It is that time of the year when the Indian media, marketing and advertising industry chooses the one individual, who made the most significant impact on the industry and who stimulated a game-changing paradigm shift in business dynamics and deeply influenced its constituents. And this coveted recognition, IMPACT Person of the Year (IPOY) this year has gone to none other than the catalyst who took a bold step that has changed the face of television in India –Member of Parliament Ms Ambika Soni, who until recently was Minister for Information and Broadcasting, and a former Union Cabinet Minister.
The IMPACT Person of the Year 2012 title was awarded to Ms Soni for leading the landmark shift to digitisation of television in India and her relentless and path-breaking work in the media and entertainment domain.
On receiving the award, Ms Soni said, “It is a great honour to receive this recognition and the place for this award is in the I&B Ministry, to serve as a reminder that the job is yet to be completed.”
The other esteemed nominees for the 8th edition of IPOY awards were: Man Jit Singh CEO, Multi Screen Media; Punit Goenka, Managing Director and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited; Sanjay Gupta, CEO, Jagran Prakashan Limited; Vikram Sakhuja, CEO-designate of Maxus Worldwide; and Vineet Jain, Managing Director, Bennett, Coleman & Co, and the group’s chief strategist, marketing visionary and editorial architect.
Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media Group, which publishes IMPACT, said, “IMPACT Person of the Year today defines the game changer of the media, advertising and entertainment industry and has become a true recognition of leadership in our fast changing industry. IMPACT Person of the Year 2012 exemplifies this thought and philosophy. In a tough year, Ms Ambika Soni has led from the front and made an outstanding contribution on many fronts in an industry whose health can help improve the health of the nation.”
Hindi GEC Colors has associated with the IMPACT Person of the Year 2012. Speaking on the occasion, Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors said, “IMPACT Person of the Year is not just an IMPACT and exchange4media award; it has become an industry standard and we are proud to be associated with it. This year’s winner, Ms Ambika Soni, is a political leader and the first woman to win it. Given her contribution to the industry, she is a true game changer.”
In her role as the Information & Broadcasting Minister from May 2009 to October 2012, Ms Soni had safeguarded progressive content on television while promoting self-regulation in broadcast and other media, widened the reach of Indian language channels, firmed up FM Phase III policies in radio and supported the print industry to ensure growth even in an economic downturn. To her goes the credit for resurrecting the almost defunct National Film Development Corporation, and putting Prasar Bharati on the road to revival. Also to her credit is the setting up of four new branches of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra and Mizoram and efforts to upgrade the IIMCs as centres of world class media education, training and research. Soni has been committed to ensuring a level playing field for different segments of the media and creating a robust industry through her efforts.
The nominations for IPOY are based on a person’s substantial contribution to his/ her own business as well as industry bodies and the possibility of practices adopted by him/ her having far-reaching effects in the foreseeable future. The selection process, handled by IMRB International, is divided into 3 stages:
Phase I: Inviting nominations by way of an industry-wide poll carried through the exchange4media group of publications.
Phase II: The poll data was collected on the IMRB server. All responses received were validated by removal of duplicate votes and data cleaning. The result of all valid responses from the poll, throwing up a list of top contenders, was compiled and sent to IMPACT. The editorial team at IMPACT evaluated the list, and came up with the final list of nominees. IMRB and IMPACT agreed on a set of parameters on which the top contenders would be rated by respondents in the final phase.
Phase III: Final voting by a select few from across the Advertisement, Media and Marketing fraternity, on the basis of personal e-mail invites sent by IMRB. The respondents vote on the nominations – on the basis of the pre-decided parameters – and pick one to three person(s) to be the IPOY. IMRB collates the data, giving due weightage to ranks 1, 2 and 3 and together with IMPACT’s editorial team, analyses it to arrive at the Impact Person of the Year.
Line of awardees
Started in 2005, the first IPOY award was given to the then CEO of Star India Network, Peter Mukerjea, followed by Editor-in-Chief of CNN IBN, Rajdeep Sardesai in 2006. Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman, UB Group, received the award in 2007, while two concurrent awards were given in 2008 to Raghav Bahl, Founder of Network18 and Lalit Modi, then IPL Commissioner. Rajesh Kamat, CEO of CA Media and Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India, won IPOY awards in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Last year too, two people were honoured with the IPOY award - advertising genius Agnello Dias of TapRoot India and the then Group CEO of Network18 & Viacom18, Haresh Chawla.