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Friday, 06 October 2017 00:00

Fox Life to air new reality show - Grilled

F&B industry stalwart Riyaaz Amlani, food enthusiast Vishal Dadlani and Australian Chef Sarah Todd grill the skills of aspiring entrepreneurs starting 9th October @ 9 pm only on Fox Life

The collective power of an idea mixed with grit, vision and purpose, peppered with financial wisdom is the soul of the entrepreneurial spirit. This very spirit has taken India by storm in the last few years with numerous unique concepts emerging across various sectors, and many wanting to pursue their lifelong dream of ‘doing their own thing’ and professionals hanging up their corporate boots and living their passion.

Among many sectors that flourish under novel entrepreneurship is the food business, and more specifically, the restaurant business. For the first time on Indian television, FOX Life, India's favourite lifestyle channel, gives aspiring food entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to realize their restaurant dreams on its upcoming show, Grilled.

The show, which hits TV screens on October 9, 2017, will feature 12 aspirants from across the country competing to put forth unique business ideas and be taken through a series of gruelling restaurant challenges. From creating a 5-Star experience for real diners in one of Mumbai’s most sought after restaurants, to whipping up an authentic restaurant menu without the availability of key ingredients, the contestants will be ‘grilled’ across various aspects of what it takes to start their own restaurant. At the end of this 10-part series, only one will clinch the ultimate dream investment of upto INR 1.5 Crore to start up their own culinary venture.

To see if they’re up for this life-changing opportunity, the 12 hopefuls will be judged by a diverse panel of judges who will test them on much required facets of the food business. F&B tycoon Riyaaz Amlani, food enthusiast Vishal Dadlani, and globally acclaimed Chef Sarah Todd. The 10-episode long series will see the trio challenging the 12 selected home cooks, amateur chefs and budding food entrepreneurs on their passion, creativity, knowledge, business acumen and potential to succeed in the trade.

Talking about this upcoming show, Swati Mohan, Business Head - ‎National Geographic and Fox Networks Group, India said “As the ‘start-up bug’ continues to gain momentum in India, with over 4200 start-ups emerging just in the past two years, we thought we at Fox Life would do our bit to help channelize this infectious energy in the best way we know how - through path-breaking original content. ‘Grilled’ is one of our pioneering efforts to showcase and encourage the food entrepreneurial culture in India and also inertly inspire would-be culinary entrepreneurs. Our fantastic judges, the mix of contestants and the format itself, ensures a great mix of entertainment, drama and an opportunity for audiences to understand just what it takes to succeed in the food business today.

Talking about his experience as a judge, Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants & President of The National Restaurant Association of India said “My role in the show is of an investor, and I am looking for the next big idea. I am excited to be a part of ‘Grilled’, and partner with new talent and support it so that it can become the next big thing in the Indian hospitality scenario. A restaurant is a whole lot more than just cooking skills and this show is about not just cooking talent but about restauranting talent. The competitive scenario is much tougher now from when I started. It takes a lot more for restaurants to get noticed now. This show will not only help 1 contestant to achieve his/her dreams, but will also provide inspiration for the thousands watching at home who hope to own their own restaurant someday.”

Sharing his experience on the show, food enthusiast and celebrity Vishal Dadlani said, “Having been a judge on various TV shows, I have a keen eye for identifying the right mix of passion and talent in a contender. I truly believe, be it any industry, music or food you need that hunger to succeed and a passion to excel in whatever you put on your plate. Music and good food keep me going. When Fox Life presented this opportunity to me, I happily took it. Presentation skills, innovation along with balanced flavours of the dish are some of the metrics that I would be judging the 12 contestants on.”

Talking about her experience, Chef Sarah Todd said, “From a contestant to now being a judge on a food reality show, it is like revisiting my own journey. Grilled is way beyond just presenting the judges with the most sumptuous dishes, we are looking for someone who has a business acumen, creativity and potential to be a successful entrepreneur. I believe that FOX Life is the perfect platform for participants to get exposed to new experiences and live the life they love.”

Tune-in to Fox Life to watch the aspiring restauranteurs striving for their big dream every Monday at 9 pm, starting 9th Oct.

KPMG in India brings this report at a crucial juncture when the era of on-demand content has reached a tipping point with consumption shifting to the mobile screens and going ‘mass’ - particularly on the back of a successful 4G roll out.

OTT consumers will demand seamless access to services, compelling stories and value for money. As the OTT landscape gets hyper competitive, organisations which are able to tick all the above boxes may stand a chance to emerge as the preferred platforms for consumers. To pivot from their traditional businesses, media organisations would need to commit zealously to an organizational transformation initiative, which aims to harness the collective energies of all stakeholders towards a single minded ‘Digital First’ cause. Right from telling the digital story to the internal stakeholders to implementing the digital architecture on ground, each step in the digital transformation process holds the key to survival and potentially to success in the market.

The report gives an insight into the key themes of the Indian OTT market, key pillars of success for an OTT platform, roadmap to a digital transformation journey divided into 4 significant phases from a digital vision and strategy, customer proposition, business design and execution planning. The report also delves into operationalisation of the actual pivot of a traditional technology organisation into a digital avatar, highlighting two nodal frameworks for digital enablement, strategy and architecture realization. The last section highlights the critical considerations for implementation of digital initiatives.

Commenting on the OTT evolution in India and road ahead for digital and digitizing businesses in India, Mr. Girish Menon, Co-Head, Media and Entertainment at KPMG in India, said, “OTT consumption in India has reached a tipping point, with the 4G rollout and related data wars which have resulted in a dramatic and rapid growth in internet penetration and video consumption. This has also fundamentally altered the consumption demographics and patterns, with OTT viewership becoming more mass. Organizations can no longer afford to take baby steps and will need to wholeheartedly commit to build out their digital businesses. However, pivoting to a digital business requires a change in organizational DNA and a ’digital first’ mindset. Building a digital business is an evolving process and organizations would need to adopt a systematic approach balancing scalability and flexibility with speed to market and customer centricity.”

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

Amazon Go, BingoBox and Bodega are changing retail

From big boxes to little boxes, companies the world over are trying to change the world of retail. We have Amazon Go and Bodega in the U.S. and BingoBox in China. Which one seems to have the most potential and what, if anything, does it mean for consumer packaged goods brands?

Convenience always wins might be a bit of an over-statement but it is not far from the truth. Take anything that meets people’s needs and which is a good price and people will be motivated to choose it. With this in mind different companies have been busy trying to envision the future of retail. What would make the shopping experience more convenient?

A couple of months ago I posted about Amazon’s experiment with the grab-and-go format of Amazon Go, only to get distracted by the purchase of Whole Foods. Of the two you could argue that Go has the bigger implications for the way we shop because of the way it reduces the friction in shopping for groceries.

As with all technology plays, the success of this venture depends on how easily the system copes with exceptions. A recent experience with an automated checkout in the Marks & Spencer grocery department reminded me that flexibility is not a technology strong point. The fact that I wanted to use a backpack to carry the groceries was only the first of several issues that required a sales assistant to help me complete my purchase. No wonder people end up cheating the system.

Then my colleague, Sirius Wang, brought BingoBox to my attention. BingoBox is a Chinese store that has marked similarities to Amazon Go except that it is already in over 10 cities and has plans to open 5000 boxes in the coming year. Customers use the ubiquitous WeChat to gain access to the store, scan the items they want and then pay with WeChat or Alipay. And while Amazon Go and WeChat share a heavy reliance on technology BingoBox comes on wheels so it can be moved from one location to another as the need arises.

The last example on my list takes us back to the U.S. where a start-up called Bodega is trying to disintermediate the local corner store (incidentally, the name of which has caused a degree of furor because of the problematic nature of taking the name of the very thing you are trying to render obsolete). Instead of having to go outside to buy groceries now you just go down the hall to the kiosk and get what you need. While the range of goods might be limited, Bodega plans to track purchases and periodically ask customers what might be missing that they would like.

In each of these three examples the business model will succeed or fail based on whether customers find the experience easier than the alternative. But what does it mean for brands? I see existing e-commerce models and voice-first purchasing as far more challenging than these variants on traditional retail because these leave the consumer as the decision maker not the technology.


Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

Dentsu launches Amplifi in India

Dentsu Aegis Network has announced today the launch of Amplifi in India under the Executive Sponsorship of Kartik Iyer, President Media Agencies and Amplifi.

​​​​Amplifi is the media investment arm of The Dentsu Aegis Network, comprising four specialisations – Investment Management, Global Media Partnerships, Amnet and The Story lab.

Speaking on this launch, Ashish Bhasin Chairman & CEO South Asia said, “We are excited to launch Amplifi in India under Kartik’s leadership and bringing together the four key capabilities under one structure. In today’s world, our media partners have much more to bring on table for our clients, than just media inventory. Amplifi’s is uniquely placed to drive this supply-side convergence by harnessing data, technology, insight and content to help all members of the Dentsu Aegis Network operating model.”

As part of this launch, Sujata Dwibedy is taking over as the Group Buying and Trading Head from Harsha Joshi who has decided to explore options outside the company. On Harsha’s association with the group, Ashish Bhasin said, “Harsha, with her vast experience, has been a huge contributor in the growth of the media group. We wish her all the very best for her future.”

Kartik Iyer, President Media Agencies and Amplifi said, “Our constant endeavour has been to bring best in class solutions for our clients that enable their business growth. The launch of Amplifi is another step in that direction and I am very excited with this opportunity.”

Further, speaking on Sujata’s appointment, Kartik said, “Sujata, with over 20 years of media trading and strategy experience, has extensively worked across sectors such as FMCG, telecom, airlines, finance, alcohol and beverages and has led teams in the areas of planning, research, buying and strategy. Her holistic perspective will enable a better integration of all buying and trading functions across the group, in both online and offline media. Sujata will be supported by Prashant Nandan who has over 10 years of expertise in strategic digital marketing, media planning, media buying and content marketing across agencies like Isobar, Maxus and Motivator. Over the past 3 years, he has been leading buying for Isobar and now moves to Amplifi to deliver the digital buying and trading expertise to the group.”

Speaking on her appointment as Group Buying and Trading Head, Dwibedy said, “I am delighted to have been chosen for this responsibility to drive ROI and deliver value to Dentsu Aegis Network clients. In today’s rapidly changing media marketplace, I look forward to working with our agencies and media partners to deliver this value across media to our clients.”

Amnet, the programmatic capability of Dentsu Aegis Network, continues to grow from strength to strength and will now be a part of Amplifi.

The Story Lab, launched in 2015, will continue to operate as part of Amplifi under the leadership of Sunil Kumaran.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

SHEROES Expands Leadership Team

Onboards Deepti Beri, Ankoor Dasguupta, Vikrama Dhiman and Merril Diniz

SHEROES, the women’s network has expanded its leadership team as the company hits a high growth trajectory. Close on the heels of its successfully concluded multi-city flagship series, the SHEROES Summit, SHEROES, the largest network for women, gears up for its next leap as the definitive high trust, growth space for women on the internet.

Joining the team are industry veterans – Deepti Beri, Vikrama Dhiman, Ankoor Dasguupta and Merril Diniz.

Deepti Beri joins SHEROES as Chief Commercial Officer to lead commercial strategy, customer relationships and finance. Deepti also doubles up as company’s CFO.A hands-on professional, Deepti brings with her a stellar understanding of finance, fund raising, commercial strategy and commercial partnerships in technology led environment. With over 18 years of experience in IT/ ITES, media and consumer businesses, Deepti has worked with leading brands like Exlservices, Apollo Hospitals Group, Tangerine Digital and American Swan.

In her previous role, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Channel Partnerships at American Swan. Deepti outlines her vision, “We at SHEROES wish to associate with progressive organisations bringing in educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for women. Businesses and institutions creating new formats on women’s inclusion will be our long-term partners."

Previously an advisor to the company, Vikrama Dhiman, joins the team to scale product and growth as Head – Products and Growth.Vikrama brings with him 10+ years of product management, data science and leadership experience from MakeMyTrip, Hike, myAirtel, Zeta and WizIQ.His vast experience as a premier Agile Consultant will also see him contribute to strengthening the #SHEROES cultural advantage. A voracious reader and a speaker on Product Management and Lean Startups, Vikrama has a long-standing relationship with SHEROES. “Having known Sairee for years, and hanging around as a friend and supporter of SHEROES, this feels like coming home. SHEROES is a purpose driven tech-startup and resonates deeply with my values of a world with empathy and opportunities,” shares Vikrama.

Ankoor Dasguupta, joined as Vice President - Brands & Events, bringing with him a pedigree of 17 years across the full spectrum of brand solutions across print, digital, mobile and event productions. Having worked with brands like GENPACT, The Times of India, India Today, Yahoo! India, Quasar Media, Networkplay Media, Platformplay Media and Opera Mediaworks, Ankoor will help strengthen SHEROES Brand Solutions. Previously, Ankoor headed content and special projects at Comexposium India, the Indian arm of the French company. A core pilot team member for international event projects like TechCrunch, ad:tech, iMedia Summits, Modern Marketing Summit, Ankoor was an integral part of the pilot that launched ‘The Next Big Thing’ in association with Nestlé India in 2017.

“The mission that SHEROES is driving, pivoting each day, in a fast-paced environment is what enticed me to join the high energy SHEROES team. I strongly believe in the mission along with two things – ‘what we do’ and ‘why we do’. SHEROES products create high value, and with a cohesive team enveloping product, technology, mentors, counsellors, design, content, digital and our own set of events, I am sure this is going to be an exhilarating journey,” says Ankoor.

Joining this team, Merril Diniz, former Executive Editor at Careers360, leads the Content and Communications at SHEROES, bringing her experience of digital media, content strategy, brand campaigns, and communications to the table. Having started her career at Zee Interactive, she has worked with brands like Network18, Rediff.com, BC Webwise and Youth Ki Awaaz, wearing multiple hats. “I have followed SHEROES since inception. It is a brand that carries deep trust and faith among women in India. As the narrative expands to include a cross-section of women across class lines, I am excited to be a part of SHEROES’ growth story,” shares Merril.

Starting out as a career destination for women, SHEROES has developed into a multi-modal, multi-channel network for women with over 3 million members who benefit from its stack of communities,champions, content, conversations and companies.

Founder and CEO of SHEROES, Sairee Chahal says, “SHEROES is a unique proposition that can impact women and their journey very positively. As a platform, we are just getting started and will be a 100 million women network in the next 60 months or so. A strong high empathy team, generating high business value is crafting the SHEROES story. Building deep commitment to technology, consumer centricity and market focus will create an unparalleled story for consumer internet. We are making early investments into machine learning, artificial intelligence, sentiment analysis and fintech to build this platform as a global product out of India.”


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