Getting personal: Ganesan Ampalavanar, President Director of Nestlé Indonesia, on preparing for an unknown future
Watch our conversation with Ganesan Ampalavanar, President Director of Nestlé Indonesia, as he discusses why we shouldn’t try to predict the future, the major changes he sees in the marketing industry since he started 30 years ago and how agility, rethinking, reskilling and continuous learning are the keys to marketing for the future.
In a world where people are consuming content and information more than ever before, Ampalavanar believes that marketers no longer have the luxury of waiting around — we need to ride the wave of disruption.
From mass communication, marketing today has the chance to mass personalize messages. And marketing will continue to be in the eye of the storm, riding through every wave of disruption.
Hi, my name is Ganesan. I'm the president director for Nestle Indonesia and I had the opportunity to work for Nestle for 30 years.
I basically Google every day. And one of the things I try to do is try to improve my Bahasa Indonesia. So the last word I actually Googled was to find out the meaning of the word gurih. Gurih means tasty or delicious.
I'd probably be teaching. And maybe after this in my second innings after I retire, I hope to teach in a business school. Not the specifics, but moving from the pride of knowledge, to the humility of wisdom. You can't just learn business from textbooks, you got to listen to stories from old guys like me.
I like the song Que Sera Sera, where there's a line that sounds like, "The future is not for us to see." Today it's very difficult to predict what's going to happen six months from now, one year from now, let alone a five-year business plan. Agility, rethinking, reskilling, and continuously learning, this is what I like to encourage not only my team, but it starts with me.
When COVID happened, we didn't know what hit us. It was ambiguity, complexity, uncertainty all at once. We decided to the counter-intuitive, step up advertising when everybody else was driven by fear. We stepped up our advertising and guess what? The frequency and penetration of our brands really moved up a couple of months after that. And we stood up and stood tall because we invested at the right time for communication.
From mass communication, marketing today has the chance to mass personalize messages. And marketing will continue to be in the eye of the storm, riding through every wave of disruption. In my short 30 year career, marketing has moved to the extremes. In the world of digital connectivity, we need to respond faster. The consumer's consuming a lot of data, a lot of messages and we don't have the luxury of waiting. We need to be faster. And this is not a problem for the savvy marketeer, this is an opportunity.