Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL), the parent company of The Times of India Group of Publications, has formally restructured its Response activities into two revenue generating streams - conventional sales and private treaties - on the lines of conventional national banking and private banking.
In a four-page memo e-mailed to employees on Monday, Managing Director Vineet Jain has said that "Response constitutes twin yet distinct activities - one comprising conventional sales by the sq cm, as per the Mastermind, while the second covers private treaties and board level confidential dealing and high octane confidence-building measures, akin to private banking".
Maintaining that sales in sq cm still constitute a major part of the revenues, even as private sales revenues are a mere trickle, Jain said, "We could thus restructure Response into two different species of sales." Reiterating that the two activities cannot be handled by one person, "irrespective of his competence and seniority", Jain has effected a reorganization in the Response team.
Bhaskar Das, Head of Response, has been elevated to the post of Executive President (Response) and will be the National Sales Head. Response sales heads across branches will continue to report to him.
Director-Response Sunil Rajshekhar has been made the new Head of Private Treaties. He has been given the task of recruiting and training a separate private treaty sales team, initially located in all metros, to mentor deals. Rajshekhar will "relate closely with Das and report to Vijay Jindal (Principal Secretary) for validation and requisite approvals".
Shivkumar will play a pivotal member of this team, and has been moved from a Finance function in Mumbai to strategic marketing and will report to Rajshekhar.
Director-Corporate R Sundar, who designed the first steps and the first deal in the private equity partnership initiative, has been given a 100-day timeline to "guide and hand over his learning" to Rajshekhar. Sundar has recently been designated CEO of the Times Group's project to launch the Wall Street Journal in India.
Jain, in his memo, said that in private treaties, one has to "exhibit authoritarian command over the business of the advertiser, typical of Mckenzies or Arthur Andersens. They should represent solutions…Private treaties require drive, conviction, consistency, and constancy of purpose like that of private banking."