Tonight’s the big night, when the Impact Person of the Year 2006 will be announced and awarded. The stage is set for the industry to come together and celebrate an inspiring individual from the advertising, media and marketing fraternities.
As the appointed hour nears, we run through the brief profiles of the last six nominees (in alphabetical order).
After an advertising stint with GlaxoSmithkline, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Co-founder and CEO, InfoEdge (India), better known by its website Naukri.com, is today sitting over a business worth Rs 45 crore with 600 employees and 35 offices all over the country.
It was in response to a Department of Telecom's (DoT) advertisement to launch a videotex service in Delhi that he prepared a database of jobs. “It was a pay-to-view model, where initially the employer would be allowed to host his job free and we would earn from the revenue share the DoT would give us,” he said. But the project never took off.
Naukri.com was set up in March 1997 as a division of InfoEdge. It became profitable from the second year since operations. Today, it has a profit after tax of Rs 8.5 crore. As part of its expansion, InfoEdge aquired Jeevansathi in September 2004. Besides, it also has an offline recruitment business through its venture with Quadrangle.
Today, Naukri.com gets over 100 million page views a month and has over 3.5 million registered users. It is estimated that over 700,000 people have found jobs through naukri.com. Over 15,000 organisations have used the site for recruitment. In August-September, the group intends to launch a portal on the real estate business.
The man whose venture has helped get rid of some of the ‘Hari Sadus’ of the world: Sanjeev Bikhchandani.
Shobhana Bhartia is the Vice Chairperson and Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd – India’s second largest print company – which publishes two of India’s most widely read newspapers – Hindustan Times and Hindustan.
Besides her key role with HT Media, she also holds positions of eminence in a number of organisations. She is the Chairperson of the Press Trust of India and Deputy Chairperson of the Executive Committee, Audit Bureau of Circulations. She is a Member of the Executive Committee, the Indian Newspaper Society and Commonwealth Press Union, London. She is also a Member, Board of Directors of Hero Honda Ltd, Apex Committee of Commonwealth Games-2010, Governing Council of India Habitat Centre and Member, Alliance of Civilizations, a high-level group formed by the then Secretary-General of United Nations, Kofi A Annan.
Under her leadership, the HT group has undertaken some historic initiatives including the partnership with The Times of India. While Hindustan Times has entered the Mumbai market in style, and the groundwork for the business paper too has borne fruit with ‘mint’ launching in early 2007.
Marrying a past to be proud of, with a future that holds immense promise: Shobhana Bhartia.
Srinivasan K Swamy
There was hardly a hiccup when the guard at RK Swamy/BBDO changed and the 46-year-old Srinivasan K Swamy took charge in 1994. Swamy, who has a Degree in Engineering, and a Masters in Business Administration, says he feels most at home in advertising. “I am comfortable where I am and it has been our conservativeness which has allowed us to remain profitable,” he quips.
As President of the AAAI, he initiated the Goa Festival last year. The event was a great success in its first edition; and promises to be bigger and better in its next. The event is not just about awards, but includes a much grander package of seminars, exhibitions, parties, sports and more, with Awards being its biggest selling point. He was re-elected as the president of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI for 2006 – 2007) for the third consecutive year.
So what if the Pitch fee debate has died down a bit? Simplicity maketh the man who made an impact in several ways: Srinivasan K Swamy.
Subhash Chandra, 55, Chairman of Zee Telefilms Ltd and promoter of Essel Group of companies. The group has presence in television and film entertainment, cable systems, satellite communications, theme parks, flexible packaging, family entertainment centers and online gaming. Chandra’s current role sees him lead the Board of Directors and work with heads of various businesses and the corporate team to help set up Zee's strategy.
Chandra is also the founder of Zee TV, India's first private TV channel. After the launch of Zee TV, he commenced Siticable operations in 1995 and also started a joint venture with News Corp. In 1995, he launched two new channels, Zee News and Zee Cinema. In 2000, Zee TV became the first cable company in India to launch internet over Cable services. In 2003, Zee TV became the first service provider in India to launch DTH services.
Last year saw the resurgence of Zee. A great year later, one can only expect more of better from the man who has seen it all, and continues to surprise all of us: Subhash Chandra.
A hands-on leader, Vineet Jain, Chairman, TIL, Managing Director, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL), is among the pioneer-believers in the future of the digital media. Jain’s optimism and faith in team Indiatimes has helped motivate each member to give his very best. His attention to detail combined with a creative verve converts ideas into powerful implantation tools. His personal passion has helped create a unique combination of enthusiasm with entrepreneurship.
An ideas man, Jain has pioneered Times Group's forays into new areas including the Internet (Indiatimes), Radio (Radio Mirchi), Retail (Planet M) and Television (Zoom, Times Now). He is also credited with taking the group's flagship newspaper, The Times of India, to younger customers, helping make it the largest-read English broadsheet morning daily in the world.
Last year saw the behemoth make defining forays in the vernacular space, including the buy of the largest read Kannada daily, Vijaya Karnataka.
Business as usual, in the inimitable Times mould: Vineet Jain.
Venkat Ram Reddy T
One of the rare cases of The Times of India not being No. 1 is in Hyderabad. The reason lies in a paper called the Deccan Chronicle. After storming the financial markets, and moving in to the Chennai market, Deccan Chronicle is clearly attempting to take wing. The takeover of Odyssey was but one instance of its non-media ambitions, say industry watchers.
Deccan Chronicle is looking to move into Bangalore soon, and establish a strong South presence. The cool, calculated strides belie the extent of the group's ambitions. The aggression with which Deccan Chronicle has tried to take on The Hindu in its bastion is proof enough of its confidence.
Consolidating success, accumulating firepower: Venkat Ram Reddy T.