Market as large as one billion and mindset variation with different socio economic habits at a stretch of every 50 kms…welcome to India!
To cater to such a large and diverse market, media leaders agree on some common parameters; prime among them being ‘reforms in regulation’.
Ravi Dhariwal, CEO, Times Group, on being asked the pertinent question of how to connect to a billion plus consumer, said that one should segregate the audience into small fragments, hire a good creative team surrounded by a good marketing team, and then finally give them the freedom to execute strategies. Enabling this would be a good bet for the future was his thought.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 Media said that the trend of connection is already in place but the segmentation and targeting has to develop in a robust manner. Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, ZEEL mentioned the change in status quo referring to broadcasters as ‘content creators and aggregators’ and not ‘broadcasters’! He confessed that media industry at present is not designed the way it should be but now the time has come for the players to take the next leap.
Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD, Disney UTV Studios brought the cinema perspective into the discussion, mentioning that the time has moved forward from the 90s era and now we have a co-existence of two kinds of Hindi films (mass and class), both enjoyed by the same set of audience. He highlighted the poor infrastructure which may harm the industry prospects comparing India and America. He mentioned that resonating with the audience is of extreme importance and this is what will bring the best out of the TV players.
Rahul Johri, Senior VP and GM, Discovery India, Asia Pacific defended his approach of dubbing the syndicated international content of Disney rather than creating one’s own, stressing that the first stage will be to build strong brands and then capitalising on the audience sentiment to reach to larger set of people.
Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India stressed on three key factors affecting the industry: creativity, technology and regulation.
Shailesh Rao, Global Operations Head, Twitter quipped in with the technology factor insisting that technology is a part of the business and should be used to evangelise it and not the other way round. He stressed on leveraging the mobile platform as effectively as possible to reach to maximum number of people in this diverse market. He also said that at the end of the day it’s about matching the parallels of creativity and content.
Dhariwal added that technology has added platforms and the way a player can simultaneously reach all the platforms to allow user access to its content, the better it would be for the health of the broadcaster.
When the discussion turned to regulation, all the panellists were unanimous. Goenka mentioned that the regulation model is more favourable for the distributor and has nothing to offer to the broadcaster. While Kapur mentioned that the regulation and industry conventions are bounding scope of expansion, unless changes are made on the regulation side. Leveraging maximum content platforms and capitalising them to the best of the capabilities and storming the regulation vibes would be the need of the hour.
Ravi Dhariwal, Sudhanshu Vats, Punit Goenka, Shailesh Rao, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Rahul Johri were sharing their views at the flagship session of the ongoing FICCI Frames 2013, being held in Mumbai, discussing ‘How to reach to a billion consumers’. The session was moderated by Uday Shankar.