobs might be still available for humans. Bendigiri agreed, noting that machines can replace humans but won’t embed feelings in the jobs they do, which may be a flip side.

On the subject of whether India’s jugaad and Japan’s giants can work together for enhancement in the MSME sector, Isogai said that Japan is driven by big corporations supported by SMEs. In the coming years, India’s jugaad may help provide immediate and cheaper solutions to problems, and can be backed by Japan.

On educational institutions’ role in empowering MSMEs, the panellists noted that bridging the gap between academia and industry is a big challenge. If both sectors work together, it would help enhance both sectors.

Prof Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore, then felicitated all the industry members present.

Student Awards

Awards were given to the PGP participants who performed exceptionally well in the Industry Interface Programme.

The IIM Indore NASMEI 2019 Summer Marketing & Information System Conference Awards were also given. The First Prize went to Jaskaran Singh, Gurbir Singh & Satinder Kumar for their work on “Religious Influences on Unrestrained Consumption.”

The Second Prize was awarded to Neha Singh, for “eWOM- Effect of Audience Characterstics on Product Categories”

And the Third Prize was bagged by Neerja Kashive, Vandana Tandon Khanna & Manish Bharthi, for “Employee Branding Through Crowdsourcing - Understanding the Sentiments.”