Channel V Nokia IndiaFest 2014 turned out bigger and better than previous years with rock competitions, DJ duels, fashion shows and what have you along with prizes worth Rs 50 lakh and dream-come-true career opportunities to be won.
Held at Goa’s Baga Grounds from 7 to 8 February, the fourth edition saw Nokia once again as the title sponsor apart from adding four new sponsors, taking the tally to 12 sponsors on-board.
A host of competitions like Footloose, Karaoke, Gaming Challenge, Director’s Cut, Campus Stud, Popstars, Nokia Tamasha, Beat it – Thumka, Turning Tables and Nokia Launch Pad marked the two-day fest which also saw electrifying performances by music composers Vishal-Shekhar, singer Sunidhi Chauhan and UK’s DJ Vicky Devine among others.
Of the 30 events spread across two days, some were online like photography, while the rest happened on-ground. Judging these were celebrities from all walks of life including Neha Dhupia and Dino Morea, who chose the Campus Diva and Campus Stud, respectively; Nishka Lulla, who decided the winners of the Fashion Show; Rohan Sippy, who picked up the best filmmaker; DJ Suketu, who zeroed in on the DJ of the future, Suraj Jaggan, who pronounced the winner of the rock competition and so on.
Speaking at the grand finale, Channel V general manager and EVP Prem Kamath exulted: "It's a no-holds-barred finale to a rollercoaster fourth edition of the IndiaFest. The Channel V Nokia IndiaFest is no longer just a college fest but the one-stop coming-together of a generation every year." Kamath said he wouldn’t be surprised if the number of visitors this year had doubled from last year’s 40,000.
The vision behind IndiaFest - taking it to as many cities as possible and having the quality of participation grow year-on-year – stems from the knowledge that there is no real pan-Indian college festival. So, in its very first year, IndiaFest had four zonals whereas this year, the number rose to eight. The 2014 edition reached out to a record over 2 million students in 2,200 colleges across Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Calcutta, Chennai, Chandigarh and Goa. “We were very clear we wanted to keep IndiaFest free for everybody. We are funded entirely by our sponsors. If we manage to increase the number of cities and convince our sponsors that it’s an exercise worth the effort, we will definitely do 12 zonals next year,” said Kamath.
Not just the number of zonals, the participants per zone too has increased from just 500 to 600 last year to over 1000 this year. However, there’s more to the fest than just quantitative growth. “It is not a rock concert. The fest is not evaluated by how large it is or how many people attend it. First and foremost, it is a college festival and our priority has always been that the participants are college goers. Also, with college kids organising it, they should enjoy the organisation part as well. And they should own it as their own festival. This has been our focus from the beginning,” clarified Kamath. “Although I’d like more students to engage and more cities to be added to our zonals, at its heart, it’s a college festival and college festivals are all about events, display of talent and competition. Those are the things I’d really like to push going forward.”
About their continuing association with IndiaFest, Nokia director – marketing Viral Oza said: “It is really exciting for us to associate with IndiaFest for the third consecutive year. We continue in our endeavor to bring the youth closer to their passions. At a time when the youth are constantly looking towards expanding horizons, we bring to them Nokia IndiaFest, a perfect platform for them to showcase their talent in front of their peers.”
IndiaFest follows the tradition of collecting feedback and suggestions from both participants and organizers after conclusion of every edition. As per last year’s feedback to incorporate elements of a finale in the zonals, this year, mini India fests as well as concerts were held during the zonals. “The mini fests are on a smaller scale but try and mirror a lot of what happens in the grand finale,” Kamath explained.
The other thing is that the network tries to showcase the winners at these festivals. For instance, winner of the solo dance competition at IndiaFest 2013 was featured in Hrithik Roshan’s dance show on Star Plus while the winning short film was aired on Star World. “As a network, we have the ability to do two things. One - we can improve the scale of our festivals tremendously. Two - we can create a platform to showcase talent; we haven’t done this as much as we would like to but next year, we will go for it,” said Kamath.
Marketing and promotion
Like every year, Channel V Nokia IndiaFest 2014 had 350 students as campus representatives or V Reps.
Interactions happened through the year on a closed group on Facebook and work took speed when the festival drew near with the V Reps helping Channel V to put up posters in colleges and so on.
The entire sponsorship revenue was generated on-ground with IndiaFest being a 100 per cent on-ground event. Instead of the entire fest, only one hour showcasing festival highlights was aired on television. Apart from streaming the fest on YouTube, there was no other digital promotion of the event.
According to Kamath, the reason for not promoting IndiaFest as a television property is that they don’t want an on-ground event to be measured in terms of the number of spots or promos put on air. In any case, sponsors benefit tremendously from the two-day show. “It is great value for the sponsors and it is definitely value for the channel and the students who participate. We started as a marketing initiative where we were not planning to make any revenue in the first year. However, it has to be a win-win for organizers, the channel, sponsors and everyone who is attending it. That is what makes it successful,” said Kamath.
Meanwhile, Nokia head – activation, media, consumer intelligence Abhish Chandhok said: “For us, it is not about sponsorship but a partnership. It is not about putting a logo in the background, but about how we can use IndiaFest to engage with our core target audience. Nokia targets the 15-24 years age group and there is no bigger platform than IndiaFest to engage with them. It is giving us a lot of scale because of the number of people coming in and the conversations you can start around these activities.”
From the first year where IndiaFest generated close to Rupees four and a half crore of revenue, it is now worth nearly Rs 10 crore, according to industry sources.
Plans are afoot to add two more events to the property. “Now we are fairly confident in terms of our understanding of organizing these events, how to manage the scale in terms of numbers and participants. We want to make sure that our team is in place and organized well,” Kamath signed off.
“It is always fun to perform at college festivals. The energy is very different from other kind of shows. I was never good at communicating, and I formed a band and decided not to do any covers.”
- Suraj Jaggan
“It is a beautiful experience. It brings a lot of memories I had during my college days. When I come to see and judge, it feels so good. I used to take part in dance and public speaking activities, so judging at IndiaFest is always fun.”
- Dino Morea
“It is great to be in Goa for Channel V’s IndiaFest. The crowd is so energetic here; I think it is going to be a mad concert. We are going to rock the stage. The youth is crazy and it is always special performing here at a huge platform like Indiafest.”
- Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani
“It is flattering to be at a place where we know the large chunk of our future lies. Today, the youth is at the largest festival of the country, I have been called to judge it. I feel it is an awesome experience. It is nice to have such an association for the second consecutive year with Channel V. Getting on stage is one thing, but getting on stage and doing what you want to is like having big guts.”
- Neha Dhupia