“Now that the economy seemed to have absorbed impact of demonetization and GST implementation, I am hopeful of overall economy and hence broadcast sector to grow in next 4 to 5 quarters. 2019 is a year of general elections in India. With that, we are hopeful of growth powered by spending by political parties along with players from emerging industries like payment wallets and online shopping portals spurring the growth of broadcast industry.” Said, Megha Tata, Chief Operating Officer, BTVI.
In an interview with MediAvataar India, Megha shared her reflective insight on the TV and Broadcasting Industry, vision for BTVI and post budget observations.
Here is the complete Q&A….
MediAvataar: Business strategy and growth plans for BTVI?
Megha: BTVI plans to expand its reach to viewers across the country with a complete portfolio, offering all relevant content (business, economy, stock market as well as branded content). We plan to enhance our presence by digitizing our news and content and leveraging social media and technology. Going ahead, we plan to have sharp focus on expanding our distribution footprint, enhance our client & agency coverage and to strengthen our brand outreach & perception.
MediAvataar: Budget reaction?
Megha: This budget had no announcements that would directly impact the broadcast industry. However, the focus on improving the digital ecosystem in the country will impact broadcast industry in the long term future. It’s Focus on agriculture will certainly drive consumption in non-metro India which will spur growth for broadcast industry. Overall, this budget did a fine job of being populist keeping an eye on next year’s general elections, while maintaining the fiscal prudence. I am happy that FM has also kept his promise by reducing corporate tax rate to 25 %.
MediAvataar: Your outlook on the current TV broadcasting medium and industry?
Megha: In the quarter of demonetization, broadcast sector was negatively impacted owing to traditional advertisers holding back their ad spends waiting for clarity to emerge on demonetization’s impact on individual sectors. However, subsequent quarters have seen ad spends of major advertisers back to earlier levels along with some new category of advertisers like mobile wallets pushing overall ad spends higher than before. With GDP growth rebounding to 6.3% in Q2 of FY 2017-18 as GST jitters recedes, broadcast industry is optimistic about ad spends and we are hopeful of closing FY 17-18 on a positive note.
Now that the economy seemed to have absorbed impact of demonetization and GST implementation, I am hopeful of overall economy and hence broadcast sector to grow in next 4 to 5 quarters. 2019 is a year of general elections in India. With that, we are hopeful of growth powered by spending by political parties along with players from emerging industries like payment wallets and online shopping portals spurring the growth of broadcast industry. 2018 saw a very good monsoon. The crops from this year will hit the market in current and next quarter. This will further grow the economy which in turn will have positive consumption impact on our advertisers businesses and hence on us. Some of the government led initiatives like increasing FDI limit from 74 per cent to 100 per cent in cable and DTH satellite platforms, and granting industry status to the film industry for easy access to institutional finance will help both the broadcast as well as film industry in India.
MediAvataar: Digital media and effect of it on the Television medium?
Megha: IPL rights to Star network has demonstrated the power of bundling traditional TV offering along with new digital platforms like OTT. I am expecting more such bundling of cross platform offerings by other major players to leverage intrinsic value of a brand.
Another thing we are excited about is how Internet of Things (IoT) will shape media and entertainment landscape. Since IoT generates immense amount of consumer data - Location, behavioural, consumer-preference, demographics to name few - from a variety of devices and systems. This immense amount of metadata will help us construct detailed consumer profiles and use them to create and instantly deliver personalized content /ad delivery across multiple screens.
Impact of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality and Virtual reality on media and entertainment industry will be interesting to watch out for as well.
MediAvataar: Consumer engagement and content strategies?
Megha: To cut the long story short, we identified the need gaps in the content for our viewers and filled those gaps and delivered much more than what is expected from this genre. A detailed qualitative consumer study helped us understand and identify what works for our viewers and then we simply delivered that content at the time of the day most suited for our viewers. Our refreshing and diversified content mix (which ranges from stock market to business and economy, from Women entrepreneurs to fashion and lifestyle, from Bollywood to Unique branded content properties like he Journey & The Big drive) was supported by and exhaustively promoted through our marketing efforts. The shows and the brand was promoted extensively with 360 degree spread which included TV, Digital and Social media Print as well as Radio. In nutshell, identification of need gaps fulfilling these gaps at the right time of the day and effective communication about the same to our viewers is key to our success in 2017.
MediAvataar: With so many accolades under your belt, what are your learning’s through such an elaborate and fruitful career?
Megha: I have learned that there is no shortcuts to success, it’s hard work, commitment and most importantly Passion. Passion has been my mantra and I have always propagated this to people around me. The day you get up feeling ‘oh not another day’, then it’s time for you to start thinking and letting go. It’s not about changing the world but just be happy and passionate about what you do. If you bring that quotient to the mix then everything falls into place.
‘Passion, Perfection, PR and Perception’ are the 4 P’s I live by. These are the key elements I have always believed in and amongst the marketing P’s which is taught in Business Schools this is one ‘P’ that nobody can teach and that is ‘Passion’, which has to come from within yourself. Having said that it is also a combination of hard work, commitment and clarity of thought.
Another key learning is that ‘Prioritisation’ is very important as there is so much to do & you have to know how to prioritise as there are only 24 hours in a day! One needs to have a balanced approach. Even as a mother I made adjustments not compromises in my life. There are times when a PTA meeting was more important than a business meeting and at times vice-versa. That’s the balancing you need to do, this can’t be taught but comes from within you, by your experiences, understanding and prioritising what is important at that moment. Fortunately for me I have had huge family support which has been a boon for me to have reached so far.
MediAvataar: One thing you wish you had known when you started off? Your advice to the budding media professionals?
Megha: My advice to budding media professions will be the outcome of my learnings through the career. As far as advice to women in this industry there are many women employed in our industry but I don’t see too many women as the Business head or Board level, somewhere down the line or should I say up the line it dissipates. There are two sets of arguments, one which says women are women’s enemies and the other set which says there is a Boys Club out there. I am no authority to comment on that, but you can count the number of women at a Board level or Business Heads in this field. It’s not about Male bashing or Men versus Women, but there is something fundamentally wrong in the way we exist – of not making the environment more conducive for women to grow.