Storyboard18 Visionaries - Mumbai chapter: An epic evening of celebrating marketing masterminds

Storyboard18 Visionaries brought together marketing elite for a night of recognition in India's financial and creative capital - Mumbai.

By  Tasmayee Laha RoyApr 27, 2024 3:16 PM
Storyboard18 Visionaries - Mumbai chapter: An epic evening of celebrating marketing masterminds
Industry stalwarts like Bharat Puri, MD, Pidilite, Santosh Iyer, CEO and MD, Mercedes Benz India and Prasoon Joshi, chairman APAC, McCann Worldgroup, and CEO & CCO McCann Worldgroup India, shared anecdotes from their journeys of building iconic brands and on marketing, leadership and focus on consumers.

Mumbai's hustle couldn't keep a good crowd away. On April 26, at the Four Seasons in Worli, the city's marketing elite gathered for Storyboard18 Visionaries. Forget dusty rulebooks - these visionaries quoted their own success stories. From iconic brands to cutting-edge AI, the room buzzed with builders of household names and tomorrow's marketing marvels.

Construction, traffic, sirens, even the Friday night club pull - none of it mattered. This wasn't just about networking, it was about celebrating marketing excellence, in all its messy and marvellous glory.

Shampoo, music, makeup, glue, artificial intelligence, biscuits, even fixed deposits - the range of celebrated brands spoke volumes about the boundless creativity in the room.

The Mumbai chapter of Storyboard18 Visionaries was a night of shared stories, sharp minds, and the unwavering pursuit of success.

Industry stalwarts like Bharat Puri, MD, Pidilite, Santosh Iyer, CEO and MD, Mercedes Benz India and Prasoon Joshi, chairman APAC, McCann Worldgroup, and CEO & CCO McCann Worldgroup India, shared anecdotes from their journeys of building iconic brands and on marketing, leadership and focus on consumers.

“When people tell you brands are tired, it's never true, it's just the managers who are tired,” said Puri while explaining how sometimes brand managers need to step out of their comfort zones and meet the end user to revitalise a product.

“Spend time with the consumer, don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Puri added. A good brand starts and ends with the consumer, said the legendary marketer who has built Asian Paints, Cadbury and Fevicol.

MVS Murthy, CMO of Federal Bank, also spoke at length about not being afraid to make mistakes. According to Murthy, “If you are not living on the edge, you are occupying too much space.”

The amount of knowledge shared in the room on Friday night could easily fill pages of a book on marketing.

Mercedes Benz’s Iyer, who started his journey in sales followed by marketing and later became the German auto major's first-ever Indian chief for the market, summed up his key takeaway from the journey succinctly: “Don’t be a cost centre. Whenever there is cost cutting, marketing is the first money that is cut. To prevent that from happening, be a revenue driver."

The Visionaries who were recognised in the Mumbai Chapter included Mukta Maheshwari, Chief Marketing Officer at P&G; Neha Ahuja, Director and Head of Marketing at Spotify; Sujatha V Kumar, Head of Marketing for India and South Asia at Visa; Nitin Saini, VP Marketing at Mondelez International; Harman Dhillon, Vice President, Haircare at Unilever; Lance Bennett, VP Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz India.

The list doesn’t end with Bennett though. They were Ajay Dang, President and Head of Marketing at Ultra Tech Cement; Ankit Kapoor, Head of Marketing and International Business at Parle Agro; Arvind Iyer, CMO of Piramal Finance; Asha Kharga, Chief Customer and Brand Officer of the Mahindra Group; Gaurav Ramdev, CMO of Protean Egov Technologies; Manish Dubey, CMO of Pidilite; Tushar Malhotra, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bisleri International Private Limited; Rathin Lahiri, Head of Marketing and CSR at SBI General Insurance; Udit Agarwal, Global Marketing Head at EXOTEL; Vaibhav Mehrotra, Head of Marketing at CashFree; Anuradha Aggarwal, Director and CMO of Amazon Pay; Chandra Mohan Mehra, CMO of Bajaj Allianz; Vaishali Iyer, Country Head, Communications at Novartis, Amrit Raj; CMO of Zetwerk; Prabhakar Tiwari, Chief Growth Officer at Angel One; Arpan Biswas, Head of Marketing at Ajio; Mayank Shah, Vice President at Parle; and Saloni Shah, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, L’Oréal India.

The pièce de résistance for the night though was a conversation with Prasoon Joshi. Joshi’s signature wit, poetic flair, and marketing knowledge were on full display, but this time he added another dimension – a song.

Before Joshi set the stage on fire humming ‘Mile Sur', he dropped some ad wisdom too. He said, “I don’t write ads, I write short stories. I am a storyteller.”

Its election season and the night didn’t end without discussions on political visionaries.

Did you really think we'd wrap up the evening without diving into some NaMo pe charcha? Of course not.

For the uninitiated, Joshi has been working with the Bharatiya Janata Party on their Lok Sabha elections’ campaigns.

When asked about brand Modi, the creative mastermind Joshi summed it up perfectly. ”From hope to trust, asha se vishwass tak, that’s the Modi brand story."

First Published on Apr 27, 2024 10:35 AM

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