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Report on FORE International Marketing Conference (FIMC 2013)

18th December 2013, Genesis


FORE School of Management, New Delhi organised the FORE International Marketing Conference on the theme ‘Reinventing Marketing for Emerging Markets’ at its campus from 28th to 30th Nov 2013. European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) was the knowledge and research partner while Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) was the partner chamber for the conference.

The conference started with an inaugural session where the Chief Guest was Dr. Yasho V. Verma, CEO of Onida. The other guests of honour were Mr. Vipul Sabharwal, VP (Sales & Marketing), Whirlpool, Prof. W.B. Joseph, Emeritus Professor of Marketing, Cleveland State University, USA and Mr. Arvind Pradhan, Director General, IMC. The Chief Guest gave the message that there was no correlation between customer surveys and customer buying behaviour, and brands are crucial since consumers in emerging markets do not have too much scope for experimentation. Mr. Vipul Sabharwal talked about the importance of local menu and distribution structures in emerging markets. Prof. W.B. Joseph provided insights into the differences between marketing practices in developed and emerging markets. Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director, FORE and the Conference Chair, stressed on the idea of focusing on the GNP rather than GDP for emerging economies, as they have certain advantages in export markets. Mr. Arvind Pradhan focused on the impact of digital technologies on consumer behaviour in developing countries.



There was a plenary session on the morning of 29th Nov. and then a panel discussion. Both these saw the presence of some of the best known academicians, corporate experts and the delegates from EIAS. The theme of the plenary session was ‘Emerging vs. Developed Economies: Power Shift’ and the panel discussion was on ‘The Future of Emerging Markets: Speed Bumps Ahead?’.

Prof. Abhinandan Jain from IIM-Ahmedabad talked about the need for innovating localised solutions. Mr. Axel Goethals, CEO of EIAS, propagated the thought that it is concepts that are sold rather than products. Prof. P. Rameshan, Director of IIM-Rohtak, emphasised that until exuberance is matched with the right effort, there can be no power shift towards the developing markets. Mr. Erik Famaey, Senior Associate, EIAS, gave the insight that creation of the credit bubble is the biggest speed bump for emerging markets.



Post these sessions, the conference had nine technical sessions spread over the 29th and 30th of November, where academicians, researchers and some corporate executives presented their research work and conceptual papers. These contributions were on themes like the role of social media marketing in emerging markets, green and other societal marketing practices, differences in consumer behaviour in the developing compared to mature markets, marketing practices in select sectors like banking, telecom and retail, and the changing services marketing landscape in the emerging countries, with particular reference to India. There were some good and thought-provoking ideas which were propagated by the presenters and deliberated upon by the audience.



The conference ended with the valedictory session on the evening of 30th Nov. 2013. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Mr. Santosh Desai, MD and CEO, Futurebrands. He gave a captivating valedictory address where he exhorted the marketers to be bold, creative and more interesting, and learn from the unorganied sector in emerging markets, which are capturing the imagination of the local consumers in most product categories.



The FORE International Marketing Conference (FIMC 2013) was a very successful event on a contemporary and important issue. All the guests and participants were unanimous in their appreciation of the excellent organisation and management shown by the conference convening team at FORE. The papers presented at the conference will soon be published as an edited book by the well known publishers, Bloomsbury.


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