As in the case of a lot of industries, the media and entertainment industry too is faced with the challenge of attracting the best of talents and retaining them. The media industry is going through a significant transition phase and talent crunch can hamper proper growth in this industry.
Ringing alarm bells regarding the resource crunch, Amita Maheshwari, Head HR, Star TV India remarked, “I think it’s time to overreact, if we are not overreacting, then we will be in trouble.” She stressed on the need to groom talent and added, “As an industry, I think it’s time for us to collaborate and ensure that we are growing talent at not just junior levels, but senior levels as well. We need to train the mid-level and prepare them to take up leadership positions.” She also lamented the lack of will in the senior management to mentor new people.
“The only thing that will stop the media industry from growing is the lack of quality talent,” Maheshwari warned.
Several media schools have cropped up all over the country that are churning out fresh talent. But the question is do students really look at media as a good career choice?
Stating the ground realities, Nagesh Rao, Director, MICA admitted that students these days ask how much money they will make at the end of the two-year course at MICA. In a bid to give a wide range of industry exposure to the students the academic structure at MICA is 50 per cent media and 50 per cent in other fields. When it comes to job placements, 30 per cent is in the media industry and rest in the FMCG sector.
Industry experts point out that just attracting good talent is not enough. Retaining and grooming this talent is equally important. Stressing how passion and spark is needed in the media industry, Ashok Venkatramani, CEO, ABP News noted, “It all boils down to how we treat people – as assets or just another resource. If we see them as resources, then they will be seen as profit-loss accounts.” On a more optimistic note, he said that despite all the glitches, there are many who genuinely believe that media is a very interesting place and has a good growth rate.
Comparing the print and broadcast sectors, RC Venkateish, CEO, Dish TV remarked that print media has been around for years and is better structured than the electronic media, but it is the electronic media that is attracting more talent. He also pointed out the importance of organising training programmes and becoming more systematic in the work process.
The above speakers were sharing their views on the topic ‘Talent Gaps in Media and Entertainment Industry’ at a seminar on India’s Best M-School Ranking, organised by the exchange4media Group in Gurgaon on June 28, 2013.