Day 2…aah…This was the day i bet most participants would have good memories of. There was quite to take away in terms of value-add due to the nature of the speakers during various addresses and discussions. But before i start off, lemme do some additions to my previous day’s postings. The dandiya, did start off around 11PM and yours truly was there upto around 1.30AM, by which time I had assumed the fizz was out….Never was i so wrong (nah, today i was even more wrong… more details towards the end ? ) The program went on upto 5AM !!! Dontcha under-estimate WIMWIans:D

Anyways, the day started with a talk on “I-Bank trends: Future of Treasury in Banking” By Mr.K.Vaidyanathan, President & CEO, Athena Finance. Since finance was something I could hardly spell, yours truly, err, kinda gave it the skip. But me hears it was quite a good talk. The next talk in line was the Sapient Corporate Lecture by Mr.Preston Bradford, Executive Vice-President, Sapient Technologies. He spoke on “Offshore Outsourcing: Making IT work”. Being the Business consulting and Technology Services firm that it is, he had quite a few insights to give on the way Offshore outsourcing in IT has evolved and is likely to evolve. Something that he said that was news to quite some junta here (and me too :p) was that 70% of all IT projects fail!!! He then went on to elaborate the reasons for the same. He described what kinda offshoring models exist and what kinda strategies can a company follow in case it decides to outsource. And It sure was a talk that shed light on quite a few key aspects of this emerging industry.

The Next talk of the day was by Mr.Shripad Nadkarni, VP-Marketing, Coca Cola India. He spoke on ” Cola Wars: Marketing Strategies of Coca-Cola in India”. And this was one very good talk. More so since the speaker took ocassional and good-humoured potshots at both Pepsi and IIM-A ( the speaker being an alumnus of IIM-B) . A typical Marketing exec talk which talked of the strategies that they followed by basically identifying “Values” & “insights” and acting on them. He spoke on Demand creation using the examples of Kinley, Mirinda, Maaza and Coke. On a question as to why coke still hasn’t reached the decline stage of the product lifecycle, he had this to say “Coke has two parts to it; the Never-changing part and the Ever-changing part “


The next talk was probably one of the most enjoyed talk of Confluence 2004. It was by Mr. R.Balakrishnan, Executive Creative Director, Lowe Lintas. He was supposed to speak on advertising in emerging markets and true to the typical adman’s self started off flamboyantly saying this ” Is Paris a developed or developing economy for Idlis??? ” And through out his presentation, which was done through a series of advertisements, both Indian and global, he drove home the point that advertising, per se, is not something that can be a single solution.It is primarily to fix a communication issue and that needs to be done differently in different places. Some of the ads that he had included in his presentation indeed had their desired effect – Some bringing a smile to the face and some resulting in furious scratching of the head ? . And the presentation was followed by a very interactive Q&A; session and Mr.Balki (as he is referred to in media circles) effectively had the audience chewing off his hand ?

The last event of the day was something that pulled in quite a few people, and no wonder why!!! It was a Times Group Media Conclave on “Managing Media in an “Anycast” World” and the panel reads (phew!!) M.J. Akbar, Editor, Asian Age, Arnab Goswami , now VP-News and editor of to-be-launched Times’ News channel, Mr.Bhaskar Das, Director-Times Group, Mr.Neville Taraporewalla, Country Manager, Yahoo! India, Mr.Abhishek Bhatia, Head-Marketing, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Mr.Shashi Sinha, Exec Director, FCB Ulka. Truth be spoken, this was probably the only talk that didn’t quite go anywhere. It more or less morphed into a one-on-one between Mr.Akbar and Mr.Das on the Times of India’s News and Sales policy (which mr.Akbar more or less believed are the same ? ). Mr. Bhatia pointed out a few innovative techniques that he had tried in his company in trying to reach the new-age consumers. But then the tone of the discussion had already been set by Mr.Akbar when he primarily targeted the Times group and Mr.Das was bent on retorting to each statement. Nevertheless, was interesting to hear Mr.Bhatia and Mr.Shashi who had some good insights to offer.

The day ended (or rather, in IIMA’s parlance, started) around 11.30PM with a party at the ramp. The ramp is, well, a ramp that forms one of the architectural sights that this campus is full of. And yours truly again committed the sacrilege of assuming the party was done with around 2.30AM when I logged off for the day. Again, Never was I so wrong. Moi was told, the “party” started around 3AM and went on upto 6AM…..Beat that!!! Work Hard, Party Harder….Heard that lotta times, Guess last few days have been the time when I actually saw that implemented to the hilt ?

Dateline:24th October, 2004

Place: IIM-Ahmedabad,TATA Confluence 2004

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