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Tarun Katial

CEO | 30 Sep 2015

People may duplicate our formats but we don’t duplicate our formats: Tarun Katial

As Big FM completes a decade, Tarun Katial, CEO, RBNL gets talking on the re-launch of the station in Delhi this Diwali with a sharper positioning in retro and need to refresh the retro space

Q. What is your plan of action to gain leadership in the Delhi Market?

We are planning a complete overhaul for our Delhi market. We have roped in a new programming head, we are going to do a whole new line of talent and curate music in a differentiated position within retro and launch it this Diwali.

We have gone through a new set of research across our Mumbai and Delhi markets to look at some finer sets of positioning within retro for music. So we are building a new need gap and re-launch our Delhi retro station basis these new insights. It will have a new line up for music and a new line up of talent.

Q. Big FM has been topping the Mumbai market for three years, but has been the gap in the offering in Delhi?

The Delhi market is very different from the Mumbai market. The mistake we made was to use the cookie cutter approach of retro in Mumbai and Delhi is equal to each other.

Some of our research is showing that the Mumbai consumer consumes retro very differently from a Delhi consumer. A Delhi consumer is more mood and tempo-led rather than depth and understanding led. So, he is a happy consumer who wants to consume things on the fly, rather than in the depth of music, mood, research, trivia and artist. We are changing the kind of RJs, the kind of music and the kind of tempo. Our positioning is going to be very different for Delhi compared to Mumbai.

We tried to adapt too much of Mumbai to Delhi and it is not working for us. But you live to learn and learn to live.

Q. Why haven’t you got another radio station in the same city like your competitors?

We are already at the maximum cap of 45. So when we were making the choice, we were already missing mini metros and key metros, so we had to get that footprint right. Within that available list, we didn’t have anything left. But given a choice, we would, and if there were new frequencies opening up, we would look at Mumbai and Delhi as an opportunity.

Q. Is that a disadvantage from a sales perspective?

You can sell in two ways: one, where I’m selling for that geography locally to retail, I can get some advantage by having two radio stations. But 70-80% of our revenue is national and corporate where people are not looking at having two stations in one city, but they are looking to buy network coverage across the country. I have the largest footprint in the country and that sets me apart from others.

Q. Retro has become a new trend and everyone is doing it, so is it time to re-invent even within the retro space?

Advertisers buy audiences and not formats. Yes, I think there is a dire need for every business to reinvent itself regularly. Our retro format worked well for us because; not only were we unique in the marketplace, but both in Delhi and Mumbai, we are on a path of re-invigorating, re-inventing or re-launching. We are currently sharpening and deepening our understanding of retro music, the meaning of lyrics, the meaning of how music gets created, creating curated playlists, and doing some very different things.

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