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Coming To Terms With Disruption In The Era Of Opportunities

Industry stalwarts - Pavan Shetty, Director, Porsche India, Vijay Mansukhani, Managing Director, Onida and Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands debated how to spot opportunities in the era of disruption at the MWB Mumbai launch

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At the recent launch of BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook 2018, a panel discussion on 'The Opportunities of Interesting Times' saw the participation of industry stalwarts - Pavan Shetty, Director, Porsche India, Vijay Mansukhani, Managing Director, Onida and Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India, who also moderated the discussion.

Talking about engaging with customers and influencing them during their purchase journey, Pavan Shetty, Director, Porsche India said, "To look at the luxury space that we are occupying, things would not have been more interesting than today.  If you look at the data, some years back a customer would make five to six visits before they brought the car. Now they do less than two, which means that the face time with customers is drastically reducing. So where is he getting the information from? The answer is media. So what is the right way to influence the customer? For me the right way is to catch them during the various phases of the buying process. If you take any luxury product, it has a very high involvement category and decisions are not impulsive. Which means you have ample time to touch base on many levels influence the customer. Moreover, over time the importance of existing customers has also become significant.  Imagine partnering with a customer in his entire commute that he does in his lifecycle.  Not only is there a revenue source but this is also a way to retain your customer."

Setting aside all marketing theories and encouraging marketers to spot business opportunities, Vijay Mansukhani, Managing Director, Onida said, "For me marketing theories do not make any sense as long as the market cap keeps going up. I started Onida 34 years ago and one thing I can do easily is to recognize opportunities. It is important to see opportunities which competitors cannot see, and that is how you are going to succeed. "

Manuskhani also spoke about the importance of risk taking in business. He added, "You have to take risks, people will invest in you if you have good idea. I would say if you have good idea money is not the problem, take risks, though people may feel you will fail they will still give you the money. Fact is that many people are not cut out for business.  I'm 70 years old and still enjoy taking risks and the best part is that India will soon become the land of opportunities. So we should take risks and make the most of it."

When asked about the need for businesses to be future ready, Pavan Shetty of Porshe said, "While market cap is important, it is also related to your adaptability to change the market dynamics. There is a big change happening in customers and we are getting 'amazonified' for a reason because Amazon has given us more than what we need. I don't think the needs of the customers have changed but the ways of reaching them have changed and if you don't recognize that today you will have to do it tomorrow because disruption is the way of life. And there is a greater need to be part of that entire ecosystem where the customer will be operating. Nobody knows the future exactly but we are anticipating and we are spending almost 6 billion Euros in anticipation of the higher market cap in future."

Stressing on the importance of having an entrepreneurial approach to work, Pavan Shetty believes that India is going to be the land of big opportunities for businesses in the coming time. According to him, "There is a lot of stress on entrepreneurship these days and a lot of people say why I'm working and why I'm not rich. But entrepreneurship is not just about doing your own business and it can be applied to every job. If you treat your job as business you are an entrepreneur. Talking about opportunities, there are a lot of them and India is a land of opportunities. Though India just contributes only 1% to global luxury and luxury brands are seen as a good opportunity." He also cautioned against avoiding disruptions stating that avoiding them was more expensive than adoption them.


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