MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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-The Nation’s No. 1 News Channel is the most loved on Facebook with over 1 Crore Likes

- Aaj Tak Grows from 1 Mln to 10 Mln likes in just around 2 ½ years

The nation’s No. 1 News channel Aaj Tak crosses another milestone by crossing 10 million likes on Facebook.  Aaj Tak is the first news brand in the country to accomplish this feat making  it the most watched, followed, liked, commented and also the most engaging channel across platforms. After dominating TV News, Aaj Tak extends its leadership to the digital and social media space, with the other news brands trailing far behind.

Aaj Tak achieved the first milestone of 1 Million likes on Facebook in April 2013. There has been no stopping since, with the channel growing at a rapid pace to cross the 10 Million Likes milestone in such a short span. The number of followers on the channel’s social media page has been growing at a tremendous pace through the months and years, especially during news heavy periods like the Elections that see increased interest in news.

The Aaj Tak Facebook page has the most active users with an average weekly engagement of around 3.8 Million users as per data over the last 1 week of reaching 1 Crore likes. The fans don’t just stop at liking the page but go on to commenting, interacting and sharing content from the Aaj Tak page.

The channel has been a pioneer to integrate facebook and social media with television programming with regular polls, debates and viewer interactivity. Real time updates on the channel of reactions and comments from Facebook fans during the IPL and World Cup have ensured high engagement. Aaj Tak has also used the platform robustly to connect people directly with celebrities through Facebook chats. High engagement through news videos and a series of far reaching campaigns on Facebook like ‘Dilli Ke Dil Mein Kya hai?’ have also ensured the growing popularity of the channel across all platforms.

The channel’s dominance on social media with this landmark figure clearly establishes that whatever be the medium, if it’s News the nation turns to Aaj Tak.

The world’s top design firms have innovation down to almost a science. For traditional incumbents looking to build innovative capabilities, design can be the ideal catalyst.

In 1993, Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun Hee made a humbling discovery in a Los Angeles electronics shop. He found his company’s televisions relegated to a low, forgotten shelf in the back, while Sony and Panasonic models occupied the front window. To Lee, this spoke very badly for Samsung’s global standing. Soon afterwards, he began a radical overhaul of the company’s highly Confucian culture, with the goal of making Samsung one of the world’s leading brands.

Lee ordered top management to refocus their efforts from cost-saving to creating unique, must-have products. In 1994, Samsung initiated collaboration with a few design firms including IDEO. The following year, Samsung established an in-house design school (in partnership with the Art Center College of Design, the leading design school based in Pasadena, California) whose curriculum included art and culture tours of New York, Paris, Delhi, and many other creative hotspots. Perhaps most notably, Samsung was one of the few major companies in consumer electronics to create a position for a chief design officer. As times and technologies have changed, Samsung has gone from strength to strength: In the first quarter of 2014, the company shipped 85 million smartphones worldwide, more than its four leading rivals combined.

Design: Catalyst of Change

Design was pivotal to Samsung’s turnaround, in more ways than were readily apparent to consumers. As its products acquired sleekness and elegance, Samsung was retooling its organisational culture behind the scenes in line with Chairman Lee’s edict: "An enterprise's most vital assets lie in its design and other creative capabilities.” In short, the company was teaching itself to be innovative, before that buzzword achieved techie ubiquity.

The story at Apple, Samsung’s greatest competitor nowadays, shares certain similarities with Samsung’s. In the late 80s, prior to establishing its industrial group led by Bob Brunner (the design mastermind behind Beats headphones), Apple used to have only a few designers who would do most of their design work through design firms such as IDEO. Brunner eventually hired Jony Ive, with whom Steve Jobs led the design revolution initiated with the first iMac.

Samsung and Apple traced out a path to 21st-century success admired and followed by other brands. But too many companies still stash their design in a silo, where it can have little to no overall organisational influence.

A silo approach fails to capitalise on everything designers bring to the table in addition to creativity. Top design firms such as IDEO, Continuum, and Eight, Inc. have not only a well-tooled process for converting innovation opportunities into real innovations, but also a set of organisational elements perfectly aligned with that process. If companies require an innovation role model, they need look no further than design firms.

The Three “I”s in Design Firms

Designers’ most valuable capabilities have nothing to do with Photoshop, or any tool or technique for “designing”. They are much more about setting a direction than executing directives, more about shaping creativity to practical needs than indulging flights of fancy. By observing how many design firms work, I have identified three core organisational capabilities at which they particularly excel, which also comprise the rudiments of any innovation journey: user-centric insighting, deep and diverse ideating, and rapid and cheap iterating.

User-centric insighting: In order to create value in novel ways (the goal of innovating), you must first locate opportunities to do so. Where to start looking is easy to see—with the end-user—but it’s far more difficult to detect and synthesise actionable information within the complexity of the user experience. Customer surveys and focus groups simplify the process, but are often removed from how people authentically respond in the marketplace. Designers, by contrast, prefer observation to interrogation, developing empathy to discern unarticulated, even unconscious, user needs. As Tim Kobe, CEO of design firm Eight, Inc. put it, “We represent the end-user in all the design decisions that take place in these innovation projects.” And that’s why building empathy with the target user is crucial, as Continuum did when working with Procter & Gamble to reinvigorate the Pampers brand. Observing mums and their babies, designers realised that the mothers’ ultimate concern was their infant’s development, not the diaper itself. With that in mind, they devised a line of premium diapers for different developmental stages (Swaddlers, Cruisers, etc.) rather than segmenting by age.

Deep and diverse ideating: Designers generate heaps of new ideas based on user insights. This phase is where they unleash their creativity, coming up with as many and as distinct potential solutions as possible before putting much thought into implementation. These preliminary solutions are the product of an organisational process that deliberately cultivates a broad range of perspectives. Far from avoiding eccentric and exceptional voices, design firms seek them out and encourage their contributions within an atmosphere of freedom of thought and playfulness. Playfulness is so important at IDEO that they have created a Toy Lab where designers conceive and test out some of their creations by playing with kids as young as 18 months.

Rapid and cheap iterating: Designers understand that the creative flurry of the ideation phase can take them only so far. They are quick to make ideas concrete and not shy to declare them failures when they don’t live up to expectations. For designers, failures are not negative events but learning experiences. Producing fast and cheap dummy versions to test out concepts means that even when the experiments flop, it’s still a win-win. Singapore-based multidisciplinary design consultancy Awaken Group makes “low-resolution prototypes” of spaces using stacked cardboard boxes to represent walls. That way, alterations can be made to the design in a matter of moments as the client walks through the demo space.

Many firms developing new products or services carry out insighting, ideating, and iterating, so what sets design firms apart? It’s the way they approach these three distinct phases: Aligning their process and organisational elements to encourage user-centricity when insighting, fostering the generation of many and distinct ideas during ideating, and celebrating the creation of rapid and cheap prototypes during iterating. The challenge for established organisations then is to coordinate every aspect of their business so that they can produce their own versions of insighting, ideating, and iterating in a way that does not disrupt their capability to operate efficiently.

If a second-tier Korean TV manufacturer could reinvent itself to become the world’s biggest consumer electronics company, the transformative potential of design is limitless.

Authored by Manuel Sosa,Associate Professor of Technology and Operations Management at INSEAD

Source: INSEAD

Monday, 19 October 2015 00:00

Understanding the India Book Market

Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, was commissioned by The Association of Publishers in India (API) and the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) to produce a major new study: The India Book Market: Understanding the India Book Market – a comprehensive report on the India book market.

A first-of-its-kind release, this report looks at the fast-growing books market from the perspective of local and international publishers, retailers and book consumers. The aim of the report is to provide the Indian book publishing industry with greater insights into the market and their consumers, to enable the industry to meet the needs and demands of a well-educated nation that continues to grow.

Vikas Gupta, President of the API, commented: “The India Book Market Report delves into the publishing landscape in the country – size and potential of the industry, what challenges it faces and what opportunities lie ahead.  Various government initiatives and policies affecting publishing; the status of education in India; book retailing and the digital publishing industry as the future of publishing, have all been discussed at length. It also reveals some interesting facts about the industry – such as the size of publishing being larger than the Indian film Industry.”

In conclusion, the report highlights the enormous potential the Indian publishing industry has shown in recent years, substantiated with Nielsen’s market estimation study. An astute and powerful first edition, the India Book Market Report is an invaluable tool for everyone in the book publishing industry.

“We are extremely pleased to have launched the report; it is truly a first in many ways for India’s burgeoning print book market. The market in India has seen a double digit growth in the last four years, and our studies peg India as the second largest English-language book market in the world, with the print book market at the sixth position globally.  This intensive report  captures the vernacular  print market in India, as well as the resurgence of Indian authors writing in English – tracking in-depth trends that have attributed to the rise of the market in India,”  said Prashant Singh, MD, Nielsen India. “The rise in literacy, a growing middle class and greater disposable income hold significant opportunities for the future growth of publishing businesses in India,” he added.

Jonathan Stolper, SVP & Global Managing Director of Nielsen Book, commented:

“Nielsen Book is the leading provider of retail sales analysis and consumer research but this is the first time we have been asked to look at a market and conduct such an in-depth piece of research. Some of the facts that have come to light are very impressive – there are 9,000 publishers, over 21,000 retailers and 22 official languages and if you include regional dialects the total is 1,600. Literacy in India is rising rapidly, from 65% in 2001 to 74% in 2011 and it is predicted to reach 90% in 2020. We are delighted to have been asked to work with the API and the FIP on this project and pleased to be a part of the book industry in India which is growing rapidly.”

Quotes from Industry experts:

Dr Ashok Gupta - President FIP (Federation of Indian Publishers) said: “[The India Book Market Report] is a good development for the whole of the Indian Publishing Industry. It has long been felt that there is a need for such a definitive study on the size of the industry conducted by a reputable, internationally known and credible agency like Nielsen. The India Book Market Report will provide new insights which will benefit the global publishing industry.”

The India Book Market Report is the first study for decades, Rohit Kumar, Ex-President of the API, commented: “After such a long time, we have real data on the size and potential of the Indian book publishing industry.  The sheer number of readers in India is increasing at one of the fastest rates in the world.  The impact to Indians through the written word has never been higher; India's growth to a developed economy will only happen through its youth developing their minds and thoughts.  The publishing industry and authors play a key role in influencing this in the right way."

“The Indian publishing industry has tremendous potential but also faces some challenges. A cumbersome distribution network, long credit cycles and piracy are considered key roadblocks within the market. This combined with a lack of ‘industry’ recognition, support and policies makes it more challenging for publishers in the Indian publishing industry.  A key recommendation is for the automation of certain sectors, for instance, publisher prefix and ISBN allocation – which could improve the process and flow of information for publishers large and small.  However, the overall growth of the market is very encouraging for existing and new players,” said Vikrant Mathur, Director, Nielsen Book India.

Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00

Why Your Next Hire Should Be an Athlete

Athletes who became business successes have passion, resilience and leadership skills. Lessons learned from sport can help in business.

Of course not every star athlete will make it in the corporate world; for every George Foreman or Michael Jordan there are hundreds of thousands of former sports players who fail to make the shift. But those who do, possess skills and personality traits as valuable to the boardroom as the playing field.

We recently conducted a study of athletes from diverse sports and nationalities who successfully made the move into the corporate world. The research identified some extraordinarily transferable skills, and individuals as dedicated to their new careers as to the sports which gave them their first taste of success.

Focus, networks and drive

Eric Brodnax, an Olympic equestrian from the U.S. Virgin Islands, set himself a clear agenda after leaving school. He identified high targets, specified time frames and focused exclusively on meeting them. His progression was spectacular, and he joined the team for the Pan-American Games in 1987, followed by the 1988 Olympics.  However, with a 35th place at the Olympics, it was strikingly clear that he had not reached the threshold he had hoped for.  At this point, he says, he recognised he was “good but not extraordinary” and it was time to act on his agenda and leave his sporting career behind him.

Being an Olympian opened doors and, although he was on his own once inside, he found that his background gave him the advantage of being able to create (and use) networks to the hilt. It also provided him with the ability to spot opportunities and run with them, an asset we found to be consistent across all the people we interviewed.

While completing an MBA at Wharton, Eric took a summer job working on privatisation strategies in the former Czechoslovakia, where his client list included the Slovak wine industry. His experiences prompted him to set up his own business importing wine from South Africa, at a time when the U.S. was lifting its economic sanctions.

Eric admits to loving the possibility of “contesting the field to win” and insists, “While I am not always looking for new or different challenges, I am definitely inspired by pursuing to its logical end whatever I undertake.”

Adaptability, passion and resilience

Andrew Noble from the British ski team, had his first test of resilience at the age of 15 when he broke his back. The recovery period was long and trying for Andrew, who at that stage was competing at extremely high levels. The time out gave him the opportunity to reflect and he returned to the ski fields even more determined to push to ever greater levels.

Shortly after this he was given the opportunity to go pro and, as he climbed the rankings, he started to make money from the sponsorships and product endorsements that went with his place on the U.K. team. In the build-up to the 2010 Olympics, Andrew’s qualities as a team player and a natural leader were called upon in a way he would never have expected.  Four weeks before the opening ceremony it was announced that the British Ski Federation had gone bankrupt, and there would be no further support, either financial or logistical.

As a natural action-taker and motivator, Andrew contacted sponsors and logistics suppliers, in the hope of rescuing something from the situation.  This called on every resource he had, including a high resistance to pressure. This clarity of mind was useful not only then, but also in his future career at the notoriously competitive strategy consultancy, McKinsey.

Another advantage that Andrew feels he has brought with him from sport is his ability to create and build significant relationships.  He believes he is more experienced and effective than his peers in this area, and finds it easy to develop rapport with clients.

10 Transferable Skills Athletes Bring to the Corporate Table

1. Speed, energy and dynamism

2. Self-Motivation, reliable autonomous performance

3. Focus, discipline and dedication

4. Passion and determination

5. Flexibility and adaptability

6. High resistance to pressure, resilience

7. Strategic planning

8. Pioneering spirit, ability to spot opportunities

9. Teamwork and collaboration

10. Relationship building and networking

Overcoming challenges

But transitioning out of sport is not always smooth sailing. And with little help available from the sports industry, corporations may find they need to be aware of the potential problems and prepared to assist their sporting recruits in reaching their full potential.

By the time John Garrett went to Cambridge University, he was already a national champion rower at schoolboy level, and had experienced different racing conditions all over Europe.  By his second year at Cambridge, he was a member of the British team. His rise was swift and he says it was this momentum which helped him grasp at every new opportunity.

John went on to combine a career, first in the city for a merchant bank and then in the civil service while training full-time for the national squad.  When increased sponsorship for the team became available, he made rowing the priority, combining it with postgraduate study in economics, leading to a Masters’ degree at the London School of Economics (LSE).   The Economics degree sparked an interest in international development issues, especially international debt, so it was a natural step to change direction after a “less successful” third Olympics. He moved away from rowing and  into more “serious work”.

John had no difficulty finding various roles, in small business, local and central government and eventually international development, but the switch was tough, both emotionally and psychologically.  He missed the excitement and “special” nature of travelling internationally to compete in sporting events and, like others before him, he had difficulty relating to his new identity.

Curbing a competitive nature

Kavitha Krishnamurthy was a four times Canadian junior tennis champion before “going pro”. After completing an MBA at INSEAD she went to work for Coca-Cola where the discipline, equanimity and global adaptability developed during her years on the tennis circuit, were put to good use. One potential liability she noted, however, was the difficulty some sports stars have in modifying their competitive nature. Fostering a team environment that is conducive to success is not necessarily compatible with an athlete’s desire to win at all costs.

Benefits of shared skills and synergies

As we conducted our discussions with former athletes in the corporate world we found clear patterns in their stories, and many examples of how nature and nurture come into play to create exceptional leaders. What is very obvious is that there is a collection of transferable competencies that athletes develop in greater proportion compared to their more sedentary peers. If these are put to good use by the companies they join, they can rapidly develop into extraordinarily successful assets.

 

Authored by Antoine Tirard,Founder NexTalent and Claire Lyell,Founder Culture Pearl

Source:INSEAD

Leading two-wheeler auto major TVS Motor Company has appointed Lowe Lintas Bangalore to handle the creative mandate of its popular brand TVS Sport.

The agency was appointed after a multi-agency pitch that was held in Bangalore recently.

TVS Sport is a leading commuter brand in the TVS portfolio and has been witnessing promising growth over the years. The brand has grown at a CAGR of 5% since 2010 and is currently at 12K MA with a 3.4% market share YTD 2015-16. In the current market scenario, the product differentiates itself from competition by giving consumer a great mileage that is derivative of a long-life Duralife engine and which comes at an affordable price. To popularize its many offerings, the brand has been leaning on Virat Kohli who is the brand ambassador for TVS Sport. The mandate for Lowe Lintas Bangalore would be to continue rendering the promise of TVS Sport being a popular and affordable choice for consumers.

Commenting on the creative partnership, Arun Siddharth, Head - Motorcycle Marketing TVS Motor Company said, “TVS Sport is one of the most important commuter brands in the TVS Motor Company motorcycle portfolio. With more than 2 million proud consumers, it is our endeavor that TVS Sport is the brand that consumers in the segment love and identify with. Based on the work received from the multi-agency pitch, we found Lowe Lintas Bangalore’s ideation and planning effort along with strong yet grounded team to be a perfect fit for the job at hand. We look forward to putting out meaningful creative work that will spur consumer interest and affiliation towards our popular offering TVS Sport.”

Already an established entity, TVS Motor Company is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India and one among the top ten in the world, with annual revenue of more than Rs. 10,131 crore in 2014-15 (around USD 1.6 billion). It is the flagship company of the USD 7.29 billion (in 2013-14) TVS Group. The company has a production capacity of 3 million 2-wheelers & 1.2 Lakh 3-wheelers a year. TVS Motor Company Ltd (TVS Motor), member of the TVS group, is the largest company of the group in terms of size and turnover.

Sharing his views on the winning the mandate, GV Krishnan, President – Lowe Lintas Bangalore said, “Unquestionable category expertise, great lineage and impeccable values; TVS is that perfect partner that brings out the best from an agency like Lowe Lintas. Our task would be to create brand love and get TVS Sport to be most preferred brand in a category that is crowded and where the consumer is extremely discerning and knowledgeable. We’ve already got the best minds in our agency start work on the brand and we'll stop at nothing but magic.”

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