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COVID-19 a disruptor that comes with great learnings

Marketing and agency geniuses get together to discuss communication during the pandemic

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NEW DELHI: The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has come as a great leveller to the brands and marketing industry, conceded a panel comprising industry experts during a virtual panel discussion on “How brands are communicating in times of lockdown”, organised on Friday by Indiantelevision.com.

The panel included Future Retail CMO-FBB Prachi Mohapatra, Timex Group India head marketing Ajay Dhyani, Duroflex Mattresses India VP-marketing Smita Murarka, Shemaroo Entertainment head marketing and communications Rahul Mishra, Dentsu One India president Harjot Singh Narang, and Mirum India joint CEO Sanjay Mehta.

The panel was moderated by Indiantelevisio.com CEO, founder, and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari.

The participants agreed that while the pandemic came as a huge disruptor, causing feelings like anxiety and doubt, it gave them a better understanding of how their respective industries function.

Murarka quipped that she took on the charge of Duroflex just a month prior to the lockdown and while it was challenging, it really helped her figure out the industry and the brand proposition, which wouldn’t otherwise have been possible in such a short span.

According to Narang, the pandemic also helped great human relationships flourish with teams bonding over the work in critical times and client relationships getting better.

The panel also agreed that once the situation gets back to the “new normal”, which according to Anil Wanvari would have nothing normal, will come as another disruption in the industry, making people more mindful of their purchases. Mehta said that a young person who might have faced a job loss or pay cut might be thinking about saving more in the coming future and may skip the backpacking trip one took.

Mohapatra stayed hopeful that the ongoing pandemic might once again result in a lipstick effect for the fashion industry and especially for her brand whose USP lies in its pricing.

The panellists predicted that the business and life might bounce back to normalcy around September-October, which they are seeing as a great time for the businesses to pick up again, given that it will be the festive season in India.

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