At a grand ceremony in New Delhi, Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI), the apex body of Rural Marketing industry gave away Flame Awards Asia and Leadership Awards to being together and cross-share best of the works in the domain. Veteran advertising and rural market specialist, DK Bose bagged RMAI’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. He was honoured with the Award for his long and extraordinary contribution to the domain since last 50 years.
Concurrent to Flame Awards Asia 2017, RMAI also hosted the 3rd Edition of Leadership Awards that recognised and felicitated professionals and individuals for their extraordinary contribution to Rural Marketing Industry. The selection process included industry nominations, secondary research by RMAI secretariat and final selection among shortlists by RMAI Executive Committee. Ernst & Young, the official tabulators of Flame Awards Asia were the process advisers of these awards.
The award evening saw top industry leaders, marketers, rural practitioners and rural enthusiasts converging at one place sharing their thoughts, journey & networking. As more and more South Asian countries joined, the RMAI Team worked hard to make the presentation ceremony a big success. Over 300 business leaders, corporate, government and leading rural marketing agency representatives attended the presentation ceremony.
Dialogue Factory and Impact Communications had a tie as both won four Golds, followed by JWT with 3 Golds. Impact Communications emerged as the biggest winner of the night clinching as many as 18 metals with its recently launched digital vertical NATTER bringing home 5 metals.
Among the International entrants Lemon Pvt. Ltd. won the maximum metals (6) including 2 Golds, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze.
DK Bose bagged Lifetime Award under Leadership Category. Bose’s current involvement as a Mentor and Adviser to Marketing domain has its origin in over 50 years of working in the field of Advertising and Social Marketing. He excels in Rural Marketing Communication and credited with setting up India’s first Rural Marketing Communication Agency Ogilvy Outreach in 1998. In Rural Marketing Communication, he created and popularised major brands of Unilever and others. He also helped Ogilvy set up their Social and Rural Communication division in Srilanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
“It is always a pleasure to get recognition for your hard work and I thank RMAI for giving me the Award. The Association has been making lots of efforts to promote marketing especially in rural and I hope they will take it forward. My professional joy comes from sharing my knowledge and experience with young minds. I have trained thousands of young people and they lovingly call me ‘Papa’. I am 75 now and would continue to contribute to advertising and rural marketing for another five years. Hope to get award again,” Bose said after receiving the Award.
“This contest of rural marketers was initiated in 2005, initial years saw a very limited participation of few early movers in rural. It has come a long way since then. Today, Flame awards are most coveted and fiercely contested awards. With every passing edition there is a substantial surge both in number of entries and entrants,” said Sanjay Kaul, President, RMAI.
Infact, Flame awards are the exclusive marketing awards in the country which are purely focussed on rural, he added.
RMAI publishes and showcases best cases from Flame Awards in media and though their knowledge events. Not surprisingly, because of its popularity, today the number of entrants has grown 10 fold since its inception. Moreover, over the last 4 years, current RMAI team has taken the awards beyond the country’s borders. Last few years saw good number of international entrants. But, it’s the very first year of Flame Awards that witnessed entries pouring in bulk from many neighbouring countries.
The 8th Edition saw many firsts. New categories were incorporated this year, in sync with the dynamic rural markets. Digital & Technology category had many sub-categories considering never-before proliferation of digital tools and technology in rural markets. NATTER , a newly formed digital marketing company, bagged number of Awards in sub categories for its brilliant communication creatives. Also many CSR initiatives by corporate for community development in rural, CSR and allied categories were part of Flame this year.
“ We got tremendous response this year especially in terms of number of entries. The entrants had outnumbered last edition even much before the closing date. And the participation came from diverse sectors like FMCG, Durables, Auto, Pharma, Agri, Media including various PSU, Government Departments,” Kaul said.
“Private sector’s penetration in rural marketing was much more than public sector companies. It is promising to note that public sector undertakings(PSUs) are now very active in rural markets and pushing it forward. If this trend continues, rural India would certainly be the main beneficiaries as it would lead to stiff competition and quality would be the key factor,” said a jury member during the presentation ceremony.
Since there are a lot of similarities in the rural markets of India and other Asian Countries, Flame had added an exclusive category; Emerging Markets for the International entrants. Also, 8th edition of Flame added many International highly-experienced jury from diverse industries of Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh , Myanmar among others to bring forth a more holistic and inclusive judging process.
Rural & Marketing, an initiative of i9 Media was Publication Partner at the event.