HT Media Ltd has brought on board Rajesh Ramakrishnan as Marketing Head for its English daily Hindustan Times. In a career spanning 17 years in sales and marketing, Ramakrishnan has worked with Reckitt Benckiser, Marico, PepsiCo and Apollo Tyres. In his new assignment, he will be reporting to Shantanu Bhanja, Vice-President, Marketing, HT Media.
In this exclusive interaction with exchange4media, Ramakrishnan gets talking about his new role in HT and what it means to him.
When asked why he chose to venture into the media industry, he said, “I think the fundamental principles of marketing remain the same – having the right brand strategy in place, gleaning strong consumer insights and then developing and executing engaging marketing programmes against these insights. So that doesn’t change. However, these now need to be done in the context of a newspaper, where the product changes everyday.”
In the course of his career, Ramakrishnan and has moved from handling brands like Cherry Blossom, Kurkure and Quaker to now HT. On how this journey has been, he revealed, “It’s been a great journey so far with lots of learnings and great fun. Each brand had its unique context – in Cherry Blossom it was about how to build frequency in a low salience category, Kurkure was all about becoming an integral part of the Indian snacking habit, and Quaker was about introducing a new habit along with a healthy lifestyle.”
Entering the media scene at this junction, he remarked, “I think the media industry is at the cusp of some very interesting times ahead. The lines between vehicles are blurring. We get news on the mobile and on our laptops, TV and print are becoming much more engaging with consumers, and so on. HT is well poised to fully leverage this, given its width of presence in multiple media vehicles and spaces like education and entertainment.”
So what does he hope to leverage in this new role? As far as his strengths were concerned, he felt, “I have a solid grounding in sales and have extensively worked across different facets of marketing, including insights, innovation, media and brand management. I also work well with cross-functional teams and bringing out the best in people.”
He is very positive on contributing to marketing this new brand for which he would rely on his “marketing skills to build further build HT as a strong brand, bringing in a fresh outside perspective and an ability to develop and build a consumer-centric team”.
Ramakrishnan did his engineering from BITS Pilani and his post-graduation from XLRI Jamshedpur.