Our Bureau | Updated on November 04, 2011 Published on November 03, 2011

Chris Thomas, Chairman and CEO, BBDO Asia.

Ms Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, with Mr John Wren, Global CEO ofOmnicom Group, at AdAsia 2011 in New Delhi on Thursday. — Shanker Chakravarty   -  Shanker Chakravarty

Jetting in and out!

Apart from Indra Nooyi who jetted in into Delhi in her private jet, John Wren, President and CEO of Omnicom Group Inc too had jetted into Delhi. After Nooyi's talk, there was a scrum of media people, TV crews and cameras waiting to grab a sound byte, but Nooyi was nowhere to be seen. Even her entry on to the stage took everyone by surprise as the waiting media didn't see her enter either. A little bird tells us that she may have entered and exited through the kitchen or some other entrance at the Taj Palace to keep away from the media!

Home is in the sky

Chris Thomas, Chairman and CEO of BBDO Asia, when asked where he was based, was quick to answer that he's based in Singapore, but his home is Singapore Airlines! Oh, the plight of itinerant corporate  travellers!

Women power again

Indra Nooyi referred to the growing clout of women consumers in her keynote pointing out how women are “the biggest emerging market today, more than twice the size of China and India combined.” When she said this, hesitant claps could be heard from the audience. “What, is that only women clapping here?" said Nooyi, interrupting her speech. If men feel threatened, they ought to, she added.

Pepsi is hungry for more

During Ms Indra Nooyi's keynote, she was quizzed on how Pepsi had reached out to two million retailers in India. To which she quickly retorted, “That two million could be five million retailers,” quickly seeking out Manu Anand, India CEO, in the audience and telling him to get going.

Turning the tables

It was supposed to be a Q&A between John Wren, President and CEO of Omnicom Group Inc and Indra Nooyi, Pepsico chairman, with the former asking the questions, and the latter answering. But the Pepsi boss turned the tables neatly by suddenly turning questioner and asking Wren the exact same questions he posed to her. He spluttered and came back smartly to reply in her own words. “The book on this has not been written yet.”

The Australian kiss

Swami Sukhabodhananda had the audience in splits with a steady stream of one-liners and anecdotes. Sample this: When he went to Australia many years ago, one of his Australian disciples at his workshop liked it so much that she came up and gave him a kiss, which shocked the Swami. “I was used to people touching my feet, not kissing me. But, it was because of my background and ethos and not the act of kissing itself. I mentioned this to my German friend and he said, you should be happy, she's pretty! Thirty years later I'm quite comfortable (with a kiss!),” he said, to an appreciative roar from the audience

Missing you!

Swami talked about a husband who had his wife's picture on his wall in office and was shooting darts at it. “He was missing the picture with all the darts ... and when his wife called and asked what he was doing, his reply was, ‘I'm missing you!'“

Giving and taking

Swami gave the example of Verma and Sharma who were in a boat. Neither could swim and suddenly Verma fell in. Sharma told Verma to give him his hand but Verma wouldn't. “Finally, Sharma said, take my hand and Verma gave it. See, Verma was not used to giving at all, so he wouldn't give his hand!”

Slingshot comments

At the foyer of AdAsia2011, the slingshot mobile application whereby you could key in your comments on a Sony Ericson mobile phone and catapult it onto a big screen where it would miraculously appear in a quote bubble for everyone to view, caught the eye. Two youngsters from Telibrahma, the mobile solutions company that developed the app, were going around with their catapults, and aiming the quote shots at the screen.

Vietnam, here comes AdAsia!

The next AdAsia in 2013 will be in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City.  The Vietnamese contingent was out in full force on Wednesday evening for a Vietnamese evening and to make a presentation on the charms of Vietnam. The women in their colourful sarongs were chatting animatedly while the men were grinning broadly. Many made a beeline for the colourful bamboo hats that the Vietnamese wear and were giving away as gifts to all the delegates. 

Published on November 03, 2011

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