Confluence - the Idea Series

Confluence’17 :Marketing & Finance Conclave

Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, hosted Confluence'17, the annual finance and marketing conclave with the morning session focusing on the theme "Financial Reforms: Imminent Challenges and Future Roadmap". The following were the eminent members of the panel from the industry who dived deep into the depths of the topic emphasizing on its broad scope.
  • Ranabir Mitra, Director-Finance, Adidas Group
  • Mr. Jayesh Jain, CFO, PNB Housing Finance Ltd
  • Mr. Ravi Dawar, CFO, Becton Dickinson
  • Mr.Nitin Agarwal, MD and COO , Incred
  • Mr. Sushant Sukumar, Director-Finance, Credit Suisse
  • Mr. Sushant Chaturvedi, Head Business Development, Publicis Communication
  • Mr. Pankaj Garg, CFO, Dalmia Bharat Group
  • Mr. Inder S Bisht, Finance Director, Wieden + Kennedy
  • Mr.Yeshpal Chopra, Deputy CFO, Technip India Limited
  • Mr. Rajnish Magan, CFO, BEUMER India Private Limited
The panel was headed by Mr Mitra. He introduced the topic and asked all the panellists to give the valuable insights on the topic. He himself started the discussion by emphasising on the important Indian financial reforms. Added to it, he explained how strong are the opportunities in the finance sector & urged everyone to remain in India for their careers rather than going abroad.

The discussion was taken forward by Mr Agarwal. He started by expressing the importance of digitisation in India that has made government become more informed. He also talked about how five years before companies used to face accessibility issues. Mr Magan elucidated some important financial terms like Integral financial control (IFC) . He also explained how big changes in the financial sector are robust. He highlighted few points regarding the direct taxation policy in India.

Adding to the discussion, Mr Bisht elaborated how better business plans & economic reforms can affect India. He also claimed very confidently that India will become the best if these positive changes are incorporated in proper time limit. Mr Jain further explained how government runs different artificial intelligence systems that help them tax-related issues. He also emphasized how an increase in GDP will help India in increasing the foreign direct investment. He also advised everyone to be tech informed, as it is very difficult to survive without it.

Mr Chopra provided some great points. He explained how people use different methods so as to hinder their actual income. He also added how effect of GST will help solve this income hinderance problem. He also took an example of the Benami Property Act. Mr Garg, explained the concept of Aadhar Cards. He stated how the government has a lot of data of the people of India which shall be used for the development of masses in India. He also emphasized how the government wants that the extra money shall not escape India & about the appropriate steps that shall be taken.

Mr Dawar added to the discussion how GST is important for all business people to understand. He also stated that it is extremely important for all business to be legitimate at the backend so as to avoid any negative effects. He took an example of about how seventy percent of the medical devices in India. And after the imports, the price gets increased significantly due to the added import duties. Mr Sukumar took the discussion forward by re-visiting the topic of GST implementation & explained it’s importance in the Indian context. He again elucidated on the fact that all kind of business people need to have proper knowledge of filing returns.

Finally, Mr Chaturvedi, concluded the discussion by talking about some real-time aspirations which we Indians need to have. He revisited the topic of Aadhar linking to our mobile numbers & marked it as an important step by the Indian government.

The topic of the second session was ‘Paradigm Shift in Marketing: Product-Centric to Customer-Centric’ and the dais was graced with the presence of the following eminent panellists:
  • Mr. Umang Gupta, Head – Marketing, General Electric
  • Ms. Jasleen Kaur Gumber, Head (Marketing), Benetton Group
  • Mr. Shyam Maller, Executive VP – Sales &Marketing, Volvo Eicher
  • Mr. Rajeev Jain, Associate Vice President – Marketing, DS Group
  • Mr. Avinash Joshi, VP & Head of Social Advocacy, Dentsu Webchutney
  • Mr. Akash Manwani, Assistant Vice President – Retail, Donear Industries
  • Mr. Bharat Saxena, Marketing Director, Artsana India
  • Mr. Krishnan A, Associate Director, Eli Lilly & Company
  • Mr. Jaydeep Mistry, Head of Adworks, Google
  • Mr. Guneesh Khurana, Director - Sales, General Motors
  • Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, SVP – Sales & Marketing, Honda
The panel was chaired by Mr. Umang Gupta who inaugurated the event by sharing his words of wisdom. He thanked DMS for giving him this opportunity to be a part of the conclave as it is a good learning experience for him too. He initiated the discussion and explained how the world is disrupting at a very fast pace and the strategies which are being formed by different organizations need to be aligned with it. He further set the agenda of the discussion by asking the other panel members their views on how they are tackling changes in their respective industries and what lies ahead for us.

Ms. Jasleen Kaur brought in her views from Retail Industry and cited the examples of Nike, Adidas, and Puma. She mentioned that marketing is a social science and is psychological. There is thin line between product marketing and consumer marketing. The metrics and parameters change and the focus shifts on consumer lifecycle than the product lifecycle. Mr. Shyam Maller quoted few words of Kotler’s Philosophy stating, “There are three kinds of companies: those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those who wonder what’s happened”. He further added that customers are becoming more technology agnostic and what differentiates a company from the other is the Customer-Centric approach which comprises of Design, Presales and Post Sales Services. It is the overall experience that a customer looking for.

Taking the topic further Mr. Rajeev gave the examples from Food and Beverages Industry of the products like Pass Pass and Pulse Candy which is the biggest player in the hard-boiled candy. He said that a standard product won’t work now as the consumer is the king of the ring in the present scenario. Mr. Avinash dived further into the topic mentioning that both the product-centric and customer-centric approach go hand in hand. He was in favour of the fact that no brand or the product is same. Everything is unique and at the end of the day, customer should feel like they own the company.

Mr. Akash enlightened the students with what Donear has been doing with respect to moving from product centric to customer centric. He said that viability in retail market matters a lot. He also gave the example of Emami with its product Fair and Lovely, launching Fair and Handsome for men when they did the on-ground research and observed the consumer behaviour.

Mr. Bharat highlighted the importance of Segmentation in the market. He told that customer can only tell you the problem. It’s with the organization that how do they interpret the problem and come up with a product or service or a solution. Now after knowing the segment, they should seek focus on how to penetrate the market. Coming from Baby Care products industry, he highlighted that the customer lifecycle value is up to 0-3 years in this product line and the focus lies more on direct and one to one marketing.

Mr. Krishnan added his views on the topic taking into account the Pharmaceutical Industry. He highlighted the importance of Internet which has empowered the customer manifolds. He backed his views giving the example of Practo, Netmeds and 1mg which have increased the customer awareness and bridged the gap of lesser communication between the patient and the doctor. Mr. Jaydeep stated the fact that one needs to keep his ears opened and on the ground not only for what customer needs but also for what are his pain points. Integration of different strategies is needed to be agile and this will help in creating a more value addition to the customer.

Mr. Guneesh shared his insights by starting with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him”. He said that today’s scenario is just like the old wine in a new bottle. The only change which has happened over the years is the way we want to consume the products. And thanks to competition and technology which helps in creating the product differentiation and thus helping its positioning.

Mr. Yadvinder Guleria objectively explained the students that now the organizations have got to know how to do the marketing. He stressed on the fact that emotional and rational aspect of the product will help in winning the customer and substantiated the same discussing the success of Honda Activa in the Indian market which sublimely focussed on the mileage and the product design.

The discussion was then concluded by Mr. Umang Gupta who summarised the key takeaways from the session followed by concluding notes from every panel member. The session ended by presenting mementoes to the panellists as a token of appreciation for taking time out of their busy schedules and gracing us with their presence.