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Arab billionaires have a combined net worth of $76.7 billion.

Egyptian, Nassef Sawiris, tops the list with an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion.

There are 31 Arab billionaires, 7 of which are from the U.A.E. and 7 from Lebanon.

No Saudi billionaires feature in the 2018 list.

Forbes Middle East is uncovering the Arab billionaires that have been revealed in the 2018 Forbes US Global Billionaires ranking. The 31 mega-wealthy Arab business tycoons have a combined estimated net worth of $76.7 billion.

Construction and chemical tycoon, Nassef Sawiris, tops the list with an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion. He is followed by three Emirati business moguls—Abdullah Al Ghurair, Majid Al Futtaim and Hussain Sajwani, with an estimated net worth of $5.9 billion, $4.6 billion and $4.1 billion respectively.

None of the previous year’s Saudi billionaires made it to this year’s rankings.

This year Forbes US chose to abstain Saudi Arabia billionaires from the list due to reports revolving around their asset seizures. Last year Saudi billionaires were worth $42.1 billion, this year they were expected to be worth more considering the rise in oil prices and capital markets globally.

As a result, the total wealth of Arab billionaires has fallen from $123.4 billion to $76.7 billion, and 11 have dropped off the charts: last year there were 42; today there are 31.

Booz Allen Hamilton has been included on Fortune magazine’s prestigious list of “The World’s Most Admired Companies” for the seventh consecutive year. Described as “the definitive report card on corporate reputations,” the list is based on responses drawn from 3,900 executives, analysts, directors, and experts.

The rankings are determined based on nine key performance areas, from investment value and quality of management and products to social responsibility and ability to attract talent. According to Fortune, the companies included represent “the pinnacle of excellence.”

Once more, Booz Allen ranked third in the Information Technology sector. The firm was specifically recognized for Innovation, People Management, and Social Responsibility.

“Booz Allen believes deeply in the power of our diverse, values-driven workforce to change the world,” said Chief People Officer Betty Thompson. “Every day, our talented people harness collective ingenuity to achieve great things for our clients, colleagues and communities and we are proud to have received this recognition.”


Sunday, 25 February 2018 00:00

Megha Tata, Chief Operating Officer, BTVI

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. 

A large chunk of India’s population lies on the outskirts of the formal economy. Living in far-flung corners of the country, illiteracy and a lack of connectivity are common reasons why consumers in these areas remain unbanked. Moreover, banks in rural areas are few and far in-between, making it difficult for many people to reach them during working hours.

The government, however, is making efforts to broaden financial inclusion and has recently introduced several programmes to address these obstacles, including Jan Dhan Yojana and Smart Cities.

Impetus provided by Demonetisation

In November 2016, the government announced the demonetisation of high-value currency in India, leading to prolonged cash shortages and disruption in the economy. While there were several objectives behind the demonetisation, increased digitisation and the integration of the formal and informal economies were among those that began to take shape. The shortage of hard cash for daily purchases led to the quick adoption of e-payment portals, e-wallets and digital transactions. Additionally, the cash volatility encouraged people to warm up to the concept of payments banks.

This adoption of digital transactions, however, was primarily taking place in the urban areas, largely because companies enabling digital transactions, like e-wallets, e-portals etc. hadn’t covered rural areas till then. As a result, consumers in the hinterland felt the effects of demonetisation more severely. In fact, as much as 38% of the rural population didn’t even have bank accounts.

The Domestic Remittance Opportunity For The Rural Economy

Remittance, or the transfer of money between two people (rather than a payment for goods or services), is a basic financial activity for many rural Indians; it’s also a key untapped business opportunity for players looking to facilitate the abundance of money transfers. Payments banks can provide a ready solution to the current domestic remittance scenario. There are 120 million migrant workers in India, and more than 80% live in the inadequately connected rural areas. Additionally, migrants who hail from villages but work in towns and cities make 80% of the country’s domestic remittances.

According to the National Remote Payments Survey by National Council of Applied Economic Research, and additional insights using Nielsen’s forecasting technique, domestic remittance in India is valued at more than INR 900 billion per year, including non-traditional modes of transfer. Rural India’s contribution is over INR 700 billion per year.

Of the INR 700 billion worth of domestic remittances that happen in rural India, traditional channels comprise a mere 40%, or INR 300 billion. The rest of the remittance happens via non-traditional remittance modes. Given the high risk of non-traditional remittance modes, there is a huge scope to expand traditional remittance avenues like payments banks.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 00:00

Disrupt the status quo in order to grow

Recently I wrote a piece for Brand Matters, our monthly review of what is new in the world of brand marketing, about the need to break out of the comfort zone. In this post I thought I would explore a few different examples of how a brand found growth beyond the edge of the comfort zone.

My observation of the few brands that grew over five years suggests that they all did something disruptive, something that changed the way they served customers, went to market or communicated with their target audience. These brands were not simply repeating a marginally different version of what they did the previous year, but doing something radically different based as a result of anticipating their customers’ needs, wants and desires.

The most obvious example of disruption is the launch of the Apple iPhone and because it is so obvious I am not going to dwell on it other than to say that it was a classic example of functional innovation that changed consumer expectations and disrupted an established category. However, too many of us get fixated on the idea that innovation only applies to a brand’s product or service. So let’s have a quick look at some other innovative and disruptive activities.

I love the example of Clear shampoo in Japan. As a lesser-known brand focused on scalp care Clear had a big challenge if it was to grow through traditional B2C marketing. Recognizing that the existing game was stacked against them, the brand team decided to change it and sell to corporations not consumers. Its Headgear Cover Plan encouraged companies to supply Clear shampoo to those who had to wear headgear at work, like firemen, food prep and construction workers. The Headgear-Cover Plan campaign added 70,900 employees as new users, seven times the target, and e-commerce sales rose by 171 percent over the duration of the campaign compared to the previous year.

My media colleagues are always reminding me that the medium is also the message. And it is true, but when media budgets are often set well in advance of implementation it can sometimes be difficult to something different from last year. However, Jane Ostler, Global Media Domain Lead, Insights Division at Kantar, reminded me of the example of Burberry, the first luxury brand to livestream their catwalk shows, one of the first to enable shopping from Instagram and try out short form ads on Snapchat.

Then there is the example of Ariel detergent in India. How can you break out of the status quo in a highly competitive market? Find a compelling new purpose that will help the brand make a positive change in society. The campaign sought to highlight the gender inequality that meant men did not do their share of household tasks. Videos that contrasted the attitudes and behavior of men and women were augmented by creative use of messaging on packaging and wash care labels with different instructions provided for men and women. Ariel’s ‘Share the Load’ campaign encouraged 1.57 million men to pledge to share the load and Ariel grew value sales by 106 percent.

If you want to grow a brand you have to do something different from the norm, something innovative that disrupts the status quo. Can you think of any other examples of disruption, other than functional innovation, which resulted in strong growth?


Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown.

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