Rana Barua, Group CEO at Havas, India, believes Goafest to be a melting pot, which promises excitement of appreciation, fabulous speaker line-up
andrecognition that awards bring.
Agency Reporter: You have been a Goafest regular. How has the event evolved over the years?
Rana Barua: Yes, I have been a regular for many years and I think it has grown into a much bigger event. We have always seen encouraging bookings and packed events, with a lot of young talent from the industry attending it.
AR: Each year, a few of the agencies remain absent from Goafest. What do you think they miss out on?
RB: I am sure these agencies have their reasons for not coming, but they are missing out on the overall excitement of appreciation and recognition that awards bring. Secondly, the absentees are missing out on the fabulous speakers, sharing their experience and learnings, making it a great platform for knowledge sharing as well. I don’t know where else will you get three days of such a fabulous lineup, except for Cannes.
AR: Can Goafest be called the Indian version of Cannes?
RB: It has always been that. There have been discussions on whether it should be done in Bombay. But the destination (Goa) is the whole essence of the event.
AR: Why do you think small and medium agencies should be a part of this event? How are they benefitted from this?
RB: One, it is great in terms of exposure. If you see the speaker lineup, it is unparalleled. It is impossible to hear them in any other forum, which is a plus point for Goafest.
Second, you have exposure to so many people from various fraternities under one roof. People must go and experience the world outside their work.
AR: The primary objective of Goafest was to celebrate traditional advertising. Now, with digital at its peak, so many digital agencies mark their presence too. What are your comments on that?
RB: Digital agencies have gone up much higher. There is a lot of interest from everyone. We have always found a lot of participation from these agencies, in terms of awards and physical presence, which is a good sign.
AR: How is the entire M&A fraternity benefited from Goafest?
RB: It is a melting pot. What people come and see, in terms of exposure, networking with people, international trends and future plans, it gives them an overview of the whole industry. You get a first-hand experience of the big shifts and changes in the market, which even the speakers talk about.
AR: There has always been an illustrious speaker lineup at Goafest. Can we say that Goafest has emerged as a strong knowledge platform?
RB: It has, since the speakers and the themes are very strong. I have been a part of the AAAI core committee and have worked closely – our effort always has been to up the speaker and their topics. I am happy to say that zero compromises happen on the speaker lineup, which is fabulous. AAAI goes out of the way to ensure that the speakers are some of the best.
AR: What are your expectations from Goafest 2019?
RB: I look forward to all the speakers, awards and the whole celebration and of course meeting many clients and my colleagues. I have always been very excited about Goafest, and had a great experience each time. Really looking forward to it this year as well.