08 August 2022 18:27



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Heralds a new era of empowerment for the Indian consumer,Inaugurated by Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia-ji

Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, today commenced its commercial operations with its first flight taking off from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, bound for Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. The maiden flight took off from Mumbai at 10:05am with a scheduled arrival at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at 11:25 am.

As a symbolic gesture to mark the occasion during the ceremony, Akasa Air’s boarding pass was handed over to the Honourable Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia-ji and the Honourable Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General (Dr) V. K Singh-ji. Both guests-of-honour addressed the gathering and officially flagged off the event. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis-ji extended his wishes on the commencement of Akasa Air’s operations while addressing the gathering. The ceremony was also graced by the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation Shri Rajiv Bansal-ji and Joint Secretary(J), Ministry of Civil Aviation Smt. Usha Padhee-ji.

Commenting on the commencement of commercial operations, Vinay Dube, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air said “Today marks a significant milestone in Akasa Air’s journey as we successfully commence our commercial operations with our maiden flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. This is not just a testament to the women and men of Akasa that have made this day possible, but also a testament of India’s ongoing economic transformation and that of the country’s rapidly progressing civil aviation landscape. The Akasa story is aligned with the nation’s journey towards making air travel affordable through PM Modi-ji’s clarion call – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik. We want to serve our country by creating strong transportation links which are the underpinning of any economic growth engine”.

“We are thrilled to finally begin our commercial journey and bring alive our vision of supporting India’s economic progress and building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline. Akasa Air’s empathetic and youthful personality, employee-friendly culture, customer-service philosophy, and tech-led approach will make this commitment a reality for us. We are now focussed on delivering a flying experience unlike anything witnessed in the Indian skies thus far”, he added.

Starting today, Akasa Air will offer weekly flights between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Progressively adding cities and routes to its network, the airline has already announced a total of five routes along five cities, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Bengaluru and Chennai. With a fleet induction plan of two 737 MAX aircraft each month, the airline is looking to establish a strong pan-India presence, with a focus on metro to tier 2 & 3 route connectivity. The fleet size will be raised to 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 and over the next four years, the airline will add 54 aircraft, taking its total fleet size to 72.

104.8 ISHQ FM, India’s only Romantic Radio Station bagged 5 Awards at E4M Golden Mikes Awards 2022. The gala radio advertising awards event was held in Mumbai at Taj Santacruz on August 3, 2022.

Best Campaign: DO THE VACCINE BABY (Silver)

Best Radio Jingle: INDIE MERI JAAN (Bronze)

Best On-Air Promotions: YEH PUBLIC SAB JAANTI HAI (Gold)

Best Digital /Web Streaming: ISHQ WITH NUSRAT (Silver)

Best Campaign on Radio in the West Region: DIL MAANGE MOREYAA (Silver)

Commenting on the wins, Rahul Kumar Shaw, CEO -Television & Radio, T.V. Today Network said “We are excited to win at the Prestigious Golden Mikes Awards. It’s good to have award ceremonies back after a 2 months hiatus and good to see various radio players competing aggressively for the wins. Congratulations to all the winners this year. ”

Commenting on the wins, Rajat Uppal, National Marketing & Programming Head, 104.8 ISHQ FM said “We are thrilled to bag 5 metals at Golden Mikes Awards. Last year has been a challenging one for the programming & marketing teams balancing between creativity and relevance of content with pandemic around. These wins are an assurance of the good work which has gone in. ”


Aims to target young Indian gamers on Connected TV and Digital platforms

Strengthening its footprint across the country with uniquely positioned channels, India’s youngest and fastest-growing entertainment network, QYOU Media India continues to offer differentiated content to its new and existing viewers. Following the success of its recently launched digital channels, ‘The Q Kahaniyan’ and ‘The Q Comedistaan’, QYOU Media India further gears up to announce the launch of ‘Q GAMEX’, a 24x7 gaming digital channel. Launching in September 2022, the channel aims to target young Indian gamers across connected TV and digital platforms.

With an aim to reach out to digitally savvy young Indian adults between the age group of 18 to 35 years, Q GAMEX will stream gameplay matches and battlegrounds while taking the viewers through some interesting insights on console/gaming equipment, unboxing experiences, tips, and tricks and much more. Banking on the burgeoning popularity surrounding online gaming, QYOU Media India, through Q GAMEX aims to expand its viewership base by providing brands and advertisers an opportunity to drive value. The launch of Q GAMEX for the connected TV audience is a part of a growing effort to capitalize on a business that is already experiencing tremendous growth worldwide and in India specifically.

Speaking on the announcement of its upcoming gaming digital channel, Krishna Menon, Chief Operating Officer, QYOU Media India, said, “At QYOU Media India, our unique and socially connected content style is in alignment with what this audience is looking for. The Indian online gaming industry has steadily grown to become a leading market across the globe. With the launch of ‘Q GAMEX’, we aim to cater to the young gaming enthusiasts and become a leading provider of multi-genre channels to audiences who are rapidly adopting connected TV as a primary destination for entertainment purposes. We are delighted to add ‘Q GAMEX’ to our existing portfolio of brands and look forward to developing Q GAMEX as a pioneer in gaming content across digital platforms.”

According to an analysis by KPMG, India is set to become one of the world’s leading markets in the gaming industry where it is expected to cross 450 million online gamers in 2023, second only to China. Growing steadily over the last five years, it is expected to treble in value and reach an overall value of $5 billion by 2025 driven by a rapidly growing younger population with higher disposable income. With the total number of online gamers growing from 360 million in 2020 to 390 million in 2021, analysts expect steep growth in the sector.

Leveraging content from a wide array of top social influencers and digital content creators, QYOU Media India so far has launched The Q, Q Marathi, The Q Kahaniyan and The Q Comedistaan. The upcoming digital channel Q GAMEX targets the rapidly growing community of online and mobile gamers and will mark the launch of QYOU Media India’s fifth channel.

In 1935, the lifespan of a company featured on the S & P 500 was 90 years. Today, it is 18 years.

Every two weeks, a company goes off that system. Even as we focused on the weekly, monthly, and quarterly, we started to lay the foundation for making Netcore Cloud an enduring great company.

Our journey began somewhere in the latter half of the 90s. India had broken the shackles of red tape, and custom-raj and the fruits of a globalised economy were yet to be delivered at its doorsteps.

In the year 1997, Netcore Cloud (Previously known as Netcore Solutions), started as the tech wing of India World Communication which had a slew of portals such as Khel.com and Samachar. Com, etc., under its wings. The technical base for the parent corp. was laid by Netcore, using an open-source platform, which helped further in building a mailbox server for the employees.

Satyam's 1999 acquisition coincided with Netcore’s mailbox pitch to a lot of organisations that were averse to using the established names such as Lotus Notes, MS. Outlook, etc. We were one of the first players to offer cloud-based anti-spam, antivirus Statistical Analysis and Data Visualisation (SAS). In 2006, following the growing popularity of mobile phones, we launched an SMS marketing platform, which is now recognised more easily as bulk SMS. Shortly after, as internet and mobile phones grew, we ventured further into campaign management, personalization solutions as well as combining the benefits of email, SMS, web push notification for a more unified experience. More recently Whatsapp integration and Voice Solutions have gained immense popularity amongst our end-user, Apart from these our contextual nudges, In-app messages and walkthroughs have enabled our customer-base to deeply enhance their engagement with their audience.

Finally, in 2015-16, Netcore debuted its Omni-channel customer engagement and retention platform, a marketing automation tool with an aim to keep customers engaged across several channels without compromising messaging or brand retention. With the acquisition of companies like Boxx.ai in 2019 and Hansel.io in 2020 respectively, Netcore marched ahead, constructing capabilities such as Software Development KIT (SDK) around the personalised service boom.

People-first mindset; valuing assets that matter the most

Throughout our illustrious journey, Netcore Cloud has never allowed itself to lose sight of the three basics : customer focus; employee focus, and sustainable growth for the long term. From the days when SMS and emails were the norm, customer choice and behaviour have always been Netcore’s best source of feedback and learning to chalk out new routes in product development and provide a world-class customer experience. Acquiring Boxx.ai and stepping into bespoke product advocacy was one of the moves in that direction.

Likewise, people have remained at the core of its purpose. Even during trying circumstances, Netcore had gone against the standard tide of mass layoffs and stood by the employees – don’t let go of people just because there’s a downturn.

Transforming adversity into an opportunity

Be it the dot-com bubble of 2000 or the financial recession of 2008, Netcore Cloud has always contemplated those crises as windows of opportunity to observe and learn where others had failed.

Indispensable to our core values, Netcore has always believed in holding its ship tightly, staying by employees' side and learning - when things are bad, it won’t always be this way. Our people have remained the nucleus of our purpose. On the other end, managing costs formed the remaining half of its strategy to stride through troubled waters.

Finally, a sales strategy fine-tuned to close open deals completes the package in dealing with a highly volatile state of affairs.

Thinking beyond inorganic growth opportunities and making them work

The highly competitive and complex nature of today’s business discourages the segregation of sales and marketing roles. Treating both the roles very seriously as time-honoured tools of growth, Netcore has been successful in making these work in tandem. When it boils down to acquisitions as well, Netcore has upended the drift with successful acquisitions such as Quinto, Hansel, boxx, etc., by taking the founder and team members of the acquired group on board.

In fact, remaining integral to our future growth plan, Netcore has now invested over $100 million in Unbxd Inc.to augment the overall digital experience.

As we move forward, by empowering it with apps and micro websites, user-friendly platforms such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) have once again turned the spotlight on email. AMP helps in increased interactivity and improves dwell time on the email, improving engagement significantly, and reduces any cybersecurity threat that may occur due to multiple page navigation. According to Netcore Cloud’s recent report – Email Benchmark Report 2022, sectors like banking, e-commerce have shown the highest adoption of AMP interactive emails in 2021.

Thriving across two long decades

Today, as we look back on our journey over the last 25 years, we can proudly hold our heads high. How many times have you come across a Martech company that has helped and supported over 5000, B2C brands, creating one of a kind, stunning digital journeys across a range of products that has helped them not only in engaging and retaining valuable customers but also approach each acquisition with aplomb? Needless to say, it is staying true to our core value of customer and employee focus, alongside time-bound product enhancements, that helped us chip a dazzling narrative in India’s digital story.


KOLs and live-streaming now integral to social commerce in China: Ebiquity report

Ebiquity launches a new report to guide marketers on maximizing return on influencer marketing

The report covers 7 steps that can help advertisers successfully leverage the power of KOLs
Ebiquity plc, the world leader in media investment analysis, announced today the release of its latest report, “How to maximise your return on Influencer Marketing in China”. Advertisers who want their brands to succeed in China should consider key opinion leaders (KOLs) as a key plank of their country-wide marketing strategy. 

As the largest social media market in the world, China has a penetration rate of 66%, representing 28% of the global social media population. China’s social media market has evolved quickly over the past few years, propelled in part by the stratospheric rise of key opinion leaders (KOLs) and live streaming, which has permanently altered the social landscape. 

Today, social commerce is heavily reliant on live-streaming sales, and that means advertisers who want their brands to succeed in China should consider KOL live-streaming as a key plank of their country-wide marketing strategy. This report looks into the evolution of KOLs and livestreaming in China’s social media market and its growing relevance in the country’s advertising market today. As with most campaigns, planning is crucial, but marketers need to follow best practices in navigating a fragmented market of over 10 million KOL accounts across more than a dozen different major social media platforms. Setting the right KPIs for these KOLs is also key since the market is relatively new and cost transparency is still uncommon.

Advertisers will therefore need to understand the finer points of KOL monitoring and selection. This report covers 7 steps that can help advertisers successfully leverage the power of KOLs. These include developing a KPI framework; deploying 3rd party tracking and fraud verification; breaking down KOL quotations; setting guidelines; agreeing to a systematic evolution and agency remuneration model; and finally, ensuring that the right contract is in place.

And most importantly, work with the right local partners. While we look into some of the most effective third-party KOL agencies and analytics firms in the market today, marketers are also encouraged to do their own research. It’s clear that KOL marketing and live-streaming is set to become a dominant platform and ecosystem in China going forward, and marketers will need to hone their craft in this new integrated channel to boost sales and future-proof their brand’s relevance with the next generation of consumers.

“KOL marketing and live-streaming is set to become a dominant platform and ecosystem in China going forward,” said Stewart Li, Managing Director, Ebiquity China. “Marketers need to hone their craft in this new integrated channel to boost sales and future-proof their brand’s relevance with the next generation of consumers.”

Today, social commerce is heavily reliant on live-streaming sales, which means advertisers who want their brands to succeed in China should consider KOL live-streaming. Having conducted dozens of KOL performance audits and benchmarking projects over the years, Ebiquity’s China team has identified best practices, risks, and attention areas that advertisers should look out for when considering KOL live-streaming. 

This report covers 7 steps that can help advertisers successfully leverage the power of KOLs. These include developing a KPI framework; deploying 3rd party tracking and fraud verification; breaking down KOL quotations; setting guidelines; agreeing to a systematic evolution and agency remuneration model; and finally, ensuring that the right contract is in place. And most importantly, work with the right local partners.

Influencer marketing in China is extra-ordinary. Our research finds top 15% of all KOLs in China generate return on investment six times more than the average ROI”, said James Gong, Vice-President of Datastory. “We suggest advertisers take a closer look at the effectiveness of their campaigns. And seek ROI maximization opportunities from KOL selection and content optimization.”

Navigating China’s KOL market is fraught with obstacles and pitfalls. From a KOL placement and measurement perspective, marketers face a number of significant challenges. The first is the nature of the market itself. With over 10 million KOL accounts across up to nine different major social media platforms, the market is incredibly fragmented and decentralised. Note as well that media buyers are not negotiating with media channels—they are dealing with individual persons, which can be a very different experience from traditional media and channel selection and comes with its own challenges.

The second challenge is tracking and measurement. With traditional online media, invalid traffic (IVT)—that is, activity that may represent either accidental or outright fraudulent clicks or impressions—can eat into marketing costs and siphon advertising budgets. However, KOL tracking layers on an additional risk of invalid engagements (IVE), which often involves fake followers spamming artificial bot engagements. And every second, there are over 3,000 posts on Sina Weibo alone, which makes tracking and measurement incredibly complex.

Finally, advertisers often run into the perennial problem of transparency. With over 100,000 multi-channel network (MCN) agencies in China, marketing professionals have to negotiate with complicated and opaque KOL buying chains, with little visibility or detailed breakdown over what exactly the client is purchasing. Rate cards and standardised cost quotations are not common practice, and the cost of a KOL placement can often be bundled in with other below-the-line activities without the knowledge of the buyer.

Having conducted dozens of KOL performance audits and benchmarking projects over the years, we’ve identified a series of best practices, risks and attention areas that advertisers should look out for. We’ve combined these insights into seven key aspects that will hopefully offer marketers a more comprehensive model to get started, covering the entire end-to-end process of KOL buying and management.


KOLs and Livestreaming are a relatively new marketing ecosystem and can be quite challenging to negotiate. The insights outlined in this report should offer a solid primer for advertising
professionals ranging from veteran marketers looking to emulate best practices to new entrants looking for some guidance on how to get started.

But this is only a start. Ultimately, there’s no substitute to proper due diligence in choosing the right local partners and platforms that fit your business strategy. A good partner can make or break a KOL campaign, helping you eliminate fraud, set the right KPIs, find suitable KOLs, minimise your fees and ensure you hit your targets.

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