IMPACT's 40 Under Forty Entrepreneurs: Building Business
IMPACT from the exchange4media Group launches the first edition of its ‘40 Under Forty’ list to recognise extraordinary achievers who are 40 years of age and below in the Indian Media, Marketing and Advertising industry
IMPACT from the exchange4media Group launches the first edition of its ‘40 Under Forty’ list to recognise extraordinary achievers who are 40 years of age and below in the Indian Media, Marketing and Advertising industry. Below are the entrepreneurs revealing the deep motivators and personal qualities that drove them to make their big idea a reality.
SUVEER BAJAJ and PRATIK GUPTA
Age: 30, 30
“The industry has become extremely cluttered and the most challenging aspect is how to stand out from the rest,” is how Suveer Bajaj of FoxyMoron assesses the media industry today. Just 30, Bajaj already has over a decade of experience and has worked with a plethora of top-notch brands that include the L'Oreal Group, Castrol, the SAB Miller Group, Fosters, Asian Paints, the Zee Entertainment Group, Bisleri, several brands from P&G, Motorola, Snapdeal, Bajaj, Britannia, Ather Energy, etc.
Today, as co-founder of digital marketing agency Foxymoron (which he set up along with Pratik Gupta and two others when he was just 19), Bajaj’s responsibilities stretch across all avenues - from building the Media Buying and Planning vertical, Search, Data Analytics and Video Content Production and Strategic Alliances. He strategically consults with brands to build the digital architecture and ecosystem for what brands do across digital and new media platforms alongside managing the life-cycle of brands and digital products across the board. The focus is on ensuring that marketing and communication campaigns are ROI-centric, by leveraging the understanding of creative and content along with a strong grip on technology to deliver efficient, unique and logical media solutions. This has helped in the acquisition of clients such as Hershey’s, The Castrol Group, COTY, Burger King, the Discovery Channel Group and GoAir.
A campaign that Bajaj is “most proud about” is one for HBO India for the TV premiere of Suicide Squad. The campaign was executed for only the Mobile platform, utilising WhatsApp as the primary medium - a platform that is used by over 200 million people in India on a daily basis. “We wanted to break away from the clutter by taking the Suicide Squad characters into the audience’s personal space. Hence, we decided to get them to the platform they give first priority to – WhatsApp,” he says.
Gupta’s primary role at FoxyMoron is to look after new business acquisition, strategic alliances and reinforcing the current client roster. This includes bringing the best of digital services to potential and existing clients through creative ideation, effective execution and management of resources.
Prior to FoxyMoron, Gupta worked at Balaji Telefilms Pvt. Ltd. as a Business Development Executive, creating new concepts for potential business opportunities. He has also worked with Castrol India Ltd. where his role included researching market data with regard to the consumption patterns of various vendors that Castrol dealt with.
Liaising with the clients’ agency partners to derive media-agnostic unique solutions has helped establish FoxyMoron as a holistic media and communications agency, going beyond Digital to ATL, BTL, sponsorships, proprietary events and technology.
For Bajaj, success comes from good instinct. “Never overthink anything! You must be willing to embrace the unknown, to experiment with scenarios, be patient and trust that good instinct will help find the way forward.”
Founder & CEO, Communicate India
In an industry where few Indian PR agencies exist, 23-year old Akshaara Lalwani founded Communicate India as a home-grown Public Relations agency with just Rs 10,000 as capital. Seven years on, Lalwani has built an agency that has over 100 employees and works with MNCs and blue chip companies including Hershey’s, Mindshare, SKF Bearings and The World Bank, among others. Lalwani considers herself a modern day David in the world of media Goliaths!
A recipient of multiple awards, her agenda last year was to move Communicate India away from a traditional PR firm to a digitally transformed, new-age agency. She also developed three new business verticals, growing by 100 per cent, year on year. Reflecting on the many campaigns she has worked on, Lalwani is “extremely proud of” the Lux Golden Rose Awards which reached over 1 billion organic impressions across platforms.
Looking back at a milestone in her journey, she recounts an incident which happened just a year into the business that would define what entrepreneurship was for her. “We were a small team of five people and a day before an important press conference for a leading automobile brand, the entire team quit, barring one person. We also had two events that were scheduled to take place after that. It was at this point that I reflected on what I am really dealing with and what entrepreneurship is all about. It is not about client satisfaction and cheques coming in, but about the darkest of days when you are pushed to think that this could be the end of the road, but you have to motivate yourself to fight it through. Needless to say, we managed to pull off the events and came out stronger than before,” Lalwani recounts.
“Being successful is about finding the best in people. Everyone has his/her shortcomings; we need to accept this and look beyond to identify strengths and bring out the best in each person to collectively achieve individual and organisational goals.”
INDRANIL DAS BLAH
Founding Partner & Co-CEO at KWAN, & CEO- Mumbai City FC
In 2009, Indranil Das Blah co-founded KWAN Entertainment & Marketing Solutions. He played a pivotal role in establishing KWAN as a premier entertainment agency, as well as in its eventual evolution into a diversified entertainment marketplace which connects investors, brands and artistes. Blah was recently promoted as KWAN’s Co-CEO.
What inspired him was watching the movie Jerry Macguire about a sports agent and his relationship with an American football player, played by Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr respectively. “Jerry Macguire made me realize that one, there is a career to be made in sports in India; and two, you can stick to your ideals and values and yet be successful,” says Blah. Today, KWAN works across multiple domains such as celebrity management, live entertainment, sports, TV, licensing, movie packaging, music and regional cinema. KWAN exclusively manages the likes of Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Hrithik Roshan, Sonam Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sania Mirza, Shraddha Kapoor & Sushant Singh Rajput, to name a few.
Blah is one of the leading minds in the country when it comes to brand sales, celebrity endorsements, and sports marketing. Under his leadership and guidance, the sports team at KWAN established Ranbir Kapoor’s Indian Super League (ISL) football club, Mumbai City FC, as one of the strongest non-cricket sports brands in India. He also supervises the brand management of Sanjay Dutt’s cricket franchise, Leo Lions, which is part of the Masters’ Champions League in the UAE. He has also been deeply involved in over 200 sponsorship and endorsement deals over the last five years for the various athletes on Kwan’s roster.
In April this year, Kwan Entertainment partnered with sports marketing and entertainment veteran Ravi Krishnan to launch KWANAbler, a new company to provide end-to-end support for global sports, media and entertainment brands, companies and investors tapping the Indian market.
For Blah, success is in the detail. “The work dearest to me has been the birth and launch of ISL club, Mumbai City FC. My team and I have been responsible for the brand identity of the club, starting from the logo creation to marketing campaigns across four seasons now. Great detail has gone into making the club recognisable not just in Mumbai but across India and I am happy to say that the club today is a strongly visible brand across the sports and entertainment landscape of India,” he says.
Co-Founder and Managing Director APAC, Httpool
A serial entrepreneur and an angel investor, Sunny Nagpal has successfully built Httpool’s operations ground up in India, as a JV partner, with a paid up capital of Rs 3 lakh to a multi-million dollar enterprise, engaging over 350 top brands, major agencies and 450+ local publishers. Nagpal currently manages Httpool in India and leads its expansion in APAC. He also leads Httpool AdTech Platforms and is involved in development of a cross-channel marketing platform that would enable execution of campaigns across all channels and devices from one single point.
On his journey so far, Nagpal says, “The decision to start my own business before I got tired of learning through jobs was the turning point of my career. My determination to win and patience to work by the book from the ground up was required. I had both. So I got down to business without cutting any corners.”
Among other achievements last year, Nagpal led the pitch and won the exclusive mandate to represent Twitter and resell Twitter ads in India. He co-founded Httpool Indonesia and Httpool Malaysia and also led the winning pitch for Twitter official Ad Sales partner for both these South Asian markets. Within two quarters of the Twitter association, Httpool exceeded expectations on all parameters to the tune of 180% across some markets in the region. In addition, Nagpal was also responsible for establishing exclusive/preferred ad sales partner deals with major publishers and media tech companies like Wittyfeed, Happn and Adara in the Indian market. Httpool in India has registered growth of 55% (YoY) and executed over 3,200 campaigns in the last 12 months from 375+ top brands, engaging all major agencies and co-operating with over 300 publishers. Nagpal successfully led the majority stake sale of Httpool India (as part of a global deal) to IMS- Sony Pictures Networks in 2017-18 (he held 49% in Httpool India prior to acquisition). Outside work, Nagpal loves swimming, diving, playing snooker and writing poetry. He is not just flying high at work but literally too, as he is pursuing a Private Pilot License course at Bombay Flying Club.
For Nagpal, challenges bring success. “Challenges in life have always inspired me. I believe in taking the bull by the horns. Hunt for challenges because that is on which the opportunities ride,” he says.
Hitesh Chawla is the founder and CEO of SilverPush, an AI-driven multi-screen advertising platform. He has been driving the overall vision, strategy and products at SilverPush. Under his leadership, SilverPush has worked with more than 1000+ brands and has expanded a true-blue Indian company to eight countries, all in a single year.
Commenting on the firm’s remarkable growth last year and his personal achievement, he says, “My biggest achievement is that I have built an amazing team and the credit goes to the team for the work done. In the last one year, we expanded the company internationally to Southeast Asia and Japan, and in the Africa market. International expansion from India is considered to require a lot of investment. The wonderful part of our expansion was that it was achieved profitably, by signing up clients even before we launched in those countries.”
In addition to expanding to newer markets, Chawla grew revenues by 2.5x last year and doubled the team which grew from 60 to 125 people. The company also raised fresh investment from Japan. He says, “The feeling of creating something meaningful in life, and then being able to grow it is unique. Building a company provides that feeling at every step, since every day presents a fresh set of challenges."
An important moment for SilverPush came when the company was selected for the 500 Startups accelerator in Silicon Valley. The time spent in Silicon Valley changed Chawla’s perspective on how SilverPush as a company was being built. What SilverPush also prides itself on is that the company has always led the industry with innovations, and this year, another new product is being launched. Chawla has two patents to his name in the US.
For Chawla, success means being constant. “The best advice I got while building SilverPush is to swing for the fences and not sell short. I also draw inspiration from a quote by Walt Disney, ‘The difference between winning and losing, is most often not quitting’.”
This is Part One of the list of entrepreneurs from IMPACT's 40 Under Forty list.
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iProspect India has bagged the SEO, paid media and digital business for KFC India, and will be handled from the agency’s Delhi office
Digital performance agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, iProspect India, has bagged the SEO, paid media and digital business for KFC India. The American fast food restaurant chain’s account will be handled from the agency’s Delhi office.
Commenting on the win, Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India said, “The growth in diversity of the client sectors in our portfolio is always welcomed. We are pleased to partner KFC in their growth journey.”
On the association, Moksh Chopra, CMO, KFC India said, “Our partnership with iProspect comes at an opportune time as we increase our focus on digital performance marketing. We are confident that our brand marketing strategies, coupled with iProspect’s expertise, will yield great results for KFC India. We look forward to a fruitful association with them.”
Founded in 1997, iProspect India is a part of the Dentsu Aegis Network. It offers brands an entire spectrum of result-oriented digital marketing strategies.
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In a Press statement issued by Press Club of India on behalf of journalist organisations, the Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar, has been asked to step down and face the probe
In the wake of the #MeToo movement and raising deep concerns over the overwhelming complaints of sexual harassment in the media industry, Indian journalist organisations have demanded an impartial investigation into such issues. In a Press statement issued by Press Club of India on behalf of journalist organisations have asked the Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar, to step down and face the probe.
Akbar, a former newspaper editor, has been accused by more than a dozen women journalists of sexual harassment. He issued a stern defence of himself through a statement and called them “false, baseless and wild allegations”. He went a step further, and filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani, the first journalist to have spoken up against him. The minister's lawyers mentioned that the posts of Ramani were written with a 'sole ulterior motive of maligning the reputation and political standing of the Complainant, in furtherance of her own vested interests and underlying agenda'.
Many victims and activists expressed shock and disappointment at Akbar’s actions, while multiple journalist organisations issued a statement against the minister’s comments.
Here is the full text of the statement issued by the Press Club of India:
We the undersigned journalist organisations have been deeply concerned over the overwhelming complaints of sexual harassment in the media. We recognize that sexual harassment at the workplace is a worrisome reality and that media organisations and managements have been unable to put the systems in place which would have ordinarily addressed complaints of sexual harassment.
We are also deeply disappointed at the statement issued by Mr M J Akbar, Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs. Wherein he has threatened legal action against all those who have alleged they were harassed by him. Mr. Akbar is a senior functionary of the government and his response should reflect the responsibility that is thus bestowed on him. There can be no dispute about the need for an impartial probe into all the complaints without fear of threat or intimidation to the complainants - and this acquires particular significance if one of the accused is an influential minister in the government. In the interests of a fair probe, moral and public propriety, it would only be appropriate that the minister step down from his post till such time as the inquiry is completed. We are disappointed that Mr. Akbar did not choose to take this step instead of threatening the complainants with legal action.
An impartial probe should be conducted into all the complaints without fear of threat or intimidation to the complainants more so as the accused party is an influential minister in the present government. We also feel that in the interests of a fair probe, moral and public propriety, it is only proper and appropriate that the minister step down from his post till as such time the probe is completed.
Sexual harassment at the workplace is a pervasive phenomenon. It has continued with impunity despite the enactment of a tough law to prevent, prohibit and redress it, the inability of women to speak out about such harassment needs serious introspection and redress. We hope that employers in media organisations and the government will look into this with the seriousness it deserves and not treat the incidents as motivated complaints.
- Indian Women's Press Corps, South Asian Women in Media, Press Association, Press Club of India
In a recent development, Bodhisatwa Dasgupta, Creative Head, Happy mcgarrybowen is now facing allegations of sexual harassment during his stint at JWT. A statement released by Dentsu Aegis Network said -
"Over the weekend, certain incidents have been brought to our notice involving an employee of Happy, which alleged to have occurred during his tenure with his previous employer. We have already initiated an enquiry to verify the same with his previous employer.
Dentsu Aegis Network does not and WILL NOT accept anything but professional behaviour at our workplaces and follows a Code of Conduct that sets a high standard of behaviour we expect of our people. We have a zero tolerance policy towards any kind of harassment at our workplaces and any such incidents that are brought to our attention will be investigated and necessary action will be taken in line with our company policy."
Following the investigation, Dasgupta posted on his Twitter handle:
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Every film has one main hero – an IKEA product itself, and well it is this hero that does all the talking
The IKEA store launch in Hitec City, Hyderabad, has been one of the most talked about launches in recent times. A much-anticipated event, the store launch was preceded by the brand’s first ever communication for the Indian market, created by Dentsu Impact – the creative agency from the Dentsu Aegis Network.
The launch also saw some interesting on-ground activations that got people talking. One may think that such a high impact launch would be followed by a period of quiet from the brand. But not so in the case of IKEA. The brand has now released a series of new films on TV and digital to bring to life some hero products from the brand.
Every film has one main hero – an IKEA product itself, and well it is this hero that does all the talking. The treatment is a completely fresh one and the films are nothing like a typical product-centric ad you may imagine. The films are all a part of a series and the team promises we will see something fresh in every film, with a different product playing a different character.
Speaking about the films, Ulf Smedberg, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA India said, “We at IKEA saw the need early on to find an emotional connection with consumers and their future relationship with our range. In order to de-dramatize and make parts of our range more attractive, inspiring yet even human, we created our new communication campaign which we internally call “Talking products”. In this series of short films, we let some iconic products speak and express their personality, in a fun and engaging way. The reaction has so far been very positive, with people finding them to be surprising yet distinctively IKEA.”
Megha Jain Sadhwani, Senior Vice President, Dentsu Impact adds, “The reason why IKEA is the world’s most loved Swedish home furnishing brand is its products, they are the heroes that make this brand what it is. The intent behind this series of films is to introduce these heroes to the Indian audience in a typical IKEA style - simple & playful, and what better way to do this than to let the products do the talking themselves, literally!”
Amish Sabharwal, Creative Head, Dentsu Impact Bangalore spoke about the creative concept behind these films and said, "IKEA is known for great creative formats across the globe. This is our India attempt to add to that stellar reservoir. The products of IKEA are so intuitive, practical and magical that they deserve to be stars of every commercial, who needs celebrities?! That's what we did. Each object has their own character, their own quirk, their own voice and they are unlike any other object you get in the market. The idea is to get the audience to enjoy the storytelling and the magic of each product."
Krittika Chakraborty, Planning Head, Dentsu Impact Bangalore explained the strategic intent behind the films. “These films exemplify the IKEA brand tonality which is so well-recognized and loved the world over. And the slight edge and playfulness of their execution ensure their suitability to the digital medium, making them the kind of content people want to engage with.” The films have been released on TV in Hyderabad and are available on the IKEA Facebook page.
See the videos here:
Tertial Lamp - https://www.facebook.com/IKEAIndia/videos/2217158988297714/
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As part of the partnership, Soman will join Team Oakley and wear the brand’s eyewear.
Oakley® on Monday announced a partnership with Milind Soman. As part of the partnership, Soman will join Team Oakley and wear the brand’s eyewear.
Talking about the association, Rajan Handa, Brand Business Manager, Oakley India, said, “Milind Soman, an inspiration for many, embodies passion, progression and performance - values that are deeply espoused by Oakley, making this partnership a natural fit. We look forward to a long and successful collaboration.”
Soman will wear Oakley sunglasses equipped with Oakley Prizm™. Prizm is engineered to enhance detail and help improve performance by providing ultra-precise colour tuning for specific environments, including road, the company said in a statement. Prizm Road, designed for the road running environment, brightens and enhances select colours so runners can see subtle changes in road texture for a confident performance experience.
Soman said, “I am honoured to be associated with Oakley, a brand known for its innovative lens technologies and unparalleled optical clarity, helping athletes push the boundaries of performance,” said Soman.
“Running has changed my life and I firmly believe that pursuing an obsession isn’t unique to professional athletes alone, but it binds everyone who shares a driving passion to turn their dreams into reality," he added.
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Ulf Smedberg, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA India, speaks about their festive season plans, #Swedeshi movement and expansion strategy.
Ikea, the Sweden-based home furnishing company, opened its first store in Hyderabad in August this year. Now they have rolled out their first advertising campaign and the #Swedeshi movement is winning hearts. With big expansion plans in India, the ground-breaking ceremony of IKEA Bengaluru took place on October 11.
In a quick chat with exchange4media, Ulf Smedberg, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA India, spoke about their festive season plans, #Swedeshi movement and expansion strategy. Excerpts:
Your launch campaign was different –it integrated tech and offline platforms and created a lot of buzz. With the festive season opening up, what are your plans in terms of reaching out to the Indian audience?
The most important media for IKEA is digital. Lot of communications, engagements and interactions will be predominantly done through mobile. Later on, this year, we will show how you can change your home or make it more appealing to your needs, and that will be broadcast on mobile. We will focus on other medias like Print, TV, OOH, but majority of the communication will be done through digital. We will have digital, TV and OOH campaigns during the festive season.
The ongoing sale by two big e-commerce giants seems to create a lot of unrest with smaller retailers. How does a store like IKEA, a Swedish brand, make a more Indian sales pitch?
We think it is important to combine the typical IKEA and the strength of India. We are focusing on love that the Indians have for their homes and how IKEA can help them with that. Another factor is food, which is an important connecting point. We are also looking forward to engaging more people through food. We will have more offerings that is appealing to a broader audience.
Currently, IKEA has a 4 lakh sq feet store in Hyderabad and Mumbai and Bengaluru will have stores soon. Are there more stores in the North and West in the offing?
We have an expansion plan that is quite aggressive, and we call it ‘go big India’. We will open more offline as well as online stores in India. Bengaluru store’s construction work has begun, and after that, we will have a store in Delhi. In another 10 years, IKEA will have presence across India.
IKEA’s India strategy is summed up in one word #swedeshi. Can you elaborate more on #swedeshi?
It’s very important for us to spread IKEA. We have strong culture in Sweden, we celebrate different traditions. We would like to be known more in the Indian market. When people come to know about Sweden, the more they will understand IKEA as a brand and vice versa. We would like to have that connection.
What were your key learning from the launch of Hyderabad store?
We should talk about what the store experience will be about. In Hyderabad, a lot of visitors were confused. They thought that IKEA would be an open shopping mall. But our culture is quite different. That's the one big learning, we need to communicate what to expect.
What will be the marketing and advertising strategy followed by IKEA India in the coming days?
We are focused on how to utilise the marketing budget and maximise the reach, so that our messages reach our consumers. In Hyderabad, we went with billboards and that was a huge success. In Mumbai, we took the television space. So that depends on the city we are moving into. Bengaluru we will have high awareness campaigns.
What is IKEA’s promise to India?
Big promises! Our biggest aim will be to provide affordable and smart furniture for Indian homes.
Senior Reporter, exchange4media, Bangalore Neethu reports on media, marketing and advertising industry. In the past she has reported on start-ups, education and health sector for over 6 years.
Sr. VP - Retail & Marketing, Tanishq, Titan Ltd says entry of organised jewellery retailers is changing the dynamics of the industry and Tanishq is playing a leadership role in this shift
Traditional jewellery market in India has been dominated by unorganised players for long. Now the scales are tilting with the entry of organised jewellery retail chains and among them, Titan is leading this shift with its disruptive market strategy.
Sandeep Kulhalli, Senior Vice President - Retail & Marketing, Tanishq, Titan Ltd, explains how Titan through its jewellery vertical Tanishq has ushered in a new era in this billion dollar marketplace. “One of the building blocks of Tanishq has been the craftsmanship behind the product. We have never taken the route of savings, investments or pricing, instead, we have built the brand on adornment, aspiration and design. We want to keep alive the pride of the craftsmanship in jewellery and we are doing it by bringing to fore the story behind these adornments. The jewellery designs of India have a rich historical story and it needs to be preserved and institutionalised and we are already working towards it.”
Kulhalli also believes that despite the growing competition in the segment, there is a lot of headroom for growth, especially after the implementation of new tax reforms in the form of GST. He said, “Reforms like GST and demonetisation benefited us in a big way. Demonetisation has put a lot of pressure on consumers not to use black money for buying jewellery and GST has forced the business community to get more organised. In this new environment, consumers have started accepting Tanishq as a dependable place to buy jewellery because our processes are transparent and compliant.”
It must be mentioned that the jewellery business in India is primarily driven by the wedding season and the case for Tanishq is no different. Despite the brand attempting to push sales beyond just occasions, 70 per cent of jewellery sales still remain wedding purchase driven.
“Weddings are the biggest drivers for this industry. Almost 60 to 70 per cent of jewellery sales are driven by weddings. In the last two to three years we have increased our focus on the wedding category through our brand Rivaah. Also, we have seen customers taking Tanishq as a serious brand for weddings. Though we are still a very small player in the market, still in single digits as far as our market share is concerned, but these are all signs that we are on the right track,” said Kulhalli.
Talking about how Tanishq plans to take on the traditionally established players and offer more value to customers, Kulhalli added, “Traditional players have not got their act together about what they stand for in the jewellery category. They are just me-too players. Second, is that they don't have the bandwidth of management that we have and the kind of choice that we offer puts us in a unique position to deliver more value to our customers.”
Happy mcgarrybowen CEO, Kartik Iyer, and the agency’s CCO PM Praveen Das and iProspect CCO Dinesh Swamy put on administrative leave pending investigation into allegations against all three of them
The past week has been a grim one in spite of the festive mood in the air. Allegations of grave sexual misconduct ranging from sexist remarks, body-shaming to physical and sexual assaults – the second wave of the #MeToo movement born in the United States last year - against as many as six senior advertising industry executives and ad agency founders, besides well-known actors, film-makers and editors, made headlines and created an upheaval on social media.
In a recent development, Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar, has denied all allegations levelled against him calling them “false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice.” Akbar has been accused of being a sexual predator by at least 14 women who have worked with him at various newspapers and publications.
He released a statement on Sunday upon his return from an official tour of Nigeria. Akbar said in the statement that he will now decide the “future course of legal action” after looking into “these wild and baseless allegations” along with his lawyers.
Akbar said in the statement, “accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections.” He went on to question why these allegations are being brought up before the upcoming general elections. “Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda? You be the judge,” he said.
Yet another senior journalist’s name emerged in the #MeToo movement on Sunday. Filmmaker Nishtha Jain has accused Vinod Dua, Consulting Editor, The Wire, of demeaning her during an interview, stalking her and “slobbering” all over her face.
In a statement posted to Twitter, The Wire said that Dua denies the charges. The statement also said that the ICC of The Wire has taken note of Jain’s allegation and that the website’s founding editors will “await the outcome of their deliberations on the matter.” The Internal Complaints Committee at The Wire is headed by Monobina Gupta, Managing Editor, The Wire.
On Saturday, Times of India’s Hyderabad Editor, KR Sreenivas, who was facing allegations of sexual misconduct, resigned from his post. He was put on administrative leave pending investigation into the allegations against him earlier in the week.
According to media reports, Sreenivas has reportedly stated in his resignation letter that he is quitting because he is being “targetted.” Sreenivas’ resignation is the second resignation in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Last week Hindustan Times’ Prashant Jha stepped down from his post as the Chief of Bureau following allegations of sexual misconduct by a former HT employee.
The world of advertising has also come under scrutiny following multiple allegation against senior industry leaders. Highly placed sources have confirmed that three employees of the Dentsu Aegis Network who were facing allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment have been put on administrative leave. Happy mcgarrybowen CEO, Kartik Iyer, and the agency’s CCO PM Praveen Das and iProspect CCO Dinesh Swamy are all expected to be on leave for at least another two weeks while DAN’s ICC conducts its investigation into the matter.
With more and more allegations cropping up every day, the question being asked is – have organizations been doing enough to address sexual harassment at the workplace? We reached out to some of the prominent media organisations, creative and media agencies to understand the steps they are taking internally to provide a safer environment for their employees.
Dentsu Aegis Network had enforced a Women’s Council at DAN India in 2016, led by Rajni Menon, CEO, Carat India and other senior women leaders. Speaking about the steps that the network takes, Sunil Seth, Head HR Business Partner, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia says, “We have an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as per the ‘Prevention of Sexual Harassment’ guidelines of setting up one ICC per location per legal entity. This was further strengthened by enforcing a Women’s Council at DAN India. DAN was one of the first organizations to take such an initiative. Members of the committee are senior members of the organization with equal representation to avoid any gender bias and supported by an external legal counsel, a subject matter expert in the field of handling harassment issues at the workplace.”
Seth further states that the members of the committee are also provided training to be able to conduct investigation holistically within the framework of the Act. He says, “Employees are made aware during induction of new joinees, through online training modules mandatory for all employees to go through once a year, as well as through display of posters and other communication materials in the office from time to time. We carry out a complete campaign encouraging people to complete the online course which details out the elements of behaviour which can constitute harassment and to re-emphasize, it is coupled with a situational quiz at the end of every module.”
For many, having an open and free environment where employees are encouraged to talk about any kind of issues they are facing is important. Anita Nayyar, CEO - India & South Asia, Havas Media Group and CEO, Havas Group, North India, says, “We have taken a lot of measures internally to ensure the safety of our women staff. For example, while travelling back late from office, they are escorted home in an office car. There are also open house forums for them to discuss issues, if any. HR is constantly talking to women employees for continuous feedback to take corrective actions, if required. We also have a sexual harassment committee mandatory for all organizations. I am personally accessible all the time.”
Speaking about the policies against sexual harassment at Sony Pictures Networks India, NP Singh, MD & CEO of SPN India says, “At SPN India, we have a robust anti-sexual harassment policy in place that ensures zero tolerance against any form of sexual harassment. We have an Internal Complaints Committee headed by a senior woman executive with a majority of women members. Sensitizing employees on what constitutes sexual harassment, ways to deal with it and the redressal mechanism in place, is a continuous exercise, deployed effectively throughout the organization by the ICC and women champions.”
While most large organisations have committees in place to deal with sexual misconduct at the workplace, they also invest in sensitizing programmes and training sessions, to keep the conversation going. Prabal Pratap Singh, Managing Editor, News18 India says, “We have a committee that looks into these matters. Our staff is sensitized about the law as we have a continuous training programme. All the juniors and seniors are part of this programme. In the last two years, I have attended three such programmes, some of my team members have even attended six. In light of the #MeToo campaign, I am personally interacting with my colleagues and asking them to be very careful about what they say, how they behave and how they conduct themselves.”
Inputs by Samarpita Banerjee and Neeta Nair
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Conceptualised by Ogilvy Mumbai, #DurgaPujoRocks aims to connect the Bengali youth to the vibrant traditions surrounding Durga Puja
Way back in 1985, Asian Paints started supporting Durga Puja in Kolkata as it gave them an opportunity to connect with the audience of Kolkata at an emotional level. It was done under the banner of ‘Asian Paints Sharad Shamman’, which has grown in terms of its stature and scale.
Over the years, while felicitating 3 best pujas of the year, they now also felicitate one pandal each for Discovery of the Year (Bauchorer Bismoy), Innovative Excellence (Nobo Nakshi), and Best Idol Maker (Best Pratima Shilpi). Today, it is the most coveted award that Durga Puja clubs and committees vie for in Kolkata that brings in glory for their neighbourhood and a sense of pride by this felicitation. While over a period of time, Asian Paints Sharad Shamman has been connecting with the people in Kolkata through the on-ground activity and media support, the challenge now is different. How do we connect with the Bengali youth, who are spread far and wide, make the importance of Durga Puja relevant to them?
Hence, a way had to be found to talk to them that would provide the necessary information, without being preachy. Ogilvy conceptualised a campaign for this: #DurgaPujoRocks. A digital campaign that comes alive through the fusion of various art forms to create unique pieces of content, visually and aurally, telling stories of the mythology of Durga Puja in a way that is both engaging and informative to the youth. This campaign brought in one of the most popular Bengali music bands, Lakkhichhara, to create a song that would capture the entire mythology and celebration of Durga Puja in their own unique style.
To enrich this content piece further, many more art forms like Baul singing, Pattachitra, etc. were brought together to create an output that is both very captivating to listen to and watch. Thus, truly making Durga Puja rocking for the youth. This main music video launch has been supported by a set of pre-launch and post-launch videos that have kept the conversation rolling daily, and simultaneously, heightened the audience’s interest level high.
Speaking about the campaign, Jaideep Kanse, General Manager – Brands, Asian Paints Limited, said, “Asian Paints has always believed in celebrating creativity and art. It was with this intent that Asian Paints Sharad Shamman was initiated and now over 34 years of this we feel the love and respect of the people every time we are in Kolkata during Pujo. We are extremely proud to associate with Lakkhichara and bring out a fusion song that mixes traditional art forms like Pattachitra and Baul along with regional rock, truly #DurgaPujoRocks”
George Kovoor, Group Creative Head, Ogilvy Mumbai said, "#DurgaPujoRocks is a unique form of storytelling, combining traditional performing arts with modern rock music to create a piece of content that engages a generation of youth who are getting detached from the traditions and rituals of Durga Pujo. They are going to see Pujo in a way they have never seen before."
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The campaign urges consumers to take the #MainSeHum step and protect their family
SBI Life Insurance, one of the leading players in the insurance space and WATConsult, the digital and social media agency from Dentsu Aegis Network India, takes ahead the brands recently launched, #MainSeHum ka kadam to the digital space.
They have launched a new digital video commercial featuring the soon-to-be parents, Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi sharing their #MainSeHum journey. The story revolves around the transition from being a single individual to a responsible family member.
The campaign urges consumers to take the #MainSeHum ka step and protect their family.
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The partnership with Ranveer Singh signals a new brand proposition ‘Dish Nahi Dishkiyaon hai ye’
Dish TV India Limited, the world’s largest single-country DTH Company, has announced the launch of its new campaign for DishTV brand with Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh as its brand ambassador.
The campaign has been designed to showcase the brand in a completely new, bold avatar – signalling a new phase in the brand’s life cycle. Ranveer Singh is an accomplished and leading film actor who will lend weight with his edgy and youthful attitude to DishTV’s new brand campaign ‘Dish Nahi Dishkiyaon’.
The brand's TVC featuring Ranveer Singh, shows him in different situations with DishTV playing on his mind. To break from the monotony, he presses an imaginary remote and breaks into a dance frenzy. The film concludes with him celebrating amongst people, dancing to the entertaining tunes of the all-new ‘Dishkiyaon’ DishTV.
The product window talks of its upcoming SMRT Stick for streaming online videos, 5X HD Clarity and unlimited entertainment packs, suggesting how DishTV is adding fun and entertaining moments to the lives of its customers through innovative new products and services.
Talking about the partnership, Anil Dua, Group CEO – Dish TV India Limited said, “As a pioneer of the category, DishTV has always believed in ‘doing the new’ and adding firsts to its credit. This festive season, the brand will enter a new phase. With growth momentum on our side arising out of our existing initiatives and upcoming offerings, our new campaign will firmly position DishTV as the preferred entertainment brand in the country. In the same spirit, we are delighted to have Ranveer Singh as the face of the brand DishTV. Ranveer’s vivacious and energetic personality resonates well with our new brand positioning. We are glad to have him onboard and are confident that, his infectious energy will energize our audiences and invigorate our brand.”
Commenting on the association with Dish TV India Ltd., Ranveer Singh said, “I’m extremely happy to be a part of DishTV, a pioneer brand that’s as passionate about entertainment as I am. My experience shooting for this campaign is pretty much summarized by their tagline - Dish Nahi Dishkiyaon Hai Ye – fun, cool and entertaining. I’m excited and looking forward to everyone watching the TVC.”
Speaking on the new campaign, Sukhpreet Singh, Corporate Head - Marketing, Dish TV India Limited, said, “Our new ad campaign is here to woo the younger generation with the choice of our new brand ambassador and quirky campaign tagline - ‘Dish Nahi Dishkiyaon’. As the tagline implies, DishTV is everything fun, cool and entertaining. With a slew of new products on the anvil coupled with irresistible packs and offers, our customers are sure to look at DishTV in a new light. This latest campaign which has been conceptualised by Enormous Brands, is soon going live and will be running on air across GEC, Movies and popular regional TV channels. It will be a 360-degree campaign that will also go live on all the key platforms - digital, print, radio, OOH and city activations this festive season. The campaign will also showcase a few of the innovative products and packages lined up for launch during the upcoming festive season and beyond.
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