Mr. Bharat Patel
Chairman, Indian Society of Advertisers
Good evening everybody, Professor Jagdish Seth, Mr. Dharen Chadha, friends ladies and gentlemen before I start please switch of your cells or put them on the silent mode. I think that this is very essential because not only the speaker’s get disturbed but also the people sitting next to you get disturbed so please do that. In my capacity…let me check whether I have done that….yes I did. Thank you, in my capacity as the chairman of the Indian Society of Advertisers let me first welcome all of you, a very warm welcome in this seminar which is called the “Building Global Brands out of India”.

Most of us here are quite well aware of what this stands for and the role it plays in the industry. However for those who are not the members of the ISA, ISA is India society of advertisers, who are promoting this program, I thought I might spend just few moments and give you some background of our organization. ISA was founded more then fifty years ago and its founder members were Tata’s, Birla’s, Glaxo, Parle, Bata, corn products and Polson, these were the great advertisers and great brands of those days. Over the years major advertisers and small and medium advertisers have joined the membership. Our current membership is around 175. This is small in numbers compared to the total number of advertisers in India. It is substantial when it comes to their advertising and brand building appropriations. They collectively account for nearly two thirds of all the expenditures made in India. Let me just briefly take you thru the broad objectives of the ISA. ISA has set its primary role in three broad areas. First and foremost is the role of

Maintaining and upholding the ethical disciplining role in advertising. The world over it has been the experience that if we do not self regulate ourselves then our standards tend to drop and its does not take too long for the government of the country to step in and start regulating any activity which has an impact on the society at large. As such the ISA itself is a promoter of discipline in advertising and in keeping with this objective ISA has been in fore front in promoting codes and standards of advertising in India. The Advertising Standard Council of India which is ASCI was promoted by ISA nearly twenty years ago and we continue to play an active role in the starting of the standards and running of it. By proactively interacting with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry we are ensuring that ASCI code becomes the currency for assessing …whether the commercial shown on TV meet ethical standards or not. And the ASCI’s consumer complaint council which is made up of civil members and the senior advertising practitioners becomes their valuating body even for the mandatory advertising code in the cable TV act. In fact the government is working its way that ASCI in tandem with the cable TV act with the codes and the evaluation process.
The second broad area where we believe we have a role to play is to monitor, measure and moderate media in terms of cost competition and media audience. That is the viewership, readership and listener ship surveys and programs on that. it is important for most of us who spend large sums of money in advertising and brand building to understand how cost-effectively our monies are being deployed. The ISA’s media committee keeps a sharp eye on how this efficiency measures are changing over the time and keeps its members as well as the entire advertising industry informed on the same. We were instrumental in setting up of the first measurement of readership in the country by the NRS studies needed, similarly we were actively involved in the setting up of the television audiences by being the lead player in the joint industry body guiding the setting of the people meters for measuring the TV audiences. When we talk about the cost of advertising, we must not only deal with the media cost but also the government imposed taxation which ultimately affects the total cost of advertising. And therefore directly affects the consumer prices also. Here too ISA has paid an important role in the past and continue to do so in the future. We have been instrumental in having the tax on advertising after it has been imposed by the government four times in past decade, in every ten years somebody comes up with …somebody in the government comes up with the tax on advertising like this allowance or tax or something. And ISA has been in the forefront ever since in sixties when T.T Krishnamachari started it right up to in the nineties when Chidambaram has done that…pushing back the tax on advertising. Similarly in the recent times we have been able to convince the government to allow the setting up of the service tax paid against the cenvat that means the manufacturing excise duty which is paid against that service tax can be set off when it became a major burden. When the government levied service tax on TV broadcasting you know the whole set of process of service tax against cenvat was prime move by ISA.
The third and the equally important area where we tried to play a role in keeping the members informed and updated in all matters related to advertising and development of advertising issues across the world. As the members of the World Federation of Advertisers, WFA, we have some unique inputs in being able to provide such guidance to all our members and we carry out such activity thru variety of vehicles like the publication of our in house newsletter, other publications and surveys which gives the cost efficient comparison between the various publications, by running workshops for our members regionally or all over the country and of course by holding seminars such as this today. We make an attempt to inform and keep our members and also general advertising audiences and advertisers on what is the latest development in the field of advertising and marketing. It is clear that the stimulating discussion, debate and deliberation around the subjects which are critical to the times becomes the integral part of the objective to train and exercise the minds of advertising and marketing practitioners around such subjects and as you will agree that the brand building has clearly become a key ingredient for Indian businesses today as we embark on the exciting mission of making a global impact out of India. Branding leads to credibility in quality, stated in another way, quality derives from branding, and if we are to make an impact globally we need to build brands out of India.
Perhaps it is best that at this stage I hand you over to Dharen Chadha, who heads our knowledge partner in today’s venture momentum strategy consultants, to tell you more about the subject that we have chosen for this seminar and how it is one of the most critical if not the most…in fact not most critical but only critical area focused for us in the industry. Dharen and his team has done a lot of work in putting this seminar together so that we can have all the benefits of hearing and discussing this issue with some of the biggest names in the field of today.

May I also welcome on behalf of you, Doctor Professor Jagdish Seth, who needs no introduction, thank you Jagdish for sparing this time. We all know the hectic schedules that you keep and we thank you very much for giving this time. Before I hand over to Dharen I want to introduce him, Mr. Dharen Chadha, is the Managing Director of Momentum Strategy Consultants Private Limited. Dharen started the Momentum Strategy Consultants in 1997 upon his return to India after serving as Global planning director for J Walter Thompson. Under his leadership Momentum is growing to be one of the leading brand strategy company in the country having worked with such companies and brands such as Asian paints, Lakme, Wipro, HLL, Brooke Bond, P&G – he helped on our brand Ariel, Pepsi, Reebok, TATA, ITC, GMR, Lifebuoy, ACC, Unilever, Esquire, VIP, Kotak, J&K Bank etc.

one more announcement I do want to make before I hand over to Dharen, is that as it is inevitable in such seminars we do have a very important speaker who was supposed to come in today to talk to all of us , a Mr. Sunil Mittal in the evening and I heard last night that he has been called by the Prime Minister himself in the meeting today most likely something to do with the reservation impact on the private sector which is now the burning issue among the politicians and the pressures coming on to the industry bodies but he is unable to come in today, in his place the talk will be delivered by his executive director Mr. Jayanth Khosla. It is a bit of disappointment for all of and I’m sure more for you who are the participants in the seminar but I assure you that his talk is going to be delivered and perhaps some other time I say we will organize his presence in this seminar. So over to you Dharen, thank you very much.
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