Industry bigwigs get together at e4m Conclave with Sir Martin Sorell


Moderated by R Sukumar, Editor, Mint, the panel discussion between Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive WPP Group, Aroon Purie, Chairman, India Today group, and Sam Balsara, Chairman & Managing Director, Madison World, encouraged many of the questions the answers to which the contemporary media, marketing and advertising industry is looking for. Opening the discussion with the idea that within new corporations, thirty percent of the revenue comes from digital media and it is important to keep pace with such numbers, Purie handed over the conversation to Sir Martin Sorrell.

According to Sir Sorrell, there is need for adaptation by client and adoption by consumers of the digital media industry along with mobile media. Aggressive growth can be seen in this field and WPP itself will be investing 40-45 % on the digital. Newspapers have a lot going against them since they have realized that content cannot be given out for free. Economic challenges and environment unfriendliness has made it a dead albatross within the industry. The use of digital media is something that old people cannot adapt to but soon this will reduce since the new generation is completely capable of handling the technology that lies ahead.

Sukumar agreed that investing in the legacy business has led to ‘losing dollars, chasing cents’ and why would anyone not invest in digital. The best way to tackle this problem according to him is synergy and working together. The challenge to work together and multitask makes sure than content, especially content that people want, is created for all the platforms, be it newspaper or a mobile medium. Balsara continued the discussion by talking about how digital is not only about branding, search or ecommerce. The digital space has become slow because of the specialized digital agencies that do it a disservice.

Going back to Sir Sorrell, Purie questioned him about his view for the global industry in the coming years and Sir Sorrell gave a very detailed account of how he was excited about the opportunities for Russia, Germany and Poland. He was excessively concerned about the situation in Egypt but positive about a soft landing in China especially with its anti corruption laws. But finally, he stated that India would be the most challenged in the coming situation because though the industry is quickly growing, it is not quick enough. He predicted that even after the elections were over, India would still see a situation of slump but ended by commenting that he feels bullish about the future of the country and the power of its people.

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