MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Consumers, Creativity, and Commerce prevail on this debut list

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, announced today the 2018 LinkedIn Top Startups List for India. The annual ranking is informed by the billions of actions taken by more than 50+ million professionals on LinkedIn in India, revealing the 25 most-wanted startups by professionals. It is fuelled by proprietary LinkedIn data including employment growth, engagement, job interest, and attraction of top talent combined with an editorial lens.

Topping the first edition of this list is five-year-old hospitality startup OYO (#1) followed by health and wellness startup Cure.Fit (#2), and on-demand delivery service dunzo.in (#3). From consumer tech to health tech, and logistics to hospitality, these 25 companies, through their unique offerings and bold leadership, represent the thriving startup landscape in India, the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. The debut list sees B2B companies make up 50% of the list whereas 20% of the companies, Nineleaps (#10), Zapr Media Labs (#17), BrowsterStack (#18), SigTuple (#20) and Exadatum (#25), are deep technology companies.

“Professionals turn to LinkedIn for news, views, and insights to stay informed, to hire, or to get hired. LinkedIn’s unique data helps us identify the top trends that drive India’s young economy – why these are the most preferred places to work for professionals today and how their innovative business ideas are changing the way we live. The Top Startups List, an extension of the Top Companies franchise, brings to light how these young companies are disrupting industries and attracting talent in India. The debut edition of the India list sees a diverse mix of consumer-driven businesses and B2B startups across industries such as health and wellness, hospitality, fin-tech, and e-commerce,” says Adith Charlie, India Editor, LinkedIn.

Here’s how some of these startups are cutting through the noise:

Disruption in Consumer Fin-Tech and Consumer Internet space: Innovative and specialty business ideas are at the core of some of the consumer-driven startups across sectors such as fintech, wellness, hospitality, and e-learning. Emerging insurance players Digit Insurance (#5), a digital-first company is re-imagining products, solutions, and building insurance solutions that matter to people. The biggest draw of Acko General Insurance (#13) is its personalized policy based on user behaviour. Online educators like UpGrad.com (#21) and InterviewBit (#22) are disrupting the way professionals prepare for or empower their careers. Cure.Fit (#2), with its no-equipment gyms offering, is a refreshing departure from the traditional wellness environment. Hotel chain OYO (#1), 45000-rides-a-day Shuttl (#23), and concierge services venture dunzo.in (#3) have redefined affordability and convenience for the Indian consumer.

Near Unicorn status: On an aggressive expansion mode are firms such as OYO and Rivigo that are headed towards becoming members of the coveted Unicorn club. Over the last nine months, OYO (#1) has ventured into Malaysia, China and the UK. It is currently in talks to raise $1BN, pushing up its valuation to over $4BN. With investors betting big on Rivigo (#4), the logistics startup attained a near-unicorn status recently when it raised $50 million at a valuation of $945 million. Leading this pack is Udaan.com (#19), reported as being valued at over $1 billion in its September fundraise.

Startups boosting the startup ecosystem: Product development accelerator Nineleaps (#10) helps Bay Area startups transform ideas to high-performing products across industries such as ed-tech, health-tech, and retail. It is now expanding into new markets such as Singapore and Indonesia and diversifying into data science, blockchain and other emerging fields. BrowserStack’s (#18) mobile app and web-testing platform is currently in use by as many as two million developers across 135 countries and more than 25,000 paying customers. The growth of co-working venture Innov8 Coworking (#11) with 13 centres across India and a steady rise in employee count, is also a reflection of how the workplace is transforming to accommodate startups, freelancers, and rising entrepreneurs.

Rise of the B2B E-Marketplace: The rapid growth of B2B online marketplaces such as Udaan.com and Jumbotail signify the rise of a new trend: the use of technology to scale businesses and build a B2B marketplace that connects buyers with sellers and wholesalers with retailers. Founded by three former Flipkart executives, Udaan.com (#19), an online B2B marketplace for food, clothing and electronics, raised $50 million and expanded its reach to more than 500 cities in two years. LinkedIn data shows that the company’s headcount grew by nearly 100% in the last 12 months. The Nexus Venture Partners-backed startup Jumbotail (#16) is a B2B e-marketplace that connects neighbourhood stores with their suppliers. It also provides shopfront delivery of groceries and arranges working capital credit for store owners through its lending partners. Reseller marketplace Meesho (#24) uses social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook to connect sellers directly with suppliers. The social commerce startup plans to launch an interface in Indian regional languages in a few months.

Employee is king: In an increasingly competitive landscape, the top startups recognize the value of imbibing a sense of belonging in their workforce. All new hires at OYO (#1), or “OYOpreneurs”, are exposed to actual business problems on their first day so they acquire a sense of ownership. All team members at Razorpay (#9) regardless of role or seniority, take customer support calls for four hours every month. Another emerging trend is the adoption of unique employee engagement models. Cure.Fit (#2) offers its employees unlimited leave, fixed increments every six months, weekly cricket matches and a concierge service for personal tasks, while the appraisal process at Jumbotail (#16) gives 80% weightage to peers’ feedback and just 20% to the manager’s rating.

Here are the Top 25 Startups in India, in order of ranking:

1. OYO

2. Cure.Fit

3. dunzo.in

4. Rivigo

5. Digit Insurance

6. Little Black Book

7. Republic World

8. The Minimalist

9. Razorpay

10. Nineleaps

11. Innov8 Coworking

12. Schbang

13. Acko General Insurance

14. Treebo Hotels

15. InCred

16. Jumbotail

17. Zapr Media Labs

18. BrowserStack

19. Udaan.com

20. SigTuple

21. UpGrad.com

22. InterviewBit

23. Shuttl

24. Meesho

25. Exadatum Software Services

Mullen Lowe Lintas Group’s former CEO launches new ad agency

Advertising veteran and former group chairman and chief executive of Mullen Lowe Lintas Group Joseph George announced the launch of his independent advertising agency Tilt Brand Solutions.

A 150-year experienced team from across Advertising, Marketing, Content, Consumer Advocacy, Data Analytics, Storytelling, Studio Production, Digital, Media, Qualitative Research, Behavioral Science and Video Analytics have come together to offer Consulting, Communication, Content and Video Production services for Brands and Businesses under the name Tilt Brand Solutions.

Says its founder, Chairman & MD, Joseph (Joe) George, “The context in which brands operate is everything. When that changes, everything about the brand outreach needs to change. What, where and how consumers buy, and What, where and how they consume content, have all changed. These changes cannot be responded to, by shoe-horning existing models into new structures. They need to be addressed by structuring a new; not re-structuring an old. Ergo Tilt.”

Tilt believes that brand and communication planning today is mostly “right brained”, predicated primarily on culture, attitudes and beliefs. And while these will continue to remain critical, the plethora of actual behavioral and consumption data available today cannot be ignored.

Joe opines, “We believe, that the adjacency of “Belief” insights and “Behavior” data is critical in formulating brand strategy and brand storytelling today. Inexplicably, data analytics today sits only in digital, media or analytics agencies. At Tilt though, composite teams of left and right-brained strategists evaluate brand and behavioral data in human and cultural contexts and vice versa. Specialists in brand management, consumer behavior, digital & media, data analytics, video analytics and communication planning work together to provide what we at Tilt call, “Full Brained Thinking.”

Democratization of data and proliferation of screens of all sizes, have resulted in Indians consuming more videos than ever before; contributing so, to 70% of all IP traffic and 75% of advertising spends. Tilt believes thus, that getting right the conceptualization and production of advertising and content in the video format, has become critical.

Explains Joe, “Tilt’s creative philosophy of “One Brand, Many Stories” is built on the belief, that brands have, and need to tell many stories. More the stories, the more the brand begins to breathe and belong in people’s consciousness. The assumption that one video asset will work across audiences, objectives and platforms is flawed. Content creation and production needs to be tailored to each platform and experience across all forms of video-based advertising and content – from commercials to long, short and very short format video content.”

The Leadership team, Shriram Iyer (Chief Creative & Content Officer), Srikanth Sarathy (Chief Operating Officer), Rajiv Chatterjee (Chief Business Officer) and soon to join Kedar Teny (Chief Strategy Officer) is confident that Tilt’s “Strategy-Story-Studio” offering, driven by its twin philosophies of “Full-Brained Thinking” and “One Brand, Many Stories” could well serve as Proof Of Concept for brand owners and creative enterprises who are seeking to Influence, Engage and Entertain consumers of today.

Concludes Joe, “Our output sits in the union set of Consulting, Communication, Content and Video Production; drawing inputs however, from the intersection set of Brand building, Communication Planning, Storytelling, Analytics, Media & Digital strategy, Behavioral Science and Production Management. This meant that we had to look at talent with specific experience and skills; and so, our starting team couldn’t be more diverse from each other, and different from norm in terms of careers and academics - Airtel, Culture Machine, Disney, Franklin Templeton, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, IIT, Infosys, ISRO, Leo Burnett, Lintas, London School of Economics, McDonald’s, Mediacom, NID, Omnicom Media, PWC, Sony Sports, Star TV and The Viral Fever” 

Ashish Bhasin and Pratap Pawar re-elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman of MRUC respectively

The Media Research Users Council (MRUC) held its 24th Annual General Meeting in Mumbai on Friday, September 14, 2018.

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO - South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network and Pratap Pawar, Chairman, Sakal Media Group, will continue in their respective roles as Chairman and Vice Chairman of MRUC, until the next AGM. The leadership duo who were unanimously elected by the Board immediately after the 23rd AGM held in September 2017, had their continuation endorsed by the current Board at the meeting held immediately post the 24th AGM.

Mr Bhasin said, “After the successful launch of IRS 2017, our aim is to release the IRS more frequently and strengthen the focus on MRUC's core objective of offering Media Research that goes beyond the flagship study IRS.

Mr Pawar stated, “We thank all our members for their continuous support to the MRUC in ensuring the success of IRS 2017. We will carry the momentum forward and ensure the users of IRS do not have to wait long for the next launch of IRS.”

Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma, through their much awaited film ‘Sui Dhaaga - Made in India’ are saluting India’s entrepreneurs and skilled workforce, especially homegrown artisans, craftspeople and weavers who are making the country proud the world over. Dhawan plays a tailor named Mauji and Anushka plays his wife and embroiderer Mamta. Innocent yet ambitious, they dream big of making a name for themselves.

The Sui Dhaaga stars have been signed on to promote and endorse the Skill India Mission, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The film highlights the untapped potential of India’s talented craftsmen and skilled workers at the grassroot level and the challenges and issues faced by them. Varun and Anushka, the star cast of the film, have partnered Skill India and will dedicate time to promote India’s skilled talent and their fine work by engaging with them across different parts of the country.

Speaking about this association, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, “Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma, through this unique film Sui Dhaaga - Made in India, are bringing to focus the incredible skills and talent of our homegrown artisan and craftsmen community. It is really heartening to see actors like them doing a film that has such a significant social message. India is one of the youngest countries in the world; and it is a matter of great pride for us to see such dedicated and passionate skilled youth with entrepreneurial skills in our country who are bringing name and fame to the nation with their work.”

“I wish this endorsement by both actors encourages and influences the youth to take up skill training and earn a better livelihood for themselves and help us in creating the New India envisioned by Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,” he further added.

Led by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Skill India aims to standardize vocational training — both new-age and traditional skills —, helps in creation of latest infrastructure, ensures industry partnerships to extend technology support to make the youth more employable and assists in creating opportunities of employment for the youth of our country. This has led to more than 1 crore youth joining the Skill India Mission every year and transforming their lives through better livelihood.

Varun Dhawan said, “Prime Minister Modi has displayed incredible vision and genuine foresight in aiming to organise, skill, train and give financial support and backing to our craftsmen, artisans and similar workmen. We are proud to be promoting this campaign that we feel extremely close to like our movie Sui Dhaaga that celebrates self-reliance and entrepreneurship’’

Anushka Sharma added, “Skill India Campaign reflects the government’s determination to include and support the talented skilled force of the country. While making Sui Dhaaga, we came across so many stories of talented, skilled crafts people and artisans who don’t get a fair chance to showcase their talents.”

Wednesday, 19 September 2018 00:00

Rising Sprint Sensation Hima Das Joins Adidas

adidas and Hima will work together to inspire young athletes

To create positive change through the power of sport

18 year old Hima is the first Indian woman athlete to win a gold at a global track event

adidas today welcomed young athletics sensation Hima Das into the adidas family.Hima, already a big fan of adidas (she wore adidas sprint spikes in her historic run at the Youth Championships and at the Asian Games) will now be equipped with the very best offerings from adidas for her racing and training needs, as she continues her journey to becoming the best sprinter in the world.

At only 18, the Indian sprinter who is now popularly being referred to as “Golden Girl” and“Dhing Express” has made history by becoming the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the world level. Hima, a tenaciousand perseverant teenager, became the first ever Indian athlete to win a gold medal at a global track event when she won the women’s 400m at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Finland, followed by three podiums at the recently concluded Asian Games in Indonesia.

At the announcement of the association, adidas India Managing Director, Mr. Dave Thomas, presented Himawith an Adizero Prime SP, one of adidas’ most premium and technical sprinting shoes. The personalised shoe featuresthe sprinter’s name “HIMA DAS” on the right shoe and “CREATE HISTORY” on the left shoe.

“At adidas we believe that ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives’ and Hima is a great example of this. Many of our associations and partnerships are focused on empowering youth in India and making a positive change. We at adidas also believe that as the leading sports brand in India it is important to encourage girls to take up sport and keep playing sport as they get older. Over the last couple of years, Hima and many other Indian women have emerged as torchbearers with their outstanding performances. adidas is very keen to support India’s youth and to build a stronger sporting spirit and ambition in them”, said Mr. Dave Thomas, MD, adidas India

Also present at the announcement was Mr. Sean Van Wyk, Senior Marketing Director, adidas Indiawhosaid, “Hima is an inspiration not just for women and girls, but for the entire country and we take pride in having her join team adidas. She has created history and we shall help her in her journey to maximize her potential and become the best in the world. On this journey with her, we shall, together, inspire today’s youth to take to sports and create a positive change in and around their lives.”

Delighted about her relationship with adidas, Hima Das said: “I have always aspired to wear adidas shoes. In fact, I have been wearing them for the last few years and was wearingthem during the Youth Championships and the Asian Games. I feel extremely proud to join the adidas family and be a part of a great group of global athletes. adidas has an incredible track record for helping athletes across sports and enabling them to reach the peak of their sport. With them,I hope to take my performances to the next level on the field, and also help create change off it.Our aim together is to improve participation of Indian youth in sports and women empowerment and I am confident of creating the change with adidas.”

In the last decade, adidas has been working with many young athletes and investing in grassroot initiatives to empower young athletes to take to sports. Some of the grassroot investments include the adidas Runners community, the Tango league and adidas Base for football, and adidas Junior Open in tennis.

Indian athletes such as Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, DipikaPallikal, Zeel Desai, NikhatZareen, Siddhanth Banthia, ManjotKalra, along with international athletes like Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Wayde van Niekerkand Gladys Cheronoamong others wear the 3-Stripes with pride.

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