‘The beauty of this industry is that you will never be bored’

  • Interview Raymond So
- Post Report

Sep 12, 2017-Raymond So, chairman of the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA), was in Kathmandu recently to attend the Ninth Crity Awards, the annual flagship programme of the Advertising Association of Nepal (AAN) where creative work in Nepal’s advertising industry is recognised. The Kathmandu Post caught up with So and talked about his visit to Nepal and the scenario of the ad industry in the Asian region. Excerpts:

Apart from attending the award ceremony, what are the other reasons behind your visit to Nepal?

The first purpose was to come here to celebrate the Crity Awards together with fellow Nepali professionals where excellence and creative works of Nepali ad professionals are recognized by the AAN. It is also an effort of the AFAA to try and understand Nepal as a market and try to create a better working environment here. Similarly, the second purpose was to introduce AdAsia 2017, the largest advertising and marketing conference in the Asia-Pacific region, to Nepali professional and encourage their larger participation in the event which is slated to be held in Bali, Indonesia from November 8-10. I would personally invite people of the Nepali ad industry to the event which will provide both learning and networking opportunities to the participants. 

Are you aware about the Nepali advertising industry? How mature is the Nepali ad market?

I have to admit I don’t know the market that well. But, before my visit, I had a brief discussion with the members here and came to know that it is a small and developing economy. But I would like to take this opportunity to understand the market and its need so that, hopefully in the future, we can bring some activities and support to the ad industry of Nepal. 

What are the challenges the region’s advertising industry is facing currently?

The challenges faced by the industry in our region are similar to what the Western world is facing. The main challenge is the change through which the industry is going in terms of the old business model being replaced by a new business model. Such change is amplified by the introduction of new technology. Digitization has made a huge impact in the way we communicate and create relationships with consumers, and in a way, it has made the advertising industry less organised. Currently, advertising companies, marketers and even the media are trying to find the best ways to put these new tools in order. 

With the development of digitization, the popularity of online media is increasing and it is changing the way business is done. Do you take this as an opportunity or a challenge?

I take this as an opportunity because advancement in technology has given us new tools to understand consumers better, reach them in better ways and build better relations with them. What we need to do is find the best way to use these new tools. The one who finds the best ways to use such new tools will be the market leader. 

The advertising industry is a business where many creative people work, and its sustainability depends on the inflow of talented young professionals. How do you attract such talent to this industry?

The beauty of this industry is that you will never be bored as you are doing a new job every other day. This element of this industry excites the people. In terms of attracting young talents, what we need to do is help them understand the ad industry better, and teach them what it takes to build a career in this industry. We at the AFAA have designed a special programme, Fast Track Programme, to train such young professionals, and those who have attended it have done very well in the industry. 

Published: 12-09-2017 09:07

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