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Brandwagon ACE Awards 2020

BrandWagon ACE Awards 2020, organised by Financial Express -- the business daily from The Indian Express Group -- celebrates new-age marketing strategies. From bringing cost efficiencies to creating direct frictionless relationships between brands and consumers, from digitizing distribution to creatively using the digital medium, we recognise brave and innovative marketing.
The entries for the Awards can be submitted under one or all 36 categories, either under the type of media or the type of industry categories. The award categories reflect the evolution of marketing in India. In our effort to honour some of the best talent, the awards recognises both the individual contributions of brand custodians and the collective work of exciting marketing teams. All duly submitted entries will be judged by a distinguished panel of the industry's most revered leaders.

Who Should Attend

Large Advertisers
Brand CXOs
Creative Agency Heads
Media Agency Heads
Digital Marketers
Digital Marketing Agencies
CMOs, VPs, Directors
General Managers
Category Heads of Brands

Dates to Remember - Ace Awards




Nominations Open


July 2020

Last Date to Submit Entry


August 2020

Shortlist Announcement


September 2020

Awards Night



10:00 am – 10:05 am

Welcome note by Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express Group
10:10 am – 10:25 am

Keynote Address - Creating brands digitally 

As consumers move online – so does brands. From telling stories online to creating brands – the world of marketing has moved online with digital now capturing 

Speaker -Rajesh Ramakrishnan, MD, Perfetti Van Melle India 
10:30 am – 11:05 am


Data = Digital

How data is driving decision making besides it playing a key role in changing business strategies. Digital has evolved and is all about data. From mapping the consumer journey to now trying to understand human emotions - how brands are coding rather recording their online journey

Speakers - Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player
11:10 am – 11:55 am

Panel Topic - The Return of Creativity in the Digital Era to Drive User Acquisition 

Synopsis - In October 2019, the banner ad turned 25 - used to acquire customers the challenge is it looks the same for all brands. So how brands and agencies are now looking at introducing creativity to the old format - thereby leading to customer acquisition


  • Abhishek Joshi, Head of Marketing & Business Partnerships, MX Player 
  • Sukhpreet Singh, Corporate Head- Marketing, Dish TV& WATCHO, DishTV India Ltd
  • Shirish Aggarwal, CMO, Panasonic
  • Sandeep Shukla, Head Marketing & Communication- Global Operations, Jaquar Group 
  • Gopa Menon, COO, Isobar (Moderator)
11:50 am – 12:25 pm

Panel Discussion Topic - Big Picture: The Need to Pivot

From using first party data to the need for companies to closely monitor vendor moves to bring customer data platforms (CDPs) and data management platforms (DMPs) together, especially with persistent customer IDs - why brands need to make the move now


  • Bharat Khatri, Country Head, India, Xaxis
  • Rahul Karthikeyan, Director – Marketing, upGrad 
  • Sushant Mishra, Sr. Director - Digital Marketing & Partnerships, Grofers
  • Rajneel Kumar, Business Head – Expansion Projects and Head of Products at ZEE5 India                                                          
  • Kedar Kulkarni, business director, paid Media, digital strategy and analytics, PureTech Digital (moderator)


10: am – 10:15 am

Keynote Topic: Dawn of a New Era: Cinema2Home

Over the years, the movies business has evolved so much so now that consumers who if earlier stepped out to catch a movie in a theatre now are being provided a similar experience at home. How the pay-per-view format has changed the movie experience for consumers as well added a completely new revenue stream to ZEEL. The move is further expected to benefit movie makers.

Speaker: Shariq Patel, CEO, Zee Studios, Zee Plex

10:20 am – 10:55 am

Panel Discussion Topic: Use of AI and ML to optimise marketing strategy

Synopsis - In 2020 artificial intelligence comprising natural language processing, computer vision and machine learning is expected to bring context and relevance to every marketing brief. Rather than spraying and praying, brands will be able to optimise marketing plans to our strategic communications, targeting and brand positioning. It will allow to answer questions like, ‘What criteria should I use to assess the marketing performance of this brief, campaign or activity?’, ‘Who are the competitors relevant in the context of this brief?’, ‘Are insights from customers available for consideration?’, among others


  • Anika Agarwal, CMO and director digital business, Max Bupa
  • Ujjyaini Mitra, Head of Data Science at ZEE5 India 
  • Ankit Prasad, Co-Founder, Bobble AI
  • Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist & Angel Investor (Moderator)

11:00 am- 11:30 am

Fire-side Chat  Topic - Retail’s new DTC Playbook

Synopsis - DTC landscape: showcasing the key trends and innovations that define next-gen marketing, retail and more. While it’s always been important for businesses to maintain close ties with their customers, the current crisis has further demonstrated just how critical building 1:1 relationships and communities are to ensuring lasting success. In the midst of the lockdown, consumers are feeling stressed, alone and uncertain and are increasingly looking to brands to take a leadership role through their messages and actions


  • Piers Fawkes, Founder, and President, PSFK
  • Devendra Chawla, MD, Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket
  • Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte India (Moderator)

11:35 am- 12:10 am

Panel Discussion Topic - The PPV model: empowering the ecosystem

Synopsis - Content is king and consumer is the queen, and ultimately the decision resides with the latter. The pay-per-view format, if one hand gives the power to select and watch content at convenience to the viewer, on the other hand it opens a new channel for distribution of films - thereby creating a new revenue stream. This will further allow creation of more interesting and relevant content -- which film makers will be able to take to viewers, easily. The PPV model is much needed to grow the film industry as well as provide fresh content to consumers. 


  • Shariq Patel, CEO, Zee Studios, Zee Plex
  • R Balki, film-maker 
  • Sunil Taldar, CEO and Director, Airtel DTH
  • Jehil Thakkar, Partner, Deloitte India (moderator)

12:15 am- 12:50 am

Panel Discussion Topic - TV 2.0 - Evolution of TV business

Synopsis - The spread of Covid-19 has changed the game for the broadcast industry starting from creation of content to getting advertisers' money. How has the situation evolved and what the industry required now - as planning?


  • Vikram Sakhuja, group CEO, Madison Media and OOH
  • Sapna Arora, CMO, OLX 
  • Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer – Advertisement Revenue, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd
  • Ajay Trigunayat, founder, Movies NOW, Romedy NOW, AQT & Point Break. (Moderator)



10:00 am – 10:28 am

Fire-Side Chat Topic - Cross-screen play

Synopsis - How the dissemination of messages is no longer dependent on one screen, instead now mostly brands look at driving the message through multiple screens to amplify the impact. In fact, in the last few months the second screen has played a stronger role in keeping the audience attention intact    

Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Studios  

10:33 am – 11:05 am

Panel Discussion Topic - The coming together of e-commerce and social

 Synopsis -  As e-commerce and social media merge more and more, with the latter increasingly used for ‘shoppable’ customer experiences, brands are looking at how social platforms can be used to create their own ecosystem of marketing, social and commerce in one


  • Amitabh Pande, Marketing Head, IKEA India
  • Anuja Mishra, Vice President & Head of Marketing for Personal care & hygiene – Godrej Consumer Products Limited
  • Kashyap Vadapalli, Chief Marketing Officer & Business Head,
  • Alexander Lambrecht, Head of Marketing India & South East Asia at Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev)
  • Naresh Gupta, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Bang in the Middle 

11:10 am – 11:45 am

Panel Discussion Topic - Personalisation and Advertising Game for OTT players


  • Vivek Jain, COO, MX Player, Times Internet
  • Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital
  • Bhaskar Ramesh, Director - Technology, FMCG, Auto, Media & Entertainment, Google India
  • Ajay Kakar, CMO Aditya Birla Capital
  • LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM (Moderator)

11:50 am – 12:20 am


Topic - 5 Retail Trends to Watch in The New World

Synopsis - As retail struggle to stay afloat in the on-going pandemic -what and how business should look at reviving to drive footfalls and sales

Speaker: Tina Manikas, President, FCB Red

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