In line with the agency’s agenda to unravel the forces shaping the future of marketing, PHD India launched its latest thought-leadership publication at Zee Melt’s fourth annual event. Held in Mumbai on May 31st, the event drew an audience of over 200 leaders from the marketing industry, sharing insights on how to better prepare their business strategies for what’s to come.

The network’s thought-leadership publication, ‘Merge | The closing gap between technology and us’, sets out how technology and human evolution has progressed since the 1950s, and how technological advances over the next 25-35 years will reshape society and the marketing industry. Drawing on insights and foresights of experts including world-leading inventor, author and futurist (and writer of the foreword), Ray Kurzweil; Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg; futurologist Dr Ian Pearson; and Microsoft’s UK chief envisioning officer, Dave Coplin, Merge discusses the five stages of the evolutionary road between 1950 and 2050, culminating in technology and humanity fusing together – both symbolically and literally.

At the launch event, guests heard from PHD APAC’s Regional Head of Strategy and Planning, Chris Stephenson, about the key actions businesses must take today, in order to thrive in a merging world. To further engage with the audience, guests were invited to take part in a live Kahoot quiz, which ran off participants’ mobiles. The quiz asked questions ranging from digital wallets in India to e-commerce platforms, with the top three winners scoring a Google Home Mini each.

After a short introduction, PHD’s Stephenson was joined on stage by Srinivas Jain, Executive Director and CMO of SBI Funds Private Ltd, one of India’s leading asset management companies. An expert on digital initiatives in the Indian marketplace, Jain spoke on how technology is currently impacting the financial industry, and how technology – like digital wallets – is being used to transform Indian businesses.

The pair were then joined by the day’s second panelist, Ajay Kashyap, who co-founded Boxx.AI, a software development company that uses AI to optimise e-commerce platforms, both in India and abroad. Kashyap spoke on how AI is being leveraged in the e-commerce space, as well as how personalisation improves conversion.

Commenting on the event, PHD India’s Managing Director, Jyoti Bansal, said: “As we witness huge leaps in India’s infrastructure, more and more businesses are turning to technology, automation and AI to help optimise their businesses. Through this event, we endeavoured to provide the business community with insights from our global network’s thought leadership, as well as an action plan on how they can stay ahead of this curve, while ensuring their communications remain human. We’re excited to partner with our clients on navigating Merge and embracing what the future holds for their businesses.”

‘Merge | The closing gap between technology and us’ is available for purchase on Amazon and via the PHD Media app.