‘In the experiential world, attention & mindfulness is the key’

Guest Column: Advertising & marketing professional Tanushree Choudhury Singh says the most precious resources are attention, time and energy

e4m by Tanushree Choudhury Singh
Published: Mar 28, 2020 9:18 AM  | 6 min read

Modern life is a continuous assault on one’s senses. Every second the pace of information availability and sharing is increasing. More content is produced now each day than from centuries put together in the past. As consumers, we are besieged by branded messaging.

Everyone is demanding of our resources. They want to take our currency.

Our most precious resources are attention, time and energy in that order. Interestingly, money is not one of them. Simply put, your money can travel and come back to you. But time, attention and energy – once spent cannot be recovered.

The most important fact to understand is that it all begins and ends in the mind.

If you want to survive in the modern world and excel in any capacity you have to learn to control these resources. It all begins with the conscious mindfulness that we can learn to possess. This tradition of expanding our capacity for awareness and concentration has been a key part of the Eastern spiritual and meditative disciplines.

Let’s take the case of learning attentiveness from the Chinese tradition. The most traditional form of Chinese painting, the Shan shui doesn’t have any fixed center or main object. When Chinese painters work on Shan shui paintings, they do not try to present an image of what they have seen in the nature, but what they have thought about nature. No one cares whether the painted colours and shapes look like the real object or not. Shan shui painting is not an open window for the viewer's eye, it is an object for the viewer's mind. A Shan shui painting is more like a vehicle of philosophy.”

Let’s think of Eastern martial arts. Here, mindfulness is the first defence. One is not fighting the enemy body but the enemy mind. The more total your understanding of the enemy mind is, the easier it will be to know what the body will do.

Miyamoto Musashi was a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, strategist, writer who lived in the 16th century. He was the founder of the Niten Ichi-ryū school or Nito Ichi-ryū style of swordsmanship, and in his final years authored The Book of Five Rings and Dokkōdō (The Path of Aloneness).

Musashi spent many years studying Buddhism and swordsmanship. He was an accomplished artist, sculptor, and calligrapher.

Two of his famous sayings give us a lesson in strategic mindfulness

“Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday”

He often gave the example of a carpenter who knew the final object before he applied the saw to the trunk of a tree. Every action thereafter was to get closer to that final outcome.

About the near and distant gaze and accompanying evaluations he said: “Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”

This implies that things which appear remote and insignificant at present need to be seen in future terms whilst things which seem fearsome and large in the future may have a seed being planted in the present. Being mindful means having that sense of perception as well as proportion.

The felt need for mindful poise is even more acute now than ever because man’s cognitive apparatus is not made for multitasking

Multitasking can result in wasted time and energy due to human context switching. Most errors are directly the result of insufficient attention. If one becomes proficient at two tasks it is possible to rapidly shift ones attention between the tasks and perform the tasks proficiently.

So, when you talk in a phone while eating and sitting in front of a TV you are loading your senses and rapidly changing context between a minimum of three theatres of action. Plus some portion of your sensory faculties are still reserved for external and unknown stimulus. Multiply this load by a million or more encounter you’ll have in a day and you see how attention is compromised. With this comes stress hormones, a sapping of energy and waste of time.

That’s why the three precious currencies are linked. If you master attention, you will conserve energy and time as well.

I have studied several meditative techniques and practices and have developed a version of auto enabled meditative calm and supplement this with access bar modalities.

Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone. Give your attention to the experience of seeing rather than to the object seen and you will find yourself everywhere.

Mindfulness is to see with not only the eye but with your entire self. Your breathing, all sensory perceptions and the entire active mind has to be intently focused and controlled. Access bars help you enable this with the help of an expert.

There is growing realisation that there is an even more brilliant ‘science of the brain’ in which energy pathways are tapped and channelled for healing. It’s called access consciousness. The most important modality is ‘The Bars’ referring to 32 bars of energy that run through and around your head that connect to different aspects of your life. These points are touched when using this modality and since each of these points stores the energy of all the thoughts, ideas, attitudes, decisions, and beliefs that you have ever had throughout your life, its revitalisation leads to healing and all around wellbeing.

A Bars session helps you release pent up energy, unblocking your conscious and allowing new possibilities into your life through the touch of a trained professional. Its benefits include quicker recovery times with any old or new injuries, surgeries, or diseases and vast improvements in your health both physically and emotionally besides a state of heightened focus and mindfulness.

Just as music needs no language and penetrates the soul, humans can also differentiate intuitively between noise and music. The way tone, tune and rhythm turns noise into music, a practitioner working on your energy channels can also cause resonance, harmony and amplification that energises and heals you.

It is known that numerous issues of a psychological, psychosomatic or auto immune nature are triggered by the mind. If the mind is deeply focused on anything then one can be assured of comprehension, alertness and internalisation.

In all aspects of the experiential world, including activation, sport, retail, media and gaming, attention and mindfulness is the key.

Search for it. Search for your Self. You shall find.

The author, Tanushree Choudhury Singh, is an advertising and marketing professional who has made meditative healing her calling in life. The views expressed here are personal.

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BBC to pay Rs 40 crore to make up for their tax evasion in India-Reports

The broadcaster has reportedly admitted that they evaded taxes in India from 2016-22

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 6, 2023 9:44 AM   |   1 min read


After tax authorities claimed they have  uncovered irregularities in the BBC's accounting books in India, now The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has reportedly admitted that they evaded taxes in India and are now committing to pay Rs 40 crores in tax arrears. 

According to a report by India.com, the BBC has agreed to cough up Rs 40 crore to make up for their tax evasion over a period of almost 6 years – from 2016 to 2022.

It must be noted that in February 2023, the BBC offices were surveyed by tax authorities for 3 days. After the survey, the Finance Ministry had issued a statement explaining the depth of tax fraud committed by the BBC.

The statement said that the income/profits shown by various group entities under BBC India do not match their scale of operations in India, as the quantity of content in India is substantial. In the raid by the Income tax department, which has been described as a survey, several pieces of evidence were found that show that tax has not been paid on certain remittances which have not been disclosed as income in India by the foreign entities of the group.

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CM Eknath Shinde to unveil bust of Pradeep Guha on the media legend's birth anniversary

The sculpture will be soon installed at Pradeep Guha Chowk on DN Road, Mumbai

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 5, 2023 3:47 PM   |   1 min read

Pradeep Guha

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde will be unveiling the bust of celebrated media personality and film producer Pradeep Guha at 6 pm on June 6, which is his birth anniversary. Guha, fondly known as PG, passed away on 21 August 2021 after a prolonged battle with cancer.

The bust will be unveiled at the Cricket Club of India and be installed after a few days at the Pradeep Guha Chowk on DN Road, the lane outside the iconic Times of India building, an organisation he was associated with for close to three decades.

Guha was also associated with many industry bodies during his career with TOI. He was the President of the Indian Newspaper Society; Chairman of National Readership Studies Council; President of Advertising Club Bombay; Chairman of Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA); and later, the first Chairman of the Broadcast Audience Research Council.

He also served as the CEO of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and Managing Director of 9X Media Private Limited.

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Creativeland Asia Network acquires 62% stake in London-based Creators Inc

The total deal value of this acquisition is three million pounds

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 1, 2023 5:19 PM   |   3 min read


On its 16th anniversary, CLAN announced Creativeland Studio's acquisition of London-based Creators Inc – in a total deal value exceeding UK £3 million (three million pounds) to solidify its entry into international long and short content production and the expansion of CLAN's global footprint aligned to its vision of building a global creative super ecosystem.

Further, Creativeland Asia Network (CLAN) has launched Creativeland Studios to focus on the growth of its long and short-format cinema and tv content offering – focussing on creating, producing and distributing high-end films, documentaries, television series and audio content.

With this acquisition, Creativeland Studios has consolidated ten active slates, including two titles in production and now will have over 50 titles in its pipeline.

Creators Inc. is a unique long and short format production house with a roster of directors that includes Oscar, Emmy & BAFTA-winning directors such as Guy Ritchie, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Sarah Gavron, Philip Barantini, Colin Tilley, Mark Osborne and many others.

Creators Inc., founded and led by Jani Guest, brings together award-winning industry specialists from advertising, film and television. Creators Inc. use various synergies across these industries to position themselves worldwide at the top of the production market across all formats.

On the back of this acquisition – Creativeland Asia Network has begun its successful foray into CLA’s creative, technology, marketing & media services ecosystem to the global market.

Sajan Raj Kurup's vision for Creativeland Studios is to provide a platform for filmmakers and creators to express their vision and bring their ideas and unique stories to viewers. The acquisition of Creators Inc is a significant step in achieving that vision. With this new global acquisition – the possibilities are endless, and CLAN is ready to take on the entertainment world.

Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder & Chairman of CLAN, said, “At Creativeland Asia – we are on a passionate journey to create a formidable creative infrastructure for the new world where media, technology, creativity and humanity will come together to curate a more entertained life. The core strategic insight for this acquisition is to build on our ability to bring brands, content and talent together – through a consolidated platform. Today, more than ever before, we recognise that content plays a pivotal role in keeping us connected, informed and entertained.”

Jani Guest, Founder & CEO of Creators Inc, said, “Creators Inc. places its incredible directorial talent at the heart of the company. The partnership with Raj and CLA allows us to accelerate the development and production of stories - created by our talent - to entertain, move, and impact positive change. I could not have wished for a better partner as we move forward to achieve our shared visions and goals.

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Media executives Rahul Sood and Rohit Jaiswal launch Brandwith

The company will focus on distribution and marketing for global OTTs in India and South Asia

By Ruhail Amin | May 31, 2023 1:31 PM   |   1 min read


Rahul Sood, former MD of BBC India & South Asia, and Rohit Jaiswal, Ex VP & Head of NDTV Distribution have launched Brandwith in India, covering India and the South Asian region.

Brandwith is the representative and distributor of OTT streaming services like Hallmark Movies Now, Curiosity Stream, PBS Kids, Viaplay, and several other highly differentiated brands, including soon to launch Good Times SVOD. Since Brandwith’s inception in the Asia Pacific Region in 2017, the driving force has been to provide the world’s leading brands across genres like movies, general entertainment, factual entertainment, kids, food, lifestyle and sports in the evolving OTT landscape. 

“With paid video subscriptions having reached 99 million in 2022, across almost 45 million households in India, the success of which will require establishing a durable subscriber relationship, our vision is to aid OTT aggregators and their viewers with a diversified offering of the world’s leading streaming services to help increase ARPU and reduce churn,” said Rahul Sood, Founder & MD, Brandwith India.

 “The thoughtfully curated portfolio of brands will help OTT aggregators segment their audience, and super serve the English audience base in India, which has increased from 19m pre-pandemic to 42.7m now as per the latest report by Ormax Media,” he added.

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OTT space is ripe for aggregating: Piyush Gupta, HT Media

During the Q4 earnings call, Group CFO Gupta stated that the company has not yet gone back to its pre-covid prices in Delhi and Bombay; he also announced launch of OTTPlay

By exchange4media Staff | May 31, 2023 8:41 AM   |   5 min read

Piyush Gupta

Apart from just the input cost, one of the other big problems that have been plaguing HT Media is yields, said Piyush Gupta, Group CFO, HT Media. Answering one of the investors during the Q4 earnings call about the results, Gupta said, “The pricing that we had pre-Covid, if you talk about HT in big markets of Delhi and Bombay still has not come back. As a matter of fact, in places it is short by 20% - 25%. Now that's really what is hampering our revenue and taking away the operating leverage from the P&L.”

He added, “Now, as we embark on the next fiscal year, we've already completed the month of May nearly. There's a big program on yield improvement that we have put in place, with which we are hoping to unlock the value and go back to our pre-Covid yields. The paper prices, of course, are coming down, which you will see translating into EBITDA, and therefore PBT and PAT in the coming year. But with the revenue uptick you will see the profitably come back to a pre-Covid, at a very robust level.”

For Q4 FY23 company’s total revenue, stacked to Rs 494 crore, as against Rs 456 crore same period last year, growth of 8%. EBITDA is, however, substantially down 75% primarily due to certain investments that they are making in OTTPlay and the elevated newsprint cost which have hampered us in this quarter. PBT margin, as a consequence, came to a loss of Rs 34 crore against Rs 10 crore earlier and net cash, however, still remains reasonably strong at Rs 935 crore which is a decline of 14%.

"On a full year basis company revenue stacked to Rs 1,862 crore, which is a growth of 11%. EBITDA however, because of the same reason which plagued us in Q4 came in at Rs 13 crore, which is a sharp decline. PBT, therefore, came at a loss of Rs 156 crore and net cash at Rs 935 crore which I have articulated earlier," said Gupta. “Now, if you go by business unit, we look at our print business. On the Print business our ad revenues for the quarter came at Rs 269 crore, a growth of 8%, with circulation revenue growing 12% at Rs 60 crore. Operating revenue therefore at Rs 374 crore, a 5% growth, and operating EBITDA declined by 65% to Rs 15 crore.”

In English, in Q4 FY23 the ad revenue grew 17% to Rs 154 crore. On a full year basis, the growth was 15% at Rs 588 crore. Circulation revenue at Rs 16 crore, a growth of 64%, and for the full year it is nearly doubling itself from Rs 28 crore to Rs 54 crore. Moving on to Hindi, for the quarter our ad revenue came flat at about Rs 116 crore. On a y-o-y basis it was a growth of 8% at Rs 474 crore. Circulation revenue again flat on a quarterly basis, on a full-year basis there was a marginal increase of 5%. 

According to him, for radio business quarterly revenues came at Rs 36 crore, which is an 18% increase. Operating EBITDA, however, came in negative as opposed to Rs 1 crore in the same period last year. The full year, however, was a very different picture. “The full year we saw our revenue soaring 42% at Rs 144 crore, as against Rs 101 crore earlier and operating EBITDA came at Rs 6 crore.”

He said, “We have taken an impairment in the standalone results, which is all consequent to our radio performance. Though the Radio performance has substantially improved this quarter, and the growth is close to 40%. But given the fact, impairment testings have to be done this quarter, there is a substantial impairment which has come. This is all on our Radio One business and with this and the growth that we are seeing in Radio, we are very hopeful that this is the last time that we have seen this impairment, and from here on Radio will grow from strength to strength. If you look at various other Radio operators, their profitability, indeed, has also been impacted. And you know this is one sector which is directly linked to the performance of various MSMEs and what Covid did to MSMEs, is taking a slightly longer time to recover. But we are very hopeful now that we have seen a 40% growth in this year. Next year we will again have a stupendous year, and a profitable year on our Radio segment.”

Digital businesses in HT Media Group remained flat, with the top line of Rs 32 crore and a bottom line of Rs (22) crore in Q4 FY23. On a full year basis, again, it was flat at Rs 133 crore, with the bottom line of Rs (75) crore.

Gupta also spoke about OTTPlay, which has been in beta stage for about 6 to 9 months. "Now, since we've understood this space, we have decided to commercially launch this thing. What exactly is OTTPlay? As you understand OTT is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Indian media and entertainment industry, it is growing at somewhere between 18%- 20%, as against the other media properties which are growing anywhere between 10% - 15%. If you look at subscription video on demand, that side is expected to reach about INR 16,000 to INR 17,000 crore by 2026, and it is growing at a very healthy rate. This space is now ripe for aggregating," he said.

He concluded, “We've been working in this place for quite some time, and now that we have got the proof of concept, we are investing behind this function which is sitting in our Digital segment of the business and you will see results coming out in this year. 

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Tribes group acquires V-Square Media to create media entity - praNetR Tribes

V Square Media is a Bengaluru-based branding, media and marketing agency

By exchange4media Staff | May 29, 2023 2:59 PM   |   2 min read

praNetR Tribes

Tribes Group, an independent full-service media and advertising group, has acquired Bengaluru-based V Square Media, a branding, media, and marketing agency, and created a new entity - praNetR Tribes.

This acquisition brings together the complementary strengths and expertise of both companies, paving the way for a new era of innovation and growth. By harnessing their collective strengths, praNetr Tribes aims to deliver unparalleled content, services, and experiences to audiences worldwide.

This strategic acquisition will fuel the development of groundbreaking initiatives, leveraging cutting-edge technology and creative storytelling to engage audiences across multiple platforms. With an unwavering commitment to quality content, insightful narratives, and captivating entertainment, the new entity will redefine the media landscape. The acquisition is expected to unlock synergies, drive operational efficiencies, and create a solid foundation for sustained success. By integrating talent, resources, and distribution networks, the combined entity will be better positioned to meet the evolving needs and preferences of audiences, advertisers, and partners.

Recognising the fragmented nature of the ad production industry, praNetR Tribes presents an integrated platform for specialists and technicians to collaborate and work efficiently on projects in conjunction with brands and talent. The leadership teams of both organizations will work collaboratively to ensure a seamless integration and maximize the potential of the acquisition.

On the launch of praNetR Tribes, Gour Gupta, Chairman of Tribes Communication, shares his thoughts, saying, "Together, we will leverage our collective strengths to deliver innovative and compelling content that resonates with audiences globally. This acquisition is a testament to our shared commitment to excellence and our vision for the future of media.”

Lokesh Kumar, CEO of praNetR, comments on the new venture, “This acquisition is a transformative step that will elevate our collective impact on the media industry. By combining forces, we will unlock new opportunities, accelerate growth, and provide our audiences with unparalleled content experiences. We look forward to the exciting possibilities that lie ahead."

Headquartered in Bengaluru, praNetR Tribes operates across markets in India and abroad through the extensive Tribes Communications network.

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HT Media consolidated revenue up 8.3% at Rs 494 cr in Q4 aided by growth in print & radio

Ad revenue from the company’s print business grew 8% at Rs 269 cr

By exchange4media Staff | May 19, 2023 8:06 AM   |   2 min read

HT Media

HT Media Group reported a 8.3% rise in the fourth quarter with the consolidated total revenue at Rs 494 crore as compared to Rs 456 crore in the same quarter last year. The company reported a loss before tax of Rs 34 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, versus a profit before tax of Rs 10 crore in the year-ago period.

The rise in revenue was supported by continued growth in print and radio segments, while the margin was impacted due to higher newsprint prices and investment in new business in the digital segment.

Commenting on the full-year results, Shobhana Bhartia Chairperson and Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd. & Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd said, “Geopolitical strife hampered supply lines across businesses and impacted raw material costs, especially in the first half of the year. The second half of the year witnessed a relatively subdued festive season on account of sluggish retail spending but the year ended with an uptick in business sentiment in our key segments and a slight softening in raw material prices.”

Ad revenue from the company’s print business grew 8% at Rs 269 crore for the quarter while on a full-year basis, it grew 12% from a year ago. Improvement in ad revenue on a full-year basis primarily led by ad volume and growth in both English and Hindi businesses.

The radio segment also saw an 18% rise in operating revenue in the quarter to Rs 36 crore.

Bhartia said, “Indian OTT space is one of the fastest growing pillars of the Media & Entertainment industry. Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd. looks to tap this potential with the launch of OTTPlay.com, a platform that aggregates OTT content, with a focus on abundance, convenience, personalisation, and affordability.”

“In the current fiscal, we are focused on building on our growth momentum from last year as we navigate the larger macro environment as well as the evolving media ecosystem. As always, our endeavor is to be a source of credible news and engaging content for our audiences,” she added.

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