14 March 2016 13:49:31 IST

“Youth are the real vehicles of change”

Ad man Prahlad Kakkar talks about social media, organisations and more at a conference in Jaipuria, Noida

Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it. Social media is one such phenomenon that’s permeated every aspect of our lives — including work. But social media is not all fluff and no substance. When used correctly, it can be used to get help and mobilise a bunch of people — and help sustain organisations for a long time.

It was on this topic that Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, held its first International Conference, recently. The discussion on “Role of Social Media for Organisational Sustainability” saw ad-film director and ad-guru Prahlad Kakkar, chief strategy officer, Publicis iStrat, Sonya Sahni, and Ex-DG, IIMC, and journalist Sunit Tandon attend the event.

Kicking off the conference, Sunit Tandon traced the evolution of social media in government sectors, from the traditional media. Giving an example, he recalled how a fax machine was unknown to most people in the 1980s, when it was installed for the first time in his office.

He admitted that those from the earlier generations have a lot to learn from the young ones, seeing as how they are the primary users of social media. He, however, did not believe that traditional media will die a slow death with the introduction on the Internet. He says media, including traditional and social media, will co-exist.

Sonya Sahni, the next speaker, touched upon the importance of social media in organisations and how it can compel it to be responsible towards the world’s sustainability. Citing examples of pharma companies, she said they are the biggest polluters of the environment, as they release anti-biotic residuals in the water. A pharma company then reached out to her organisation to suggest a way to minimise the same, and convey to the public about its initiatives. She suggested, “Instead of blaming the government or public authorities, only we can bring the change we want.”

Then came the speech everyone was looking forward to — that of Prahlad Kakkar’s. And he did not disappoint. “Only such organisations succeed, that allow its people to take decisions. And only those people succeed, who have capability of taking and owning their decisions,” started the ad man.

He cited examples of the downfall of highly successful multinationals, because of their inability to adapt to the changing environment, and not providing a culture for their employees to innovate. “The younger generation must be given more chances as they are the real vehicles of change. They are fearless and have the capability of taking and owning decisions,” he said, motivating the research delegates and students to create value to be happy.

He then played some advertisements — like the Pepsi ad which introduced Aishwarya Rai for the first time and the Google ad that shows connectivity — which show how thinking and consumption patterns of people have changed.

Sharad Jaipuria, Chairman of the institute, Sreevats Jaipuria, the group’s Vice Chairman and Dr Rajiv R Thakur, the Director of the institute, attended the event.