Day one of Goafest livens up with the age of adaptability

Goafest 2024 began with a big bang. There were more than 1,600 delegates in attendance. Day one was themed around The Age of Adaptability. There are 25 sessions scheduled to take place over three days.

30 May 2024 | By Anhata Rooprai

Harit Nagpal, managing director and CEO at Tata Play (Photo credit: Goafest)

Day one of Goafest resonated around the theme, The Age of Adaptability, with industry experts speaking to more than 1,600 attendees at The Westin Powai Lake in Mumbai. Harit Nagpal, the managing director and CEO of Tata Play conducted the first session for the day, titled, Adapt to Thrive Not Just Survive, — explaining how adaptability is key to the success of an enterprise. "Disruption can be caused by anything or anyone, but it becomes our responsibility to survive and thrive," he said. 

Nagpal also discussed business continuity planning — a strategy used in the 2000s — designed to address both expected and unexpected scenarios, and its relevance to the Covid-19 pandemic. He highlighted the increase in digital interactions, which have become the norm. The pandemic, he noted, disrupted traditional office setups but ultimately led to more flexible and efficient work arrangements. He said, “Either you disrupt, or someone else is going to do it for you, and the best time to do it is when you feel the most comfortable!”

Sanjiv Mehta, the executive chairman of L Catterton India delivered an address that explored the components of leadership in today’s evolving market landscape. In his talk, Mehta delved into the critical elements of leading with vision, flexibility, innovation, agility, and dynamic purpose in today's ever-changing market landscape. He articulated how visionary leadership combined with the agility to pivot and a strong sense of purpose can drive business success and resilience. “Agility demands spare capacity and the ability to redirect talent towards value creation”, he said.

Mehta also highlighted the importance of innovation through several examples, noting that no business follows a linear trajectory. He said that resilience and adaptability are essential for organisations to bounce back and thrive. He said, “Learning happens when you have the humility to say, ‘I don’t know?’”

After this, writer and director Tahira Kashyap joined Atika Farooqui, an anchor and creative director at Viacom18 — in a session titled From Setbacks to Comebacks: The Power of Persistence — to discuss Kashyap’s journey and ability to turn obstacles into opportunities. Kashyap shared personal anecdotes and professional experiences. She said, “Women go through multiple hardware upgrades; every day is so different for women, every hour is so different than the previous one.”

The first day concluded with a session titled Embracing Failure to Touch Success. Actor, producer, and entrepreneur Neha Dhupia moderated the conversation between actors Medha Shankr and Vikrant Massey (from the 2023 film, 12th Fail), who discussed embracing failure and turning it into a moment of triumph. 

Reflecting on his 21 years in the industry, Massey said, “Success cannot be defined as a standard without failure. Out of 365 days in a year, in 300 you're off the mark, and only 65 are successes.” He shared anecdotes from his latest project, 12th Fail, finding resonance in the film's themes of familial responsibility. Meanwhile, Shankr, who relocated to Mumbai several years ago, echoed Vikrant's sentiment on embracing failure as a catalyst for growth.

The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and The Advertising Club (TAC) are co-hosting Goafest, one of India’s most prominent advertising and marketing festivals. The event is at The Westin Powai Lake from 29 to 31 May 2024.