17 May 2022 23:20

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Thriving on the success of the previous events, Society for Technology Management is holding its annual meet, STEM Annual Summit on 26th and 27th November, 2015 in Hyderabad, India. The STEM summit is differentiated as the only platform in India for technology transfer professionals across industry and academia.

The annual summit supports technology transfer professionals in their endeavor to accelerate commercialization of innovation.  As in the past, the two day event will converge all stakeholders in the evolving innovation ecosystem in India including policymakers and public funders, academicians, industry representatives, technology transfer and intellectual property professionals from India and abroad.

The summit also aims to bridge the gap between industry and academia in India and provides an exclusive podium for interaction between researchers and industry professionals.  It provides a powerful networking and professional development platform for researchers to learn about funding opportunities and product development imperatives to enhance commercialization opportunity and provides industry professionals much needed knowledge of efforts in Indian institutions. The 2015 summit also includes a Technology Showcasing event with participation from several leading R&D institutions.

Mr. K. Vijayaraghavan, Honorary President of STEM says, “The technology licensing professionals are transforming the landscape of innovation acceleration in India. STEM annual meetings provide IP management and Technology Licensing Professionals the needed technical and strategic exposure while triggering enormous opportunity for Professional networking and engagement,”

CouponDunia, India's leading destination for coupons and discounts, today announced the appointment of Krishna Iyer as Vice President-Revenue. He will be responsible for accelerating sales, expanding the reach and ensuring brand’s overall growth.

Krishna Iyer comes to CouponDunia with an impressive 12 years’ experience in Sales, Account Management, Strategy & Leadership experience of which 10 years have been in the digital space. Prior to joining CouponDunia, Krishna Iyer was AVP – Media Sales at Quikr.com and was responsible for evangelizing, building web and mobile revenue properties. His mandate was to create a monetization stream that was media and brand centric.

On his appointment, Mr. Sameer Parwani, CEO, CouponDunia said, "Krishna will be instrumental in driving CouponDunia's next phase of growth with his robust expertise in sales and strategy. His prior experience working in key roles at two rapidly expanding start-ups makes him well suited to the challenges ahead at CouponDunia. We are excited to have him on board."

Upon being asked of his association with CouponDunia- “Online coupons and its usage is growing extremely fast in India and CouponDunia is leading this change. This role will give me a chance to interact with brands across verticals and offer them online and offline reach that CouponDunia enjoys and showcase this platform as an effective marketing channel. I look forward to working with CouponDunia and helping build a sustainable and targetable customer outreach brand” says Iyer.

​​Prior to Quikr.com, he was the youngest member of the leadership team and as VP – Media Partnerships, he lead the ad sales and affiliate partnership functions at ixigo.com. His earlier work experiences include customer-centric companies such as DirectI, Firewall and Komli Media. Krishna Iyer is a Management Graduate from Mumbai University where he specialized in Marketing and also holds a Diploma in Event Management.

Thursday, 03 September 2015 00:00

Zee TV Canada now available on Jadoo TV

Becomes the most subscribed South Asian network in Canada

Zee TV, the No.1 South Asian Network will now be available on Jadoo TV in Canada. The company has reached a subscriber licensing agreement for its flagship networks Zee TV Canada, Zee Punjabi and Zee Cinema with Jadoo TV. Beginning September 1st 2015, the three ZEE networks will be available to all Jadoo TV subscribers in Canada. Zee TV Canada is currently available on all satellite, cable, telco and IPTV platforms and, is one of the fastest growing international channels in Canada. Zee TV Canada will be available in High Definition to all Jadoo TV subscribers.

“Canada is one of the fastest growing markets for us. Our business has more than tripled in the last two years. This move helps us to further consolidate our position in the market. Jadoo TV has been one of the pioneers in over-the-top play, which has been the fastest growing category of access”, added Sameer Targe, General Manager, Asia TV USA Ltd.

“We're excited about bringing Zee TV channels to the largest South Asian viewership base in Canada on JadooTV. Zee TV is not only popular amongst the Indian diaspora in Canada, but also has great appeal amongst the greater South Asian community. The addition of Zee TV, Zee Cinema, and Zee Punjabi will enhance our entertainment offering, making JadooTV the best value for end users. With this agreement, Jadoo TV has further cemented its position as the market leader in the OTT space for South Asian diaspora worldwide" said Sajid Sohail, Founder & CEO of JadooTV, Inc.

In 2013, DS Group launched a new brand of mouth freshener, the “Rajnigandha Silver Pearls” - saffron blended, silver coated cardamom seeds. The launch campaign of “Rajnigandha Silver Pearls” was built on “goodness”, and the communication, “Achchai ki ek alag chamak hoti hai” (goodness that shines) was a category first. Now, while the campaign was extremely successful, the TV commercial featuring Priyanka Chopra won many hearts; not to forget, its background score “Dilbada to tubada” was also widely appreciated.

Now “Rajnigandha Silver Pearls” is back again with a new campaign that features brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra in a beautiful avatar. While the previous campaign introduced “Achchai ki ek alag chamak” as a communication concept, the new campaign takes it forward and reaffirms the philosophy as a distinct positioning of “Rajnigandha Silver Pearls”.

The film

In the film, Priyanka Chopra introspects about herself as she descends on a majestic staircase of a grand hotel. She deliberates on how people talk ill of her. The film ends with a simple, spontaneous act of kindness where she helps a hotel staff member. With this, she deduces what goodness is actually about – not what people say, but what you do.

Says Rajeev Jain, Associate Vice President, DS Group, “The brand  story of Rajnigandha Silver Pearls is hinged on the tagline ‘Goodness that shines or ‘Achahai ki ek alag chamak hoti hai’, which articulates the goodness of  this great tasting  product  enhanced by the shining silver coating.  The new campaign with brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra also weaves a story around the same theme reinforcing the message; let the goodness of your heart shine forth, yet again. Leveraging on the success of the initial campaign and the growing product demand, this new integrated campaign is being launched on TV, Radio, Digital, Cinemas and in BTL space.”

Says Titus Upputuru, National Creative Director, Dentsu Marcom, “This time, just like the previous campaign, we are carrying forward the same brand message of “Dil bada to tu bada” through a shocking story that shows the brand face- Priyanka Chopra, indulge in a self-depreciating monologue, emphasizing that at the end of the day, it is only what you do that matters. Priyanka Chopra played a sport and criticized herself through the film.”

Vishal Mittal, Senior Creative Director, Dentsu Marcom says, “People have opinions and Judgment is something none of us can avoid. In the film, Priyanka Chopra wonders why people misconstrue her only to rationalize that as long as she is good in her actions, it doesn’t matter how people think or talk. Her belief is reinforced when she helps someone purely out of kindness.”

On the overall campaign

Extensive TV, Radio, Digital, Print, Outdoor, POP campaigns have been developed to extend the thought of ‘Achchai ki ek alag chamak hoti hai’. National dailies and magazines have been used in the media and the hoardings across the nation, at key locations have been used.

Credits :

National Creative Director: Titus Upputuru

Creative Team:  Titus Upputuru, Jitendra Kaushik, Vishal Mittal, Vivek Verma

Account Management: Sunita Prakash, Payal Dhawan, Ayesha Mehra

Planning: Rabia Sooch

Director of the film: Llyod Baptista

Director of Photography: Tassaduq

Producer: Ishaan, Amit

Music: Hanif Shaikh

Photography (print): Prasad Naik

Producer (print): Allan

Thursday, 03 September 2015 00:00

The Three Steps of Successful Turnarounds

When companies find themselves in distress, turnarounds are one way to set them back on track. But turnarounds are messy and getting them right is no easy task.

It was November 2010 when Sankar Krishnan, managing director at the global professional services firm Alvarez and Marsal (A&M) and Nikhil Shah a senior director of the firm were called in to investigate claims of irregular activities allegedly involving the senior management of a textile manufacturer in India. The seriousness and potential impact of the allegations from a former employee meant they had to tread very carefully. They decided on a covert operation, since it was unclear who was trustworthy at the company and given that a direct approach might have led to evidence being destroyed that could be crucial to the investigation.

After a corporate investigations firm did an initial check and found some substance to the allegations, Shah and Krishnan decided that they first had to mount a swift takeover of the top management to get a handle on the business and the allegations. Krishnan assembled an interim management team and a forensic team to conduct investigations.

After meticulously planning every step of the takeover, the company’s CEO and CFO were invited to what they thought was a regular board meeting. They were immediately suspended, along with three other senior managers implicated in the accusations.

An interim Alvarez & Marsal management team was sent to the company’s headquarters, where they realised the full extent of the task ahead: plant equipment was obsolete; costs of raw materials were soaring; the brand was tired; long overdue payments were coming in at irregular intervals; there was no systematic or scientific inventory management. The challenge was multifaceted and daunting.

Over the years, Krishnan and Shah have implemented successful turnaround strategies in many struggling companies around the world. This particular case was no exception – in fact they assured me it was far from being their most challenging they had seen in their professional careers. In an interview on the case study of this turnaround, I asked them how they start when they first enter a turnaround situation and how they get a company back on its feet.

Getting to Grips with the Situation

“Cash is king”, Krishnan explained. “The first thing you want to do is get to grips with the liquidity of the business. This entails finding out exactly where cash is coming from, how much is coming in, how much is going out, and figuring out how to maximise incoming cash flows. This is crucial, since it ensures that there is enough cash to keep the business going, and buys management time to think ahead and gives them space to maneuver.”

The second step according to Shah is to determine where operational improvements can immediately be made. “We usually try and identify which aspects of the production process can be improved, and where productivity gains can be made. Where possible we also try to identify where wastage can be reduced, and search for better suppliers.”

Finally, the third step entails implementing the short-term turnaround plan. Shah and Krishnan typically spend the first 30-60 days designing a plan around what the business drivers should be going forward, taking into account the stakeholder issues, customer issues and potentially new methods to introduce to improve processes.

However each case is unique, and while these methods are broadly applicable to most cases, there are other company- or country-specific factors that must be taken into account.

Dealing with Stakeholders

Local culture (whether company culture or national culture) is one such factor. In the US, the top-down approach and fast decision-making style sits well with managers and employees; plus the court system is strict and bankruptcy procedures are orderly. “You are then working with secured lenders who really have control of the company” said Krishnan.

But in markets such as India, “upward of 70 percent of the businesses are owned by the founder so you have to have a very consensual agreement with the promoter…we may have the title of “chief restructuring officer” but if we can’t work wih or through the CEO or the chairman, nothing will get done”.”

Employees, suppliers, creditors and customers add to the complexity of executing a turnaround. “It’s very, very important to over-communicate in these situations. You have various stakeholders who can all put a stop to what you’re doing if they want to. Over time, once you build up the confidence and credibility with them, everyone starts moving in the right direction. But in the beginning communication is critical,” said Shah.

Communication is one of the key skills companies like A&M look for in the people they hire. Shah and Krishnan also share that analytical capability, objectivity and the ability to build consensus are essential skills to make a career in the turnaround industry. The ability to carry people and sell the plan can be adapted to most situations despite the varying degrees of distress A&M consultants find themselves involved in.

Warnings signs - The Writing on the Wall for Companies

In their experience, Shah and Krishnan point to a few key warning signs that a business is heading for distress. First, when an organisation expands into areas that distract it from its core business, capital and resources can be allocated to the wrong places and cause its cash flow to dry up. Krishnan cites the story of two brothers who ran an ink-manufacturing company. They decided to go into the aircraft leasing business and ended up losing €120 million. Secondly, expanding into unknown geographies without enough preparation or understanding of local conditions, which can often cause debt to build up and cash generation to suffer. Thirdly, assuming that things don’t need to change as long as the company is generating revenue. There are always things that can improve, from cash flow to operational efficiency. Companies that have become complacent are often those that end up in turnaround situations.

 

Authored by Claudia Zeisberger, INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Decision Sciences and Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

Source: INSEAD

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