Content viewership becoming individual-centric: Divya Radhakrishnan, Helios Media

Guest Column: The birth of Helios Media was centered around “Opportunity spotting", says MD Radhakrishnan

e4m by Divya Radhakrishnan
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 7:50 AM
Divya Radhakrishnan

A seemingly predictable personality, but caped in not sticking to norms in reality, has built me professionally, thereby shaping my personality.

Being raised in a traditional Tam-Brahm family, it would have been predictable for me to grab the opportunity of a coveted bank job close to home, But I chose to change two trains followed by a bus journey all the way to Colaba for my baby steps into the world of advertising. Add to that not getting into usual client-servicing but media in an era where media department meant sending release orders.

After a 24 years of travelling with the profession’s evolution and sitting at a professional high, I was managing three SBUs at a leading communications network - Rediffusion, with a personal fulfillment of reaching professional goal posts.

Now what would one do? Get invited to speak at industry forums, Do your bit for the industry by taking time to judge award entries, Take off on vacations, Post happy achiever pics on social media

All sounds so natural and what most who knew me would expect of me. But announcing an end to my professional career with no options in hand, aiming to unwind with a random thought of consultancy – pretty unsure of what next was so unlikely of me.


Early Dawn:

The key driver to the next phase of my career ie the birth of Helios Media was centered around “Opportunity spotting”

Idle mind leads to the birth of a business person- this is my story. I was part of conversations of the launch of a new channel by a group of friends. This made me evaluate the opportunity of creating a support system for independent channels, to avail of the best talents amortized and pooled in, to benefit all.

The biggest challenge was creating a team in a space which was always on the other side of the table. No benefits of moving out with people who worked with you professionally but having to get new people to just buy into your dreams which was merely on paper with no role-model practice to follow. The challenge was to write your own rules and carry every brick on your shoulder to build the base

Thus began the journey of creating an A-Class media sales team. This team was hand-picked by my business partner Bala Iyengar who is among the elite sales persons who has the most amazing capability to narrate fabulous brand stories. This helped specialty channels position themselves in a market that was driven by numbers to appreciate quality and pay the premium.


Warmth of the Sunshine:

Being a voracious consumer of content, be it any medium, the next phase of progression was creating this sturdy bridge between Brand & Content through the window to start weaving brand stories into content and thus create more conviction for the brand to enter consumer mind space. Working in the food domain with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor on his media brands helped us identify the potential of the sector. Receptiveness of the consumer to eagerly imbibe brand stories woven into content and not looking at it as an intrusion was the key. “Brand Chef” is our specialty solutions for the food sector.


The Blaze Trail

This lead on to strengthening our expertise in the content space, leading us to develop a fabulous Content Syndication team. We won the mandate of managing two channels from the prestigious Astro Media Group Malaysia. All Content for Tara HD and BollyOne is curated and sourced exclusively by Helios Media. We will soon be expanding to other geographies too.

The media planner in me ensured that I never lost appetite for the number game in content viewership. It became all the more relevant in social conversations where people jumped off their chairs to hear that it wasn’t Narcos but Nagin that ruled the roost even in markets like Delhi. Deep-diving into what was getting eyeballs opened doors for a new pitch. This we packaged by understanding trends, viewer sentiments, competitive scenarios and local nuances. “Mere paas ek achi kahani hai” wasn’t going to be a bulls-eye target every time. This coupled with the fact that content viewership is becoming very individual centric, thus polarizing the viewership by four times (house hold viewing vs individual preference)

Such has begun our journey of moving into what we call as “Content Plus” space. We have chosen the toughest sector to start-off with ie: the Social awareness space, backed by the Government, Our campaign for Road Safety with Akshay Kumar for the Ministry of Road Transport has been easily one of the most talked-of campaigns in the recent past.


Shining on

Being fully true to our name, Helios – the charioteer of the Sun, we have kept the movement on without getting stagnated and being closed about just what is on hand. Similar to the different positions of the Sun during a 24 hour cycle giving out different formats of light and shadow keeping its centrifuge constant, this has been our inspiration

Some learnings that I picked up in my transition from a professional to a Business Woman is the sublime pleasures over-taking materialistic ones:

The pride on seeing the Helios name-board every morning when you enter the office.

The energies of your team working on common goals, excitement and sense of ownership.

The sweet pains of crisis management.

The learning curve that’s far steeper than what any B-School can ever teach you.

The faith on the skills of your chosen leadership team on which one hinges the organizational pitch.

The performance pressures on oneself on how you present yourself representing the image of a 50 strong team.

The discoveries of this journey of yourself is the paramount of all.

Right from being humbled by the faith your colleagues put into your dream and gave up other opportunities to join forces with you.

To the clients who put immense faith in a brand new organization.

To the government who lends super support to women entrepreneurs.

To the industry who didn’t write you off but included you in all scrolls of honors

To conclude I would say is keep your vision within your sight, your path with some level of clearings to walk on, and your hopes alive - always!


(The author is MD, Helios Media)


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of



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