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Display of Best Discipline and Skills: The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind on National Geographic’s documentary on The President’s Bodyguard

National Geographic’s ‘The President’s Bodyguard’ to celebrate the rich traditions and legacy of one of the oldest regiments of the Indian Army

National Geographic, a brand that has a rich legacy of 130 years of telling the most inspiring and spectacular stories, announced an exclusive documentary on one of the oldest regiments of the Indian Army, The President’s Bodyguard. The film, which will definitely hit the patriotic chord with the viewers, is set to premiere on the channel on the 72st Independence Day at 9 pm.

Commenting on National Geographic documentary, the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, said, “Ceremonial occasions like the Republic Day parade, the President’s address to Parliament, oath-taking ceremony of a new President, or receiving a visiting head of state, are watched keenly in India and abroad. The President’s Bodyguard displays the best traditions of discipline and skills of our Armed Forces. Their flawless turn-out and impressive bearing speak for the heritage of our country, and our Armed Forces. But behind their skills, while standing erect or on horse-back, is years of hard work and the relentless pursuit of perfection. These are untiring, dedicated and brave soldiers – as good as the best in the world. I am very proud of them.”

A special screening of National Geographic’s The President’s Bodyguard will take place at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 14, 2018. The event will be graced by The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind and will be attended by representatives from several ministries and forces.

Uday Shankar, President of 21st Century Fox, Asia; and Chairman & CEO of Star India, said, “The President’s Bodyguard is the story of India’s historic and heritage cavalry unit, and one of the senior most regiments of the Indian army. Its glorious history of service to the nation and pursuit of excellence makes it unique and we are incredibly proud of bringing its story to our viewers. National Geographic, over many years, has showcased history, science, geography and cultures around the world and is the only platform which can do justice to the rich legacy of these untiring, dedicated and brave soldiers and their military traditions.”

The President’s Bodyguard is narrated by Amitabh Bachchan, whose voice strings the film together. Complementing National Geographic’s spectacular storytelling, Amitabh Bachchan’s powerful narration will bring the story of the regiment’s legacy and tradition to life.

Says Mr. Amitabh Bachchan 'As a nation of diverse cultures, patriotism is a very strong term that resonates with every single person living in the country. The love for patriotism is at its peak on many occasions, out of which the Independence Day remains one. I feel National Geographic’s film is a complete package which brings forth the stories of some selfless men who have put national duties above any other interests. The film will surely take the viewers a step closer to the history and heritage of one of the oldest cavalry units of our homeland.”

It was way back in 2003, when National Geographic established itself as a pioneer in the Indian television industry, by partnering with various branches of the Indian Armed Forces, to bring to viewers, access to the forces like they had never seen before. In that year, National Geographic’s ‘Mission Everest’, that featured the Indian Army was India's first televised reality-adventure, and it marked 50 years of Mt Everest's ascent. That was just the beginning of National Geographic’s legacy of bringing the most exclusive content on Indian Armed Forces to the viewers. The brand went further and brought some of the most inspiring stories from all three forces – Indian Air Force, Indian Navy & Indian Army. However, along with giving viewers an exclusive access to these forces, National Geographic also told their stories in the most powerful and cinematic manner, giving viewers a completely immersive storytelling experience. An experience that has not only moved them with emotions but also made them connect with our nation’s bravest men and women. A testament to this was when National Geographic’s exclusive documentary ‘BSF – India’s First Line of Defence’ broke viewership records, and premiered as the most watched show of the Infotainment genre.

With this rich heritage of creating the most powerful storytelling of the Indian Forces, National Geographic is all set to once again give its viewers an unprecedented access by taking them inside the world of the President’s Bodyguard. The President’s Bodyguard is the oldest surviving mounted unit and is one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army. The regiment, which has 245 years old legacy, and is made up of almost 200 soldiers, represents supreme and selfless service. Be it the Republic Day Parade or the President’s swearing-in ceremony, these men have upheld important traditions which have been passed on to generations, many times over the last two hundred years.

 

The President’s Bodyguard will premiere on National Geographic at 9 pm, on August 15, 2018. The documentary will also be available on Hotstar.

"Initially it was very difficult because as an RJ, it was all about me and my show – that’s all I ever thought of. But when you start managing a company then you need to put your people ahead of you. You need to think of thousand more variables that affect your life like sales, cash flow, people problems etc. Life as an RJ was all about individual talent and my own ability. Now the tough part is to extract brilliance from other individuals who form a part of my team. Inspiring people to be their best is a full time job but I thoroughly enjoy it." Said Rahoul Bhaargava - Founder, Creative Antenna.

In an interview with MediAvataar India, Rahoul divulged all about Creative Antenna and how Indian consumer is now willing to pay for audio content.
Here is the complete Q&A....

MediAvataar: How do you define Creative Antenna and your business model?
Rahoul: Creative Antenna is a provider of content, products and end to end managed services for a mobile first ecosystem. Simply put, we make products that engage a mobile carrying customer. Our products are sold as a subscription or pay per use basis to customers via telecom operators.

MediAvataar: Who is your target audience?
Rahoul: Anyone & everyone who uses a mobile phone.

MediAvataar: Tell us something about the size of the industry.
Rahoul: About 300 Crores monthly.

MediAvataar: Is this service for only big brands or smaller outfits can also budget it in?
Rahoul: This service is for brand of any size that wants to reach out to its potential customer who carries a mobile phone.

MediAvataar: How do you look at your competition?
Rahoul: Competition keeps us on our toes. It helps us to keep focus on goals and continuously improve ourselves so that we stay relevant and ahead of the curve always.

MediAvataar: What do you think is your USP?
Rahoul: Though we are a mid sized company, we function as a start up. Our entire team is very hand on and works round the clock. Our team size is small so we can monitor and control our environment, which ultimately helps in quality output.

MediAvataar: How has the consumption of audio content changed over a period of time?
Rahoul: Audio content used to be for community consumption in the 70s. Television took its place in the 80s. Audio content listening since then became a very personal affair. Smaller radio sets, Walkman and IPods further helped & aided this personal listening habit. People now need more niche content. If something unique is dished out, then they will pay for it especially the A category listeners living in Tier I cities. That I feel is the biggest change – the fact that the Indian customer is now willing to pay for audio content.

MediAvataar: You have been creatively involved in radio, earlier as RJ and now as a business man, tell us about your transition and is it easier to be the former than latter?
Rahoul: Initially it was very difficult because as an RJ, it was all about me and my show – that’s all I ever thought of. But when you start managing a company then you need to put your people ahead of you. You need to think of thousand more variables that affect your life like sales, cash flow, people problems etc. Life as an RJ was all about individual talent and my own ability. Now the tough part is to extract brilliance from other individuals who form a part of my team. Inspiring people to be their best is a full time job but I thoroughly enjoy it.

MediAvataar: Tell us about your clientele and how do you market your services?
Rahoul: My current clientele consists of all the telecom operators but I’m now also targeting potential clients in aviation, banking and hospitality sector who need entertaining content on audio & video for their customers.

MediAvataar: What are your future plans?
Rahoul: Mobile ecosystem is a very dynamic place and things change very quickly so I won’t comment on future plans that are too distant but in near terms we want to replicate our services - that have been successful in domestic market – in international telecom operators. Work has already started on those lines.

The advent of the e-commerce boom brought about a paradigm shift in operations in varied sectors across the globe. Just as any novel force stands to challenge the status quo of the traditional ways, e-commerce disrupted various businesses including the apparel retail industry. As per the latest KSA Technopak Report, while India’s GDP is likely to grow by 7%, the apparel retail sector is expected to grow by CAGR of 9.7% for next 10 years.

Back in 2014, the Morgan Stanley Report had predicted the e-commerce growth at 37% CAGR that is close to USD 13bn for the year 2018. The prediction is very well coming true! Apparel e-commerce has eventually grown by 45% CAGR in the last 5 years and is expected to take on the value of a whooping 7bn - 8bn by 2020. The numbers in the reports, while being clearly indicative of where the apparel sector is headed, also speak volumes about the unprecedented growth of the apparel e-commerce segment. Of course, it can be argued that there is no disparity between what proportions of sales are coming from increased consumption and what are stemming from the share of the retail industry. But, the argument doesn’t stand to change the consumption trend or consumer preference and their growing lean towards apparel e-commerce.

However, the retail sector has also brought about significant changes in keeping with the evolving trends and preferences and the landscape at large. Retail spaces are taking innovative measures to attract the customers and give them a comprehensive shopping experience. Let’s dive deep into how the impact of e-commerce is re-shaping the apparel retail industry.

Omni / Endless Aisle

I have always believed in the amalgamation of virtual endless aisle inside retail stores, which is simply making available interactive tabs and surfaces for the consumer to pick and choose, customize and even have the product delivered at their doorstep. The retail space makes the selection process easier for the customer and adds to the whole experience of receiving endless options, to making purchases from the store as well as opting for customizations and home-delivery of products through the virtual experience. Stores are looking at various versions of implementing such practices to deliver a better customer service.

Personalization

Store managers and staff leverage their direct connection with the consumer to deliver truly personalized recommendations. Brands also take educating and training the store managers and staff seriously. The customer gets to try on clothes based on their body-types and accordingly ask for required garments to make purchases on-the-spot. The whole activity stands to be a major differentiator that continues to pull customers into the retail space.

Discount Parity

Today, brands have become extra cautious that the discounts they offer in-store and on the brand’s e-commerce platform match each other. This new practice now directly translates to higher discount rates in the retail stores; it has brought about the consumer to believe that the offerings post-discounts are available at more or less similar price-points, as on the brand’s e-commerce portal. As a result, there is a shift in consumer bias toward e-commerce, who are now also seen browsing retail stores during discount periods.

Newer Markets

E-commerce came and won over consumers, including those in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns who may not have access to certain brands available in the cities. However, when e-commerce proved the sales potential in these cities, brands were quick to open their retail outlets in these regions since the market was already being built by e-commerce, and they could then leverage the standing through retail outlets.

Mall Culture

E-commerce obviously creates the convenience of buying from home and hence, footfalls drop in physical stores. To overcome that particular challenge, malls are carrying out on-ground activations, discounts, compelling events such as food fiestas and offering crèche facilities as well as indoor play areas for kids, all of which assists with attracting consumers. During festivals like Diwali or Christmas, malls also have local celebrities visit stores. Brands happily partner with the malls to create a buzz and deliver a luxurious experience to encourage more footfalls in stores.

Rationalised Rentals

Indian retail rentals have been one of the highest in the world, and that is gradually changing. It is interesting to witness the numerous sectors e-commerce has impacted. With a drop in footfalls at retail stores owing to e-commerce, the rentals are being renegotiated and moreover, are now being linked with sales. The practice has marginally reduced the pressure from the brands, and profitability is not as deeply impacted.

Dropped Prices

E-commerce assists local manufacturers to reach out to potential buyers across the country/world at once. This gives consumers the choice to receive great value and infinite options with hundreds of manufacturers reaching out to them. Inadvertently, premium brands have to retain or reduces prices; and while margins do come under pressure, brands are hopeful that it will always add up to corresponding sales.

In a nutshell, the consumer has emerged as the king, with heavy discounts on e-commerce platforms, as well as with privileges in-store and a more refined shopping experience at malls. It is certainly a major win for the consumers, while the brands, manufacturers and the supply chain at large grapple and adapts with the evolution of the landscape to deliver more value to the customer and maintain its standing in the markets.

 

Authored by Vipul Mathur, Brand Marketing Expert and Brand Head, SKULT

Yes, to come straight the point, one has to feel it intrinsically and be conscious of the feeling. Today, I will talk about what exactly is Client Servicing and are we tending to lose its essence.

Being involved with almost all departments of a corporate set up , start-ups and having worked in individual capacity, in big teams, small teams, collaborating, firefighting, brainstorming, I realized that there are two essential things that evolved in this process. One is ‘adaptability’ to various environments and mindsets , second is ‘communication’ with both internal and external stakeholders. Deep down, we all know and recognize that the concept is one of the most key elements for any business and the best part, the conscious effort to indulge helps make one evolve as a better human being as well

In daily lives, talks, panel discussions, we usually refrain from talking about this simple subject- Client Support| Customer Support| Customer Service – whatever term we relate to. Why do we talk about it less? Well, I believe one - we probably don’t want to talk about it because it does not actually have an algorithm. And yes, the thought that how do we measure it? What KPI’s do we put? How do we improve it? And second - because it may be something that is taken for granted

What is it?

My experience says – Customer service is understanding and memorizing of all your business relationships to the extent that you can anticipate the stimulus vs response gap, the thin line between a followup and irritating followup along with the ability to withhold sending good morning messages every morning but not missing to drop in a ‘hello, hope you are doing well’ on important dates and casually in between without any business objective till the moment that will come when a conversation has better chances of converting. I do not believe in good or bad memory. If we really want to remember something, we do find a methodology. It’s the effort that lacks to keep the thread intact at all times, in all times zones. Well, that’s why laptops and mobiles were invented in the first place – to keep connected where we want and where we should.

And since it’s Kali-Yug, so in the process if it entails you to sell something – thumb rule- don’t sell- just be assertive and bring in the reason (a) why is the timing right to invest (b) what problem we will aim to solve (c) here is the reason why they should (d) ‘Main Hoon Na’

I have come across client servicing representatives who at times closed a deal just on the basis of the trust, right questions and convincing without sounding that you are trying to convince,

How can we get better at it?

Again, don’t try to define the next level. Feel the next level. It is a ‘high’ getting to know the pulse of your clients. How to speak with each one of them, how to engage each one of them, how to build trust , when and where to empathize, how to articulate yet speak from the heart, that even if they are not able to take your call, they will ensure they call you back. The next level is - think hospitality and observe carefully. Be an observer. Whenever I go out to hotels, restaurants of any kind, I get to learn each time. Allow me to share two restaurant experiences in brief.

A famous Chinese joint in Delhi. One thing I noticed apart from extremely well presented food and courteous staff, the one staff who was allocated to my table, he was at such a comfortable distance and not staring but making sure, he exactly knew when to come with a pleasant smile and ask what I wanted and what he could do better to serve. This happened 3 times, flawlessly where I did not need to signal him to come to my table. What went good? To me, he is an observer, someone who takes waiting on tables from the heart and someone who has trained himself to understand the pulse of various customers. Second experience- an Italian joint in San Diego, this person comes and greets me in an exuberant yet graceful way, engaging me in a conversation whole three minutes till he found me the table of my choice, not before he took me around the restaurant for a quick tour. In the process he asked me some 4 to 5 questions which I realized later was to understand me more in those minutes, make me feel at home and make me want to expect more on next level service that I was about to experience. That’s daring and then he comes and talks me confidently into freezing down on 3 options (he knew my taste buds during that initial conversation. I ordered one but asked him if they could customize the dish slightly. He told me with a beam on his face which was something like – Indeed, it would be good for our kitchen to have the opportunity to customize this dish for you in whatever way you may want. He nailed it .

How do we measure it?

That’s the deal. A process of 360 degree feedback internally and externally. The world of servicing is building relationships so deep and it should be deep. If there is any expectation to be built here, it is this – what can I do to make this relationship better and last longer and longer. The fact is actual businesses may not happen every day (except the share market), either ways it works on trust and takes bit of time as it is a process, however it is entirely up to the individual how fast one wants to weave this. Making your Network Your NetWorth is the mantra.

Where to draw the line?

This gets tricky, however, not very difficult. First -don’t get into personal space or lives unless your client lets you get into it. Second - respect the time, not go talking on and on. Third – You will only be able to do the second point well you have clarity of thought along with punctuation marks in your mind along with the pace at which you speak. Fourth- Soft skills- primary of these skills is one basic, that is first ask if it is a convenient time to speak, or how much time you are meaning to take on the call. Fixing up prior is usually better wherever possible. Fifth – Summarize the discussion so that both parties are clear . I have seen many people prefer leaving items open ended may be because of some fear factor. But my take- close, close, close conversations. Ideally, knowing your shot

Is this for everyone and anyone?

This is for anyone who wants to indulge in it. However, not for everyone. Solution providers and people with little bit of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have better chances of imbibing.

Today, we do not see any industry that this concept has not touched or imbibed upon. Maruti, Microsoft are great examples and many more in different verticals. In very large setups a department is definitely required, however, in the essence of the concept I see it as Feel. Unless one feels this, one can’t discover and evolve in this. It begins by developing your own Unique Relationship Proposition (URP rather than USP)

Clarity of Thought, Direction, Pace and Agility is a lethal combination

As Steve Jobs maintains – Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. So, one should stay coachable, have a solution driven approach and be ready to work like a ‘commando’ or collaborate with people wherever it may be required. That’s because client servicing is not just about a term that is used- if done right, it has tremendous potential to build business around the centripetal force of Return on Relationship. As someone said - Nothing worth having comes easy. Have patience and keep working towards it honestly.

If you have any such great stories, examples of real customer service experience, please do share with me on twitter @ankurnow

And to everyone going through any struggle or pain right now, keep your head up with a smile. You will grow through it.

 

Written by Ankoor Dasguupta, Vice President for Marketing, Brand Solutions and Special Projects at SHEROES Brand Solutions and Special Projects.

Influencer marketing is a powerful tactic that targets consumers where they already spend much of their time: social media. Globally speaking, Instagram is the primary platform for many influencer-brand campaigns, but it's hardly the only one.

Take China, for example. Most of the major international social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, are banned by the government. That means that the country's influencers hold court on local services, of which Weibo and WeChat are the most popular.

And in the DACH region—which includes Austria, Germany and Switzerland—Instagram and YouTube are neck and neck, at least in terms of influencer marketing spending. According to Goldmedia data, sponsored content on the two platforms accounted for 34% and 31% of total influencer revenues in 2017, respectively.

Spending figures don't always tell the whole story. While Goldmedia took into account both monetary and nonmonetary compensation, such as product gifting, influencers may charge a premium for a post on a certain platform, which could inflate its share of spending.

But those findings make sense when looking at where consumers in the region follow influencers. According to a March 2018 survey by M Science for Wavemaker, social media users in Germany were just as likely to follow an influencer on YouTube as they were Instagram, each cited by 73% of respondents. Roughly half said they followed influencers on Facebook.

That said, the importance of Instagram for influencer campaigns is rising in nearly every market worldwide.

In a February 2018 survey by influencer marketing agency Activate, 88.9% of worldwide influencers said they were using Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns more than they did one year ago. Excluding posts on their feeds, Instagram Stories was the most popular tactic used for sponsored campaigns.

Instagram's rising popularity for influencer campaigns goes hand in hand with the platform's strong user growth, as marketers tend to go where their customers are.

India is one example of that. According to our latest forecast, the number of Instagram users in the country grew by an explosive 123% in 2017—the fastest growth rate worldwide. So it's no surprise that 78% of influencers in India cited Instagram as the platform that would rise in importance for influencer marketing this year, according to a December 2017 survey from influencer marketing agency Buzzoka.

Overall, we expect the number of worldwide Instagram users to rise by 18.4% to 714.4 million in 2018. Sweden will have the highest Instagram user penetration rate in the world, at 68.9% of social network users, followed by Indonesia (62.8%) and Norway (57.7%).

In the latest episode of "Behind the Numbers," eMarketer's Jasmine Enberg and Debra Aho Williamson provide an overview of the global state of influencer marketing, including spending, top platforms and the role of influencers in the path to purchase. "Behind the Numbers" is sponsored by Mower.

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