The Perfect Brand Image”- what do you perceive from it and what all goes behind its creation?
Two major themes in creating brand image. Packaging to retail to communication to activation should all talk the same idea and language. We call it Shelf-to-Media. The Pepsi 2016 emoji campaign is agreat example of this. The second is giving consumer opportunities to live the brand philosophy. Example, Crash the Pepsi IPL where, for the first time in India, we handed over the advertising to consumers, asking them to be “not just viewers, but doers”. Beyond this, every little thing adds to brand image. The pack, the shelf, the innovations, the communication, and increasingly, digital language and engagement.

PEPSICO India is a responsible organisation and facilitates initiatives that help to improve the quality of life in the communities where it operates. Does CSR, ethics, corporate governance matter to a company?
Water has been a key pillar at PepsiCo; giving back more water than we consume has been an imperative. Liter of Light is another recent initiative we have just embarked on – where Pepsi bottles are becoming bulbs in villages with not enough lighting.


What things fascinate you the most when you travel?
How the history of a civilization affects its present.
What are your hobbies?
Best and the worst thing about your job?
The best is the set of exciting brands I get to work for and the excellent partners I work with. Worst – I wouldn’t be working here if there were too many bad things.
What is a Sunday to you?
Time with family.
PS- A message from you.
Stay tuned to new age marketing.Brands are not marketed in the marketplace any more, but in ecosystems. Beyond traditional trade strategies think new channels, new collaborations. The consumer is your best marketer. That said, engage with influencers beyond consumers. Sell in ecocsystems beyond shop shelfs. Build platforms for consumer life beyond brands.

PEPSI has been a partner in India’s growth for over a century now and has built a very special relationship of trust and commitment with the people of India. What are the challenges that the brand faces in the market?
Overall cola category challenges and like in so many other categories increasing competition from both within and outside the category, impacts share of wallet. Thankfully, Pepsi has enough lovers of product and brand to overcome this.

What is your prime focus for retaining customers?
Activating every access point so that we are within reach. Be it trade, ecommerce, food outlets, partnerships with QSRs. And of course ensuring all the equity values kick in at the right moment, by constant emphasis on product taste, and larger role in life.

Does data play a larger role in media planning (pre-campaign) or in gauging the efficiency of a media plan (post-campaign)?
Absolutely, in both. And beyond media also. Constant monitoring of channels, pack sizes, geographies, consumer behavior, reasons for recruiting or lapsing… everything goes into planning the campaign and media choices, and equally how has media inputs impacted these in return.

In an industry so dynamic, how do you comply with respect to changing trends, behavioral pattern and expectations of society?
Mounatin Dew is a great example here. We saw Indian small town and rural youth were becoming risk takers, and identified that their biggest fear today is fear of anonymity. So we moved Mountain Dew to “Naambantehain risk se”. We saw that real life inspiration was becoming more powerful for youth, so we created a series of stories on digital about Real heroes who have taken risks and made a name.

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