Tuesday, September 11, 2012

VGC at Designyatra 2012

The Grand Hyatt, Goa
The entire company looks forward to this event each year. Its an opportunity to get away for some team building, learn new trends, latest happenings, fresh ideas, meet old friends, relax
a bit, have some fun and do some networking. We started our preps early for this 3 day event, a day on digital with two dedicated to design. The location was Grand Hyatt in Goa.

Some late gremlins at work nearly scuppered the whole darn thing. But an email to the promoter worked wonders and all was well that ends well. We continued with our plans and bags were already packed with thongs and G-strings (men) and bikinis (not so sure).  But the stress levels began to mount as departure dates drew closer. They call it 'tension' in India.

What would we do without our favoured clients? Some late orders meant part of our conscientious team was forced to work through the nights leading up to the event. Having completed their work they managed to catch the flight just before the plane taxied onto the runway. All aboard who is going abroad!

Our early delegates witnessed some stunning presentations. Google – on how the future was in a pair of eyeglasses with their new user interface. Nokia – fighting back by revisiting their type, packaging and livery. Not least Adobe – who will soon have us in the clouds and their Michael Gough was honest enough to say that it is all about revenues. He also aired his love for his washing machine. Hmmm. Hope he has a bulletproof vest when he
goes home to his wife & kids.

The balance of our battalion practically flew in to join us for days two and three. We were entertained by Nick Roope and his mobile phone connected to a analogue earpiece – yep, no monthly plan for this one nor any call charges! Bill Lunderman of Palmolive Colgate showed his version of the 'Ali Shuffle' after a glass of champagne. What would he do for an encore or after two glasses? We witnessed a lively performance by Masashi Kawamura and the electrical and electronic wizardry of Joachim Sauter was just pure delight.

For once the Indian flag flew high with the architectural brilliance of Ambrish Arora whose presentation was breath taking. The earthiness of Manuskh Prajapati was the only hindi presentation on his MittiCool brand deserved his standing ovation for his innovations to benefit the hinterlands of his home country. 
But plaudits of all the delegates really fell on Arunachalan Muruganantham from the rural parts of Coimbatore (try saying that after a few whiskeys!). He seemed to be a late addition to the schedule probably for someone who had backed out. Most of the auditorium must have been pleased with this turn of events. His journey began by wanting to help his sisters and wife with sanitary napkins (as he calls them). An amazing story of trials and tribulations – entertainingly told in muffled heavy accented broken English, Hindi and anything else he could think of. He charmed the auditorium off their chairs with his humility and humour, bringing three standing ovations. Well done, sir… and bon voyage on your quest to assist all women with your global vision.

As always, there were many purely VGC anecdotes. We used this platform to announce the new face of VGC and the launch of Designomics Live Academy (DLA). Whilst everyone were stuffing their faces our team left packages on all the theaters chairs and ensured that each delegate had something to read from us post lunch on day two. A few of our revelers seemed to be done by 10.00pm on their first day and declared their never ending love for our Madame – hugs all round. Some of the younger brigade even went on to run up a massive bar-bill whilst partying through the night on day two but they didn’t miss a beat of day three. At the end of this day, it was party dawn at Tito's. VGC had their own party in a secluded corner.

Madame and her bodyguard were the first to arrive.
The couple rearranged the furniture in a cubicle shooing off
a few gatecrashers to the VGC party. Don’t mess with our Madame! The rest of the gang started rolling in two by two. We listened to the usual suspects and same old excuses – couldn’t find my lippy (men), rains, traffic, not enough bathrooms and he or she wasn’t ready on time. It is the norm in our circles to never admit liability, better to find someone
else or thing to blame; it is never your fault!

Once everyone was in place, there was an air of wonderment on their faces. With their drinks perversion in their mitts, our gala awards ceremony commenced.

Of the many highlights, here are some. Make-up bag for the best dressed lady, worthless cheque to our manual cash counter, megaphone so quite lady could be heard, motorbike
went to Bangalore, lemons to reduce the drunkard’s hangover, mobile phone for the tech freak, lunch boxes went to a lady with a food fetish, alarm clock for he who cant get to work on time, duck tape for taping the office mouth and a boat for the trawler-man. The best was the lady who didn’t
want to collect her Oscar as her wine may be stolen if left unguarded! Someone should have told the madam, the drinks were inclusive of the entry fee! 

We had 5 Chai-time award winners for various fetes beyond the call of duty and an artist collected the winner’s prize for bagging the most calling cards from delegates.

That done it was onto the dance floor followed by Cape Town till 6.00am for some. Oh the joys of youth. Most seniors were just getting up for breakfast about then. Note the absence of names! But you this scribe can sign like a bird if you cross his palm with silver or give 2 beers and an oven roasted lamb shank!
The writer’s conclusion of Designyatra is it is a well-organised event, action packed throughout. No time to sit still if you wanted to be fresh for the following day. There was something for everyone, laughs, knowledge, connections, jobs, recruitment, fun, parties, booze and food – well scrub the latter. My only criticism is that the snacks were better than the main course and water was more appealing than whiskey, tea, chai or coffee. But then I am probably in the minority as most delegates seemed to eat everything and enjoyed it. Bookings being taken for next year!