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 My guest in this, the 54th episode of the award-winning MVP - Master's Voice Podcast series, is Anuj Kumar, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue & Operating Officer at Affle, which is counted amongst the top 300 public-listed companies in India.Affle is a global technology company with a proprietary consumer intelligence platform that delivers consumer engagement, acquisitions and transactions through relevant Mobile Advertising. Affle aims to enhance returns on marketing investment through contextual mobile ads and also by reducing digital ad fraud.Anuj has played a pivotal role in building and growing Affle,  leading it to achieve a highly credible customer base, with his team working with several top marketers globally to help deliver end-to-end mobile advertising, technology and data analytics-driven solutions.Affle transforms Ads into Recommendations with Consumer Insights-Led Solutions. It deploys its deep-learning, AI-powered algorithms to transform ads into consumer recommendations to deliver enhanced ROI and engagement. So brands can discover and identify their most valuable potential users and then acquire and re-engage them through Affle's platforms.Affle aspires to create greater impact through Vernacular and Verticalization, through unique and integrated consumer journeys for marketers to help them get more out of their advertising. Affle’s solutions aim to reach >10Bn connected devices including Smartphones, Connected TV, personal wearables, and smart household appliances. So Vernacular helps create hyper-personalised actionable advertising and delivers integrated on-device experiences to consumers in their own languages, and Verticalization helps achieve higher conversions with targeted contextual advertising to drive exceptional ROI through deeper vertical-specific insights.Anuj brings more than 20 years of relevant media and advertising industry experience. Prior to Affle, he worked with large global media companies like ESPN STAR Sports, GroupM Mindshare and JWT. Anuj holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College and a Master’s in Advertising & Communication from MICA in India.In this episode, Anuj speaks about the vision that led to the inception of Affle – from how he thought of founding a mobile martech company in 2005 when iOS / Android plans were yet to be announced, to the recent past when the company put in a remarkable Q2 & Q3 performance. What drove the performance, and some major achievements of Affle in the last year.Anuj also looks forward, and shares the Affle2.0 Strategy and how Affle is delivering on the end-to-end needs of the marketer? We speak of the importance of cross-screen advertising and how it helps a brand stand out in a crowded app world, especially in a market like India.While Affle, providing an in-app service and experience, is not worried about the looming demise of 3rd party cookies, Anuj shares his take on the important aspect of Consumers data privacy. Remember, one important aspect Affle’s business practices of consumer outreach and connect  is its Consumer Acceptable Advertising -- the first patent for which Affle filed in 2005 in the US. That continues to drive the company’s consumer-led ad innovations, and one is aware that Affle's platforms have passed the most stringent industry accreditations and uphold the highest standards in ethical advertising.Anuj also speaks of Ad fraud in digital or programmatic advertising, and discusses the trends in the digital marketing space that have come in the last 2 years and are here to stay. He touches upon virtual and augmented reality, the Metaverse, and its implications for the AdTech sector. And much more.So tune in for a deep-dive chat with Anuj Kumar, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue & Operating Officer at Affle Limited, one of India’s top 300 public-listed companies.
In this, the 53rd  episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast series, which is   based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry – we bring you a titan of the Indian Advertising and Marketing industry; someone who, needs no introduction to any practitioner in the space, because he goes by the name of Sam Balsara. Founder, Chairman & MD of Madison World.More than half a decade of creating avenues for remarkable growth, guidance and mentoring for the entire advertising industry in India. And for the past 34 years, Sam has been an entrepreneur, first launching his feisty, innovative, creative and remarkably effective agency Madison, which he helped evolve and grow beautifully into Madison World. On this, the 53rd episode of MVP - The Master’s Voice Podcast, Sam is a very happy man. Especially today, the 5th of May 2022, when this episode goes live  to coincide with the return of the sorely missed and eagerly awaited Goa Fest, which Sam and, indeed, the entire A&M industry has been waiting for to resume. So while Sam’s been looking forward to the return of GoaFest, here’s a message he wants to send out through this episode. “What I would request all the participants to do,” Sam tells me, “is to try and attend all the seminars… which provide the opportunity of broadening and widening your mind and horizons by listening to different points of view,  which I think is very important in ultimately shaping your career.”Sam speaks of several things, including the big highs from his career. Sam counts starting Madison on his own as a big high;  also, winning the Media AOR mandate for P&G is another big high for him, because it signaled the arrival of the Media AOR in India, where there was no concept of a Media AOR prior to that win. In fact, Sam focused the Media AORs in those days, Coca Cola, Airtel, ITC and other very large prestigious AORs of TVS, who is still with Madison. When AORs first started, they were only buying AORs; but over the years, Sam and his team managed to convert the Buying AORs into buying and media planning APRs. Once Lara entered the business, Sam says they pursued an aggressive diversification strategy, inspired by the success with the AORs to focus on unbundling, on specialization. Because by then they had a cadre of specialists who took pride in their work and business, and who became super experts, and the Media AOR specialists delighted clients with high value services to clients without concomitant costs. Soon, they had specializations and specialists for Outdoor, PR, rural and more. The formula was to hire super specialists. That design worked rather well, Sam says. Sam also admits to a major pitfall, “of my own doing. In India," he says, "I took the view that my traditional media people should also handle digital and become digital experts. It’s not that I underestimated digital; I thought if the traditional media person is not going to handle digital like he does not handle outdoor, then what is he going to do?! And I persisted with that for five years!” Of course, he corrected things when the penny well and truly dropped. "On his outlook for advertising, Sam says India has led in the growth rate of advertising in four of the past five years, and  the country is in a reasonably sweet spot -- whether it is on demographic dividend, potential of the economy as we’ve become a reasonably large economy, countries are recognizing our importance, and that both these factors bode very well for the future of advertising in India. And, Sam says, the same attractiveness of India will create challenges for the indigenous advertising sector, and probably end up giving Indian marketers greater power to leverage, and to negotiate  harder, with the agencies. How? Listen in.  And there's much more. 
Delighted to share that this, the 52nd episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast from MediaBrief.com, features not one but two distinguished guests - Durgesh Kaushik, Managing Director of India & South Asia Market Development at Snap, and Gaurav Jain,  Head - Asia Pacific Business expansion.Durgesh has led strategic partnerships, community development and overall ecosystem initiatives to support the growth of Snap in South Asia. Prior to joining Snap, Durgesh worked in leadership roles at Dunzo, Edureka as CMO, and most recently as CEO and co-founder of Wishfie. He also spent over three years at Facebook in marketing roles in APAC and EMEA.Gaurav, who looks after APAC Business expansion at Snap, is ex-Facebook, ex-Google and ex-Nvidia – a true-blue tech-platforms leader.In this episode, they speak about five of the most important Digital Marketing trends today; share what’s unique about Snapchat, its USP, its core user groups and the kind of marketers and genres they are relevant to.You will also learn about Snapchat’s India journey, and how today, Snapchat is leveraging its position by structuring itself as a culturally and locally relevant platform.Durgesh and Gaurav also share what it Snap is doing to help Snapchat get ensconsced on the mental home pages of digital marketers who generally seem to focus largely on one or all of the top four, ie FB, Insta, Twitter and LinkedIn.We also speak about how not only tech in Digital Marketing has evolved, but also how Snapchat has leveraged its AR tech innovation among its Indian users,  and how it keeps its innovation game up to date and consistent. And more.Equally interesting things discussed include the work culture at Snap, and how the entire company focuses on business development. Also some important advice for youngsters seeking a career in digital media. And more.So, welcome to the 52nd episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast on MediaBrief.com, which features Durgesh Kaushik, Managing Director of India & South Asia Market Development at Snap, and Gaurav Jain,  head - Asia Pacific Business expansion, in conversation with me.(Note: The episode was recorded before the recent announcement of leadership realignments at Snap, which you can read about here)
Neeraj Vyas, Business Head - Sony sab and max cluster of channels at Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) is a business leader driven solidly by a focus on viewer delight for sales, brand salience and industry-wide growth. Over more than two decades at SPNI, Neeraj has been a strong achiever in Sales and, for the last 12 years or so, as custodian of multiple channels that he has been steadily growing.Neeraj began his journey with a sales mandate at Sony Entertainment Television (SET) in the mid-nineties, rising to the position of National Sales Head for the channel in 2005. Within a span of five years, Neeraj was appointed Executive Vice President for Sony MIX, the network’s Hindi music channel. Thereafter, he was given responsibility for MAX in 2011, and SAB and PAL in 2017.What makes Neeraj a remarkable Business Head is his extensive experience in GEC and other-genre sales, and the manner in which he also deploys his fine content sensibilities for greater delight for viewers, brands, associates and teams.In fact, when he took over channels from genres  most of the industry had given up as having been ‘done and dusted’ Neeraj infused new value into the channels through a strong and incisive understanding of content which helped him re position retro films and their  stars for a movies channel,  and also re-look at the content scheduling on Music channels that mapped the varying moods across each day part, to breathe great viewer acceptance and therethrough business salience in his early Movies and Music channel mandates. And the same confluence of astute sales experience and content sensibilities helped Neeraj realise that his initial persistence with comedy for India’s most family-friendly, purely comedy-focused channel Sony SAB, was not going anywhere. And he decided to do an about turn on Comedy, “the most difficult genre to sustain”, and went on to broaden the spectrum and offerings of Sony SAB with content that would only be about Hope, Fun and Happiness. With shows like Alladin and Tenali Raman, and now the futuristic-tech-narrated mytho of the great love and devotion of a dutiful, doting  son for his mother, Garud, the most significant example of the enrichment and growth of the content genres Sony SAB is offering. And it wasn’t just an everything-but-comedy decision. Neeraj says Sony SAB will remain devoted to Hope, Fun and Happiness, by never doing shows about crime, violence and soapy dramas ‘about two girls chasing a boy with a stubble.’ And that helped Neeraj successfully reposition SAB as a premium entertainment brand and propel its growth with a new programming line-up and content strategy. Over the years, Neeraj, who started as a young Sales person, has grown into an accomplished Business Head veteran driven by strong sales, brand salience, and a  status-quo challenging vision that is strategic and not just short-term tactical. And has delivered extremely well on all his mandates. So, join me on this, the 51st episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast from MediaBrief.com, and listen to the usually self-effacing Neeraj open up and speak his mind in the soft-spoken manner he has made his own. 
The remarkable Nisha Narayanan, Radio leader and evangelist and COO & Director of Red FM & Magic FM, is our Golden Jubilee as she shines forth in Ep 50 of MVP - The Master's Voice Podcast.MVP, the Master’s Voice Podcast, our series based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry, and we are delighted that Nisha, who ranks right up there with the best, has graced the Golden Jubilee episode of our award-winning MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast, from MediaBrief.com.Nisha has been one of the most prominent names in the radio industry, and has been instrumental in launching ‘Red Indies’ which featured non-film music as a part of Red on-air content, and has focussed on creating brands out of raw talent. Nisha’s vision to make RED FM accessible to its audiences across various touch points gave birth to multiple IPRs under the aegis of RED FM …  IPRs like the successful RED LIVE, RED DIGITAL and RED INDIES, amongst others.During her tenure as Senior Vice President for Programming and Marketing, Nisha had spearheaded the setting up of radio stations with her teams in markets across India, making RED FM one of the largest radio networks with 68 stations.Some prestigious awards Nisha’s won, include the Business Leader of the Year (Entertainment) at Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival; the Don Rowland’s Prize for Excellence; Most Enterprising Leaders of Asia  - WCRC, and India's Greatest COO at India’s Greatest Brands & Leaders, among several others.Here, Nisha tells me how she entered Radio and why she has stayed in the medium for so long. She also offers a deep dive into her long and very fruitful association with and leadership of Red FM. She speaks of the newer content initiatives, and about the elements and performance of the strong Non-Traditional Revenue piece that the network has added to augment its revenues. SheNisha speaks of some good, memorable campaigns, and all the reasons due to which the Radio industry and sub sector are still struggling to survive with just a 4-odd percent of the Adex pie, which is deplorably low for FM Radio by any comparison with most countries.Nisha makes a case for news and current affairs to be permitted on FM Radio, lower licence fees, and other initiatives that will not only ensure that the depressing ‘sameness’ of stations across networks and markets reduces, but niche-content driven stations and networks can also flourish. She shares her views on the streaming services and the fact that most mid to high-end smartphones do not have the radio app that was an OEM embed in the early days, saying it is not an either or but a coexistence of streaming apps and FM Radio, and that nothing comes anywhere close to the magical immediacy and great connect that RJs have with their listeners across stations and networks.Nisha  also speaks of how Radio can increase TSL, and how talent is empowered across Red FM. And more.So  Nisha Narayanan, COO & Director – Red FM & Magic FM, is our Golden Jubilee on the 50th episode of the award winning MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast on MediaBrief.com. The series has grown in stature and impact thanks to the remarkable leaders and visionaries it has featured ever since the first episode, which had Jim Egan, Global CEO of BBC World News. I’ve enjoyed creating each episode we’ve brought you, including the one I was invited to record with the peerless Sangeet Martand and now unfortunately the late Pandit Jasraj ji, just a month before his 90th birthday.So we’ve come a long way, and we thank our listeners and users for their wonderful support - Pavan R Chawla
My guest in this episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast series Master’s Voice Podcast, which is   based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry – features Beerud Sheth - Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the phenomenal unicorn GupShup.  (And remember, Beerud is the man who also created and launched Elance, which today, is the remarkable billion-dollar Upwork.)  The brand philosophy of GupShup stems from Beerud’s vision of ‘A future where it's as easy for a customer to chat with a business as it is with a friend’, and that philosophy and DNA has well and truly unlocked the power of conversational messaging – to the remarkable extent that today, GupShup powers around 80 of the top 100 unicorns of India through it crucial and empowering services. Brands like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Infosys, Truecaller, Flipkart, Ola, Zomato and HDFC bank are using Gupshup’s messaging services to engage with their customers.I learn that the primary ingredients in GupShup’s magic potion are ‘personalization,  at scale, offered in a human way’. With personalization enabling businesses to develop and nurture one-on-one relationships with their customers; scale providing businesses the ability to create and manage dynamic connections with their customers, employees and partners at scale, and the human way personifying businesses by humanizing the product, technology and interactions with their stakeholders.Gupshup  became Indian 6th unicorn raising $100 Mn from Tiger Global, valued at $1.4Bn. It has entered the food and beverage sector with the launch of Restaurant Solution that has digitized hundreds of restaurant outlets online across India and the UAE.GupShup launched its Messenger API for Instagram to help businesses engage. It has also rolled out conversational OOH ads across Mumbai, plus a WhatsApp-based commerce solution.It recently acquited New Jersey-based Dotgo to strengthen the platform and enter new markets, and also acquired cloud telephony platform Knowlarity to strengthens conversational engagement portfolio.Beerud speaks of the launch and growth of GupShup, and offers interesting insights into the ‘SPACE’ acronym, with which he powers the work culture across the organization. He also speaks of what’s changed after Gupshup became a unicorn, and where he sees AI/ML/NLP in general and Conversational AI in particular, headed over the next couple of years. And, of course, his larger Conversational AI vision. So for all this and more, listen to brilliant, innovative creator of enterprises of lasting value, Beerud Sheth, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the phenomenal unicorn GupShup, on MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast from MediaBrief.com. Thank you for your time. 
MVP, the Master’s Voice Podcast – our series based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry, features Manisha Kapoor, Secretary- General of ASCI, or The Advertising Standards Council of India. Manisha is in conversation with Pavan R Chawla -  host of the award-winning MVP - The Master's Voice, and Founder-Editor of Mediabrief.com.The conversation explores ASCI’s major report, What India Takes Offense To, which is a study of complaints received at ASCI. Manisha tells us about the main reasons India gets offended with certain ads, and speaks of the types of ads that have drawn the greatest ire from people of India.In a significant download to young marketing professionals, the conversation also covers the process and resolution of complaints that ASCI receives from its member organizations against other members or non-members for different types of alleged transgressions, like plagiarizing ads, etcetera. For guidance to marketers, Manisha outlines the process and timelines taken for ASCI to help resolve complaints about ads by its members and others – ranging from timelines for normal resolution to fast-tracked complaints. And much more. This is a deep dive that will help every marketer – from the young student to the most practiced professional – with information and professional guidance that will empower them to be ever mindful of truthful and unambiguously accurate advertising, and the responsibility in this area that every marketer must fulfil for their constituents,  consumers and the people of India. Listen in. 
MVP, the Master’s Voice Podcast – our series based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry, features global advertising great and The Caples Awards Guy, Patrick Collister in conversation with Pavan R Chawla -  host of the award-winning MVP - The Master's Voice, and Founder-Editor of Mediabrief.com.The peerless Patrick shares some amazing thoughts and insights about advertising, creativity, the entire calendar of the upcoming Caples Awards 2022 -- his fifth edition as custodian of the most celebrated, un-mercenary awards that can perhaps accurately be described as the most aspirational for the Creative fraternity all over the world. Not crowded with categories and sub-categories, unlike some leading international awards the entry fees for which perhaps demand that every agency worth its creativity salt must put aside a million USD a year for its awards entries budget!Listen in!
My wonderful guest in this episode of  MVP, the Master’s Voice Podcast – our series based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry, is the peerless Kaushik Roy, AKA Roy Phoenix, one of the most admired leaders whose brilliant campaigns have become part of creative and strategic folklore in advertising and brand building.The man who’s been a remarkable creative leader, is an equally gifted writer. Just read, and revel in, the most satisfying confluence of thought, expression and inspiration that shine in his brilliant debut novel, Alphabetica. A dear friend and brilliant broadcasting industry leader had virtually rapped me on the head to tell me I needed to read Kaushik's amazing book, and that had got me scurrying to the affable and generous Kaushik, who gave me enough time and more to record a long and leisurely  episode in a post-prandial Saturday afternoon slot. Thank you Kaushik.So, more on Alphabetica in a bit. It is, of course, the kind of engrossing writing one would have expected from Kaushik, whose prodigious creative talent was mentored from the early days by his stalwart father, and who grew and honed it across decades in an illustrious career.When one considers the diversity and brilliance of some of his campaigns that have become beacons in Indian advertising, once can see how beautifully a different calibration between head and heart would have played in the creation of every different campaign – each a milestone in legendary Indian advertising.Let’s see. Great  campaigns like Tata Steel “We Also Make Steel”, Max Touch (Vodafone), “Citizen of the World“, Reliance Infocomm “Karlo Duniya Mutthi Mein”, Philips “Let’s Make Things Better”, Reliance Industries Limited’s “Mumbai Indians”, “Jio” and “Indian Super League”, and HMV’s “Nazia Hassan – Disco Deewane”, to name a few.Kaushik comes from a family of artists and filmmakers and, as a youngster, displayed great talent as a painter and a photographer. While doing his graduation at the Saint Xavier's College, Kolkata, his flair for art got him breaks as a freelance artist and designer, and finally, a visualizer’s job with JWT, Kolkata.After his initial stint in the Creative Department at JWT, Kaushik moved over to the management side of the business. He has held important positions as Executive Director & Chief Creative Officer – DDB Mudra, Head Brand Strategy, South Asia – Philips, Head Branding and Marcom – Reliance Infocomm, and President, Brand Strategy and Marketing Communication – Reliance Industries Limited.Kaushik has also held important industry positions such as the President of the Advertising Club, Executive Committee Member of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), Steering Committee Member – Ad Asia 2003, President of the International Advertising Association – India Chapter (IAA-IC). While in his role as the IAA Area Director – Asia Pacific, he served as Vice Chairman, IAA World Congress 2019 Steering Committee. The IAA inducted him into its “Hall of Fame” in the same year.Despite his busy day job, he has continued to work on several independent documentaries and short films. He has exhibited his paintings in group shows like "Harmony" and independent ones at the Nehru Centre Art Gallery and the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.Branching out from his regular day job, Roy has had several successful art exhibitions, written and directed a clutch of films, including the feature film “Apna Asmaan”, starring Irrfan Khan and Shobana, which went on to win the best feature film award at the Stuttgart Film Festival 2007.And then there’s his excellent debut novel I just mentioned, Alphabetica, that he launched recently. This satire on majoritarianism.  Listen and enjoy. Kaushik is a remarkable creator and raconteur. 
This, the 44th episode of MVP- The Master’s Voice Podcast – our series based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry – features K E Ranganathan, Managing Director - Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd, the 100% subsidiary of the Spain-based Roca Group which is a world leader in the definition of the bathroom space.  Ranganathan speaks with Pavan R Chawla, Founder-Editor of MediaBrief.com. Ranga – as he is fondly called – heads the global Roca brand’s India operations and tells me how he has helped the India team lead in revenue growth across the massive 175-plus global markets Roca footprint. Ranga holds in paramount importance the legendary Akira Mori’s 5H values-attitudes-focus string of Humility, Humanity, Humour, Hope, and Health. And also believes that that there are no dull markets. Only dull managers.Ranga is a graduate in commerce from Madras University, an Associate of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and an Associate member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). He is also a Fulbright Scholar, and comes with more than 33 years of experience in finance, accounting, business planning, strategy, marketing & sales. Ranga has held senior positions in various companies in Murugappa Group and TVS Group. Not new to Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd, Ranganathan joined Murugappa Group in 1994 where he was Head of Finance for Parryware division and later took charge of the Sales & Distribution division. During his stint with Parryware, Ranga brought a whole new perspective by refurbishing the key processes and focusing on result orientation, leading to sales growth at a CAGR of 25%.In 2005, Ranganathan headed Parryware business as the CEO and played a key role in transforming the business into a Joint Venture company with Roca Spain.Ranga works closely on creating new strategies and opportunities to drive growth and further consolidate the company’s leadership position, and does that surrounded by toilets and bathroom fittings most of his working day. In this episode, he speaks about the journey and growth of Roca and Parryware in India, how they tackled the pandemic,  the USPs of the brands and the most popular products, his marketing beliefs and strategies and some interesting campaigns, plus his outlook for the subsectors he operates in, and also offers an extended piece of advice for youngsters that I believe everyone professional will find very useful. And more.So join me in my chat with K E Ranganathan, MD – Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd for an insights-filled conversation. With Ranga. Thank you for your time.
My guest in this, the latest episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast, is someone who brings solid Sales and Marketing experience from some great brands he’s worked with, and today leads the crucial marketing function at a Unicorn -- Anupam Gurani, Chief Marketing Officer of the Unicorn, School EdTech major LEAD.Anupam, who has more than 18 years of experience, working in various roles across Marketing, Digital Marketing, P&L management, Brand building, Sales, Key Account Management and Channel marketing,  oversees the overall Marketing strategy and vertical at School EdTech major LEAD, where he also plays a significant role in accelerating business growth in existing as well as new markets.LEAD serves more than 3,000 budget private schools in more than 400  cities. LEAD has been playing a major role in transforming school education in India and more important, narrowing learning gaps for more than 1.2 million students. LEAD is the first School EdTech player to enter the Unicorn club with a series E funding $100 million US Dollars, standing at a valuation of $1.1 billion.The conversation, pegged on LEAD’s high-decibel, multi-media campaign to boost admissions for budget private schools,  is a deep-dive chat on the campaign, and moves on to broader insights for marketing professionals on the insights and learnings a professional of Anupam’s excellent experience brings to the table. And speaking of experience, well, before joining LEAD, Anupam was Senior Vice President & Head Sales at Disney+Hotstar, where he built the Digital Ad Sales Business and played a key role in strategic business decisions for the company.  He has also worked with Vodafone India, where he led the Sales & Marketing team. And before that, Anupam spent over a decade, working in India & South East Asia with Reckitt Benckiser & Google, where he drove adoption of digital platforms for top FMCG clients. At Reckitt Benckiser (for Dettol), Anupam was involved in various roles across the Sales & Marketing     functions.This alumnus of IIM Bangalore and Delhi College of Engineering is a voracious reader and fitness enthusiast who loves cooking, and in this episode.Come, join our conversation, as Anupam shares the nuances and finer points of the LEAD campaign, his experience of leading Marketing at LEAD, and some of the learnings, particularly during the lockdown, which he shares for the befit of both – younger marketing professionals and his peers. And more.So join Anupam Gurani, CMO of the Unicorn School EdTech Major LEAD, and me, Pavan R Chawla, Founder-Editor of MEDIABRIEF.COM,  on the latest episode of the MVP series. Thank you for your time. 
Our very special guest on this episode of MVP, the Master’s Voice Podcast -- our series based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players) across important sectors of the Industry -- is Priya Chakravarty, Senior Director – HR at Essar Capital Limited!Essar Capital is at the threshold of another big growth spurt, and of course, its biggest strength has always been its People, and as Senior Director – HR, Priya plays a crucial role in strengthening the People practices across Essar Capital. Priya is responsible for managing HR for International businesses and Corporate Functions, and also handles Learning & Development there. So, championing and empowering the diverse talent required at Essar Capital Limited across multiple sectors and sub sectors and levels  is a large and truly complex  mandate that Priya has been excelling at delivering on.A post-graduate in Organisational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, Priya deploys rich learnings from more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources, bringing in to bear her work experience from across industries like Manufacturing, Pharma, IT and Retail. In her previous assignment as Chief People Officer – Hometown & Ezone, Priya was responsible for driving a transformational HR agenda that focused on organisational culture, building a talent pipeline, and initiating and aligning all people practices to business achievement.In this, the 42nd episode the Master’s Voice Podcast, our MVP conversation ranges across how Priya and her team rose to meet the first shock and challenge of the lockdown and how they kept all Essarites reassured, protected, connected and productive. Priya speaks of how her HR team at Essar Capital Ltd worked to get the individual and collective mindsets to a place of comfort with change, which, she says,  became the bedrock for engagement, productivity, reassurance and protection.Priya speaks of important deployments such as real-time communication, the in-house Radio Essar,  empowering of employees with the tech and training to continue working from home comfortably and effectively, also providing them with ppen communication channels with doctors, counsellors, leaders and management, plus substantial work on renewing learning methodology by building digital training programs and creating an ecosystem of learning partners to produce and deliver content rapidly to a broad base of employees.So here's a fascinating account of how Priya Chakravarty, Senior Director - Human Resources at Essar Capital Ltd, and her team kept employees informed, engaged reassured and productive. I hope you find it as insightful and beneficial as I did. Thank you for your time.
My  very special guest in this episode of The Master’s Voice Podcast, is Mona Shetty - President, Sound & Vision India, which is India’s biggest and most respected entity for providing globally acclaimed content localization services. Mona herself is the Queen and High Priestess of content localization in India, and a highly respected Voice Actor, Voice Coach and Dubbing Director.Mona, who initially wanted to remain with her piece of the pie comprising of her own freelance voice work for multiple producers and wanted to eventually add the organized training of voice industry professionals to her work areas, had to clench the important baton of taking further ahead, Sound & Vision India (SVI), the company her mother had founded in 1993. Stepping into the shoes of her illustrious late mother and the then best voice industry professional in India, Mrs Leela  Ghosh, wasn't an easy task.But Mona, who took over the Sound & Vision India mantle in 2012,  has taken forward Leelaji’s peerless qualities -- her knowledge of multiple languages, her talent for adaptation, creativity, attention to detail and extreme professionalism -- to an even higher level. From translation to adaptation to casting and direction, Mona has been championing it all for delighted global and Indian clients, and in the process, has developed these services into an art form.Recently, Mona put India on the global content localization map when she became the only sector-leader to be listed by EGA, the Entertainment Globalization Association, on its list of the best global leaders in the content localization space.Under Mona's leadership, SVI has grown from under 20 to almost 100 employees across 4 offices in India and has established itself as a premium localization company by virtue of its capacity, infrastructure, technical and creative excellence and professional project management. In its 28 years so far, Sound and Vision has developed into one of the finest localization companies in the country. Having localized hundreds of hours of content for Theatrical release,TV and OTT platforms for content owners and broadcasters all over the world, SVI is at the forefront of the localization industry with it’s ever evolving Dubbing, Subtitling, Descriptive Audio and Access Services.Their work spans Theatricals, Marvel Films, Franchises, Web series,  and more, in all Indian languages including Bengali, English, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, amongst others.In this episode, Mona shares not only the major SVI milestones, but also what SVI brings to the creative and technical table that has helped it remain ahead of the pack as an industry leader for 28 years now.She puts forth insightful guidance for anyone aspiring to join the Voice industry in India as a voice artiste, and speaks about the very special, super-intensive, 2-day workshop SVI conducts once a month for those interested in exploring their innate desire to try out to explore if they are suitable for a voice-artiste career.She also advises voice talent on how to pitch their talent and availability to the producers etc, and also shares inspiration with her own values and beliefs that help her shine every single day.All this and more in this wonderful chat from the heart. With the wonderful Mona Shetty. I hope you find the  knowledge and insights and natural candour of the effervescent Mona as delightfully engaging and professional rewarding as I did.So listen in to the Queen and High Priestess of content localization in India – Mona Shetty.
In this, the 40th episode of The Master’s Voice, I bring you a conversation with someone I’ve always admired --  in equal measure  for her career and professional achievements in the Media & Entertainment space, and for the kind of wonderful person she is -  Simran Hoon, Chief Executive Officer at The Q India. She is one of the youngest women in a senior C-level leadership role in M&E in India.Before joining The Q, Simran was Executive Vice President and Head of Ad Sales at Viacom18, where the team successfully established COLORS channel as the leader in revenue amongst all Hindi general entertainment channels.  Simran, who brings 25 years of stellar workex to TheQ, has worked in various leadership positions at leading media and entertainment conglomerates such as Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Star India and Sony Entertainment Television, where, incidentally, both of us were colleagues as part of the team that launched Sony Entertainment Television in India.The Q, as we know, is a truly unique offering that aims to cut the clutter in linear television, and for which Simran, after she took over, has helped build a strong and robust entertainment ecosystem. Under her custodianship, the Hindi general entertainment channel has witnessed exponential growth in the industry with several milestones.The Q takes the best of curated content from social and digital to the family television set. And this exciting offering primarily targets the Tier 2 and 3 cities and towns, and, of course, by virtue of its content, is relevant and interesting to the Tier 1 markets too.Simran speaks about The Q, its biggest USPs, the kind of audiences it appeals to and its growth curve since launch in India on the back of the power of special, angular, different-from-run-of-the-mill-Hindi-GEC content. She recalls launching a GEC during the pandemic without much marketing at all, and how the channel has grown since its launch on DD FreeDish. Simran speaks of the The Q’s content strategy across curation, creation and acquisition, and the opportunities and challenges of formatting an FPC for a channel that doesn’t dish out only the usual 3-breaks-4-segments kind of 23-minute episodes dished out in half-hour slots. She also shares how advertisers have responded to The Q, and gives us a little whiff of some exciting future plans across digital and regionalAs CEO at The Q, Simran leverages her experience and insights to provide strategic direction to create new opportunities for the company and to drive organizational growth.With a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management (PGDMM) from The Times School of Marketing, New Delhi, Simran worked as a Senior Officer with The Times of India Group, thus beginning her journey in the media and entertainment industry.So tune in for some excellent insights from one of the most positive industry professionals who leads her handpicked team by example and inspiration - Simran Hoon, CEO - TheQ.
In this, the 39th episode of The Master’s Voice podcast series, passionate entrepreneurial leader, Mukesh Kalra – CEO of ETMONEY, speaks with Pavan R Chawla about India’s largest app for financial services that is simplifying the financial journey of new-age Indians. Consumers use ETMONEY to invest in zero-commission Direct mutual funds for Free, protect their families with unique Insurance solutions & use ETMONEY Credit Card to take instant loans at low-cost.Mukesh, a passionate entrepreneurial leader who brings more than 15 years of experience in building businesses and products from scratch in the Fintech, consumer, internet and mobile advertising spaces, has helped grow ETMONEY at 350% yearly on the back of multiple innovative solutions to reach more than 10 million users from more than 1400 Indian cities and towns, driving more than INR 20,000 crores of non-payment annual transaction volume on its platform.Before heading ETMONEY, Mukesh was one of the core members at InMobi and helped build it from concept into the world’s largest independent mobile ad network. He then launched his own fintech firm, Moneysights, which was later acquired by Times Internet, Times Group. And over the last 5 years, of course, Mukesh has led ETMONEY to be one of the largest and fastest growing investments and wealth management firms in the country.In this episode, Mukesh speaks of his own Fintech journey and that of ETMONEY – from concept to launch to its current growth. He speaks, also, of the current investment trends and Fintech landscape in India and the future outlook. Mukesh speaks of the investing habits and behaviours of the new generation of investors joining the investment bandwagon, and shares very interesting information about ETMONEY users, along with the excellent category-defining USPs of the service.
In this, the 38th episode of The Master’s Voice podcast, Pavan R Chawla brings you a conversation with one of FM Radio’s finest professionals, B Surendar - Chief Operating Officer & Director, Red FM network.  One of the thought leaders in the FM radio industry in India, Surendar, over the past 16 years, has been playing an important role  in helping shape the success of the Red FM radio network, which has grown in India from 7 stations in 2005 to nearly 70 stations now across the country, reaching around 52 million listeners.In this episode, Surendar shares his views and provides multiple insights that would not only help inform and educate young professionals but also inspire peers who, like he himself, are working to evangelize the FM Radio industry in India.Surendar outlines his interesting education and early career graph, and shares how he transitioned from working with reputable, research-oriented pharma companies, and how he eventually found himself at the Indian Express, which marked the beginning of his beloved and successful media career. He speaks of the impact of the pandemic on the FM Radio industry.He also busts some myths about the Radio industry, and discusses the need to evangelize the medium. Surendar is upbeat about the great power and relevance, and potential of Radio, which he says, is poised for strong growth in IndiaSurendar is active in industry forums and has been a part of many award-winning initiatives for the network. He is also known for his penchant for building teams, mentoring revenues,  and maintaining high standards of business ethics and integrity. He has an MBA in Marketing, and had a stint with pharma MNCs  Organon & Hoffmann-La Roche  before moving to the media industry in 1996. His personal interests include world affairs , sports , movies , music and travelling.During his more than 25 years of senior-management experience in the media industry, Surendar has earned peer respect as a turnaround specialist  by handling tough assignments with aplomb and consistently achieving top- and bottom-line objectives of the companies he has worked with.
This, the 37th episode of The Master’s Voice on MediaBrief.com features someone who’s in an area of advertising wherein consumer attitudes, opinions and reactions are carefully collected, analyzed, tallied, and held up to the light – Dr Duane Varan, Ph.D., CEO and Founder of MediaScience;  former director of Disney’s Media & Advertising Lab; professor at the Audience Lab at Australia’s Murdoch University, and has is a pioneer in the field of market research.  Dr Duane is in conversation with Pavan R Chawla on MediaBrief.comA graduate of UT Austin, Dr. Varan’s  privately-held companies are on the cutting-edge of tracking persuasion: MediaScience, a global pioneer in lab-based research integrating neurometrics, facial coding, eye tracking, reaction latency testing and other advanced methods including AI and machine learning, and HARK Connect,its QualTech™ qualitative research streaming and AI platform. Overall Duane leads a team of more than 50 researchers, project managers, developers, strategists and planners -- many holding advanced degrees – and working out of offices in New York, Chicago and their headquarters in Austin. Simply put, Duane and his team are experts when it comes to better understanding the emotional dimensions of how people react to media, advertising and consumer brands.In the process, Dr Varan’s  companies have moved to the forefront of transforming market research into something that goes beyond the stereotype of the boring online survey. “We’re trailblazers at MediaScience,” Duane says. “We think of ourselves as part of a movement to elevate the very atmosphere in which media and marketing research is conducted.”Duane understands intrinsically that when it comes to measuring consumer reaction, people need objectivity. “We all lack direct access to our own emotional encounters,” he observes. “So we have to measure human emotion directly – which you can do, drawing on things like skin conductivity, heart rate, facial expression analysis, eye tracking, even EEGs.”Anyone in the business of marketing, and in the quest for inputs to help the most effective marketing, must reach out to Duane and his team. And on this episode of The Master’s Voice, Duane,  as both -- a business- and thought-leader -- has a compelling story to tell, and a roadmap for achievement that I’m convinced the professionals who listen to The Master’s Voice would find informative and inspirational.Duane is the incisive professional who’s provided detailed and insightful guidance on questions as varied as Is my ad campaign more effective on OTT or linear TV?; What methods of sponsorship produce brand-lift?; Which entertainer is making the biggest impact on our program?; Which content produces the strongest brand memory?; Do interactive ads increase purchase intent?, and numerous others.And hey, they’re the kind of team that loves listening to the problems of marketers. Because Duane his team team mainline on  actually illuminating the media journey through science, innovation, and integrity.
My guest on this, the 36th episode of The Master’s Voice podcast series from MediaBrief.com is  a distinguished expert, Abbas Akhtar, Chief General Manager Brand & PR at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), where he has held and shone in the position for the past two years. However, Abbas brings a total of 34 years’ experience to his complex, demanding, and what he describes as ‘very fulfilling responsibility’ of leading Corporate Communications  at BPCL – one of India’s biggest Maharatna giants.In his current role, Abbas is responsible for building the communication strategy and planning  and executing it across platforms while maintaining integrity across all marketing and communication initiatives of the company.Apart from handling Corporate Public Relations & Brand, Abbas has also had experience in heading marketing activities of Highway retailing and leading brand initiatives in the Retail Business Unit encompassing retail fuel stations pan India.Abbas Akhtar has also worked extensively in the Aviation Fuel Industry, representing Bharat Petroleum,  and has developed command over almost all the facets pertaining to Jet Fuel Marketing and Operations.In this episode of The Master’s Voice, Abbas speaks of the size and scale of BPCL and the purpose that it drives, and which drives it, in the service of India.He speaks of how the BPCL brand promise of ‘Innovation, Care & Reliability’ is ingrained in the company’s DNA, and how the team has been gearing up to take it to new levels.Abbas shares BPCL‘s Comms philosophy and beliefs during COVID, and the company’s campaigns and initiatives to communicate  its mission, commitment and purpose – all of which have helped BPCL keep literally fuelled  and powered, the nation’s ‘wheels’ to keep it growing.Abbas also shares insights from the company’s purpose-driven campaigns. He also speaks of the kind of media and marketing mix BPCL uses to reach out to both — its massive consumer base across India, as also to its associates and the businesses that partner it across the length and breadth of the country.Abbas, who handles a mandate that is as complex as it is crucial, also shares how he organizes and manages teams working across a large number of complex verticals, and how BPCL is well served by its Umbrella Branding Strategy. Young marketers seeking to arm themselves for the fast evolving digital marketing space, will find helpful insights on what Abbas believes they need to brush up on to remain relevant and grow.All this, and more, from the soft-spoken, passionate and accomplished Abbas Akhtar, Chief General Manager – Brand & PR at BPCL. What you will hear in the episode is a truly inspiring Aatmanirbhar Bharat story that BPCL has been scripting across multiple fronts, after having stepped up phenomenally to serve the nation and its people during the pandemic and lockdown, and more.  As India’s ‘best performing’ Maharatna Public Sector Undertaking that today is a Fortune 500 oil refining, exploration and marketing conglomerate.
In this, the 35th episode of The Master’s Voice on MediaBrief.com, I bring you a conversation with Phil Hardman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BBC Studios Asia.  BBC Studios, as we know it, is the global content company with British creativity at its heart, and in India too, has been amongst the most respected creators of content production and sales empowerment for television, and now the OTT space too.  Phil – who took over as GM for BBC Studios Asia after his roles leading the BBC’s commercial strategy across Asia and Greater China, and the BBC’s China business for the first half of 2020 – shares interesting insights about  the Studio’s recent re-launch of its popular children’s channel CBeebies in India after 8 years, the characteristics of the overall Asia market and the uniqueness of the India market within it and   BBC Studios India the content and associations it has created and driven so far, his outlook for India and the region; a bird’s-eye-view of the OTT transformation and growth during the pandemic; how the formats business adapted to the pandemic, and current and upcoming format trends. He also speaks about supporting platform partners and the associations and partnerships BBC Studios India has in the India market, including with Sony BBC Earth, and others.So, for insights from Phil Hardman based upon his extensive knowledge of, and experience in,  the South- and South-East Asia,  South Korea and Japan markets, tune in to this episode of The Master’s Voice. We give you Phil Hardman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BBC Studios Asia.
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