ALEX KURUVILLA Managing Director, Mtv India. Welcome Address

Hi! And welcome to the third Mtv and Brand Equity Forum. Infact this is the first time we are holding the youth forum in Delhi and judging by the incredible response that we have got we have obviously made the right decision but what is even more heartening is the fact that people have winged their way to Delhi all the way from Hyderabad, from Chennai got a huge contingent from Bombay so I'd like to just thank all of them for taking this effort and I promise it's going to be worth every bit of your time that you spend here. 

It was only recently that Mini just spoke about it that we have had run away success with an event that we did again in Delhi showing the importance that Delhi plays in the youth market today and that was in the world's longest dance party. It is only recently that we have got an official intimation of the fact that we are now and Delhi is included in the official world record in the Guiness Book of World Records. 

I was asked yesterday by a journalist why we do these youth forums? And to be honest I was slightly puzzled because we hadn't really intellectualized this decision, we hadn't thought about it. It just came naturally to us cos we believe that having built over the last couple of years one of the three most powerful Mtv brands in the world and this was the global equity study done last year which showed that Brazil, the US and India were the three most powerful Mtv brands in the world. We took it upon us to actually fuel this category a category which is one of the biggest and fastest growing youth markets in the whole world.

At MTV itself we have been endeavoring to move from a uni-dimensional brand to a slightly more complex 360 degree model. A year ago you could know listen to or watch Mtv. But today, friends, an event like this or the world's longest dance party you can actually experience the brand we launched, Mtv style, last month which gets you to feel the brand, and hang in there, some of you are actually gonna win Mtv merchandise this afternoon and soon you gonna be hearing a bit from one of our partners who's gonna talk about when you'll get to serf Mtv.

So I think that's the evolution we are looking at but having said all that if I would have to single out one single mission statement for the brand in India: it is that we believe that we want to get young people to believe that it's cool to be Indian from desi cool which used to be a buzz word you know a few years ago we have evolved into "it's cool to be desi". And it's paradoxical that at this very moment when the world is beginning to discover India we seem to be the flavour of the month. You hear about the Deepak Chopra's, and the geeks from Silicon Valley and the Sabeer Bhatia's of hotmail fame, it's our belief that this is the time that Indian markets need to actually get a world view.

It's time to stop looking inward and being insular touch you looking at what makes those big, huge, successful youth brands across the world tick? Because we look at the successes of the Indian's outside this country it's that they have actually managed to get the best of both worlds managed to get the best practice of international brands and picked their learning from the market that they have originally came from.

So with that we are delighted to have with us a star studded line up of speakers and it's not surprising that the latest copy of Fortune has two of the companies represented in it and gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Chris Deering, the president of the Sony play station and I for one I am waiting with baited breath to hear about the launch of play station to Chris which was such a humongous success in Japan.

We have with us Ron Coughlin, the international marketing headed Pepsi, a brand most of us are familiar with their success in India is legendry and their pioneering efforts in the youth market across the globe again is something which everyone has heard about.

To tell us more about how they manage to make plastics become very sexy is Julian Gould from Swatch, a cult brand that has really moved from strength to strength, and we have Malcolm Henson of Zenith, who'll share with us the story of how Nokia has streaked it's way to the number 1 position? Again they are in the fortune, the latest fortune in the successes is being talked about, and finally we have our partners Paul Myers, the head of Business Development Asia, who are our partners in the internet space in Asia. With that I'd like to hand you over to Bhaskar Dass, who are our partners in this event part of Economic Times that's Brand Equity and meanwhile I urge you to enjoy the session.

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