Sony Corporation’s CEO and Chairman, Howard Stringer, has a vision for Sony’s operations in India across the categories that the corporation is present in. At a luncheon meet, organised by FICCI on October 21, Stringer gave a sneak peek into his perception on Sony’s India business and changes he thought should be brought in to grow the business further in the country.
Rhe who’s who of the Indian media industry attended the luncheon. Vikram Sakhuja, CEO, MindShare, India and South Asia; Sandip Tarkas, CEO, OMD; Ravi Kiran, MD, Starcom; Insight’s Raj Gupta; Mudra’s Madhukar Kamath; UTV’s Ronnie Screwvala; noted film makers like Raj Tilak and Umesh Mehra; and members of the press like DNA’s R Jagannathan; and industry leaders like TAM’s L V Krishnan were all there.
The meet commenced with the welcome note of Saroj Poddar, Senior VP, FICCI, where he spoke on the manner in which Sony and, in particular, Sony Entertainment Television had grown in the country.
Poddar spoke of the blooming Indian economy and other reasons that made the country an attractive market for many investors. “The literacy rate is growing and the number of high income households is growing too, giving an indication to where the economy is headed,” he added.
The session was handed over to Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, SET India, who spoke more on Howard Stringer, describing the journey of the journalist who went on to become the President of CBS before gradually taking over the reigns one of the world’s biggest corporate names, Sony.
Stringer, while addressing the audience, spoke on the importance of the Indian market and the growth potential that it held. He spoke of the reasons why the Indian market was important to the Corporation and some of the challenges that they faced.
“Synergy is becoming an important word for Sony now and we are working on ways in which we can break barriers and leverage what is available to us in the form of consumer durables and content,” said Stringer.
He pointed out the importance of making devices and content work together and the need for the various operations of Sony – ranging from consumer durables to motion pictures to television business – to work together in order for the entire group to benefit by it.
In a discussion that Stringer had with FICCI’s Dr Amit Mitra, he spoke on the various operations and their performance in the country, but more importantly, on the group’s take on the functioning of its television division, which, according to Stringer, had done well for itself in the country.
“We are the number two player here – not a particular situation that we are very happy with, but the Corporation is growing and Rupert Murdoch is a strong competitor. We are on the right track here and we are working on how we can grow further in days to come,” he asserted.