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BRIEFS 8 PHOTO FEATURE - Virgin Radio RedFestDXB 2018 Reaches New Heights With Innovations Curated by Done Events 10 - The Zayed Future Energy Prize Breaks a Guinness World Record in Event Executed by RedFilo Events 11 IN FOCUS - The FIFA World Cup UAE 2017 Mobile Roadshow Gets Comprehensive, Breaks Tradition 12 - UAE Innovation Month and Closing Ceremony Planned and Executed End-to-End by LINKVIVA 14 - Brothers Incorporated Delivers a Stunner of a Show with A.R. Rahman’s ‘Journey’ in Dubai 16 EEMA UPDATES 23

BRIEFS 36 FEATURE - #TheMarketingTalk with Killer Denims, Hyundai and Max Fashion 38 - Industry Veterans Share Insights on Successfully Marketing a Brand in Rural 42 IN FOCUS - Fastrack Engages Over 60,000 Attendees with a Stunning Activation at Vh1 Supersonic 46 PHOTO FEATURE - TOAST Manages 360-Degree Creative Duties for Pepe Jeans India’s Latest Brand Campaign 48 - Delightfully Unconventional: TECHNO’s Camon I Phone Launch by DDB MudraMax 49



BRIEFS 20 PHOTO FEATURE - Cineyug Keeps the Entertainment Quotient High at Umang–The Mumbai Police Show 22 - Nykaa Femina Beauty Awards 2018 Celebrates the Best in the Beauty Industry 23 FEATURE - 6 LIVE Events & Festivals That Made Headlines This Season 24 MARKET PULSE - Bacardi’s Anshuman Goenka Decodes Bacardi House Party Sessions- Campaign with A Heart 30 IN FOCUS - In the Lap of Luxury: Low-Down from the Debut Edition of Luxury Lifestyle Weekend 2018 32

BRIEFS 50 IN FOCUS - The Celestial Extravaganza That Was the Global Shanti–Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival 52 - Maximus and Speaking Minds Partner to Stunningly Execute Axis Insurance ‘Night of Superstars’ 56 COVER STORY - Planning Corporate Meetings & Incentives Around Iconic & Special Interest Events! 59 PHOTO FEATURE - Kestone Perfectly Manages End to End Execution of Dell EMC India Partner Summit in Monaco 74 - Percept ICE Adds a Contemporary Appeal to ZEE 25 Years Grand Party 75

Disclaimer: i. Experiential Marketing magazine is published by EVENTFAQS Media. Pvt. Ltd. with RNI Registration MAHENG/2010/35733. ii. Every effort is made to ensure that the magazine’s content is correct. However, the publisher accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions. iii. All material published in this magazine is copyright protected. Unauthorised reproduction in part or full is forbidden. iv. The publisher takes no responsibility for content used in advertisements and advertorials. It is assumed the advertiser has rights to use the content. v. The publisher takes no responsibility for photographs and information published in features which comes from external sources such as PR agencies, direct sources, etc. It is assumed that the parties involved have the right to provide the information for publishing purposes. vi. Any dispute/error liable vis-a-vis this magazine is strictly restricted to local jurisdiction in Mumbai only.


59 INDUSTRY WATCH BRIEFS 76 IN FOCUS - RMAI Rural Conclave 2018 Sees Exceptional Knowledge Sharing and Celebration of Young Talent 78 - Procam and Encompass Celebrating Milestones 80 EEMA UPDATES 82 THE CUE CARDS BY SUSHMA GAIKWAD 83

TECHNOLOGY BRIEFS 84 IN FOCUS - 3 Immersive Tech Engagements to Make Your Events More ‘Awesome’ 86


A recent research by the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) conducted amongst Incentive Travellers from Indian Corporations revealed 89% of the respondents found ncentives ‘extremely motivating’. This was a considerable majority, more than Incentive Travellers from UK (72%) and USA (77%). What’s more, close to 50% of these respondents preferred travel as an incentive, over cash or its equivalent. India is poised to be the 5th Largest Business Outbound Travel Market by 2020, with a projected 50 Million Travellers. It’s no wonder that incentive travel trends in India are at pace or perhaps ahead of international times. As chroniclers of the Indian MICE industry, we find that not only is this propensity for Incentive Travel increasing, but more corporations are waking up to its effectiveness. Of course with increased frequency is the need to evolve and continually try out the ‘new’, the ‘different’, the ‘neverdone-before’. A prominent and increasingly emphasised objective of Incentive Travel by corporates is to give their stakeholders an ‘experience that money can’t buy’. This is well in line with many of the new trends we see in Incentive Travel, where ‘new destinations’ are out-ranked by ‘meaningful experiences’. The greatest opportunity in this lies with experience-creators, which also helps position them way ahead of their competing logistic-handlers! karishma@eventfaqs.com

28-30 JUNE 2018





EDITORIAL TEAM RUTU LADAGE rutu@eventfaqs.com SHANTANU JAIN shantanu@eventfaqs.com MADIHA KHAN madiha@eventfaqs.com

CFO & DIRECTOR JIMMY CHOUDHARY jimmy@eventfaqs.com

CIRCULATION RAMESH PATIL ramesh@eventfaqs.com ADMIN & ACCOUNTS NILESH PAWAR accounts@eventfaqs.com SAMEET ELKAR admin.mumbai@eventfaqs.com GRAPHIC DESIGN VINAYA PRASHANTH vinayaprashanth@gmail.com PRASAD KARAMBAT

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM JITEN JURIANI jiten@eventfaqs.com RADHIKA SETHI radhika@eventfaqs.com SHIVA CHOUDHARY shiva@eventfaqs.com MARKETING SERVICES TEAM DHWANI MUNSHI dhwani@eventfaqs.com CHARMI JANANI charmi@eventfaqs.com ZAFAR KHAN zafar@eventfaqs.com SANJANA BAWEJA sanjana@eventfaqs.com

Experiential Marketing (ExM) is a quarterly magazine published by EVENTFAQS Media (India) Pvt. Ltd. Founded in 2007, EVENTFAQS is a multi-channel business media platform focussed on the MICE, Experiential Marketing, LIVE Entertainment & Social Events industry and engages over 60,000 stakeholders via its print, digital and event platforms. Visit www.eventfaqs.com for more details. For subscription enquiry: info@eventfaqs.com

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Editor: Karishma Jamnu Hundalani. This issue contains 92 pages including covers. Printed & published by: Vishal Vashulal Nagdev on behalf of (or owned by) EVENTFAQS Media Pvt. Ltd. and printed at VSSU Graphics, Unit # 36, Ideal Industrial Estate Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel-West, Mumbai 400013, Maharashtra, India, and published at EVENTFAQS Media Pvt. Ltd. 112, 1st Floor, Embassy Centre 207, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021, Maharashtra, India.



Protec Enables Elrow Deliver an Opening Night to Remember at SOHO Beach Club in Dubai The SOHO Beach Club opened its doors on February 23rd, 2018 in conjunction with the renowned Barcelona and more recently, Ibiza brand ‘Elrow’ to a sold-out Dubai crowd. Featuring top world-class DJ ‘Luciano’ performing a special birthday set, the scene was set to be an absolute banger of a night. Elrow’s travelling roadshow has the reputation of being sensory and visual and Protec’s lighting department produced a colourful, punchy, totally immersive experience to compliment the costumed dancers, confetti and CO2 canons. Designed by chief lighting designer at Protec, Aaron Russ, and operated by Daniel Ivanovski the show got rave reviews from the client, DJs and guests.

Blended Music Festival 2018 Produced by Done Events Sold Out Done Events confirmed that the return of the Blended Music Festival on April 20, 2018 has completely sold-out. Featuring The Backstreet Boys, Melanie C, and Lemar, the festival organisers had previously declared the Regular, Golden Circle, and Lounge categories sold-out and have now added the allinclusive VIP category to make the show a complete sell-out. “We are overwhelmed by the response received by Blended festival and are looking forward to see them on April 20th,” said Girish Bhat, Managing Director, Done Events. Girish Bhat

Managing Director Done Events

LINKVIVA Brought Alive the ‘The Dubai Marina Music Festival’ with The Art of Sound “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” — Plato The 2017 edition of ‘The Dubai Marina Music Festival’ (DMMF) aimed to bring this quote to life, with one of a kind experiences that took people beyond the realms of simply listening to music! The LINKVIVA team envisioned different ways for the audience to activate their senses and take them on an interactive journey with the opportunity to feel, see and touch music, in an absolutely unique and mesmerising way. Everything from conceptualisation and design, to production and project management, as well as execution was done by LINKVIVA to bring about an outdoors experiential event second to none!

Niousha Ehsan CEO LINKVIVA

Done Events Seamlessly Delivers Africa Global Business Forum 2017 Cultural Fiesta Held in Dubai The Africa Forum held under the theme “Next Generation Africa” is the largest Africa-centric conference to be held outside the African continent and Done Events received the mandate to ensure the grand scale event was a successful one for all involved. Done Events delivered the project in conjunction with the team at Dubai Chamber who wanted elements that would wow the 3,000 traveling delegates while showcasing the link between the UAE and Africa. The Global Business Forum series was held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai. The exhibitions showcased the best of sponsors such as Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Bank while taking a 10m circular space was Expo2020 which developed a Learning Lab to allow delegates to get a greater understanding of what Dubai Expo2020 will bring not only to the region but the world. 8



Virgin Radio RedFestDXB 2018 Reaches New Heights With Innovations Curated By Done Events The Virgin Radio RedFestDXB 2018 took place on February 8 and 9 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The event was executed by Done Events and the Virgin Radio programming team worked closely with Done Events to decide on the best fit artists for the music festival. The biggest hurdle for both the parties was to ensure that the artists chosen were a core representation of Virgin Radio’s playlist and who could work well with the audience attending the festival. The second biggest task was that both the days of the event had to be very definitive, each reaching a slightly different demographic.

There were several objectives that were set and met. The main goal was to attract a larger-thanever-before crowd and the team successfully managed to have an audience of 25,000 across two days - the largest audience that the festival has seen in its 5-year existence. The event grew in all areas - sponsorships, number of people attending, partnerships and social media reach. Via social-media channels, Done Events was able to reach a newer audience and hope that this would drive interest for future years. GIRISH BHAT




The Zayed Future Energy Prize Breaks a Guinness World Record in Event Executed by RedFilo Events

“No such records were set previously in the world wherein hundreds of students attended a large interactive lesson on environmental sustainability. This is the first time,” Samer Khallouf, official adjudicator from Guinness World Records.

RedFilo Events planned and executed the Zayed Future Energy Prize ceremony in Abu Dhabi. The entire event was held at Ritz Carlton Grand Canal, in Abu Dhabi, on January 10, 2018. The Zayed Future Energy Prize managed to achieve ‘The Largest Environment Sustainability Lesson’ and broke a Guinness World Record. The World Record featured 282 students from across the UAE. Dr Nawal Al Hosany, the Director of ZFEP, Khaled Al Ameri, and Faitima Al Kaabi ‘The youngest Emirati Inventor’ spoke at the event. The lesson was delivered by Iliac Diaz, Founder of Litre of Light, and the non-profit organisation winner of The Zayed Future Energy Prize 2015. The 30-minute lecture highlighted how young people around the world can help reduce energy poverty while also challenging them to devise solutions that will bring about a more sustainable future. The event also witnessed the assembly of 2,400 solar lanterns, arranged to create a unique light installation in Tribute to the Late Sheikh Zayed, to commemorate the 100 years since his birth. RedFilo managed and produced the event alongside The Zayed Future Energy Prize.

On behalf of team RedFilo, we are greatly honoured to be appointed the Event Management Agency to execute one of the most challenging events, in the shortest of time lines, to break a Guinness World Record. We would not have been able to achieve this feat, without relentless support from our client, ADSW and Zayed Future Energy Prize. Thank you again for the trust and believing in RedFilo. PACH ANG






he FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 Mobile Roadshow toured over 75 locations and took place over 200 days, making it by far the most comprehensive and innovative fan engagement outreach to be executed in the region. The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 took place between December 6 and 16, 2017 at multiple locations like Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain, and Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The entire progam of the road show was created keeping three key considerations in mind: • • •

Youth, (especially millennials) want to be a part of the action and are not passive fans Converting Participants into Attendees by tapping into their passions Revamping the Fan Engagement experience and instead providing self-identification to interested participants

Flash Entertainment, the Local Organising Committe, transformed the traditional model by identifying a series of linked solutions to create deeper and meaningful fan engagement. Below are some of the key transformations:

The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 Mobile Roadshow Gets Comprehensive, Breaks Tradition

Fan Village

There were two Mobile Roadshows conducted for over 8 months: There were two different touring units constructed, which traveled to over 68 unique locations (45 in Abu Dhabi, 11 in Al Ain, 11 in Dubai, 1 in Sharjah) activating over 200 days. By offering two distinctive units, it enabled Flash Entertainment to re-target fans to play both units to complete all skill challenges, as opposed to a one-off engagement. Extending the duration from a few weeks to eight months of engagement, meant reaching the maximum number of touch points including malls, schools/universities, recreational and professional football academies, large events, public locations, corporates, airports, residential communities, and cultural activities. As the next step, instead of the typical fan zone engagement there was a new model similar to the NFL Combine. The model showcased 12 skill-based games which were individually measurable (Power, Dribbling, Accuracy, Throw-In, Precision, Speed, Save, Passing, Heading, Touch, Reflex, E-Sports) and 6 social activities (Trophy Display, Locker Room, Goal Commentary, Goal Celebration, Goal 180, Dugout). The skill games enabled players to understand how they performed individually by capturing measurable personal results across each football drill and share experiences through social media channels.

Arabian Gulf Legue - Under 12 Challenge



Flash Entertainment also developed a bespoke tracking system: Instead of just providing raw data or comparing it to FIFA Legends scores, there was a special mobile phone app launched which helped create engagement and interaction among fans and their friends. The app also led to


Ultimate Heroes - Michel Salgado

the building of communities based on the users’ interests. The fans were ranked and the numeric gratification led to re-engagement and reward in the form of ‘Ultimate Heroes’ competition and eventually match attendance. For the FIFA CWC 2018 edition of the tournament, Flash Entertainment will focus on app downloads as opposed to direct marketing. This process also helped us indirectly link fan engagement to attendance: Having various classifications enabled us to re-activate each player. Instead of keeping the fan engagement separate from the match day, we re-targeted each player to inform them of the specific skills where they outperformed their communities. By indicating when they were in the Top 10 of a specific skill challenge, we were able to invite all winners back to compete at the Fan Village at the stadium, thus driving maximum conversion to the event. Both Mobile Roadshow units were fully branded with the FIFA Club World Cup branding and served as pop-up advertisement assets in each of the 68 locations visited. Additionally, a nation-wide search for Youth Leaders was rolled out in schools, universities and youth football academies across the UAE, and was open to students aged 10-21 to identify the most passionate fans to serve as grassroots influencers. In their role as FIFA Club World Cup Youth Leaders, participants had four key areas of responsibility encompassing physical and social tasks that help drive interest and create a buzz around the competition in December. “Having hosted the FIFA Club World Cup in 2010, we were aware of the challenges with getting fans to attend matches that didn’t feature their favorite teams, and therefore had to find alternative solutions to revolutionize the approach to getting fans to attend all matches” said LOC Director of Marketing and Communications, Ahmad Al Qubaisi. “Typically when fans participate in actions, they play without any feedback to the purpose. We developed an Android and iPhone app to enable each fan to capture their results and compare their results against friends and their communities against your age group, gender, country or origin and even favorite team fans. In doing so, we were able to re-target each fan to reward their performance and challenge them to become the Ultimate Heroes of each challenge. The activities were designed to be accessible to all ages, gender and skill levels, engaging even non-

FIFA Legends

footballers who set top scores. Notable examples were events with the Dubai Police to bring the Mobile Roadshow to the People of Determination community and at the Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Open where UAE national team football players competed against top LET female golfers. Ultimately, the top performers were rewarded at the venue with prizes, autographs and meet & greet opportunities with football legends” said Taylor Agisim, Head of Experiential and Community for the LOC. “Our approach to fan engagement was on fans active participation to compete and showcase their own football talent, which was linked to a ticket purchase for early-round matches. This proved to be invaluable as we managed to convert an additional 15,000 fans or 70% of fans who purchased a Ticket Vouchers through the Mobile Roadshow to attendance the early-round matches”, said Taylor Agisim, Head of Experiential and Community for the LOC. “The success of this model has inspired FIFA Partners to further collaborate with the LOC to engage the UAE community. Visa were the first sponsor to recognize the opportunity by developing the Visa Dugout to show the Top 50 Goals of the history of the tournament and create exclusive access for their cardholders. Presenting Partner of the tournament, Alibaba developed a bespoke activation using elements of the Mobile Roadshow at the stadium called the Striker Zone and plan on showcasing their technology by advancing the development of the Mobile Phone app for the next tournament and using this as a case study to activating other global sponsorships including their partnership with the Olympics”. Adidas, Mubadala and Etisalat also engaged fans utilizing the platform. “The success of Fan Engagement started with developing deep relationships with each participating community. This started with meeting the Ambassadors of each country and being introduced to the business leaders in the community. In this case, the largest Moroccan companies participating in the Community Leadership patron program to purchase over 3,000 additional tickets and transportation for the Moroccan community living in the UAE to support their country and the team. This created incredible atmosphere that makes football matches fun to witness to see how each culture celebrates and cheers for their teams. For both the FIFA Club World Cup 2018 and AFC Asian Cup 2019, we will leverage each community national pride to drive full stadiums”, said LOC Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, Reeva Bains.





Innovation Hub, a high-profile event ordered directly from HH Mohammed Bind Rashid Center for Innovation was flawlessly planned and executed by Linkviva from February 22-28, 2018 in Dubai. Working hand in hand with the strategy team, Linkviva needed to come up with a core component of this month-long countrywide campaign that touched down in all the 7 Emirates and spread the vision of the leaders of the UAE for future of the country as one of the leading forces in global innovation. A comprehensive omni-channel integrated marketing plan was devised to cover all aspects of the event. Daily coverage in each city and on the road was published on social media, local TV, and newspapers. An elaborate email campaign was also designed to invite people from all walks of life to visit the activities of the Innovation Month in their cities. UAE Innovation Month was envisioned to promote and celebrate the culture of innovation across the nation.

UAE Innovation Month and Closing Ceremony Planned and Executed End-to-End by Linkviva

As the requirement called for a mobile anchor for the UAE Innovation Month to travel across the country throughout the month of February, a modular and easily movable design was needed. The idea had to be unique and never done before by a government entity dovetailing into the overall month-long campaign. And thus, the Innovation Hub was born. A container carrying the message of innovation across the country and playing a central role in attracting visitors, it was a mobile container with an interactive digital wall displaying the plethora of programs during the Innovation Month in the 7 Emirates. Falah, a versatile drone named after HH Shk Zayed Bin Nahyan al Nahyan’s beloved falcon, accompanied the truck capturing footage of the journey starting in Abu Dhabi and coming to a glorious end in Dubai. For the very first time, a government entity used a moveable hub of this kind, containing innovative informational elements as well as an accompanying prototype drone specifically made for the event. Due to the nature of the campaign and the mobility of the Hub itself, logistics proved to be the main challenge. The hub had to be moved to beaches, corniches, forts, and high footfall areas with the accompanying teams. We worked closely with our partners and the client to ensure the Hub was delivered on time, landed safely, and went up and running in virtually no time. There were teams on site at all times to ensure health safety measures were taken appropriately, all the digital elements are available at all times, and visitors have a pleasant and immersive experience all around. Also, due to the highprofile nature of the campaign, frequent visits from the VVIP from across the nation, and high level of media exposure, there was absolutely no room for error. This was overcome by the diligence and meticulous design, execution, orchestration, and management of the event by the parties involved resulting in a flawless event. After the month-long celebration, Linkviva also planned a special Closing Ceremony for the event. The Closing Ceremony of the UAE Innovation Month was envisioned as a celebration to end the month-long UAE Innovation Month festival. Planned to happen in Dubai with the presence of VVIP guests from across the nation and the public, this ceremony was planned to conclude the Innovation Month on a high note and to leave everyone inspired for the months to come.




A targeted marketing campaign was run by the client, HH Mohammed Bind Rashid Center for Innovation, on social media channels to let the public know about the ceremony and invite them to attend this significant event. The VVIP guests were all invited individually through proper channels. There was theatrical show developed along with aggregated content summarizing the eventful month of innovation, all encompassed in an immersive experience in the iconic Dubai City Walk. Hundreds of dignitaries and VVIP guests, people involved in the various aspects of the Innovation Months, and hundreds of spectators attended, and all enjoyed what was called by many guests a spectacular event. The center of the event was a unique theatrical show, which in harmony with other elements, showcased the highlights of the Innovation Month telling the story of innovation the way the leaders of the country have envisioned throughout time. By utilizing the LED panels in the City Walk and displaying video content in an all-encompassing fashion, a striking scene was created. Complemented by elements of sound, scent, the motion of water and the performers, all in sync, the audience were immersed in an unforgettable journey and got inspired by a bright future where a culture of innovation is the centerpiece of advancement of a young nation.

Our team ensured all aspects of the event to the smallest detail were meticulously planned and ready for perfect execution. Given the high-profile nature of the event and the caliber of the VVIP guests, extra measures were taken to guarantee a smooth event away from any possible glitch or imperfection. This event was a major upgrade from the previous year from both content and scale perspectives while receiving a much stronger social buzz. The client is planning to repeat it next year, which is the biggest compliment for us. NIOUSHA EHSAN CEO, LINKVIVA




B Brothers Incorporated Delivers a Stunner of a Show with A.R. Rahman’s ‘Journey’ in Dubai

ROTHERS INCORPORATED, the newly established entity by event professionals Ninad Shah and Rahul Tuljapukar, created history at Bollywood Parks Dubai on January 26, 2018 as the duo hosted ‘The Journey: Celebrating Music with AR Rahman’ Concert in Dubai. The initiative by Brothers Incorporated was produced by MR B LIVE Entertainment with artist management by AKR Events and gave audiences a chance to revel in the iconic Rahman magic and celebrate his 25-year long illustrious lineage in the world of music. The concert was attended by over 19,000 people. Predictably, the concert made it to media headlines and created unprecedented buzz ever since its announcement. With tremendous expectations riding on their debut concert, Brothers Incorporated along with their partners didn’t falter one bit and in fact, delivered a stunner of a show, one that will remain etched in the hearts of Rahman fans for years to come. What made this A.R Rahman Concert significantly better than all other tours and concerts seen in the recent past was the simple fact that this one was headlined by its content together with stellar elements of staging, production, pyros, lights and visual content. The concert stage was 323 feet wide packed with 300 fixtures of intelligent lighting and 20k resolution content. Another highlight of the concert was its supporting acts by supremely talented performers like Neeti Mohan, Benny Dayal, Jonita Gandhi and Javed Ali. Their performances perfectly synched with the background visuals, stunning stage design, enthralling tech and sound structure and flawless execution made the concert such a celestial delight that the audiences didn’t mind sticking around till the very end despite humongous fog and dew.

It has been a herculean task to get things moving in this market. With all that has gone down in the past, Dubai is jaded, jaded by various assumptions, templates and notions of what works, would work or even does not. We started with researching the market basis the back-end and the consumers. We found an opportunity at every step, and we knew weeks before that we are creating a new benchmark. Nothing is easy, but while challenges are a part of any eco-system, there are some which you account for and some you don’t. NINAD SHAH AND RAHUL TULJAPUKAR BROTHERS INCORPORATED



Commenting on the challenges of the project Ninad Shah and Rahul Tuljapukar elaborated, “When we were signing this on, we went into a major discussion on the whys, what’s, when’s and how’s. For starters, we thought about what this means to his fans, to the regular listener, to the world and to us? He is a legend, what more does one want to know for a concert curated by HIM to have success written all over it. It was brain wrecking to find something bigger than AR Rahman himself... and there it was - our country, India; the emotion called patriotism that brings over 1/7th of the world together. We chose Jan 26th and hoped that ARR could close the concert with his iconic tribute to our nation - Vande Mataram! And for the sake of great surprises, the song is extremely close to his heart, and he seldom performs it live; guess what? To our surprise and the 20,000 people that attended, He DID.”


We had an amazing end to 2017 with Encore and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2018 with celebrating AR Rahman’s Journey in Dubai. This was a show replete with multiple challenges and we spent days together planning the minutest of details. With the help of local support, we managed to produce a mammoth set design and a specially curated Hindi show with some splendid performances for the first time ever in Dubai. We are proud to have handled the execution with the logistics, backstage and many other facets to the show along with Brothers Incorporated. BALAJI MANOHARAN






KWAN Signs Actor and Content Creator Danish Sait for Exclusive Management KWAN Entertainment & Marketing Solutions, one of the leading talent management and entertainment marketing company of the country has recently announced signing Actor and Content Creator, Danish Sait for exclusive management. Speaking on the association, Danish Sait comments, “My association with KWAN couldn’t have come at better time. With the kind of work I have been doing be it films, and on stage, I don’t think I could have found a better partner than them as KWAN has been killing it in all these areas with their presence. They rule the roost and are a very well-networked enterprise. I am super excited about the association and looking forward to doing more incredible work.”

Danish Sait

American Pop-Rock Band OneRepublic To Perform in Mumbai On April 21, 2018 Opium Events has recently announced that OneRepublic will be bringing their outstanding live show to India for a headlining concert in April this year! OneRepublic is one of the biggest pop rock bands in the world to visit the sub-continent, making it a raison d’être of merriment, just as Coldplay enthralled Indian fans in the recent past.

Cyrus Gorimar

Director, Opium Events And Production

Cyrus Gorimar, Director, Opium Events And Production and an avid rock musician states, “Our preregistrations have seen a phenomenal response with more than 10,000 registrations received in a span of 24 hours and we are anticipating close to 15,000 fans for the event. The production and scale of the event will be extraordinary with a multi-crore spend invested into the event.”

Imagica Theme and Water Park Witnesses India’s Longest Holi Bash Managed By Media Solutions One of India’s biggest and the longest Holi Bash was hosted at Imagica Theme Park and Water Park from March 2 to March 4, 2018. The three days of fun and entertainment extravaganza featured popular headliner DJ of India - DJ Lloyd – The Bombay Bounce, Superstar singer and live performer – Ramji Gulati, and the top of the chart Diva DJs like DJ Amour, DJ Piyu, DJ Lil B who got the crowd up and dancing. “Imagica offers a huge variety of opportunities for Events and Brand Associations. As Strategic Partners, we are absolutely delighted and honoured to be a part of this prestigious project”, Shubhro Maity - Official Spokesperson for Media Solutions quoted.

Shubhro Maity

Official Spokesperson for Media Solutions

Brace Yourselves for a Spectacular Broadway-Style Musical ‘Disney’s Aladdin’ After the staggering success of Beauty and The Beast, Disney’s Aladdin, the classic fantasy production will be reimagined and developed by the best of Indian talent to make it locally relevant, without losing the original essence of the Broadway show. This time, India will locally produce a completely original, non-replica version of Aladdin the musical which promises to set new standards for live entertainment in our country.

Ashish Hemrajani, Abhishek Maheshwari and Vikranth Pawar introduce Disney’s Aladdin in India.


“Disney’s Aladdin will be reimagined locally with an all Indian cast and creative talent. The story of Aladdin has universal appeal and is highly popular with the Indian audiences. The musical is an entertaining celebration of Aladdin’s love for Jasmine and his friendship with Genie. This thrilling new production filled with magic, humor and breathtaking spectacle will transport fans to a whole new world,” said Vikranth Pawar, Head - Live Entertainment and Local Content Studio, Disney India.




After Justin Bieber, White Fox India Brings ‘Cheerleader’ Singer OMI to India For Debut Tour White Fox India, the New Delhi Based event management outfit that grabbed headlines when they brought Justin Bieber to the country for the very first time is gearing up to bring OMI to India for a debut showcase. OMI’s debut India tour took place on February 23 at Kitty Su Mumbai, February 24 at Privee New Delhi, and February 25 in Hyderabad at Artistrey. Adding on Arjun Jain, Founder, White Fox India states, “OMI has a huge fan following in India and after a lot of fan requests we decided to bring him to the sub-continent for the very first time. In addition, this year we plan to host a bouquet of commercial acts who haven’t performed in the country before.” Arjun Jain

Founder, White Fox India

BACARDI House Party Sessions Launches Single ‘Chak Bass’ By MojoJojo After making music aficionados ride the wave during NH7 year-on-year, BACARDI partnered OML to hunt for new talent. Emerging as one of the winners, MojoJojo stole the show with his epic track - Chak Bass.

Anshuman Goenka

Marketing Head BACARDÍ India

Commenting on the Sessions campaign, Anshuman Goenka, Marketing Head, BACARDÍ India says, “We are extremely excited to announce the launch of the second track - Chak Bass by MojoJojo. We are sure that this track will be equally loved by our audience and get us closer to our goal of bringing on board the right mix of experiences and opportunities to take the house party culture a notch higher in the music space. As a constant endeavor, we will continue to discover more such talented artists and help them along their journey. We have been globally known to foster talent and would like to reiterate our commitment to the world of music through BACARDÍ House Party Sessions.”

Probability Sports Ropes in Cricket Legend Sachin Tendulkar as Ambassador of T20 Mumbai League Probability Sports India (a consortium of Probability Sports and Wizcraft International) recently announced cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as Brand Ambassador of the T20 Mumbai League. The city-based T20 Mumbai League, conducted with the approval and sanction of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and under its aegis, is a much-awaited sporting event with six teams participating in the inaugural season. Sachin Tendulkar, League Ambassador said, “Being associated with the T20 Mumbai League and motivating these young players is an honour for me. The Mumbai brand of cricket is iconic and has stood the test of time through decades.”

Mumbai Shopping Festival To Be Annual Event As OMCPL And MTDC Gear Up For The Second Edition The first edition of the Mumbai Shopping Festival 2018 recently came to an end but not without setting the bar high for the future editions. The joint IP between OMCPL and the Government of Maharashtra with Hon. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as its Brand Ambassador managed to create excitement among the Mumbuykars with thousands of brands enthralling millions of visitors at the festival.

Rahul Gomes

Managing Director of OMCPL and Chief Curator of MSF

Rahul Gomes Managing Director of OMCPL and Chief Curator of MSF said, “We knew that we were making history with the MSF being the first of its kind in India. We are proud to have achieved this and will continue building this year on year with a vision of making this into the largest shopping festival in the WORLD.”




Cineyug Keeps the Entertainment Quotient High at Umang– The Mumbai Police Show The Mumbai Police Show – Umang is an annual charity show organised by the Mumbai Police for the police force and their families. On this day celebrities perform to entertain the police force and to show their appreciation and gratitude to the police for the support and protection they provide. The event this year witnessed the biggest names in Bollywood attend, interact and perform in the starry night. Among the names were Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Prabhudeva, Shreyas Talpade, Rohit Shetty, Kangana Ranaut, Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, and many more.

It is an extreme honour to be associated with Umang, which has helped recognise the real superheroes of our society, the police force. I would also like to thank the Mumbai Police for choosing us for an event of this scale, and we hope this is the beginning of a long-lasting association. It definitely adds our growing repertoire and motivates us to keep bettering ourselves every day. MAZHAR NADIADWALA MD, DOME ENTERTAINMENT




Actor Amitabh Bachchan and far right Mr. Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media

Nykaa Femina Beauty Awards 2018 Celebrates the Best in the Beauty Industry

Disha Patani on-stage with the award

Tanya Chaitanya, Editor, Femina, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Mr. Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media

Falguni Nayar, CEO, Nykaa.com, Tanya Chaitanya, Editor, Femina, Actress Rekha with the award

Femina, one of India’s largest women’s brand and Nykaa. com, one of the country’s foremost online beauty retailer collaborated to host the fourth edition of Nykaa Femina Beauty Awards 2018. The beauty awards managed by Fountainhead MKTG took place on February 15th, 2018 at JW Marriott, Mumbai, acknowledging the best beauty products and brands across a gamut of categories in the world of makeup and lifestyle products.

Nykaa.com is proud to partner with Femina to present one of India’s largest consumer driven awards. As the foremost beauty retailer in the online space, it is our privilege to educate consumers and fuel the growth of the beauty industry in India. These awards, where our customers and Femina’s readers, voted for their favorite products, gives us an opportunity to amplify the voices of consumers and celebrate the level of awareness for beauty in India. For a consumer driven platform like Nykaa, Femina is a natural partner–with their enormous footprint and distribution perspective, we share a synergistic vision. FALGUNI NAYAR CEO, NYKAA.COM



Vh1 Supersonic

6 LIVE Events & Festivals That Made Headlines This Season


he year 2018 is off to a celebratory start for the Indian events industry as the first quarter of year itself has seen a variety of LIVE events and music festivals being served to the audiences. The events have not only raised the bar when it comes to standards of successful execution but also in terms of ticket sales and positive reception from the audiences. Clearly, if there is ever a right time to be in LIVE events space in India, it is Now! In this exclusive feature at ExM, we look back at 6 LIVE Events and Festivals that have given the year 2018, the kick-start it rightfully deserves. Vh1 Supersonic Music lovers across the country thronged to Pune from February 9-11, 2018 as India’s biggest multi-genre music festival Vh1 Supersonic hosted the party of the year led with phenomenal performances by artists like Marshmello, Major Lazer, Sean Paul, Incubus, Nucleya, and others. Driven by a spectacular production, staging and sound set-up, the festival over the 3 days of its organising saw over 80,000 people in the audience rooting, cheering and applauding as psychedelic performances unfurled at different stages throughout the festival.

This has definitely been one of the most exciting and satisfying editions of Vh1 Supersonic. The response to the festival this year exceeded our expectations with the crowd size more than doubling from last year. Right from the phenomenal response to the line-up, music, and ambiance, everything worked brilliantly for us. With such an amazing turnout, we simply could not have asked for more. What was truly exciting was that even the artists enjoyed the festival and indulged in various experiences. To all those who made it to the festival, thank you for being there and making this larger than life! SAUGATO BHOWMIK Business Head–Integrated Network Solutions and

One of the many highlights of Vh1 Supersonic this year apart from the star-studded artist lineup was the experiential zones by brands like Fastrack, Airtel DTH as well as specially curated grub zone that served an array to cuisines for the festival audiences. The breakout zones, as well as the art installations by the students of the Symbiosis College Pune, gave Vh1 Supersonic a character of its own that enthralled the audiences.



Consumer Products, Viacom18

Bollywood Music Project

Bollywood Music Project The Delhi edition of Gaana Bollywood Music Project, Asia’s largest multi-genre Bollywood music festival, took off for the 2nd time at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Grounds on January 27 and 28, 2018 with a line-up featuring some of the biggest names in Bollywood music across genres. The festival is a property of Event Capital, (a Laqshya Media Group Company) and TM Talent Management. The second season of Gaana Bollywood Music Project was headlined by multifaceted Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar who was seen performing with his rock band Farhan Live and the multi-talented film director, screenwriter, producer, music composer and playback singer Vishal Bhardwaj. Comprising of over 50 iconic artists and supported by over 200 musicians, the festival showcased an array of music genres like Funk, Qawwali, Commercial, Folk, Punjabi, Rap, Sufi, and Pop. Other artists performing this season of the festival included Guru Randhawa, Raftaar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Shalmali Kholgade, The Suryansh Project, Rock Qawwali ft Farhan Sabri, Paras Maan & Prithvi Gandharv, Ashish Chhabra, Milind Gaba-Mellow D, Zephyr & Simar Kaur, and Zublee Baruah ft. Gaurav Dutta & Goldie Sohel among others.

I am so proud to be a part of the BMP family. I would like to thank all the singers, composers, musicians and the entire Bollywood music fraternity that has helped us grow. The response from the audience has been very pleasing. We are now looking forward to bigger and better shows in the future. TARSAME MITTAL

Ranthambore Festival Ranthambore Festival 2018 combined music, nature and wellbeing experiences to offer attendees a highly interactive and immersive cultural and nature experience that made it unlike any festival offering in the country. Held at the grand Nahargarh Palace, Ranthambore, the not-for-profit cultural festival was organised by the Puqaar Foundation, in association with BookASmile, the charity initiative of BookMyShow and First Stone.

Founder, TM Talent Management

A ticketed event in 2018, unlike its debut edition, Ranthambore Festival attracted patrons of the arts from all over Rajasthan and from cities like Delhi and Mumbai. More than 1,000 people over three days immersed themselves into a weekend packed with moonlit performances, wildlife screenings, thrilling experiential activities like tiger safaris, heritage bicycle tour, drum circles, stargazing with local tribal interpretations, secret royal suppers, whiskey tastings and more. APRIL–JUNE 2018 EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING


Ranthambore Festival

While Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar understandably got the crowd excited on Day One of the festival with his covers of hits by The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan, the real star of the weekend was the 12-person nagara ensemble led by Nathulal Ji Solanki (Ajmer) that not only got the BookASmile Hathikund main stage dancing but weren’t let off without an encore, on Saturday night. Other notable performances over the weekend at the Hathikund were by Israeli trio Faran Ensemble, Bangladeshi musician Labik Kamal, international world music ensemble Trio Benares from Germany, Bollywood singer Rochak Kohli and acoustic world folk jam band from Kolkata, Fiddler’s Green. Apart from the stunning music and dance performances, there were a host of exciting interactive activities at the festival like guided drum circles, heritage walks, hot air balloon rides, tiger safaris, photography workshop by acclaimed wildlife photographer Aditya Dicky Singh at the Jeep Garden, that thanks to great weather always had people milling about. An exciting addition this year was the BookASmile Experience Zone that hosted a series of vibrant and interactive workshops, such as block printing, pottery and toy making workshops, as well as a series of ancient folk instrument revival workshops – featuring masterclasses on how to play the khartaal and bhapang, conducted by maestros Imamuddim Khan, and Mehmood and Yusuf Khan respectively. Holi Moo! Listed as one of the world’s best festivals to experience in 2018 by USA Today, this years’ edition of the Holi Moo! took place on March 2, 2018, at Asiad Village Lawns in Delhi. Like every year, this year too Holi Moo! featured multiple stages showcasing different genres of music – world music, indie, electronica, and hip-hop. The opening act of the festival, on THAT stage, hosted percussionists from different parts of the world, introducing people to some of the world’s oldest instruments from the Peruvian Cajon and the Aboriginal didgeridoo beating to the chants of ‘Anke dje Anke



Ranthambore Festival is bringing forth India’s true grassroot culture and shining a spotlight on local folk artists. While the festival is designed to deliver a fantastic entertainment experience, it is also a platform that protects and preserves both local culture and wildlife. USTAD MA ZILA KHAN Festival Director, Ranthambore Festival

Holi Moo!

be’ (everyone gather together in peace) on the West African Djembe. Curated by Ethno India founder Suchet Malhotra, the World Drum Ensemble featured drums and India (Rajasthan and Punjab), Cuba, Peru, Spain, Iran, Egypt, Guinea, West Africa and Ghana. Performances on THAT stage also included The Breathpulse Trio, headliners of the World Mouth Harp Festival in India and Tritha and Friends, wherein Baul artists collaborated with French musicians and classical dancers to weave a unique, colorful, world-folk musical story. The indie stage named THIS stage, which has over the years showcased new sounds and collaborations will feature a special tribute to Old Monk, curated by Paul Schneiter and Sarabjit Chadha. An ever-evolving collaboration, Jacques in the Box will feature with writer/poet Palash Krishna Mehrotra, pianist Stefan Kaye, vocalist Dhawal Mudgal and many more. The electronica stage, called WHICH stage was against the backdrop of a 13th-century monument and was headlined by one of India’s most popular dance music DJ and producers, BLOT! as well as a back-to-back set featuring Tech Panda and Kenzani, Galelio Goggle and Which Brew? The fourth stage or WHAT stage introduced a colorful smattering of the sounds of hiphop through popular Delhi DJs like DJ Rufu Mofu and DJ Gags among others. The essential Holi Moo! the to-do list in 2018 included playing with eco-friendly, organic gulaal (available in abundance) and taking a dip in the inflatable pools dotted around the venue. Stilt walkers, roving minstrels and dhol performers added to the festive fervor, while attendees got to savor traditional Holi delicacies and international culinary favorites in an environment that was safe, secure and welcoming for all age groups. Specially-crafted colorful cocktails for the weekend were a big draw at the bars, much like the herbal concoctions that the festival is known for.

The 12th edition of Holi Moo! Festival was the biggest and the most successful one till date attended by 5,000 plus people from over 62 nationalities. Expats and travelers comprised of over 60 percent of attendees making it a truly global phenomenon! Over the years, the festival has successfully recalibrated the traditional way in which Holi is celebrated. We have contemporized the experience to create a wider appeal for a celebration that helps it transcend race, ethnicity, religion, and nationality. This edition not only saw a large contingent of festival-goers attend the festival from countries such as USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia as one would expect but also from countries like Peru, Tunisia, Romania, Hungry, Congo, Estonia rightfully placing Holi Moo! as one of the top festivals around the World that shouldn’t be missed! ANSHUMAN GHULATI Director, Trifecta Entertainment and Festival



Times Travel Show and Backpackers Summit 2018

Times Travel Show and Backpackers Summit 2018 Event Capital introduced a first of its kind travel exhibition titled the Times Travel Show and Backpackers Summit 2018. The event was held on February 24-25, 2018 at MMRDA Grounds, BKC Mumbai. The Times Travel Show was curated to offer travelers, leisure travelers, backpackers, holiday travelers, adventures, trade members, trade professionals, business travelers and corporate MICE a platform to witness the offerings made by various travel agents, hotels/resorts, Airlines, Cruise Liners and many more. Close to 45 exhibitors showcased their destinations and varied tourism products in beautifully appointed stalls and pavilions. The two-day travel show also attracted excellent response with more than 10,000 walk-ins under one roof. The Times Travel Show witnessed a host of industry leaders from the hospitality and travel industry, who gave visitors a broadened outlook towards domestic and international travel. The Backpackers Summit 2018 was also held at the Times Travel Show. There were panel discussions conducted on the topics like Making Travel Accessible for the disabled, Adrenaline Seekers: The Adventure Landscape in India, Thought Leaders & Travel Entrepreneurs, New Age Tourism Marketing, The Need of the Hour: Sustainable & Symbiotic Eco-Tourism and Experiential Travel is the Future.

With the Times Travel Show, Event Capital has ventured into the travel space. The Indian travel industry is skyrocketing and we are glad to have stepped in at the right time. This show has been a single stop for all those interested in travel, irrespective of how they travel. From a backpacker to a luxury traveler to an adventure junkie; we reached out to everyone. DEEPAK CHOUDHARY Co-Founder & Director, Event Capital

Some of the key speakers like Prahalad Kakkar, Founder – Lacadives; Bittu Sahgal (Editor, Sanctuary Asia and Founder, Sanctuary Nature Foundation); Mitali Kakkar (founder of Reef Watch Marine Conservation and member of the governing body of Wildlife Institute of India); Divyanshu Ganatra, Visually Challenged Paraglider & Cyclist, Founder- Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation; Rashmi Chadha, Wovoyage - Making India safe for Solo women travellers and women groups; Archana Sardana, First female Indian civilian base jumper & skydiver; Yashas Mitta, Co-Founder - Mukha & Untold; Sarvesh Shrivastava, Musician- Travels to collaborate and create culturally influenced music and many more also shared their experiences with the visitors. The visitors also enjoyed screenings of some of the most interesting travel movies and documentaries like North and Sun, The largest cave on the earth, Breather, The Forest 28


SulaFest 2018

Man, Twenty Eight Feet, and Hit the Road. There were exciting master classes curated to empower the travelers, some of them were on how to backpack across Europe, Underwater Magic, Wheels and Tail (traveling with pets), Explore the magical world of sailing, how to compose a great picture in the Wild and many more. To give the adrenaline rush to the visitors there was an adventure zone organized by Event Capital where sports like Rock Climbing, Air Rifle Shooting, Segway, Body Zorb, Dart, Bungee Run, Zorb Roller, Slackline act, and origami were conducted for the visitors. SulaFest 2018 With an aspiration to break boundaries and set new milestones as India’s leading Gourmet World Music Festival, SulaFest 2018 was the 11th edition of the two-day music, food, and wine extravaganza. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Sula’s own lush vineyards the festival gave audiences a unique experience of the best from the worlds of music, food, and wine. The vineyards were brought to life with culinary and cultural experiences that left fest-goers with memories to cherish for a lifetime. This year fest-goers swayed to the tunes of over 100 artists including Bollywood sensation Amit Trivedi who set the stage on fire and wowed his rapt audience. Electrifying performances by internationally celebrated artists including Gypsy Hill, electronic-folk band Crystal Fighters, Austrian music producer and performing artist Parov Stellar and vocal groove band Bauchklang also left the audiences spellbound.

What an incredible weekend! Fantastic to see the vineyards packed with fest-goers yet again. It is always such a delight to open our doors for SulaFest and seeing so many people having such a great time makes it all worthwhile! I am immensely grateful to all our partners and the artists for the part they play in SulaFest but of course, it is the audience that makes it such a great experience. I am sure they have all gone away with more SulaFest memories just as I have. RAJEEV SAMANT

Whilst music enthusiasts had their passion satiated by performances on the 2 stages, food and drink connoisseurs indulged their senses and taste buds with some of the finest flavors from across the world.

CEO & Founder of Sula Vineyards

The gourmet food spread gave fest-goers the chance to gorge on a range of scrumptious cuisines including Oriental, Mughlai, Indian and Italian amongst others. In addition to award-winning wines from Sula (including their 3 recent Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards 2018 gold medal winners), brands such as Beluga, Hardys, Mud House, Kumala, Asahi, Cointreau, Highland Queen and Pitu Cachaca added to the global soul of the festival. APRIL–JUNE 2018 EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING



Bacardi’s Anshuman Goenka Decodes Bacardi House Party SessionsCampaign with A Heart


nown for its clutter-breaking and thoroughly immersive brand campaigns, Bacardi India has always been amongst the leaders of the experiential marketing in India. The latest campaign from the brand stable ‘Bacardi House Party Sessions’ is a sincere effort on the part of the spirits company to bring the music and marketing ecosystem together. In an exclusive interaction with ExM, Anshuman Goenka, Marketing Head, Bacardi shares with us details and rationale behind the latest brand narrative. How did the Bacardi House Party Sessions come about? Bacardi House Party is a campaign we came up with a year and a half ago. It was based on a concept where house parties were getting culturally quite relevant in the country and we wanted to tap into this big consumption space that was getting created in the market. The biggest challenge we faced was the question of how could we get into this occasion? Bacardi has always been a party brand and been associated with the lively culture. The party scene has been a legacy for us. Good music is the key recipe for a great house party. It was very easy for us to connect the dots because the party legacy continues to be in music and then in building this occasion through house parties, we’ve managed to connect the two to bring alive a campaign idea that not just has music at the heart of it but also has a consumption occasion that is around house parties that results in commercial values for the brand as well. How does music lend to the brand? Music is a legacy for the brand Bacardi. For over the last two decades, Bacardi has been associated with music, ever since the brand entered the country - in the 90s, there was the Bacardi Blast, to now where there is the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Music Festival. As we work in a country with such diverse backgrounds, cultures, people, is that one common thread that just binds everybody together. At its pace, it’s really worked for the brand. Within our category, probably even outside our category, Bacardi is always considered to be one of the pioneers, as far as music is concerned. Today Bacardi House Party sessions is at the epitome of that space.



Is Bacardi trying to make some difference in the music space along with increasing consumption footfall? Bacardi House Party is India’s first only credible hunt for the next set of musicians alongside providing the winners with a platform where they can say they performed at the Weekender Music Festival. Our partners AIB and Nucleya bring in the reach, aiding with the visibility and credibility. The three of us created the Bacardi House Party Sessions and our endeavor is over the course of this campaign we will identify 4 artists and we will help them create their first music track and music video. The first two have met astounding success and now there are two more to go. As a campaign, Bacardi House Party Sessions reinforces Bacardi’s play in music and I don’t think there is any other brand that is doing so much in music and in such a credible and a scalable manner. That’s what differentiates Bacardi as far as music is concerned. Take us through Bacardi’s outlook for 2018. 2018 is a bright new year and it has a bright new future. Through all of last year we’ve emerged as the fastest growing international spirits company in India and I think that the testimony to how we approach our brands, our marketing and we’ve got the right brand, the right platform, the right occassion and all of it coming together to actually create experiences for the consumer and which is why 2018 will be a year of consistency where we will continue to invest behind these platforms that we’ve created, make it more culturally relevant as we go along, and through that we will emerge to be victorious in 2018. Anything new on the radar for Bacardi in India? The whiskey portfolio has been doing really great – William Lawson’s and Dewars both have made inroads into multiple states. Lawson’s is now available in 18 states, Dewars in 12 so we’re going truly national with the two brands. We’ve had a good year in innovations as we’ve launched premium versions of our brands like Grey Goose Vodka launched with Bombay Sapphire, Star of Bombay, premium versions of Dewars. We’ve entered the sparkling wines space with Martini Prosecco. The portfolio has really come a full circle

ENTERTAINMENT / MARKET PULSE as we’re now present in every premium segment in every category. That’s what is helping us drive our portfolio a lot harder in terms of helping us plan ahead in terms of visibility, make these platforms a lot more scalable. We are going to continue this journey. Of course, at the back of it, we have a global portfolio of over 2,000 brands. As and when we see an opportunity, we will bring in the right portfolio. Talking about the market share, we have the availability and the fortune of having segmented leadership today. Bacardi Rums has 97 percent volume share in premium rums. Breezer has about 97 percent share in RTDs, Grey Goose has 55 percent share in super-premium vodka, Bombay Sak is a market leader in Gins, our brand is fairly well established in each of these categories. A year and a half ago, Bacardi rums crossed 1 million cases. Bacardi rums this year is the number one international spirits brand in the country on a volume basis. Guide us through the marketing plans for the year. Tier II and Tier III markets will be a growth driver going forward. Bacardi Rums and Breezer will be the spaces marketing will be focused on. We’re investing in both quite heavily and along with the Breezer Vivid Shuffle which is India’s first dance and hip-hop music platform. With Scotch, there’s the new investment bid we’re making. We’re tapping the digital space, working closely with influencers and content creators. Partnering with such big stalwarts like AIB and Kanan and Kenny and Abhish and the kind of reach we want. It’s really come a full circle and then we also use the creators to solve the issue and add value to our onground experiences.





he inaugural edition of Luxury Lifestyle Weekend (LLW), a platform devoted to bringing together luxury brands and their consumers, culminated on March 11, 2018 at the Jio Gardens in Mumbai. Devised and produced by luxury consultancy and experiential serviceprovider, Magnanimous Group, the platform showcased one-of-a-kind interactive experiences across 10 categories of brands. To celebrate the launch, the LLW team, together with Atout France (the France Tourism Development Agency), and La Vallée Village (a member of the Bicester Village Shopping Collection), hosted a vibrant Opening Evening at the venue on March 9th, 2018. Through a Parisian themed soirée, guests were invited to enjoy the musical stylings of Natty Congeroo and The Flames of Rhythm (one of Europe’s leading swing bands). The evening also saw a performance by powerhouse singer and young style icon Ananya Birla. Rounding off the evening was an exclusive fashion showcase by the talented, young designer Gabriella Demetriades, and her eponymous label Deme.

In the Lap of Luxury: Low-Down from the Debut Edition of Luxury Lifestyle Weekend 2018 Actors Rhea Chakraborty, Mandana Kareemi, Vasuki Punj, and Sonalika Sahay sashayed down the runway in key looks from Deme’s capsule collection created exclusively for LLW and in homage to the start of the Spring-Summer season. Other guests at the event included Neerja Birla, Pratima and Gaurav Bhatia, Jaspreet Chandok, Vikram Raizada, Milan Luthria, amongst others.

The Luxury Lifestyle Weekend promises three days of exclusive, never-seen-before luxury experiences. As much as luxury is about products, it is also about intangible nuances that inspire, delight and amaze you. With Luxury Lifestyle Weekend, we have curated experiential that will help existing and aspiring consumers of luxury engage and connect with the brands more deeply than ever before. Every brand has presented an engagement that will encourage all guests to go beyond browsing and deep-dive into the story and philosophy behind a product. AKASH SHETH MANAGING DIRECTOR, LUXURY LIFESTYLE WEEKEND



As part of the celebrations, LLW also hosted a charity brunch on March 11th, 2018 in collaboration with the Elephant Parade. As part of the platform’s objective of promoting Luxury with a Purpose, guests viewed 32 elephants across the three days of the event. Created by artists and celebrities, each elephant sculpture was a unique art piece that raised awareness for the endangered Asian elephant. Singer and Music Director, Shankar Mahadevan regaled guests with his enthralling performance. The last day of the Weekend saw guests, including Atul Ruia, Harsh Goenka, Reena and Ashok Wadhwa, Ekta Raheja, Sharmila Tagore, Schauna Chauhan, Kalyani Saha, Kintu and Kishore Bajaj, Kanika Kapoor, Gayatri Rangachari Shah, Koel Purie, Monika Garware and Sangita Kathiawada, to name a few attend the luxury expo. Presenting an intimate visual layout, LLW worked with eminent architect Rooshad Shroff to transform the venue to present both expanse and experience for guests. Over 100 Indian and international luxury brands set up bespoke pop-up experiences across verticals like Art, Automobiles, Decor, Real-Estate, Hospitality, Jewelry and Watches, at the event.


Ananya Birla

Gauri Devidayal

Kanika Kapoor

Atul Ruia

Gayatri Rangachari Shah

Shankar Mahadevan

Vikram Raizada

Gabriela Demetriades

Nirja Birla



Image Courtesy : Showtimeevents


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Star Announces Re.Imagine Awards During VIVO IPL 2018 To Celebrate Excellence in Advertising Star India has recently announced the Star Re.Imagine Awards, an award that will recognise creativity and innovation in the use of integrated media in advertising campaigns aired during the VIVO IPL 2018 on Star Sports and Hotstar. Gayatri Yadav, Head Consumer Strategy & Innovation, Star India, notes, “Star Re.imagine Awards is a first of its kind initiative that will celebrate and recognise creativity & the integrated use of media on this the largest stage of any campaign. Recognizing that great campaigns are powered by great teamwork the award will celebrate members of the integrated team across marketing, creative and media, who will be hosted for a premier global sporting event. We hope to make Star Re.imagine Awards the space where new legends will be born!”

Gayatri Yadav

Head Consumer Strategy & Innovation, Star India

Nexus Malls And EG! Spread Bear Hugs Through Special Valentine’s Day Activation Nexus Mall chain partnered with brand activation and experiential marketing agency EG! for a special Valentine’s Day activity. The day of love and romance got reinvented and became all-inclusive when children, couples, parents, older folk -- all were touched by the Valentine festivities generating priceless smiles and good cheer.

Vjay Dewan

Chief Creative Guardian EG!

Vjay Dewan, Chief Creative Guardian, EG! said, “As a creative house, we always seek to create experiences that are not only unique and relevant for the customer but also make a strong brand connect. So, for Nexus Malls, we chose to ‘humanize’ a metaphor of love from childhood – the Teddy – and added to it a lot of melodrama, antics, and romance! The result has been as ‘Cupid’ as it gets!”

Kokuyo Camlin Associates with Yash Raj Films to Host ‘Hichki Teachers Award’ Kokuyo Camlin, the premier stationery brand recently associated with Yash Raj Films’ upcoming Hindi movie ‘Hichki’ to host ‘Hichki Teachers Award’ and felicitate over 300 teachers from more than 250 schools in Mumbai. The lead actress of the movie, Rani Mukerji honored these teachers at a glittering ceremony held at Yash Raj Films Studios. Manan Mehta, VP Marketing and Merchandising, Yash Raj Films said, “Our endeavor with this initiative was primarily to recognise this humble profession of teaching and secondly to show our film first to this noble teacher’s community and get to understand what they felt after watching it. We are delighted to share that the movie was very well-received by the 319 school teachers and principals representing 250 plus schools.”

‘ET Edge Maharashtra Achievers’ Awards 2018’ Celebrates Accomplishments of Achievers from the State The first edition of ‘ET Edge Maharashtra Achievers’ Awards 2018’ celebrated the luminaries across the field of Business, Cinema, Sports and many more, who have made Maharashtra proud. The awards ceremony was held at St. Regis, Mumbai and was managed by NetSurf Entertainment. (L-R) Tanya Chaitanya, Editor, Femina, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Mr. Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media


Tanya Chaitanya, Chief Community Officer and Editor, Femina said, “Femina has been known to empower women and highlight the exceptional talent among individuals through its various dedicated properties. Joining hands with ET Edge for the 1st edition of Maharashtra Achievers’ Awards 2018 is yet another step in leveraging our expertise in this field and be a part of another path-breaking concept.”




Dabur Red Paste Partners Impact Communication to Engage Devotees at Magh Mela 2018 Sangam Snan is a holy dip is taken by millions of pilgrims visiting the Mela from across the country. It is believed that through this ritual a devotee can wash away their sins and attain ‘Moksha’. Hinging on this insight and taking forward the tradition, Dabur Red Paste partnered with Impact Communications to service the pilgrims in Magh Mela 2018 by deploying an Oral Hygiene Zone at a prominent location to cater to the captive audience. “Appetite of the rural consumer for more enticing activations has increased with the changing times. The technological intervention of musical Om Chants aided the campaign reach and was the high point of our concept”- said Nidhi Singh, COO Impact Communication.

Nidhi Singh

COO Impact Communication

Bajaj Electricals Activates Sponsorship At Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2018 Via Creative Installations Bajaj Electricals Ltd. has partnered with the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2018 for the second consecutive year as the presenting sponsor. Bajaj Electricals integration with the festival aims to support the ‘go-green’ theme and strengthen its connection with the youth. Anant Bajaj, JMD, Bajaj Electricals, speaking about the event said, “We are extremely delighted to be associated with Kala Ghoda festival for the second time. It is a one-stop destination for people interested in art, culture, and literature. This partnership will strengthen our ties with the youth and reinforce our brand ethos, providing us a platform to drive the message of eco-friendliness and preservance of nature. Anant Bajaj

JMD, Bajaj Electricals

HIL Ltd. Announces First-Ever Partnership With Team Chennai Super Kings For IPL 2018 HIL Ltd. has announced the first-ever association with Indian Premier League 2018 and has partnered with Chennai Super Kings team. As a part of this partnership, all the CSK players’ uniforms will carry HIL company logo as well as its Super brands Birla Aerocon and Charminar logos. Commenting on the association Dhirup Roy Choudhary, MD & CEO, HIL Limited, said, “We are excited to partner with Chennai Super Kings, which has emerged as champions over the years and look forward to the upcoming IPL season in 2018. We truly believe both the teams, HIL and CSK are champion brands, and this association is an exciting platform to establish the same.

Dhirup Roy Choudhary

MD & CEO, HIL Limited

Think Events Manages the Press Launch of ‘The Test Case’ by ALTBalaji The Test Case is a new web-series under the banner of ALTBalaji – a subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Ltd. The web-series is a story which portrays preparation of Indian Army’s first female test case in a combat role. “Think Events team had set its agenda to construct a coherent execution of all elements keeping in mind the elegance of the web series which was depicted across all the collaterals. For the press conference, the plan was to keep it simple & keep the focus on the web series”, said Sushant Bhat, General Manager, Think Events.



BRAND MARKETING / #TheMarketingTalk



iller, the denim brand from one of the biggest fashion houses in India Kewal Kiran Clothing Ltd. recently acquired the presenting rights for Ekta Kapoor’s Box Cricket League (BCL) 2018 - Season 3. BCL is a tournament of celebrity cricket matches that are played amongst 10 teams including Mumbai Tigers, Ahmedabad Express, Jaipur Raj Joshiley, Kota Royals and Chandigarh Cubs, Delhi Dragons, Lucknow Nawabs, Chennai Swaggers, Kolkata Babu Moshayes, and Goa Killer. In an exclusive interview with ExM, Vikas Jain, Director, Kewal Kiran Clothing Ltd reveals more details about the marketing strategy of the brand and their marketing budgets. How did the association with Box Cricket League come through and what was the rationale behind it? Killer is a brand for the Youth and Box Cricket League is clutter breaking content, giving the audience a dramatic sports extravaganza, making it a perfect association for the brand to connect with the youth. Is the brand planning any activations or on-ground experiences as part of the league? The target audience for Killer is the Tier 2 and Tier 3 Market youth for which Digital is the best medium of engagement and capturing attention. So, with the league, we have also rolled out digital contests and video campaigns for the audiences.


Director, Kewal Kiran Clothing Ltd

Given that this is our first year of association with the league we want to invest in the year one and probably next year is when we will have an enhanced participation in terms of customer engagement.

What is the marketing budget for Killer and how is it allocated across different marketing mediums?

Most other brands that are competing with Killer in the market have transformed their marketing strategy and are now using more of experiential marketing and event-based campaigns. Is Killer following the same strategy?

This year we had the marketing budget of INR 22 Cr. out of which Digital as a medium is given priority. We also use Newspapers, OOH, and BTL to market ourselves. What we have noticed over the years is that TV as a medium of marketing has completely lost out its steam.

For us digital is the most important medium of communication and engagement as part of the overall marketing strategy. Events and BTL are important too as traditional media is on its way out in the modern marketing ecosystem. We heavily use IPR’s for other brands under our umbrella like - Integrity, Lawman Page 3 and others.

Any upcoming campaigns from the brand stable in the year ahead?



Yes, there are multiple campaigns and brand narratives in the pipeline that we are very excited about. 2018 promises to be a big year for us as the new marketing budgets will also come in place this financial year.

BRAND MARKETING / #TheMarketingTalk



yundai Motor India Limited recently launched a social media campaign– Women#Men to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2018. As part of the campaign, the brand announced special service initiatives for its women customers. These benefits included a Do-It-Yourself Session on March 10th conducted at all Hyundai dealerships and the Regional Training Centers. Speaking exclusively to ExM, Puneet Anand, Sr. General Manager, Group Head-Marketing, Hyundai Motor India spills beans on the marketing strategy of the brand. How important is experiential marketing to your brand and how are you using the medium? For Hyundai, Experience is what we offer to our customers and Engagement is something that we drive through Experiential marketing. For Hyundai, Experiential Marketing is a way to Engage Customers, Immerse Customers and Help Deliver our Promise. We believe that push advertising no longer works now and there is a genuine need to create meaningful connections with the customers. Hyundai started Experience Hyundai campaign on the same lines, way before in 2015. The campaign is focused on engaging customers at every level right from purchasing the product, to enhance brand experience and after-sales service. What comprises of your target audience? Hyundai is a dynamic company and caters to the needs of people across age groups, and demographics. Our new age Indian customers are highly affluent and demand personalisation. For them, the car is not just a mobility solution, but an extension of their personality. Our products are unique in their own way as they perfectly blend with the changing trends and behavior of our customers who are mostly in the age group of 25-45 years. These individuals are usually well educated, thoroughly travelled individuals who are looking for an experience rather than just a product. They are self-dependent and confident individuals carrying a balanced mentality with a mix of modern and traditional values.


Sr. General Manager, Group Head-Marketing, Hyundai Motor India

What are your upcoming BTL innovative initiatives? The main objective of our BTL Activities is to create an experience for customers and develop brand affinity. We have done some great BTL activations that can be considered as one of the best BTL campaigns across the industry. Our association with sports or be it any other channel, our BTL activations have given us very satisfactory returns.

What drives your marketing strategy? Hyundai’s smart marketing strategy is guided by the vision of becoming a ‘Lifetime Partner in Automobile and Beyond’. Through our innovative marketing strategy, we aim to become a Modern Premium Brand, attain market leadership and become India’s most loved and Trusted Brand.



BRAND MARKETING / #TheMarketingTalk



AX Fashion one of the leading apparel brands in the country has a dynamic marketing model which aims to not just engage its prospective customers with a mix of marketing channels, but also build the market for fashion in India through its event IP’s like Elite Model Hunt, MAX Design Awards, MAX Emerging Star 7 others. The brand has in fact, grown tremendously in the last few years owing to this innovative marketing approach. In an interaction with ExM, Jiten Mahendra, VP - Marketing at Max Fashion reveals how more on the marketing plan of the brand and the relevance of experiential marketing for it. How important is experiential marketing to your brand and how are you using the medium? We at MAX Fashions heavily use IPR’s as an effective marketing medium. Our properties like MAX Designs, MAX Emerging Star, and MAX Elite Model Hunt are aimed at creating and interacting with relevant fashion communities. These can also be termed as our outreach programs. Furthermore, we are doing a lot of curated collections, collaborating with fashion bloggers and influencers and on-ground brand activations. What is your marketing budget? Our marketing budget is a variable percentage which is usually around 3-3.5% of our revenue. We have packed the year with INR 3000 Cr revenue this year. What comprises of your target audience? The age group of 24-35 is our primary audience and the age group 18-24 comprises of our secondary audience. What drives your marketing strategy? Our marketing strategies are aimed towards creating a balanced ecosystem where we use multiple marketing channels like on-ground, in-store, digital, outdoor and TV and BTL to deliver our brand ethos effectively. How do you decode ROI from your BTL activities? Our ROI is determined from two aspects. First, is the affinity in our audiences after the property execution. For us, this has increased from 4 lacs youth customers to 11 lacs



JITEN MAHENDRA VP-Marketing, Max Fashion

recently and the second is the contribution of the target segment into our business. We also track campaign virality and effectiveness through the PR we generate, social media impressions, and the call to action response. What are your upcoming brand initiatives? The MAX Design Awards will conclude in Feb and then MAX Kids Festival will be our next initiative that will begin in April. After that, we jump on to MAX Emerging Star.




t the beginning of the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi had proudly stated that ‘The soul of India lives in its villages.’ The saying stands true even today, as Rural India houses nearly 70 percent of the country’s population and accounts for about 50 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, the Rural Hinterlands today account for around 55 percent of the manufacturing GDP and rural areas were host to nearly 75 percent of all new factories built in the last decade. Additionally, the global information giant Nielsen has estimated that the FMCG market in rural India will mark US$ 100 billion by 2025, from the current level of US$ 12 billion. Interestingly, even as Rural India is changing in terms of its global standing, socio-economic structures, and consumerscape, marketing in the rural ecosystem has still not evolved. Brands still relate rural with an old-style consumer base that hasn’t caught up with time. To most of them, rural remains an untapped market that occupies a minuscule chunk of their overall marketing budget. The attitude is appalling as the India Brand Equity Foundation in one of its recent research has revealed that amongst the leading retailers, Dabur generates over 40-45 percent of its domestic revenue from rural sales whereas Hindustan Unilever’s rural revenue accounts for 45 percent of its overall sales. The statistic clearly reveals that there is a massive opportunity for brands in rural however, not all of them

Rural India is vast and highly heterogeneous. Travel a few kilometers in any direction, the culture, nuances, your consumer and the relevance of your product in the life of rural consumers changes. On one hand affluence levels with various societal changes and exposure to latest gadgets, rural consumer is becoming more and more ‘Urban.’ Whether it is having smartphones, splurging on data or consuming latest farming content through YouTube and WhatsApp, the difference between cities and rural seems to be blurring with time. RAHUL KHURANA RURAL MARKETING PROFESSIONAL



have an idea on how to efficiently market their brands in the segment. In this exclusive feature at ExM, we put Rural India under the microscope and speak to veterans to decode the customer profile in rural and what ingredients make for a successful brand activation in the market. CHARACTERISTICS THAT DEFINE A RURAL CONSUMER TODAY! Commenting on the physiognomies that define a rural consumer today, Rahul Khurana, a rural marketing veteran having worked with agencies like Geometry Global and Ogilvy in his 11 years of professional experience shares, “Rural India is vast and highly heterogeneous. Travel a few kilometers in any direction, the culture, nuances, your consumer and the relevance of your product in the life of rural consumers changes. On one hand affluence levels with various societal changes and exposure to latest gadgets, rural consumer is becoming more and more ‘Urban.’ Whether it is having smartphones, splurging on data or consuming latest farming content through YouTube and WhatsApp, the difference between cities and rural seems to be blurring with time. Also, the spending pattern between urban and rural may also appear to be fast converging. Interestingly, on the other hand, there is still a vast geography yet to be tapped and people there are still living within limited means. In hindsight, Rural today can be best described as an exciting pool of emerging consumers that no marketer should ignore.”


A rural consumer today has a TV in his pocket thanks to smartphones and one needs to keep these factors in mind while marketing for rural. A few days before a farmer sent me a Youtube video link requesting me to help him source a particular type of equipment. I vividly remember, when one of our products- Jivo tractor was launched in Nasik, a farmer sent me a Direct Message on my twitter handle. Today’s farmer is no longer dependent on old tricks of marketing. It must be a TTL campaign which should have an integrated mix of ATL, BTL, and Digital as well. AVINASH OZA HEAD - RURAL ACTIVATION, MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA LTD’S, FARM DIVISION

Sanjay Kaul, CEO, Impact Communication divulges, “Rural is evolving very fast so are the rural consumers. And there are various factors that have contributed to this. Firstly, literacy levels, mobile, and media penetration is not only driving exposure and awareness among rural consumers but is also shaping new aspirations. Also, purchases are no more need-based; aspirational products are bought and consumed in Rural today. Research indicates 71% of rural purchases branded products and brand loyalty is no more a concern as rural consumers today have more choice.” He adds, “Government spends, financial inclusion and various initiatives are adding to the income levels of the rural consumers. 63 percent of rural population is below 30 years today and this large millennial population is bringing in new thinking and new aspirations to rural. In a nutshell, rural consumer today is vibrant, positive, and aspirational.” Avinash Oza, Head - Rural Activation, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd’s, Farm Division explains, “Today if a brand has to target an audience in rural, it must follow a ‘Through the Line’ (TTL) approach of marketing. If you only depend on mediums of ATL like TV and Print for marketing, you are bound of be left disappointed as both mediums have their own limitations. While TV ads are left unseen by audiences in the absence of electricity, the life of a newspaper is only for a few minutes. In fact, on some days a rural consumer doesn’t read them.” He adds, “The learning here is that while you can use ATL as a marketing medium you must do BTL marketing as well because reaching out to the doorstep of your audience is

very important. Times have changed, and a rural consumer today has evolved in more ways than one. A rural consumer today has a TV in his pocket thanks to smartphones and one needs to keep these factors in mind while marketing for rural. A few days before a farmer sent me a Youtube video link requesting me to help him source a particular type of equipment. I vividly remember, when one of our products–Jivo tractor was launched in Nasik, a farmer sent me a Direct Message on my twitter handle. Today’s farmer is no longer dependent on old tricks of marketing. It must be a TTL campaign which should have an integrated mix of ATL, BTL, and Digital as well.” Siddhartha Choudhary, CEO, Desta Global shares, “The Rural consumer of today consumes the same household products, buys the same mobile plans, sees the same cable TV channels as an urban consumer. So, rural aspirations are very similar to urban ones. And, technology has made sure that everyone is aware - anything from the quality of life, education, right down to consumer products. Yes, loyalty is limited because the Rural is trying out various products. While they are exposed to the brands, unlike how it started out in urban, there are thousands of options available from which to choose from. Rural is exposed to the same confusing, cluttered communication. But ultimately the same principals apply to Loyalty - it can only be gained if one has an innovative product and is using the right communication and medium to reach his consumers.” He adds, “Rural has been willing to spend for the last few years but certain nuances need to be understood. Rural




The Rural consumer of today consumes the same household products, buys the same mobile plans, sees the same cable TV channels as an urban consumer. So, rural aspirations are very similar to urban ones. And, technology has made sure that everyone is aware - anything from the quality of life, education, right down to consumer products. Yes, loyalty is limited because the Rural is trying out various products. While they are exposed to the brands, unlike how it started out in urban, there are thousands of options available from which to choose from. Rural is exposed to the same confusing, cluttered communication. But ultimately the same principals apply to Loyalty - it can only be gained if one has an innovative product and is using the right communication and medium to reach his consumers. SIDDHARTHA CHOUDHARY CEO, DESTA GLOBAL

life is much harder, and because of infrastructural issues and lack of options, they at times have to spend more for simple things like taking a cab, getting the house fixed, repair for car/AC, etc. So, they save more than an urban. There is also no peer pressure to have a certain lifestyle. Their consumption is majorly need-based. Also, Rural by far still is a close-knit community. Word of Mouth hence is way more important than running an advertisement on a TV.” WHAT MARKETING CHANNELS WORK IN RURAL? Most brands that are catering to the rural consumers today fervently believe that Below-the-line (BTL) Marketing is the only way they can break the clutter in the segment. Because of which, rural ambassadors, word-of-mouth, Nukkad Natak’s and similar channels occupy a premier positioning in their overall marketing plan. The secret of successfully marketing in rural, however, is not so simple. Rahul elaborates, “Gone are the days when purchases were solely made on recommendations and word of mouth. Rural consumer is far more informed and contemplative. Purchase decision journeys in rural are increasingly becoming complicated. They have started crisscrossing online, ATL, and offline channels. Usually, ATL drives the brand awareness, while BTL makes it more localised and helps in creating relevance of a product or a service.



Integrated campaigns are appropriate, however, given the diversity of rural India, BTL is still the go-to solution.” Kaul is of the opinion that there is no fit-all media marketing strategy for Rural. He agrees that BTL is still most relevant to rural and comments, “An understanding of the social and behavioral characteristics of the rural audience is critical while planning and designing communication strategy and deciding mediums. Conventional communication solutions to reach rural audiences have their limitations. These complexities require innovation and integrated communication strategies that use a combination of different methods, modalities, and channels to educate and engage rural consumers. Marketing communication in rural markets experiences a variety of constraints. The literacy rate in Rural India is very low; therefore, print media has limited scope.” “Doordarshan has the highest reach in Rural, thus is the best-suited option so far as television is concerned. Leveraging the increased cellular penetration, marketers are now adopting a “Mobile First” digital strategy for Rural. While ATL & Digital has its role to play, BTL mediums still remains a highly relevant medium for marketers to reach and engage rural masses."- he adds.


To sum up, for marketing in rural, the time now is to work more out of science than gut and base your strategies after applying a researched understanding. Sharpen your engagement strategies by integrating the new age tools like technology and mobile to influence today’s rural consumer. SANJAY KAUL CEO, IMPACT COMMUNICATION

INGREDIENTS THAT MAKE FOR A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PLAN IN RURAL Talking about the ingredients of a successful marketing plan in rural Rahul elucidates, “In my opinion and the following 4 are the key ingredients of a successful marketing plan in Rural. Measurability: Technology is not just enabling marketers to bring a much larger audience under their radar, but it’s also making each marketing penny to be accountable for its performance. Scalability: Keep the narrative region agnostic. Cutting it too fine may sometime be limiting. Relevance: The product may offer a different value to them as against urban consumers, the consumption occasions may also vary therefore it’s important to understand what role does the product play in the consumer’s life. And, Consistency: Remaining in constant touch with them is important. Prolong engagements to bring about a behavioral change.” Sharing his opinions on the subject Avinash says, “The key ingredient for devising a successful marketing campaign in rural is a - ‘Field Trail.’ This means that a marketer

lives, breaths and talks the language of its customers to understand their expectations from the brand. A brand custodian needs to be aware of what makes or breaks his audiences and affects their behavioral patterns, and this can’t happen as long as we continue to sit in our offices. Rural India today is heterogeneous and to successfully market a brand in rural you need to have a sniper approach where a marketer must know which strategy will work for which audiences at what time in rural.” Kaul states, “Rural is not a homogeneous market but a block of consumers based on a certain geography who have their own sets of needs, aspirations, beliefs, and barriers. And hence, the most important ingredient for a successful rural plan is “Relative marketing” that’s to build your communication around his/her ecosystem. Rural India is vast, with over 6 lakh villages spread far and few in between. Hence, the second most important ingredient is “Sharp selection” to identify the most potent market for your category like the Pareto’s theory of 80:20. Finally, unlike the popular belief, a rural consumer is not just a price conscious buyer hence Third and the final ingredient is to “Sell value not price”. To sum up, for marketing in rural, the time now is to work more out of science than gut and base your strategies after applying a researched understanding. Sharpen your engagement strategies by integrating the new age tools like technology and mobile to influence today’s rural consumer.”





here are a lot of different opinions by marketers across the globe on what makes for a perfect brand activation or an experiential marketing campaign. While some people feel that the answer to this question lies in statistics and metrics, the reality, however, remains that a perfect brand activation is in fact, something that is very simple for the audiences to perceive and creates an immersive ecosystem for them that drives brand loyalty. Uniting all music lovers in Pune, the 3-day long Vh1 Supersonic 2018 was an unprecedented crowd-puller this season. The Festival was lauded not only for its spectacular and diverse line-up of artists like Sean Paul, Marshmellow, Alt-J, Major Lazer, Incubus and many more, it also strengthened its consumer engagement experience in collaboration with one of India’s finest youth brands, Fastrack. Audience footfalls grew by more than twice over its previous edition with over 60,000 music lovers having a complete blast over the 3 days.

Fastrack Engages Over 60,000 Attendees With a Stunning Activation at Vh1 Supersonic One of the biggest highlight for festival-goers at Vh1 Supersonic this year was definitely the super-cool experiential zones by Fastrack at the festival grounds as these completely set the momentum in place, even before any of the artists stepped up on the stage.

We started off with an aim to provide fans with the best ever live experience, which surpasses all previous benchmarks and we are proud to have succeeded in our endeavor. Big thanks to our key partner, Fastrack, who put their faith in the proposition. This year they took the association to the next level with a greater degree of integration into the festival. I am proud to say that together, Vh1 Supersonic and Fastrack have a unified vision of creating magic for the audience and we succeeded on that count. SAUGATO BHOWMIK




Welcoming Audiences to the Brand Ethos Vh1 Supersonic 2018 saw Fastrack coming on board for the second consecutive year as the Style Partner. As part of the association, Vh1 Supersonic organised a Supercrew Contest for its young fans hinging on Fastrack’s ongoing ‘Shut the Fake Up’ campaign. The winners received a money-can’tbuy opportunity of closely shadowing the Supercrew while at work during the festival. Further, riding on their message to call out fake connections and behaviors, Fastrack also installed life-size quirky installations like the Claw Slide, Faketionary setups, Pledge booths and much more to engage and entertain the consumers. Elevating the Overall Festival Experience Taking the experience to a different level, Fastrack also created a special lounge with various activities for the consumers such as Shoot the fake, Beat the fake. The lounge not only had the best view to see the Live stage, it also successfully became the fan favorite with the added attractions. People could also witness the exuberance of the festival through social media conversations with contests and go live to share of the event on Fastrack’s handles. The fifth edition of Vh1 Supersonic kept fans entertained all throughout with 6 curated stages, featuring 8 different genres. Vh1 Supersonic collaborated with Symbiosis Institute of Design for its splendid art and design, turning the festival into a beautiful canvas on which some of the quirkiest and most interesting art was exhibited.

We were extremely glad to associate with Vh1 Supersonic for the second year in a row. The brand synergies matched perfectly as both parties believe in leaving a lasting impression on young minds. We were very impressed by the previous year’s edition of the festival, and hence we decided to collaborate again for the 5th edition. We upped our partnership by coming on board as the Style Partner, solely because of our belief in style credentials of Vh1 Supersonic. We enjoyed the collaborative way in which we decided all the audience engagements and I have to say that the 5th edition exceeded all our expectations. AYUSHMAN CHIRANEWALA HEAD OF MARKETING - FASTRACK




TOAST Manages 360-Degree Creative Duties for Pepe Jeans India’s Latest Brand Campaign Pepe Jeans India launched their latest brand campaign ‘Made to Create’ with Bollywood Actor Sidharth Malhotra at a unique event in Mumbai on March 7th, 2018. TOAST Events was a key partner for Pepe Jeans to bring this campaign to life as this was a first for TOAST Events where the young agency took on the role of the creative agency, production agency, influencer management agency and event agency to bring alive the brand’s campaign.

We’ve managed multiple celebrity deals for various brands in the past, but working with Pepe was special since we were really the 360° solution provider for the brand. We wanted to choose someone that would represent the brand’s qualities in the most aesthetic sense and given Sidharth’s personal preference for denims along with his suave, urban, and affable persona, he was an excellent fit to be the first face for Pepe in India. HARSHAD CHAVAN





Delightfully Unconventional: TECHNO’s Camon I Phone Launch by DDB MudraMax TECNO, a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer headquartered in Hong Kong recently launched its latest smartphone - Camon I in India. The executing agency DDB MudraMax created a unique proposition to launch the phone in a skit format wherein they planted actors in the form of an audience to talk about the shortcoming of using an ordinary camera phone.

Kudos to the team on the great launch of TECHNO’s Camon I mobile launch. We won the mandate after a multi-agency pitch and what makes the event more memorable is the incredible appreciation we have received for having executed it to perfection. The team at DDB MudraMax is just warming up and is set to create more of such stunning experience for brands in the coming months. SANJAY SHUKLA






GNS Worldwide Produces a Glittering R&R Extravaganza for Titan Glitz N Style Worldwide recently executed an R&R event for Titan Ltd. on Jan 17, 2018. The event was all about innovation and new changes that should be brought to brand Titan and its different departments to achieve better visibility for the brand while discovering improved ways to save cost as well. The team at GNS Worldwide shares that one of the major challenges they faced while executing the event was the limited time frame they were working in. The spokesperson shares, “We were just given the time of 1 hour to remove the Kaizen exhibition stalls and set up the stage, as the event was divided into two parts.

DDB MudraMax Creates an Exceptional Off-Site Experience for 450 Employees of Maersk Over 450 employees from the offices of leading shipping companies Maersk Line and Safmarine in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka congregated on the sandy shores of Goa on February 3, 2018, for their annual offsite. The MICE spectacle was led by the core leadership team of both shipping brands who roped in DDB MudraMax to manage all aspects of the event.

Sanjay Shukla

President OOH & Experiential DDB MudraMax

Elated with the stellar execution by his team Sanjay Shukla, President, OOH & Experiential, DDB MudraMax commented, “We have had long standing relationship with Maersk having created some stunning experiences for them in past as well. It is always a pleasure to be working with them and with this event, we are proud to have created yet another exceptional offsite for their team.”

ThinkXQ Weaves Together a Stunning Goan Extravaganza for Hero ‘Rural Immersion Program 2017’ Think XQ won the mandate from Hero MotoCorp to manage and execute the Rural Immersion Program, an initiative to reward and incentivise the Rural Sales Executives (RSE) of Hero MotoCorp. The MICE extravaganza took place at the Holiday Inn Resort, Goa, from January 19 to 22, 2018. Akshay Chawla, Managing Director at Think XQ, shared his views on the experience- “It was incredibly rewarding to see a smile on the face of every hardworking RSE. The whole offsite was planned to perfection to avoid any hiccups and ensure an unforgettable time in Goa. The efforts put in by the team at Think XQ made showcasing the beautiful destination possible, and every effort was directed at crafting an XQuisite brand story for Hero MotoCorp. We certainly hope to deliver the same in all future events for our clients.”

Akshay Chawla Managing Director Think XQ

RMAI Announces the 9th Edition of Flame Awards Asia 2018 Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI) has recently announced the 9th edition of RMAI Flame Awards Asia 2018. The annual flagship property of the association, the Flame Awards celebrate and honor the best rural marketing practices in India & Asia. Entries for the awards are invited from rural marketing agencies and brands from India and other countries in the sub-continent.

Sanjay Kaul

President RMAI


“Flame awards are exclusive and most popular awards among rural marketing community throughout Asia. We have refreshed the award categories to encourage new-age and forward-thinking marketers to share and celebrate their best and path-breaking work at this platform.”- describes Sanjay Kaul, President, RMAI.




Wizcraft Perfectly Manages the Back to Back Execution of 3 Monumental Events Wizcraft, one of India’s leading Communication and Entertainment giant recently executed 3 mega events in just a week’s span. These events were: PM Townhall, GVK Airport Launch, and the Magnetic Maharashtra Convergence 2018. Commenting on the execution of these events, Sandeep Mehta, Chief Operating Office - Brand Activation, Wizcraft International stated, “It is a privilege to be called upon to deliver such prestigious mammoth events that are changing the very fabric of India. Right from the get-go, Wizcraft has always strived to create and deliver compelling experiences that have been instrumental in shaping the event management industry in India. With our depth of expertise in creating large-scale events and ability to bring to life new age concepts we hope to scale new heights and create larger experiences that are memorable.”

Sandeep Mehta

COO - Brand Activation Wizcraft International

Voltas Commemorates Massive Success – Platinum World Grroup Plans the Event! The recently concluded Voltas Channel Partner’s Meet was a phenomenal event covering the award ceremony of VOLTAS to commemorate the massive success of being the only company in the segment to sell one million air conditioners in a year.

Birju Gariba

The evening was enhanced with a touch of entertainment with a series of dance performances ranging from Bollywood to Spanish. The highlight of the evening was the AV with Bahubali theme that showcased the evolution of VOLTAS from scratch. “All in all, it was a very successful and an inspiring event for the audience as a whole as the grandeur was achieved as planned, thanks to the right mix of content, venue, and set up”, concludes Birju Gariba.

ASEAN India Commemorative Summit 2018 Another Feather in ICE’s Cap India took another small but significant step towards regional cooperation when it invited 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders to participate in the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2018. The Summit was attended by the ASEAN respective Head of States along with our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi. “ASEAN India Commemorative Summit 2018, one of the prestigious summit of 2018 organised by Ministry of External Affairs and successfully handled by ICE. We are proud to have one more successful summit under our belt”, said Naveen Rizvi, Executive Director, ICE- Integrated Conference & Event Management.

Naveen Rizvi

Executive Director ICE- Integrated Conference & Event Management

Abhishek Bachchan, Guest of Honour at Annual Magic Bus Gala, Managed By GS Entertainment Annual Magic Bus Gala, executed in February 2018 saw Abhishek Bachchan who has been the patron for Magic Bus foundation since a long time as the Guest of Honour. The Gala night was dedicated to the celebration of Magic Bus foundation which has done some remarkable work in the field. The event was co-hosted by Amit Bhandari, CEO Magic Bus USA and other remarkable personas associated with the brand.

Bunty Walia

Chairman GS Worldwide Entertainment

GS Worldwide Entertainment Chairman, Bunty Walia who also attended the Gala quoted, “It gives us immense pleasure that our team could be a part of such an event where we celebrate empowerment to the youth of my country!”





T The Celestial Extravaganza That Was the Global Shanti–Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival

I am very happy with Fountainhead MKTG team’s efforts for what we achieved with Global Shanti Festival of Buddhist Heritage for Andhra Pradesh Tourism. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of Andhra Pradesh’s beautiful Buddhist sites and an honor to host so many monks and nuns from across India and from overseas. BHUMA AKHILA PRIYA MINISTER FOR TOURISM AND TELUGU LANGUAGE AND CULTURE GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH



he Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, under the aegis of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, hosted a firstof-its-kind festival, Global Shanti – Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival from February 3rd-5th, 2018 at the PWD Grounds, Vijayawada. Fountainhead MKTG, a Dentsu Aegis Network agency, managed the festival. The aim of the event was to raise the profile of the rich Buddhist culture of the state and position Amravati as a center for Buddhism and world peace, thereby increasing awareness and tourism in the state. Revolving around a universal message of peace, the festival brought out the essence of Buddhism as Fountainhead MKTG weaved a unique blend of chanting, meditation, exhibition, food, heritage walks, performances, and philosophical talks at the event. The agency also erected a 25 feet Lord Buddha statue for the same. Hon’ble Minister for Tourism and Telugu Language and Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Bhuma Akhila Priya formally inaugurated the festival in the presence of Chosphel Zotpa, Former Vice Chairman, National Commission for SC/ST, Government of India & President, Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association; Shri V. Jayarami Reddy, Chairman A.P. Tourism Development Corporation Ltd Government of Andhra Pradesh; Shri Himanshu Shukla, CEO, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority; and Dr. Sivanagi Reddy, CEO of The Cultural Centre of Vijayawada & Amaravati. “I hope that many others will follow in their footsteps and visit Andhra Pradesh and its treasured Buddhist sites and be inspired and enlightened by the rich history we have here. Together we are building a smart future for Andhra Pradesh. Events such as Global Shanti are pivotal in ensuring the preservation and promotion of our local culture and heritage within that smart future and in boosting overall tourism of the state.”- quoted, Minister for Tourism and Telugu Language and Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Bhuma Akhila Priya His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s blessings and teachings were sent at the event through a video, wherein he spoke about the need to spread the message of love and peace among fellow human beings from different cultures and to initiate academic study and preservation of Sanskrit Buddhist teachings from Andhra Pradesh. He enthusiastically stated the importance of Andhra Pradesh as an area for Buddhist culture and study. Noted Buddhist monks and nuns delivered speeches on the need for uniting the world through a global peace movement and dialogue. These included Ven Bhikkunni Kusuma, a Buddhist nun who pioneered the reestablishment of the Theravada Female Buddhist Order in Sri Lanka (she was the first nun to be ordained in 1000 years) and Ven Ananda Bhante, the General Secretary of Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore and its branches. Monks also visited heritage sites, such as Undavalli Caves, the Buddhist stupa in Bhattiprolu and many other places of significance.



Ven Bhikkunni Kusuma, Lama Chosphel Zotpa, and Bhadant Shanti Mitra flagged off the daily Shanti Yatra and hundreds of students followed the entourage of monks. India’s leading contemporary Buddhist music composer Rajesh Dhabre from Mumbai performed ‘Buddha Hi Buddha Hai’ and Padmashri Shovana Narayan, one of India’s most celebrated Kathak Gurus presented a musical dance performance. The monks also visited multiple heritage sites, schools, colleges and hospitals to spread the idea of peace and humanity. There were also performances from Dance Mandal (USA & Nepal), Dr. Siri Rama and a special Cham dance by the monks of The Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery), the joyful lion dance performed by monks of Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh and the Heart Sutras performed by Maitreya Children’s Choir from Bodh Gaya. Speaking about the festival, Bhikkhu Rahul Ratna from Bangladesh Monastery, stated, “Not many people know that Andhra Pradesh pulsates with a rich Buddhist history as evident during the Heritage walks to Bhattiprolu, Amaravati and Ghantasala.”

We are happy to come together and work towards Global Shanti. I request all the people who follow Buddhism to visit Vijayawada and request Department of Tourism to organize the Buddhism festival every year. BHIKKHU RAHUL RATNA FROM BANGLADESH MONASTERY

The second day saw a first-ever world record being attained for the largest online chant for global peace. The chant was led by 1000 monks and nuns from all three rafts of Buddhism, from all over the world who for the first time ever, came together and chanted ‘Buddham Sarnam Gachchami’ for world peace. It was supported by over 45000 people worldwide who digitally connected on www. globalshanti.in. Hundreds of local visitors also joined.





The maximum digital participation came from India followed by USA, Nepal, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. Noted Monks Bhikku Pragyyadeep, Bhanta Dhamma Daja, Lama Nawang and Venerable Saranamkara Mahathero led the Chant. “The online global chant for world peace was another huge achievement and a great example of what can be accomplished when technology, social cause, and culture intersect to produce a powerful and positive action for the greater good. Creative use of technology is certainly FHMKTG’s forte. I look forward to seeing many more innovations that are fantastic for future events.”- remarked Minister for Tourism and Telugu Language and Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Bhuma Akhila Priya The event concluded on February 5th with performances from Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the legendary flute player, and local Carnatic singers - The Priya Sisters. The chanting master of Main Tibetan temple of Sera monastery Ngawang Jungney and noted fusion violinist Dr. Narayan Raman also came together to do an experimental fusion music of chanting and Indian music.

I was delighted with the hard work, indepth research and heartfelt enthusiasm the Fountainhead MKTG team had for this project. Uniting the diverse rafts of Buddhism together on one stage is no small task. HIMANSHU SHUKLA I.A.S. DIRECTOR TOURISM GOVT. OF ANDHRA PRADESH

The Buddhist festival has certainly been a challenging project, with lots of complex logistics and planning as well as cultural and religious sensitivities and detail to take into consideration in order to produce an authentic and successful event. V.G. JAISHANKAR PRESIDENT EVENTS AND ACTIVATIONS FOUNTAINHEAD MKT

“Preparation involved months of in-depth research, visits to many monasteries and an extensive online campaign. The team exceeded expectations and with the innovative digital component of the event. The digital campaign transformed the event into one with an international reach, fulfilling the brief of putting Andhra Pradesh firmly on the global map for Buddhism related tourism. I’m very proud of my team and the amount of hard work and passion they put into the event. It was a pleasure working with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism team and I look forward to creating many more memorable events with them.”- he added. The experiential marketing agency made elaborate preparations and executed a huge digital campaign to make the three-day festival a huge success. More than 5 million people connected via social media along with 50,000 website visitors and more than a lakh of views on YouTube. Himanshu Shukla. I.A.S. Director Tourism, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh remarked, “With all different forms of Buddhism represented and the diverse programme events, the festival was highly enjoyable as well as enlightening and informative. It certainly was a wonderful spectacle for local and international attendees and an apt celebration of the bountiful Buddhist history we have in our state.” “Overcoming the logistical challenges of moving more than a thousand monks from around the world around Andhra Pradesh to visit all the different heritage sites is another highly commendable achievement. FHMKTG executed each role without any glitches and made it a smooth experience for everyone. I sincerely hope the monks, nuns, lay Buddhists and members of the public enjoyed the event as much as I did and look forward to working with the Fountainhead MKTG team on many more events in the future.”- he concluded.






ebruary 26, 2018 saw a star-studded affair at the Sapphire Ballroom of Hotel Sahara Star in Mumbai, as Maximus MICE & Media Solutions partnered with Speaking Minds to execute the dazzling spectacle that was the Axis Insurance ‘Night of Superstars’. The MICE extravaganza was filled with glamour, entertainment, and celebrations and felicitated over 700 superstars from the Axis Insurance galaxy for their achievements.

Maximus and Speaking Minds Partner to Stunningly Execute Axis Insurance ‘Night of Superstars’

It was a trip worth remembering for every Axis Insurance Superstar who was invited to Mumbai to participate and witness this mega-event. Right from the time they boarded their flights from over 100 cities across India, Speaking Minds & Maximus ensured that each and every guest experienced the life of a superstar. The event was hosted by Bollywood actors Vishal Malhotra and Gauahar Khan; and saw a beautifully designed set created specially to honor the event attendees. The event also saw Bollywood Actor Boman Irani sharing his life’s journey of becoming a superstar with all the guests. The highlight of the evening, however, was a heart-wrenching performance by Armaan Malik which had the entire audience experience a beautiful journey of emotions through words and soulfully rendered music.

This the first time that Axis Insurance had planned such an event to felicitate the Superstars of the organisation. The Speaking Minds & Maximus teams left no stone unturned in creating this out-of-theworld experience for every guest. Carefully planned back-end logistics, beautiful venue décor by the teams ensured every guest got their superstar experience during their stay and at the main event. REEMA SANGHAVI DIRECTOR – SPEAKING MINDS & MD MAXIMUS MICE & MEDIA SOLUTIONS



The event experience created by Maximus Minds was exceptional and beyond the brief. It was the attention to detail in every experience created by the team which made the guests feel special and this was loved by the senior management at Axis Bank. It is our endeavor to give such experiences at every event.

Maximus Minds, the collaboration of Speaking Minds and Maximus worked hand-in-hand to create this event experience and ensured we delivered what was promised – A superstar experience RAGA D’SILVA MANAGING PARTNER – SPEAKING MINDS





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Planning Corporate Meetings & Incentives Around Iconic & Special Interest Events!


NDIA TODAY STANDS TALL as one of the biggest outbound MICE markets across the world, estimated to generate a staggering 6.5 Million outbound luxury and MICE tourists annually by 2020. The number though, is an approximation, clearly reflecting on how Indian MICE planners and corporates are willing to shell out the big bucks when it comes to organising international extravaganzas, be it in form of Incentive Travels, Congresses, Conventions, or Exhibitions for their valued audiences. Moving away from the traditional notion of an event as just another “outing”, MICE planners are now seeking to bring in elements of interest and a ‘theme’ to the planning. With cultures crossing borders and destinations experimenting with different entertainment avenues from food and drink festivals to adventures, the wide gamut of opportunities has been thrown open, creating a build-up of interest in out-of-the-box implementations. The opportunity is also huge for international destinations and tourism boards – as sadly, somewhere between all the positives and growing trends, the ‘Experience’ quotient of celebrating the ethos of an unknown international destination is usually missing at most of these MICE spectacles - something the planners are now looking at remedying.

Incentive travel is an age-old gratification exercise for either performing employees or indeed retailers and distributors. Beyond gratification, one is always looking for meaningful ways to engage, motivate or just purposefully entertain the participant. For instance, if one was planning Europe, one could include a live sporting event like the Euro Football League or any other aspirational event like Formula 1, etc. One could also tap into a Music Concert Calendar, A Theatre Calendar, etc. BRIAN TELLIS CO-FOUNDER & GROUP CEO FOUNTAINHEAD MKTG





The concept of assimilating iconic festivals into MICE events is an exciting way to make incentive travel for immersive for audiences. A lot of corporates are willing to pay for such experiences and in the past, we have organised such events which have been big hits. However, in most cases, the concept of what to integrate into the MICE program depends on timelines we are given to work around by our clients. TUSHAR MAHESHWARI FOUNDER & DIRECTOR E3 INTEGRATED

Speaking exclusively to ExM as a part of a focus study, delegates who have been to over 5 international MICE programmes in the past decade revealed that despite the need for innovation, most of the MICE programmes restrict the engagement of delegates at international destinations to the tried-and-tested shopping spree or a beach party. “What these MICE planners do not understand is the fact that merely hosting a party in an international hotel instead of a domestic one does not serve the purpose of an inventive travel. We want to experience the culture of the destination, drench ourselves in their heritage and take back a memory to remember. Sadly, sometimes it’s the security that they are concerned about and other times it is just laziness on their part.”shared a sales professional from a leading financial multinational in India. (Name withheld on request) Commenting on the importance of weaving unique experiences as part of an overall MICE project, Brian Tellis, Co-Founder & Group CEO, Fountainhead MKTG comments, “One approach could be to marry the kind of business the travelers are in, with the experience curated. For example, could a bunch of financial professionals be exposed and educated on the trip, by a globally celebrated entrepreneur, on stories that could be relevant? One needs to combine heightened experiences with ‘Bragging Rights’. I, for one, feel a huge need for positive disruption in the MICE story.”



The idea of integrating a special event as a part of the overall MICE itinerary is absolutely phenomenal as the very concept behind such travel is to serve a local flavor of the destination to the delegates. However, one of the challenges we face while organising such MICE programmes is that these local festivals should also align with our timelines. Most of our MICE events happen within the two months of our financial closing. KARTHIK RAMAN CMO, IDBI FEDERAL LIFE INSURANCE

Recalling details from a MICE event that his agency planned last year for Vodafone, Dhanraj Madnani, Senior Manager–Business Development & Client Servicing, Maximus MICE and Media Solutions shares, “We were organising the Vodafone sales offsite which was supposed to happen in Europe in August initially. But when the dates of the same changed to September 16, (which coincided with the first day of Oktoberfest ‘17) we decided to make it a part of the overall MICE itinerary.” “We on the other hand went to check out the reality at ground-zero itself. Yes, the risk factor was high, but we realised that with in depth and detailed planning we would be able to make the entire MICE program extremely memorable for the audiences. We chalked out maps, drafted schedules, re-worked a couple of things, and managed to pull it off beautifully without any hassles.” Such insights from top MICE planners and corporates reveal that while there is a definite need to elevate the experiential quotient of outbound MICE programmes being organised by India, there is limited awareness about the possibilities of how this can be achieved. Which is why in this feature of ExM, we pick 7 destinations across the globe that you can plan your next MICE programmes in and include an exceptional event experience as part of it.

A lot of planners hesitate to make such global festivals a part of their MICE programs because it is believed that the first day of the festival is a mess with a lot of crowd and obviously they are responsible for the security of everyone. Interestingly, this is what all festivals will seem to you if you are sitting and planning things from the comfort of your office. DHANRAJ MADNANI SENIOR MANAGER – BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & CLIENT SERVICING, MAXIMUS MICE AND MEDIA SOLUTIONS





BARCELONA Barcelona, one of the most popular locations in Spain has a lot to offer to the outbound MICE market across the globe. The city is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade-fair and cultural center, and hosts multiple recurring events throughout the year that enthusiasts from around the world anxiously await to attend. Not only are these dazzling events a true representation of the glorious culture of the native land but these also make for the stunning experiences that event planners can weave their MICE programmes around. Some of these iconic events are: The International Barcelona Jazz Festival This festival was created on November 3, 1966, in Barcelona, where Jazz music played the leading role and continues to enthrall music enthusiasts annually. Perfect for MICE planners looking to give guests a glimpse into the musical side of Spain. WHEN: OCTOBER TO DECEMBER

Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix If high-octane action sequences are something that your MICE programme demands then the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix is a must-attend event. The best part is the venue of the event Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya is also open to hosting customised events



Weaving MICE events in Barcelona during their special engagement programmes is contextually relevant and sounds an interesting premise as the destination is close to India and the supporting infrastructure of Europe it makes for an interesting combination. SRIRAM GOPALASWAMY HEAD - COMMERCIAL & DATACENTER GROUP MARKETING, LENOVO INDIA


for MICE groups and programmes. Since, the facilities involve a multi-purpose space that can be adapted to any kind of needs thus, it is possible to hold any type of event beyond sports competitions: from launches to press conferences, as well as congresses and conventions, gala dinners and team buildings, with an added value: the privilege of doing it in a unique venue, which is associated with top motorsport competition. WHEN: MAY

European Balloon Festival The European Balloon Festival in Igualada is a visual spectacle, to say the least. Hosting over 25,000 visitors over the four days of its happening in July, the event is a show, competition, and festival, all rolled into one. What makes the event more special is that it allows visitors to book balloon rides in advance even if you don’t want to take a ride there is plenty of action from ground level that makes it exciting for all kinds of audiences.


so, we are most inclined to adapt our assistance in every case. Our experience proves that a “tailor-made” response tends to add more value to the organiser and its client.”- comments a representative from the bureau. It is to be noted that the city will be unveiling three 5-star category hotels - The Barcelona Edition, Hotel OD Barcelona, Almanac Barcelona, and multiple 4-star category hotels like - Iberostar Paseo de Gracia, H10 Marina Barcelona and H10 Madison in 2018.


The Barcelona Convention Bureau has over 35 years of experience and offers free an impartial advisory service to anyone who is considering Barcelona for a MICE event. “We understand that every group is different, and every client has its particularities, and





MONACO Monaco is a tiny independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline known for its upscale casinos, yacht-lined harbor, and prestigious Grand Prix motor race, which runs through Monaco’s streets once a year. The destination is replete with multiple luxe hotels, boutiques, nightclubs, restaurants and has a lot to offer in store in terms of exceptional experience for its tourists. The location makes a perfect choice for those looking to explore the luxury lifestyle and add an element of thrill to the programme. Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters One of the World Tour Master 1000 tournaments, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters is synonymous with prestige and luxury. Held every year since 1897 when the sun begins to shine more brightly in mid-April, the greatest tennis pros jostle is held on the spectacular courts at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. The grounds overlook the Mediterranean, with views of the MonteCarlo Beach and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. WHEN: APRIL

Top Marques Monaco - "Monaco's Motor Show" The 15th Anniversary Edition of Top Marques Monaco will take place at the Grimaldi Forum this year. The event began as a dream 13 years ago and has since then blossomed into the world’s greatest supercar show on earth. Cutting-edge technology,



While there are 700 events every year in Monaco ranging from Monte Carlo Circus to conventions, people in India are familiar with the F1 that takes place in the last week of May every year. Hotels in Monaco also have a very suitable product line for boardroom meetings to big number conferences and simultaneously Monaco Government Tourist Authority also facilitates corporate movements and offers customised incentives based on the product line that corporate intend to use in Monaco. RAJEEV NANGIA INDIA DIRECTOR MONACO GOVERNMENT TOURIST BUREAU


top performances, sophisticated styling and today, a concern for the environment, makes Top Marques Monaco a truly remarkable window onto the world of the luxury supercar industry. DATE: APRIL


same time, this 2nd smallest country in the world, is high on conserving resources and practicing sustainable tourism, which, without doubt, acts as an asset in offering the impeccable quality of stay in Monaco.”- comments, Rajeev Nangia, India Director, Monaco Government Tourist Bureau.

Monaco Yacht Show 2018 The Monaco Yacht Show gives travelers a unique opportunity to visit more than 120 exceptional Superyachts and Megayachts, in the port de Monaco’s exclusive settings. With an expectation to have 34,000 prestigious clients and luxury yachting visitors from the industry, you can surely expect the fabulous exhibitions presenting the yachting lifestyle. Guests can enjoy the blend of delicious gastronomy and pleasures of the unique scenic dining, which indeed is beyond one’s imagination. DATE: SEPTEMBER 2018

“Destination Monaco is best suited for MICE activities as it offers world-class meeting facilities including, the famed Grimaldi Forum conference and the congress center. With 300 days of sunshine, Monaco offers an array of events lined for each year suitable for every traveler from leisure to family travel to singular travels. While the Principality is home to numerous indulgences that tempt every leisure traveler, at the





FLANDERS Flanders is the northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, with Brussels as its capital. Located at the center of the wealthiest and most populated area of Europe, Flanders organises a lot of festivities on a regular basis that makes for an incredible celebration of its culture and a marvelous experience for MICE travelers in the region. Barrio Cantina Barrio Cantina is an inviting market that is set in Bruges that offers a wide range of world dishes/ street food from the original food trucks, a touch of music, fun bars, cool seating areas and pleasant side entertainment. Perfect for those looking for a gastronomic experience. DATE: JUNE

The Ghent Festivities After more than 160 years of existence, the Ghent Festivities have become one of the best festivals in Europe. As a part of the spectacle, four international festivals take place there over a period of ten days, with free music on 10 squares, children’s entertainment at various different locations in the city and hundreds of indoor and outdoor activities. This year, for the first time, the festival will start on a Friday evening and end on a Sunday evening. DATE: JULY



Belgian Beer Weekend The Grand-Place in Brussels serves as a unique backdrop for the Belgian Beer Weekend, which has been dedicated entirely to the regions national beverage. The event allows 60,000 beer lovers to partake of fine Belgian beers in one of the most beautiful squares in the world (UNESCO World Heritage). DATE: SEPTEMBER 7 - SEPTEMBER 9, 2018

Tomorrowland Based in the town of Boom, Tomorrowland is one of the biggest music festivals across the world which is not only known for the best lineup of performing artists but also for the eclectic experience that it offers to its audiences. The tickets for the festivals every year are sold out within minutes and the last edition of the music festival saw over 4,00,000 cheering fans in attendance. DATE: JULY 20 – JULY 29, 2018



Visiting such events give MICE groups more exposure to the local flavors, sights, and sounds of the culture in Flemish cities. These cities are renowned for their cutting-edge craftsmanship, which is evident in the experiences that we have to offer- ranging from the folklore to artisan chocolates and beers, music, fine art by Flemish Masters and much more. Attending such festivals gives a unique perspective and adds to a more enriching Flemish experience for the groups. SUNIL PURI MANAGING DIRECTOR – INDIA VISITFLANDERS





PHILADELPHIA The MICE experience in Philadelphia would have you coming back for the excellent service that they provide, with the rate of people leaving happy and satisfied being very high. It guarantees a wellstreamlined load in, efficient setup and break-down, and well-coordinated service by a highly-trained and diverse workforce. It is not just a MICE venue but an investment for a wonderful experience. With over 40 hotels located in the Center City area offering more than 11,000 hotel rooms, there’s something for everyone. Philadelphia also offers some not to miss sightseeing tours. Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival The first Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square debuted in April 2016 and celebration of light and culture features entertainment, food, and 29 magnificent steel-framed and silk-wrapped giant animals, springtime flowers and trees, and symbols of Chinese culture, using traditional Chinese methods. The venue of the event Franklin Square glows with more than 25 larger-than-life illuminated displays of giant flowers, a three-story Pagoda, a huge Chinese dragon and much more, created using traditional Chinese methods with thousands of LED lights in brilliant colors. The new additions to the festival this year include a concert series (with beer garden), two pet-focused Dog Days celebrations, colorful Adirondack chairs, and a microbranch of the Free Library. DATE: MAY





SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco, in Northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Famous for its weather, the Golden Gate Bridge, and its incredible architecture, SF (as it is also called) also boasts of a rich history and vivacious culture that makes it a perfect destination for MICE travelers from around the world. San Francisco organises multiple festivities around the year which celebrate the city’s ethos and all that it stands for. Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Francisco For over 20 years, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course of the event with live bands, cheer teams, and more. In 2018, the organisers of the event have reset their focus to deliver best-in-class running events, where music is core. The location is perfect for those seeking some excitement different from the run-of-the-mill marathons popular in our homeland.

Japanese American Community. Slated to be held in San Francisco’s Japan town, the event is free and open to the public and will feature food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Programmes, and more. DATE: APRIL

San Francisco International Beer Festival Since 1984, the San Francisco International Beer Festival has raised money for the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School. The event samples incredible beers from over 100 plus options across the world as well as a variety of offerings from some of San Francisco’s best restaurants. DATE: APRIL 21, 2018


Cherry Blossom Festival The Cherry Blossom Festival is believed to be one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions. Each year, over 200,000 people attend this dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the





ABU DHABI Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, sits off the mainland on an island in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf and is one of the most popular MICE and weddings destinations around the world. The city throughout the year hosts events like HSBC Golf tournament, Abu Dhabi Air Race, Formula 1 Grand Prix and International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) to attract MICE groups to the Emirates. Formula 1 Grand Prix The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place at Yas Marina Circuit and is the world’s only twilight race. The Grand Prix represents the final race of the F1 season and decides the prestigious F1 driver’s championship title. One can also enjoy an extensive programme of entertainment, including world-class, A-list musical artists at the after-race concerts. The public Oasis areas in all grandstand sections offer a wide range of exhibitions, challenges, and games to keep visitors entertained. DATE: NOVEMBER

Connecting MICE programmes with such events like Grand Prix or HSBC Golf Event is an addition to the conventional MICE itinerary. The 3-night schedule when clubbed with any of such events gives the corporate, a chance to explore these highprofile events. It is a notable platform for networking, building relations and getting potential business. On the other hand, events like these give any brand a lot of visibility; therefore any corporate can display their product and services and impart information to generate business leads from such events. BEJAN DINSHAW COUNTRY MANAGER, DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE AND TOURISM OPPORTUNITY – ABU DHABI





HSBC Golf Tournament The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA is a European Tour Golf tournament that unites the biggest champions in the world for 4 days of highintensity competition. DATE: JANUARY

Abu Dhabi Air Race The Red Bull Air Race kicks off in style, offering spectators the perfect racing destination with plenty to see, do, and experience away from the racetrack. The race takes place over the Arabian Gulf's stunning blue waters and fans will be able to witness all the action from the purpose-built race village on the Corniche breakwater. DATE: FEBRUARY





DUBAI With a great location and a fantastic infrastructure to its credit, Dubai is without a doubt, the most attractive MICE destination for Indian planners and corporates. With the year-round great weather, beautiful hotels, vibrant culture and incredible restaurants, the destination is buzzing all year round with festivities that are one-of-a-kind. Below are some of the biggest events in Dubai that MICE planners can weave their incentive programmes around. Art Dubai The annual Art Dubai fair has over the years of its organising established itself as a prominent showcase for artists from throughout the region. The platform is a witness to the presence of city’s most enigmatic mix of artists', curators' and art lovers, thereby positioning itself as an important platform for innovative artwork and local talent. The thriving contemporary art galleries and success of Art Dubai, make Dubai an essential visit for any art connoisseur and make for a stunning experience for travelers. DATE: MARCH 21 – MAR 24, 2018

Dubai Rugby Sevens Every year, the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club plays host to the Dubai Rugby Sevens, a grand sporting tournament that sees 16 international teams competing over three days for the prestigious trophy. The three days



As the fourth most visited city in the world, Dubai has developed a robust, year-round calendar of sporting, cultural and retail events, with visitors coming specifically to attend and experience these or integrating them into their wider plans. STEEN JAKOBSEN DIRECTOR OF DUBAI BUSINESS EVENTS



of competition are accompanied by various other shows and events designed to keep visitors of all ages entertained. DATE: NOVEMBER 9 - DECEMBER 1, 2018

Dubai Summer Surprises One of the biggest festivals in Dubai, the Dubai Summer Surprises is represented by a life-size yellow springy mascot, Modhesh, who adds comical value and is especially attractive to the younger generation. The festival spans over 10 weeks and in an incredible amalgamation of the best of food, arts, and adventure that the city of Dubai has to offer. DATE: JUNE 22 – AUGUST 04, 2018

Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events, shares, “For meeting organisers and planners, they provide an opportunity to tap into some of the key pillars of Dubai’s overall proposition and give delegates unique experiences to remember. This can work particularly well as a component of an incentive programme, helping them stand out with the prospect of attending an iconic, world-class event such as the Dubai World Cup. They are also complementing the strong core business events capabilities of the city, including its hospitality options, connectivity with the rest of the world, diversity of venues, and range of activities and attractions.”





Kestone Perfectly Manages End to End Execution of Dell EMC India Partner Summit in Monaco Dell EMC India recently hosted the Dell EMC India Partner Summit which was planned and executed by Kestone IMS at the exotic destination of Monaco. The annual event was spread over 4 days with all the days filled with engagement activities and LIVE discussions to strengthen the Dell EMC partner association. The agency managed all aspects of the event which also featured entertainment acts by Bollywood celebs and multiple city visit tours.

The biggest challenge faced by Kestone was to identify a location that was suitable for the message and theme of the summit. Post the location was agreed upon, the next big challenge was to plan out the entire experience in four days. Considering Monaco is one of the costliest locations and the smallest city, we really had to be careful with weaving a theme and activities around it to engage the partners in 3 days. Another key aspect was the artist selection that would perfectly blend with the theme and entertainment. MEENAKSHI MEHTA






Percept ICE Adds a Contemporary Appeal to ZEE 25 Years Grand Party ZEE TV, the media powerhouse launched by Dr. Subhash Chandra in 1992 recently celebrated 25 successful years of the establishment through a grand party. Percept ICE was roped in by the media giant to design and execute the gala celebrations which saw the use of an abstract design and the black and white color combination to give the event a modern and contemporary vibe. The sharp glass bar, art installations, and the subtle lighting effects elevated the event to a different level altogether.

This was a massive milestone achieved by the ZEE Group and the mega celebrations had to skillfully reflect the scale and magnitude of this milestone moment. It was a great pleasure to see the outcome of all the planning and detailing unfold for the Grand Party and to have received many compliments for the setup. Many thanks to the ZEE Management for instilling their faith in us. VIDYA ALVA






Suprit Karkera Joins Dome Entertainment as Business Head, IP and Events Dome Entertainment recently announced the appointment of Suprit Karkera as Business Head, Intellectual Properties & Events. He will be responsible for spearheading the Intellectual Properties division and creating engaging and globally aspirational experiences for audiences. Suprit joins Dome Entertainment from Percept Live and has over 13 years of experience in the industry. Suprit says, “I have been following the outstanding work of Dome Entertainment, and I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of its thought leadership team and re-write the transformation story of the Indian entertainment industry.”

Suprit Karkera Business Head IPs and Events

The Indian Performing Right Society Collaborates with Amazon Prime Music in India The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) on March 12, 2018, announced that it has collaborated with Amazon India in respect of the IPRS music publishing repertoire for Amazon Prime Music in India (for Musical and Literary Works).

Javed Akhtar Chairman, IPRS

Javed Akhtar the Chairman of IPRS said, “The IPRS arrangement with Amazon India heralds a new era for IPRS and the music community in the country. With a strongly united IPRS, Indian lyricists and music composers can finally now start to reap the benefits of the historic changes to the Copyright law in India along with our music publisher members. IPRS looks forward to similar collaborative and positive relationships with platforms in India and is committed to transparent and ethical functioning”.

FICCI - EY Report 2018 Reveals M&E Industry Registered 13% Growth to Reach INR 1.5 Trillion in 2017 Released on March 4, 2018, the FICCI-EY Report 2018 has revealed that the Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector reached almost INR1.5 trillion (US$22.7 billion) in 2017, registering a growth of around 13% over 2016. With its current trajectory, the M&E sector is expected to cross INR2 trillion (US$31 billion) by 2020, at a CAGR of 11.6%. Ashish Pherwani, Partner, and M&E Advisor Leader, EY India, “Growth in 2017 was led by the digital, film & animation & VFX segments. We expect sectors like digital and gaming to grow between 2 to 3 times by 2020.”

Ashish Pherwani

Partner, and M&E Advisor Leader, EY India

Preeti Sawarkar Appointed CEO for Newly Launched BTL & Events Agency ZtoA Marketing Solutions Catering to the needs of a challenging market-place and the ever-growing demands for effective and creative solutions for BTL, Rural Marketing Communications, and Events, Triton Communications has launched ZtoA Marketing Solutions under the leadership of Preeti Sawarkar, as its CEO.

Preeti Sawarkar

CEO ZtoA Marketing Solutions


Commenting on the launch, Preeti Sawarkar says, “The market needs innovation. Traditional practices find no place in challenging times like these. As the name suggests, ZtoA is a reverse way of solutions thinking. It is a bottom-up approach of thinking, moving away from conventional mediums to innovation. The key services provided by ZtoA will include Activations, Rural Communications, Retail, and Events.”




ural Marketing Association of India (RMAI) hosted its flagship thought leadership convention the ‘RMAI Rural Marketing Conclave 2018’ on February 23 and 24, 2018 at Vivanta by Taj, Dwarka New Delhi. This years’ edition of the property brought together some of the sharpest minds of the industry, consisting of the most forward-thinking marketers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and technology players to navigate the future of Rural Marketing.

RMAI Rural Conclave 2018 Sees Exceptional Knowledge Sharing and Celebration of Young Talent

The first panel discussion of conclave featured Praveen Kumar–Rural Market Expert, Lighting Asia/India, IFC World Bank Group, Puneet Avasthi - EVP, IMRB International, Amit Rangra - EBD & VP, JWT & Anirban Chaudhary - SVP and EPD, JWT sharing their views on ‘Evolving new rural consumers and changing landscape’. The session was moderated by Shantanu Jain, Lead Experiential Marketing at EVENTFAQS. Through the discussion, the panelists deciphered that the lines between the rural and urban youth had blurred and women in rural today enjoyed a decision-making power in the household matters, owing to their increased contribution to the family income. In the succeeding session, Peeyush Bajpai, Director, Big Data, Neilson shared how analytics can enable companies to better understand rural customers and improve their marketing power. Following him on stage Dr. Venkat, Promoter, Sam Analytics shared an interesting case of a political party that leveraged Rural Marketing practices to create a strong presence for itself across large geographies. KV Sridhar (POPS), Founder & CCO, Hyper Collective spoke how to secure the turf in rural. He emphasised that companies need to focus on build brand engagement and affinity and not limit to brand awareness and availability alone.

Rural markets have changed faster than the marketers would have imagined just a few years back. Our endeavor at RMAI is to design knowledge platforms or share the knowledge that is relevant and in sync with the changing needs of the Rural of today. SANJAY KAUL PRESIDENT RMAI, AND FOUNDER & CEO IMPACT COMMUNICATIONS

Next, on the stage, Danish Siddiqui, Head Rural Marketing, Hero MotoCorp shared some winning strategies in the rural market, alongside some of the key initiatives taken by the company that contributes to their growth in the rural market. Siddhiqui divulged that brands should follow the mantra of - Being Natural, Enhance Reach, Create Meaningful Relationships and have ‘rigour’ in their approach to successfully market themselves in Rural. Deepak Saksena, Head Partnerships, Hindustan Unilever talked about the challenges of creating a viable business model in Rural, which is largely occupied, by CSR and Philanthropy. Day 2 of the RMAI Rural Conclave 2018 got off to a celebratory start as Onkar K Khullar, Founder, Digital Gandhi energised the audiences through fun engagements and delivered a through provoking address on the theme of ‘Social Innovation in Rural’. One of the biggest highlights of the Day 2 of the convention was the open house session “Raj Ki Chaupal” wherein Rajkumar Jha, Consultant, Ogilvy took on the audiences’ questions on Creating Creative and Effective Communication Strategies in the Rural Marketing domain.




Vijay Sharma, Commercial Lead, Global Emerging Markets Acceleration Team, GSK presented the case studies of the “Horlicks Swasthya Abhiyan” and “Mobile Sakhi” which are two of the many key initiatives by GSK in Rural. Sharma elaborated on how GSK leveraged data to engage their consumers in a meaningful and sustained manner. Following him, Siddhartha Choudhary, CEO, Desta Global shared with the audiences how his brand leveraged on mobile technology to create a viable business model to bring the rural ecosystem together. Subhroto Chakroborty, Founder & Chief Digital Consultant, Digital Fellow shared an extensive list of Do’s & Don’ts of Mobile Marketing in Rural. Chakroborty through his session highlighted that while most brands are increasingly using Mobile as a medium to market themselves, the campaigns that they are creating fail because they are curated on computer screens and not keeping mind how they will appear on mobile phones.

Next, at the convention, a representative panel of Academicians & Marketers shared their thoughts on Digital Strategies for Rural. Dr. Moutosy Maity from IIM Lucknow shared how the next generation needs to be prepared for Rural marketing in Digital Era. Puneet Vidyarthi - AVP Marketing & Digital Innovations, JCB, Rujuta Nadkarni Head Digital Marketing, Mahindra & Mahindra Farm Div. & Aditi Nanda - Ex-Head Marketing & BD, Cropin shared their insights on winning digital strategies. Prabhakar Tiwari of The MargDarshak Inc. moderated the session. Speakers from neighboring countries of Bangladesh and Nepal gave an overview of their respective rural markets those are largely similar to India and explained the scope of collaboration and need of cross-sharing of rural knowledge. Throughout the two days of the conclave, RMAI also felicitated 25 Young Rural Marketing Professionals of the Industry for their contribution to Rural Marketing.

Aashish Chopra, the award-winning Viral Video Marketer shared tricks of the trade, which one can keep handy while approaching a strategy for Viral Marketing. As Chopra shared with the audiences some of his most viral campaigns at Ixigo.com, he remarked, “It is a myth that one needs a state of the art production studio and top of the line technology to create viral video campaigns. It is in fact, the creativity that matters the most for a video campaign.”




30 Years & Still RUNNING Strong: Anil Singh, Procam International


ou have to meet Vivek Singh in person to experience the pleasantness of his smile and the incredible warmth he packs in a tight embrace. On a brief conversation we had on the phone a few days prior, he invited me to a Charity Awards Gala organised by his company. There are only a few people in this world who even in a fleeting interaction leave an indelible impact on you. For me, he was that person. Singh’s company Procam International (which he heads in his capacity of Managing Director with his brother Anil Singh) completes 30 illustrious years in the landscape of Indian events this June. I was eager to interview him for the same. I deliberately reached the venue a little before the event was to begin and was greeted by him with great enthusiasm. One can sense why he is looked upon as one of the most accomplished professionals in the Indian events industry today just by observing him. Even after achieving so much, arrogance hasn’t touched him at all. He realised I was a little hesitant speaking to him in a room full of people, he insisted we adjourn towards a quieter area just outside the venue and the conversations rolled on their own. “We complete 30 years in June and I must say what a journey it has been”- Singh states with a twinkle in his eyes. “Where do I begin?”- he questions. “From the start”- I replied. He recalls, “My brother Anil had a passion for sports which is undiluted even today. And I think now in hindsight that it is something so wonderful because having that passion for sports and the vision of doing something in the area of sports management was far ahead of its time. I remember this particular conversation; the year was 1987-1988 and Anil was talking to his father in law and he had been married just 3-4 years that time. He was speaking passionately of his vision of sports management in India and the changing paradigm of things.” “His father in law heard everything uncomplainingly but had a concerned look. He eventually went on to say - ‘Yes, this is all great but please also do some work on the side.’ So, you understand that it was a black spot for people when you talked about sports management at that time. A father was clearly concerned that his daughter may not get food on the table if his son in law only did this.”- completes Singh still chuckling over the memories.



He adds, “People today look back at the past and say that those were the glorious days of Indian sports, but the reality, however, is that now are the glorious days of Indian sports. When we started the sportsmen had nothing. There were no professional organisers. Sports has come a long way since then and the whole ethos of Procam International has been to ameliorate the condition of sports in India. Whether it’s been through organising sporting events or supporting sports in terms Vivek Singh of infrastructure and systems. And, that’s what Procam has actually done. Especially in sports that have traditionally never been in the limelight. At Procam, we created trends. We did 6 years of Squash when there were no promoters, we did 10 years of Tennis when the sport wasn’t that popular in India. Now we have done 15 years of marathon and last year we launched Powerboat racing where we created a race course on water. So, for us, it has been all about creating new sporting paradigms.” “But it couldn’t have been a smooth sailing all the way. What were some of the challenges you faced?”- I catechised. “Yes, we have had many obstacles. And, philosophically, we have written them all on the sand. The problem with sand is it keeps getting blown away, so we can’t focus on them always.”- he retorts candidly. He continues, “We have faced tonnes of opposition but somehow we managed to convince people with what we wanted to do because everyone saw that our intent was in the right place. 2 young brothers becoming success stories hasn’t been easy. But had it not been for our clear intent, none of this would have been possible. I mean look at where we are today. What we’ve created has transcended roads, barriers, cultures, the spirit of our events have gone to another realm. Now I look back and just feel grateful. I thank God, that thanks for making this possible through me. Our intent has been the secret ingredient of our success. We have never done anything to become rich. We believed in what we did and thanks to God’s grace, good intentions and a great team, our dreams turned into realities.” So, what can we expect from Procam in the next 30 years of its running?- I ask. Singh pauses for a second, joyously smiles and reverts, “Creating newer paradigms in sports.”


Geometry Encompass India Completes an Exceptionally Successful 20 Year Run


tarting off in the year 1998, Encompass was founded by Roshan Abbas and Sukrit Singh. The company has pioneered and led the experiential marketing space in India over the 20 solid years of its existence, having managed events from Auto Expos, government and state mandates, opening ceremonies of prestigious events to micro events at a rural level for large players across industries. Since joining WPP in 2008, the agency has grown considerably in stature and reputation. Geometry, a renowned global network, is relatively new in the Indian market and is well aware of India’s strengths and challenges and with their Indian leadership and global level expertise, the entity is poised to set new standards and benchmarks in India’s promising experiential marketing space. Having had a successful merger, the entity has grown its business manifold and is on the cusp of celebrating its 20-year run in India. Since then Geometry Encompass India has leveraged the global and local expertise of two companies to offer brand experience solutions which enhance and widen consumer engagement. This has led them to diversify their business from largely experiential/events to include rural and shopper. Geometry Encompass India strengthens the whole Geometry Global network because India is a critical market with its growth and size.

On his visit to India, Steve Harding, Global CEO, Geometry Global commented, “We work with a number of global brands such as Diageo, Unilever, and Kimberly-Clark across the region and for these brands, India is a very attractive market with a huge potential. Given that Geometry Encompass India has incredible expertise in brand activation, we can help build a trustworthy relationship between Indian consumers and the brand through firsthand experiences. On the other hand, Indian brands face fierce competition in the local market and several of them are ready for overseas markets. Within the Geometry Global network, Geometry Encompass India can work together with other markets to expand local brands into regional/ global markets.” Speaking on completing two decades in the industry, Sukrit Singh, Group CEO, Geometry Encompass India said, “We have been through a great journey so far and have pioneered numerous activations in this space since our inception. 20 years is more of a reminder to us to push the envelope further and take our achievements ahead to create value for our brand partners and consumers with newer ideas and dynamic innovations thereby enhancing the way Indian consumers interact with brands.” Geometry Encompass India as an entity pans their vision across markets and believes in making changing challenges to opportunities in untapped markets to reach out to target consumers.




Sanjoy Roy Unanimously Nominated and Elected Next President of EEMA Sanjoy Roy, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Teamwork Arts has been unanimously nominated and elected as the new President of Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA). Roy’s appointment comes after a rigorous process articulated by Ernst & Young and overviewed by the former EEMA President, Brian Tellis where a total of 5 nomination forms were received for the EEMA Presidentship, all of which proposed Roy’s name. It is reported that Roy will take over his duties at the next General Body Meeting of EEMA scheduled to be held at EEMAGINE 2018 in Jaipur. Commenting on the occasion, Sanjoy Roy, MD, Teamwork Arts and New President-Elect, EEMA shared, “I am delighted to have been appointed as the President of EEMA! Following in the footsteps of the past presidents will be no easy task. EEMA members and their organisations contribute to local economies, help bring together communities and most importantly help create jobs. There is much to be done to realise the aims and goals of the membership of EEMA. I look forward to meeting with, understanding and including all our partners concerns in the coming months and working together to build a better future for the industry.”


EEMAgine 2018 Set to Take Place at Fairmont Jaipur from May 6-8 In a recent address of the members of EEMA, the association’s President Sabbas Joseph finally revealed details about the next EEMAgine convention. He shared, “EEMAgine 2018 is confirmed to be held at the Fairmont, Jaipur from May 6 to 8, 2018. May 6 will see the Annual General Meeting of the association where the new President-elect Sanjoy Roy will be taking over as the President. Elections for the NEC too would be held at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).” It is to be noted that the ‘EEMAX Global Awards’ which is EEMA’s flagship awards property celebrating the best work in the Experiential domain by agencies and the ‘EEMA Spotlight Awards’ honoring the best work by the service providers and artists community would also be held during EEMAgine 2018.





THE ART OF DELEGATION The Cue Cards is a series created to provide a few insights and to explore the possibilities of self expression and career growth in order to experience fulfilment in life. So here is a set of cue cards that introduce concepts and enable us to navigate our way through circumstances and create our own destiny. BY SUSHMA GAIKWAD CUE CARD 1 Activate a Mind Sweep

CUE CARD 3 Lead Proactively

CUE CARD 5 Job well done!

Delegation of tasks plays an important role to augment your growth. It enables you to plan forward and increase productivity. Hence, first create a comprehensive job list that captures all the projects that you are responsible for. Then, break down the job list into a detailed task list along with a dateline plan. This will enable you to keep a tab on all tasks and deadlines and provide you with an opportunity to plan your time.

Your main job is to be on top of the job list and allocated tasks. Closely monitor the project and proactively work on the next steps. Ensure that you are frequently updated by the team on tasks being accomplished, or any that they are struggling to complete. Issue reminders for the task well in advance to secure timely delivery. Even if the team working on the task are your peers, be assertive and lead with conviction.

CUE CARD 2 Allocate Tasks

CUE CARD 4 Communicate to connect

Once all aspects of the tasks and jobs completed are monitored and delivered, take a moment to appreciate all those who worked alongside you. In fact, send appreciation mails marked to your senior leadership to your team mates. The basic need of a professional is to be appreciated by their leaders and peers – and your appreciation will go a long way in establishing a lasting relationship with your team. Always remember, a leader showers praise where it is due.

Task allocation is best when it is not done at random. Review your dateline plan and allocate tasks evenly within the team. It is a fallacy that only managers can allocate – In fact, allocation of task could be done between team mates as well. When you conduct this, do it according to the capability of the person being allocated the task. Also, provide an overview of job list to give the person a macro perspective of the delivery expected. Ensure that the tasks are allocated along with delivery dates as well.

Teams are propelled by inspiration. Take the opportunity to inspire your team. Don’t make the project only about job lists and tasks. Communicate with empathy, passion, and understanding. Delegation is not about commanding or demanding. It is about inspiring and propelling action. This is done best by connecting with the team and by always being in communication – not only about the tasks at hand, but, about what their day-today life and schedule looks like. If tasks are not being met with, take a moment to connect with your colleague to evaluate if the workload could be shared or distributed. Always ensure that you communicate to connect.

In Conclusion Proactive delegation holds the key to professional growth. Delegation is about delivering excellence by engaging teams to work on projects along side you. Effective delegation also provides an opportunity to be perceived as a leader within the organisation. Delegate proactively, effectively, and with empathy! Build an ‘Extraordinary Life’ with choices that create an Extraordinary experience for others!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR With her roots firmly entrenched in the experiential industry, Sushma forayed into the field of learning and development over a decade ago. Sushma has made her mark in the industry as a sought after Skill Facilitator, Leadership Coach and Life Mentor and specialises in transformative, breakthrough and NLP techniques. FOLLOW SUSHMA GAIKWAD Facebook: sushmagaikwad.ofc Twitter: Sushmaspeak





SOUND.COM Brought On-board for OneRepublic Concert in Mumbai 2018 is definitely kick-starting on an extraordinary note for music aficionados in the sub-continent as the award winning American band OneRepublic is set to perform live on April 21, 2018 at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai. SOUND.COM has roped in to manage the audio setup at the concert. Commenting on the same, Warren D’Souza, Founder & MD, SOUND.COM shares, “It is a privilege to share through this medium that I am elated to be associated with the upcoming OneRepublic Concert in Mumbai. The concert along with the other major events has successfully reinstated that India has finally become a ticket buying audience for LIVE Music as a result of which, major international artists are being announced by event promoters at least one in every 4 months.”

Warren D’Souza Founder & MD SOUND.COM

Fountainhead Digital MKTG Launches India’s First Experiential Technology Labs Fountainhead Digital MKTG, the Digital and Experiential Innovation division of Fountainhead MKTG, a Dentsu Aegis Network agency, has launched ‘The Texperiential Labs’ - India’s First Experiential Technology Focused Innovation Centre.

Thapas Joseph

Commenting on the launch, Thapas Joseph, President, Fountainhead Digital MKTG said, “The Texperiential Labs is a result of years of capability development across different technology domains. The Texperiential Labs will be a space for our clients to come and experience first-hand, the pivotal role that various technologies can play in their brand experience strategy”.

President Fountainhead Digital MKTG

Young Mirchies Produces Twin Virtual Hosts to Exhibit ACG’s Offerings at CPhI and P-Mec India 2017 In the hustle bustle of the most awaited show of the pharma industry – CPhI and P-Mec India 2017, Young Mirchies associated with the ACG Group to showcase the latter’s offerings at CPhI and P-MEC India 2017. “While Virtual Host is a well-known concept in India now, the rarity here was to make it on-demand and showcase 10 different product offerings of ACG. Putting them all together and to make them trigger ondemand with animations within the given deadlines was the real challenge, but we are happy with the team’s efforts in making it possible with such finesse”- said, Nitesh Dhiver, Co-Founder, Young Mirchies. Nitesh Dhiver Co-Founder Young Mirchies

Star India Makes VIVO IPL 2018 More Immersive by Infusing VR Experience for Audiences Star India is all set to reimagine VIVO Indian Premier League 2018 by making one of India’s biggest sporting spectacle more engaging and bringing it even closer to cricket fans across the country. Star India will stream Vivo IPL on Hotstar in Virtual Reality. This immersive VR experience will make it possible for fans to come closer to the high-octane matches within the comfort of their homes.

Sanjay Gupta

Managing Director Star India


Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, comments, “Over its 10-year journey, the IPL has grown into the single biggest property by far on Indian television. And now that it is on the Star India network across both, television and digital, we are set to use the confluence of technology, consumer insight, and experience in cricket coverage, to broaden the outreach and experience even further.”


TECHNOLOGY Gone are the days when engagement for the audiences at events was restricted to the witty one-liners mouthed by an over-rehearsed emcee. Today, an event audience demands more. Whether it’s a ticketed music festival or a delegated business symposium, the audiences at events are looking for an exceptional experience that they can take back from the event. Interestingly, in such a scenario, event technology is the only differentiator that has the power to turn even the most ordinary events into extra-ordinary extravaganzas. In this feature at ExM, we have a look at 3 Immersive Tech engagements that are guaranteed to make your events more awesome.


3 Immersive Tech Engagements to Make Your Events More ‘Awesome’

With this technology, when you smile for the camera at an event, you might get more than just a souvenir photo. You would instead, be handed your personalised badge without having to ask for it. The facial recognition technology is transforming the event industry by personalising the event check-in experience more than ever before! Expo-Logic is at the forefront of this technology, offering facial recognition for attendee check-in at events across the globe. In collaboration with Zenus Biometrics, Expo Logic uses facial recognition technology on-site at events, to check-in attendees using only their face. During the online registration process, attendees are asked to upload a photo of themselves or use their social media account which already has their photo, to complete their registration. Then at the event, cameras which are attached to registration kiosks, take pictures of attendees and the facial recognition software recognises their faces. Each attendee’s badge then automatically prints as they approach a nearby kiosk. This whole process takes an average of 15 to 20 seconds. Using this technology, you can eliminate the need for ticket or barcode scanning and speed up the attendee check-in process. Facial recognition technology is not only a fast and seamless way to check attendees in at your event, but it also provides a secure, personal, and delightful experience for attendees. Facial Recognition

As Technology moves to increasingly being handsfree so does the Attendee Registration experience from Touch and Go to No Touch Interface: Revolutionising Meetings Registration with a new disruptive facial recognition Tech allows event owners to take attendee experience to a new level. NITIN SHARMA CHIEF IDEATOR STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT AND EVENT SOLUTIONS (SEES)




The thing I love most about our Flip-Disc Display is that look of pure joy on people’s faces as they see and hear their movements mirrored by thousands of tiny discs. For an event producer, it’s a truly novel way to get people to interact and share their experience. DANIEL B. LEE HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS, LUSTER

The Flip-Disc Display System


The Flip-Disc Display System is a modular, kinetic display made up of thousands of magnetic flipping discs. It has been designed with the goal of taking digital content and turning it into a physical experience - one that’s approachable, alluring, and exciting. The mesmerising sound and motion of these discs stop people in their tracks and draw them in to interact with the 3D depth-sensing camera. It’s an amazing thing to watch, as people realize they’re seeing themselves recreated with thousands of moving discs. The additional experience of ‘Hearing’ their movements simply bends people’s minds. In a world of ultra-high-resolution displays, this interactive technology stands out from everything else and commands the attention of those that walk by.


The next interactive event technology on our list is Socialmat which is one of the many engaging products by Visionteractive. Visionteractive is a bunch of brilliant minds, harnessing technology to turn the event platform into a new marketing channel. Socialmat is a smart and social vending machine, which has made a telling mark with brands as big and international as Coca-Cola. The concept works with a bespoke #hashtag. Posted on the entrance to an event, store, or a mall, with the e.g. brand logo, people share the hashtag via Twitter or Instagram for a free goodie from an affiliated vending machine.

Our physical and digital products are fun, interactive and keep the brand in mind. They bridge the gap between the virtual and the real world. We offer an ad platform to our brands which they can integrate into their own digital setup. After usage, brands, and agencies get the exact data and reports. The system is scalable. It creates a report and cost per activation and changes the promotion model out of sight, singling out the target market and fostering peer-to-peer marketing. Socialmat





Brandwidth Events Pvt Ltd.




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