Time to embrace diversity & inclusion

Guest Column: Rama Tadepalli, Co-Founder, Mintoak Innovations, writes on the need to celebrate the perspectives women bring to every aspect of the business

e4m by Rama Tadepalli
Published: Mar 10, 2022 11:56 AM  | 4 min read
Rama Tadepalli

Diversity is the mix; inclusion is making the mix work. This quote says a lot about how creating a healthy interchange of diversity and inclusivity in organizations can lead to breaking the conscious and unconscious biases. For this year’s International Women’s Day, that’s what the theme #BreakTheBias underlines. It is about encouraging leaders to recognize and challenge inequality. It is about bringing the approach of empathy and collaboration into practice by setting aside age-old biases, and building an inclusive workplace that is critical for innovation and business success.  

It's all about building resilience through experience. The nuances of individual effort, their strengths, their perspectives and the impact they create on the work culture are intimately connected. Speaking about women at work and their contribution to the country’s growth, research states that at present, the women's workforce participation rate in our country is at 20.3%, with 18.2% in Urban India. As per the statistics available, women's employability is at 51.44 per cent for 2022, compared to 41.25 per cent in 2021.

Experts are also observing a surge in the women’s workforce, and that makes the matter of gender diversity and inclusion more sensitive than ever. Gender balance in workplaces is not a topic of discussion just on International Women’s Day. It needs to be an ongoing and conscious initiative at all times. International Women’s Day is a great platform to get organizations to commit to initiatives that will impact gender balance. It’s important to use the occasion to raise overall sensitivity. I see several people scoffing at IWD and think it is about pink roses, purple balloons and chocolates. Let not the superficial aspects cloud the strength of the platform. Celebrate the perspectives women bring to every aspect of the business.  

Gender diversity is critical not just for women at all levels, but for every organization focused on innovation and customer-centricity. However, the implications of gender balance and the scarcity of the talent pool are felt more intensely at senior positions. Hence, it is every leader’s responsibility to create a work environment that helps women stake their rightful claim to senior roles, encouraging their participation in decision-making levels, take an active interest in their career growth, provide them with platforms that help them showcase their talent create avenues for them to explore, learn, and give their ambition wings.

Want to know if a new business model is going to fly? Ask women, says Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley-based author, speaker, entrepreneur and evangelist, in his book ‘Art of the Start’. He goes on to say “It’s pure practicality … in a war for talent you don’t say, ‘okay half of you are not eligible. It’s so stupid, I can’t even express how strongly I feel about that.”

If entrepreneurs want to build successful organizations, they really need to focus on building teams that bring in rich and diverse perspective. Here are recommended diversity & inclusion parameters that organizations can consider and implement:

  • Becoming a signatory to the UN Women Empowerment Principles.
  • Enhancing business practices to foster equality at the workplace and among communities.
  • Recognizing female leaders in the workplace and closing the perception gap.
  • Providing exposure to a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and competencies.
  • Establishing non-discriminatory practices and processes.
  • Focusing on performance metrics rather than cast, creed, race, and colour.
  • Celebrating women's achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality.

In order to create opportunities for the women workforce to perform better, it’s critical to accommodate their diverse needs and working preferences to ensure they have fulfilling careers. Gender balance is not about token sim or affirmative action. It is about breaking deep-rooted biases even amongst the most educated and accomplished people – both men and women.

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Hardik Pandya named brand ambassador of POCO

The cricketer will represent POCO's upcoming X-series

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 2:49 PM   |   2 min read

POCO

Consumer tech brand POCO today announced Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya as its brand ambassador. As a brand that focuses on challenging the status quo and representing every individual who is looking to pursue perfection and greater alternatives to the mainstream, the brand sees the ace cricketer as a perfect fit as its brand ambassador.  Hardik will be the face for the launch of POCO’s upcoming performance beast, the X-series. Entering the market soon with stellar performance and aggressive pricing, POCO's X-series is set to unleash the rebel and revamp the mid-premium smartphone segment. 

Hardik Pandya is known for his all-around skills and how he has defied the odds to become one of the most consistent and successful performers in world cricket. His youth connect and mass appeal amongst the Gen Z audience will resonate the brand persona with its audience. 

Unveiling the partnership, Himanshu Tandon, Country Head, POCO India said, “Hardik Pandya is a name that connects with India in a heartbeat. His never-give-up attitude, zeal, and enthusiasm go perfectly well with our brand’s DNA and we are confident that his personality will resonate with our audience and fans. Aligned with our brand imagery, we are confident that he will play an instrumental role for our brand and we are extremely proud to have him on board as POCO’s ambassador.” 

Sharing about his newest collaboration, Hardik Pandya, who is exclusively managed by RISE Worldwide, said, “I am pleased to partner with a youth-centric smartphone brand like POCO. I admire their smart, sleek and absolute performance-led smartphones. Most importantly, I resonate with the brand’s motto of ‘Everything you need, Nothing you don’t. I look forward to this partnership and connecting with the brand’s young community.” 

Kickstarting his role as POCO’s brand ambassador, Hardik Pandya will soon be seen promoting the brand’s much-awaited release, the X-series. The smartphone comes with major upgrades from its predecessor at an affordable offering and carries forward the brand’s vision of ensuring the highest levels of user satisfaction through cutting edge devices.

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Biryani By Kilo ropes in PV Sindhu as first brand ambassador

The brand has formed a connect with the badminton champ’s Hyderabad association

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 26, 2023 12:00 PM   |   1 min read

Sindhu

Biryani by Kilo (BBK) has announced badminton champion PV Sindhu as its first-ever brand ambassador.

PV Sindhu is the precise personification of the ideology of the brand. Just as the brand firmly believes that “Every good thing takes time – Fursat Se” similarly PV Sindhu has proven this to be true with her years of dedication & hard work towards the sport.

This association is considerably more meaningful since PV Sindhu was born and brought up in Hyderabad and shares a similar fondness for biryani.

Commenting on the association, Sindhu said: “I am happy to be associated with Biryani By Kilo as I have always been fond of their biryani, kebabs & curries. The brand is a pioneer in delivering fresh Handi Biryanis, Dum-cooked especially for each individual order. I look forward to a fruitful partnership with the brand.”

Commenting on the announcement Vishal Jindal, Founder & Co-CEO said: “We are delighted to have PV Sindhu as the brand ambassador of Biryani by Kilo. Biryani & sports have a lot in common, both bring people together. Champions train tirelessly and consistently for years to be able to perform and win and so do BBK as brand. Our association with her is a step towards strengthening the connection with our customers and reaching out to millions who admire & celebrate her excellence.”

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The focus now is on building mental & physical availability: Ajay Dang

The President & Head - Marketing, Ultratech - Aditya Birla Group, spoke on the power of TV in sports at the e4m TV First conference

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 1:57 PM   |   3 min read

Aditya Birla Group

It's critical for any brand to understand who their customer is, what they want to achieve, and what the medium can do, said Ajay Dang, President, Head of Marketing, Ultratech - Aditya Birla Group. He was speaking at the e4m TV First Conference on the ‘The Power of TV in Sports’. 

Dang stated that the world has shifted away from a little salesmanship and selling a unique proposition to as many people as possible at the lowest possible cost.

He stated that consumers to whom brands are speaking are human beings, not just wallets, and that when dealing with humans, there are a few facts to be aware of regarding how they make decisions, as this is what brands are attempting to encourage from a business standpoint. 

“A lot of these consumers use not very hardwired excel sheets analysis in terms of making decisions even the most complex decisions in life,” said Dang.  

According to Dang, the current thinking focuses on two major components: building mental availability and building physical availability. Those are the two most important things to consider, rather than the USP, and the efficiency piece is something to consider.

“Most business leaders and marketers forget that you're always dealing with human beings and those are the people that you're trying to nudge. The biggest search engine that you have as consumers is your mind, tap the Google screen later.” 

From a television standpoint, Dang believes three things stand out as strikingly different, which is supported by some numbers and science. The first thing is attention, the second is emotion, and the third is fame, and all of these things are extremely important in terms of increasing mental availability and building the prompt of brand and category when the consumer thinks of a specific problem.

"As attention rises, business results rise as well, with both top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel numbers rising. If you are trying to communicate with humans and build mental availability, attention matters quite a bit.” 

According to Dang, in terms of building long-term brand building, we need to go to media, which is slightly more long-term and more attention driven. “The worry is that on digital less than 85 per cent brands don't cross that two- and a half-a-second threshold in terms of attention span, and therefore that's something that brands have to keep in mind from the objective that they have.” 

He went on to say that brands have been enticed by FOMO, free eyeball staff, having something to talk about with our CFOs, and saying that we have instant measurement that comes our way, and as a result, I believe a lot of advertising has shifted towards short-termism.

“We have focused largely in terms of efficiency rather than effectiveness and harvesting rather than sowing and doing the long-term brand building.”

He further talked about big events like the IPL and said that while there are 22 men playing on the field, you've had almost 200 million people enjoying that same communal experience at the same time, which only a medium-like television can do and therefore television builds a huge amount of fame.

“These three principles - attention, emotion and fame - are embedded into the medium itself.  While numbers might go up in terms of penetration or come down, I think because we are dealing with human beings and because we are dealing with a medium those principles remain the same. Therefore, for the right reason in terms of long-term brand building, there doesn't seem to be an equivalent comparison to television as of now.”

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IPL streaming goes mainstream; digital viewership set to overtake TV

Industry heads say the disruptive strategy of free streaming the IPL on Jio Cinema will bring big gains in terms of viewership

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 1:23 PM   |   5 min read

IPL

The countdown for the first major cricket offering of 2023, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has begun. Cricket fans are beyond excited for the biggest festival of cricket in India and the news of IPL being available for free on digital has brought in a big cheer amongst them.

India, with its massive population of internet users and a deep-seated passion for cricket, has become increasingly digital-first in its consumption of sports, especially cricket. Riding on the digital wave, this year's IPL is slated to record its biggest-ever innings on a digital platform. In a bid to unlock the true potential of IPL, Jio Cinema is all set to offer free streaming to every IPL viewer in the country across every device – mobile phones, Connected TVs, laptops, tabs etc., which is expected to result in more than 500 million people streaming IPL on their devices. With some very interesting offerings & technology interventions, JioCinema intends to change the game of sports viewing on digital platforms in the country.

While the digital story looks promising, the outlook looks a bit grim for the traditional medium of TVs. The decline of sports viewing on television has been a trend that has been observed globally, as more and more people turn to digital platforms for their entertainment needs. Additionally, the availability of high-speed internet and affordable smartphones, Smart TVs has only added to the viewership base of digital sports viewers.

In India, the decline in the number of Pay TV households & the reach and TVR for IPL is reflective of this trend. As per the recent FICCI report, the number of households with Pay TV are on a steady decline over the last three years. In 2020 there were 129 million households with Pay TV, which dropped to 125 million and 108 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

IPL TVR and reach on TV have also reported a consistent decline in the last few years. According to BARC, TVR for IPL has dropped from 6.2 in 2020 to 5 and 3.7 over the next two years in the M15+ AB IND U TG. Similarly, the reach of the series has dropped from 405 million to 360 million from 2020 to 2022 in the MF 2+ TG. While the traditional medium is reporting a steady decline, JioCinema’s game-changing intervention on digital may supercharge digital adoption in the country.

The never-before-seen massive scale of viewership outlook for live sports on a digital platform is a testament to the power of digital platforms in bringing live sports to the masses in India and is indicative of the direction in which sports viewing is heading towards in the country. The upcoming season of IPL promises to be a watershed moment in the digital landscape of the country. The high-quality streaming will be available to viewers at their convenience, anytime and anywhere, and it will be a perfect blend of technology and sports that will cater to India's cricket-loving audience.

Industry heads, too, endorse that the disruptive strategy of free streaming the IPL on Jio Cinema will bring big gains in terms of viewership helping unlock the true potential of the game.

Nilesh Malani, Chief Marketing Officer, Polycab India Limited said that Jio Cinema offering free streaming service for IPL is a huge disruption. "Reliance and Jio  are known for disruption. It is great for the consumer as they will get free content and will be able to watch their favourite game on a digital screen. From the advertisers stand point for us it would be better as well as when acquisition of customers is at a faster scale we believe the overall cost per contact will also go down," said Malani.

 

Bhairav Shanth, Co-Founder, ITW Universe said that the digital revolution has played a big role in the growth of IPL and with free viewing it will accelerate the growth of the game further. "The IPL has been adding new viewers every season and at about half a billion plus in India, it’s tempting to think it has hit some kind of a ceiling. But with the digital revolution being a big driver of this growth, at this stage of the IPL journey, the chance to view for free could accelerate this growth. Digital definitely has the potential to take the existing base of around  500-600 million and add in the next 200 Million viewers,” said Shanth.

 

Girish Hingorani, Senior GM and Head- Marketing, Ecommerce and Modern Trade at Blue Star Limited said that offering free streaming for IPL is a smart move on behalf of Jio Cinema. "This will bring people watching TV and digital on par. It will prove to be very effective, just like it was during the recently concluded FIFA World Cup. This move will not only build a lot of traffic for digital viewing but could be a strong competitor for television," said Hingorani.

 

Sapna Sharma, Co-founder, and COO, Efficiacy Worldwide Pvt Ltd said, " IPL is one the most viewed event across the globe. Free streaming of IPL on Jio Cinema is a great strategy as it will bring an even bigger audience base to the app and will result in a very high viewership. This strategy will definitely disrupt digital viewership as it will enable the incremental base of customers to become the viewer of the event and will result in one of the highest reach any sports event has got on the digital landscape. In fact, the reach of connected TV with Jio Cinema is going to be higher than the HD TV reach for the sport."

  

Overall, the decline of sports viewing on television is a reflection of the changing media landscape, as digital platforms have become an increasingly important way for fans to consume sports content. IPL's free streaming on Jio Cinema is a move to reach every video viewer in the country and it looks to definitely take the ever-so-popular league to newer heights.

**Native content

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e4m TV First Conference & Prime Time Awards: Glimpses

Take a look at some special moments captured through the day

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 1:28 PM   |   1 min read

Madison

exchange4media Group hosted the fifth edition of e4m TV First, an all-day conference that talks about the dynamic television industry at Taj Santacruz, Mumbai on Tuesday, January 24. The conference was followed by the 9th edition of Prime-Time Awards where Madison Media bagged the ‘Media Agency of the Year’ title and Policybazaar Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd. took home the ‘Advertiser of the Year’ award.

Here are some glimpses of the day

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2022 the 2nd year to cross Rs 10,000cr mark box office: GroupM iTV & Ormax Media report

F&B and consumer durables were the top 2 categories in in-cinema advertising

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 12:50 PM   |   3 min read

Ormax

GroupM India’s Interactive Television Pvt. Ltd (iTV) along with Ormax Media has unveiled the 2022 edition of ‘India Is Back…At the Theatres’ report. The report delves into the trends and insights that shape the Indian film industry, including box office collections across languages.

According to the report, 2022 was only Rs 300 crore behind 2019, which remains the best-grossing year at the Indian box office. Compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, Hindi cinema has lost 11 percentage points in share (44% to 33%), while Telugu cinema has been the biggest gainer, growing its share from 13% to 20% and 2022 has been Telugu cinema’s best-ever year till date, along with being the first year in which Telugu cinema has crossed the 2,000 Cr mark.

The report also stated that the four South languages i.e., Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam cinemas in 2022 have surpassed their 2019 collections, with Kannada and Telugu showing the highest percentage growth of 55% and 53% respectively. Hindi and Hollywood movies underperformed in 2022 as compared to 2019, with the latter being impacted by a weaker flow of the film in the first half of the year.  Additionally, 32% of Hindi box office came from dubbed versions of South films like K.G.F: Chapter 2, RRR, Kantara, etc.

K.G.F: Chapter 2, RRR, and Avatar: The Way of Water emerged as the top-performing movies at the box office, whereas Brahmāstra was the top Hindi language movie. Avatar: The Way Of Water became the all-time highest-grossing Hollywood film in India, contributing a staggering 38% to the Hollywood box office in India in 2022. Malayalam cinema showed minimal growth over 2019, finishing at the same level as that year, just above 600 Cr. After a few years of struggle at the box office, Marathi cinema had a very good year, crossing 250 Cr for the first time ever.

In terms of in-cinema advertising, the second half of the year saw an 18% increase in the number of brands advertising as compared to the same period in 2019. F&B and Consumer Durables were the top 2 categories in cinema advertising in 2022 as compared to Clothing and Telecom/Internet Service Providers in 2019.

Ajay Mehta, Founder and MD, Interactive Television (iTV) and MD, Kinetic India said, "Despite theatres being closed in many parts of India in early 2022, the year's box office collections were only 300 Cr behind the best-grossing year of 2019. The return of audiences to cinemas, the strength of regional industries makes us optimistic that in 2023, we will see even more brands advertising in cinemas and theatres."

Shailesh Kapoor, Founder & CEO, Ormax Media, said, “When theatres were closed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, and OTT platforms witnessed a steep growth in consumption, many observers were quick to write the obituary of the theatrical medium. In 2022, Indian audiences have shown that the cinemas are here to stay, and this report is a validation of that. With the release of ‘Pathaan’ this week, 2023 is off to a great start too, auguring well for a medium that was impacted the most by the pandemic, but has managed to bounce back in no time at all.”        

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Policybazaar named ‘Advertiser of the Year’ at e4m Prime Time Awards

The insurance company won 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze metals for its impressive content marketing campaigns across categories

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 10:45 AM   |   1 min read

Policybazaar

Policybazaar Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd took home the ‘Advertiser of the Year’ award at the ninth edition of the e4m Prime Time Awards (PTA) on Tuesday, January 24. The company also won 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze metal for its impactful and powerful marketing campaigns.

Policybazaar Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd. won the Best Television Advertisement award for ‘Paap’ campaign. Coming to the medal tally, the insurance company won golds for its ‘Paap’ campaign under the ‘Banking, Financial Services and Insurance’ category and also in the ‘Best Integrated TV Campaign’ (Use of two or more mediums along with TV category. Policybazaar was also awarded gold for its Mr. Policybazaar campaign under ‘Best Use of TV to Launch/Re-Launch Product/Service’ category.

The company took home silver metals for its ‘Paap’ campaign under the ‘Best Use of Influencers/ Celebrities on TV’ category. Coming to the bronze tally, Policybazaar won one metal for its Mr. Policybazaar campaign under ‘Best Use of TV to Create Brand Awareness’ category.

The Prime Time Awards, founded in 2014, is one of the leading platforms to acknowledge creative excellence for television commercials. The awards celebrate the power of an advertising or marketing campaign and recognise the expertise that goes behind curating them.

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