57 episodes

MVP, The Master's Voice Podcast features expert conversations with the Most Valuable Players / Professionals / People from media, marketing and other areas of industry, in conversation with Pavan R Chawla, Founder Editor of MediaBrief.com. These are MVP conversations with actionable insights and learnings.

MVP - THE MASTERS' VOICE PODCAST - MEDIABRIEF Pavan R Chawla

    • Business

MVP, The Master's Voice Podcast features expert conversations with the Most Valuable Players / Professionals / People from media, marketing and other areas of industry, in conversation with Pavan R Chawla, Founder Editor of MediaBrief.com. These are MVP conversations with actionable insights and learnings.

    Paritosh Joshi responds on TRAI’s NTO 2.0 Consultation Paper: You are doing a public disservice. It’s time you cut our losses

    Paritosh Joshi responds on TRAI’s NTO 2.0 Consultation Paper: You are doing a public disservice. It’s time you cut our losses

    This, the 57th episode of the award-winning MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast, features industry veteran Paritosh Joshi- Principal at Provocateur Advisory, in conversation with Pavan R Chawla, Founder-Editor of MediaBrief.com. and we disuss TRAI's 'regulation of the broadcast sector in general and its most recent consultaion paper on the travesty called NTO 2.0 in particular.
    The TRAI report card, says Paritosh, has been a litany of failure right from the first mandate it received, till today. Across its 25 years so far, Paritosh says what TRAI has -- unlike the OfComs and other bodies of the world -- is authority without responsibility.
    We discuss TRAI’s ‘regulation’ of the broadcast sector in general, and its most recent consultation paper seeking inputs and guidance on the travesty called  NTO 2.0. The straight-talking, richly experienced ‘Provocateur’ Paritosh, who has been helping empower industry bodies like ASCI and the Media Research Users Council MRUC, and has been President and Head of Sales and Distribution at India’s top network, the Star Network, brings to our discussion knowledge and insights from a rich and proven professional career.
    At  this point in time, after a quarter century of its deleterious misadventure with broadcast regulation,   the industry too would likely want to repeat Paritosh’s words as a message to TRAI: 'You are now doing a public disservice, and it is about time you cut our losses. Please don’t do any more disservice… Ab to jaan chhordo yaar! (at least now, spare us, please!)'. That, says Paritosh, is basically what nobody has been able to tell TRAI in as many words so far
    We discuss TRAI’s performance as a broadcast regulator, and Paritosh responds to some of the questions in the consultation paper.  And shares several thoughts about TRAI’s ‘capability’ and multiple failures across 25 years of intrusive ineptitude as a regulator of the broadcast sector.
    TRAI, Paritosh says, has failed the broadcast sector because it is a regulator that was designed for working on a commodity style of product, telecom, and not a highly differentiated style of product which is what Broadcasting is all about. And which is utterly alien to TRAI’s vocabulary. TRAI tried to force-fit the telecom regulatory style to the broadcast sector, and they failed it.
    In fact, even the very first job TRAI was tasked with by a judicial body – that of implementing CAS in India, TRAI failed in, in spectacular fashion: CAS never happened.  It is instructive, Paritosh says,  that after more than two decades of being the accidental broadcast regulator, one has to look closely for the term ‘broadcast’ in the official TRAI presence and will find it only if one digs deep into their website.
    Paritosh recalls that  around 10-odd years ago, TRAI had asked for interoperability of set top boxes. But like everything they have ever asked for, that too never happened. Because, Paritosh believes, “…What (TRAI) asks for, at the time when they ask for it, is so preposterous, it can’t happen! So theirs has been a litany of failures! Enough already! How many Ds can a guy get in his CGPI solo that he’s not allowed to be in a class?”
    At  this point in time, after a quarter century of its deleterious misadventure with broadcast regulation,   the industry too would likely want to repeat Paritosh’s words as a message to TRAI: You are now doing a public disservice, and it is about time you cut our losses. Please don’t do any more disservice… Ab to jaan chhordo yaar! (at least now, spare us, please!)
    Paritosh hopes that at some point, wide heads would prevail (in TRAI) and come out and say, ‘Look, we’re not cut out for this. Somebody shoved it down our throats once upon a time. We tried manfully to do as&

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Exclusive | Ronnie Screwvala - Chairperson & Co-Founder - upGrad: Fixated on Building to Outlast. On MVP - The Master's Voice

    Exclusive | Ronnie Screwvala - Chairperson & Co-Founder - upGrad: Fixated on Building to Outlast. On MVP - The Master's Voice

    The 56th episode of  MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast series, features Ronnie Screwvala - Chairperson & Co-Founder of upGrad,  and the wonderful first-generation Indian entrepreneur, philanthropist, opinion leader and  author and a truly remarkable and inspiring, visionary enterprise leader who exemplifies the MVP acronym of Most Valuable Player in our podcast series title.
    Along with upGrad, which  zeroes in on the massive Online Education market and the fact that Learning for every working professional is now a lifelong commitment, Ronnie also co-founded The Swades Foundation (along with his wife Zarina), which is committed to empowering one million lives in rural India every 5-7 years through a 360 degree model spanning Water, Sanitation, Health, Education and Livelihood,  to help lift them out of poverty permanently.
    These initiatives stemmed from Ronnie’s desire to deepen his commitment to making India a better place through a focus on two of the largest sunrise sectors - Online Education & the not-for-profit rural / social space.
    In this episode, which will benefit startups and investors alike, Ronnie shares rich insights on a gamut of areas, from a beautiful mid point between investor and startup owner, but that’s just the point he speaks from. Ronnie’s words, as anyone who knows him, are pure, direct, plain-speak, sans any mincing.
    From the perspective of someone who has built and is scaling a global enterprise like the remarkable UpGrad, Ronnie speaks about the macro picture in the EdTech space, and  shares his views on whether he believes money talks during the phase of building a business when investors and capital seem to be the most important thing.
    On his clear vision and plan for upGrad over the next 3 to 5 years, and whether he will merge, sell or list, Ronnie says he is absolutely fixated on Building upGrad to not just last, but to outlast. That is a total and complete commitment, and while listing might be an option, he says selling never was, and never will be. On the fact that India has crossed 100 unicorns, Ronnie speaks of the need to be balanced between the champagne of celebration and the deep thought of introspection. He believes it is incorrect to assume that for K12, which has been the darling of everyone from investors to media to consumers, the honeymoon is over because the K12 model built by companies so far is under stress -- purely because there is a massive opportunity for K12 in India.
    Ronnie shares how, despite having raised the least amount of cash, UpGrad has scaled very well with only a little capital. He shares his vision and approach, and his view on if, with more capital, UpGrad would have been at a different scale than it is at present.
    His answer to a pointed question about the rumors about Byju’s - there was a hard hitting BBC prog on their model - and how many feel their valuations are not sustainable and so will the poster boy of indian EdTech have a wakening? – is truly statesman-like and insightful.
    He agrees that overall, EdTech has been getting a poor name of late - first with aggressive sales from K12 players, then layoffs and even some talk on governance issues and accuracy of numbers with some. Does Ronnie see this impacting the sector as a whole? Listen in to find out.
    Ronnie’s reply to why upGrad has been very choosy in the investors it has taken on Board, even though Mayank and he still own more than 60% of the Company, and how come he does not have the Tigers Sequoia and Softbanks of the world on his cap table, contains some of the best and most useful guidance for one and all, from the mastermind.
    On his clear vision and plan for upGrad over the next 3 to 5 years, and whether he will merge, sell or list, Ronnie says he is absolutely fixated on Building upGrad to not just last, but to outlast. That is

    • 56 min
    Dr Mukund Rajan – Chairman ECube Investment Advisors: Profit with Purpose, Trust, Integrity on MVP - The Masters Voice Podcast

    Dr Mukund Rajan – Chairman ECube Investment Advisors: Profit with Purpose, Trust, Integrity on MVP - The Masters Voice Podcast

    Dr Mukund Rajan, Chairman at ECube Investment Advisors Private Limited, is in conversation with MediaBrief.com Founder-Editor Pavan R Chawla in this, the 55th Episode of the award-winning MVP - The Master's Voice Podcast series.
    Mukund's firm  ECube Investment Advisors Private Limited focusses on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in India. Mukund also enjoys the distinction of having been the First Brand Custodian of the Tata Group. Till 2019, he was Chief Ethics Officer and Chairman, Tata Global Sustainability Council. In 2007, the World Economic Forum honoured Dr Rajan as a Young Global Leader.
    The conversation with Dr Mukund Rajan
    In this episode, Mukund, who has been doing stellar work through ECube (scroll down for a bit of a deeper dive on ECube),  speaks about his varied, rich and enabling experiences from years of working with the Tata group, and most notably, directly with the great Rata Tata himself, right from Day One. (Mukund got picked even though he said to Mr Tata he was an IIT engineering graduate with a PhD from Harvard, but had no MBA, and Mr Tata's reply is extremely interesting). We go through the excellent story of Mukund's experiences, learnings and growth from management trainee to Managing Director, and the group's first Brand Custodian.
    Mukund also speaks of how values and purpose were inextricably, naturally, hardwired into the Tata Group's DNA, with Mr Rata Tata himself leading and inspiring his entire mammoth team on that count. "I don't recall any public address by Mr Tata that began with anything else," Mukund says.
    We speak about his first book, Global Environmental Politics - India and the North-South Politics of Global Environmental Issues, published by Oxford University Press in 1996. This, I believe, was possibly the first book on India’s policy on the issue of global warming and climate change and environmental challenges that, clearly, are  now very relevant.
    We also discuss Mukund’s second book, The Brand Custodian, about his work as the first brand custodian at the Tata Group. Those years, Mukund says, were amongst the most enjoyable of his working career.
    Mukund also speaks about his transition from telecoms to the world of private equity, to set up the Tata Opportunities Fund, the largest debut private equity fund out of India at that time.
    And we speak of his move from Tatas in 2018 to start his own firm, ECube, in the ESG space.
    We round up the chat with his recently authored book, OUTLAST – How ESG Can Benefit Your Business, and Mukund shares why he wrote the book and shares some important lessons from the book.
    So tune in to this, the 54th Episode of MVP- The Master’s Voice Podcast, for my chat with Dr Mukund Rajan, Chairman at ECube Investment Advisors Private Limited, and one of India’s finest strategists and advisors to enterprise on profit with purpose, underlined by the core values of trust and integrity

    • 52 min
    Exclusive | Anuj Kumar - Co-Founder, CRO, COO, Affle India Ltd, on MVP - The Master's Voice Podcast

    Exclusive | Anuj Kumar - Co-Founder, CRO, COO, Affle India Ltd, on MVP - The Master's Voice Podcast

     My guest in this, the 54th episode of the award-winning MVP - Master's Voice Podcast series, is Anuj Kumar, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue & Operating Officer at Affle, which is counted amongst the top 300 public-listed companies in India.
    Affle is a global technology company with a proprietary consumer intelligence platform that delivers consumer engagement, acquisitions and transactions through relevant Mobile Advertising. Affle aims to enhance returns on marketing investment through contextual mobile ads and also by reducing digital ad fraud.
    Anuj has played a pivotal role in building and growing Affle,  leading it to achieve a highly credible customer base, with his team working with several top marketers globally to help deliver end-to-end mobile advertising, technology and data analytics-driven solutions.
    Affle transforms Ads into Recommendations with Consumer Insights-Led Solutions. It deploys its deep-learning, AI-powered algorithms to transform ads into consumer recommendations to deliver enhanced ROI and engagement. So brands can discover and identify their most valuable potential users and then acquire and re-engage them through Affle's platforms.
    Affle aspires to create greater impact through Vernacular and Verticalization, through unique and integrated consumer journeys for marketers to help them get more out of their advertising. Affle’s solutions aim to reach >10Bn connected devices including Smartphones, Connected TV, personal wearables, and smart household appliances. So Vernacular helps create hyper-personalised actionable advertising and delivers integrated on-device experiences to consumers in their own languages, and Verticalization helps achieve higher conversions with targeted contextual advertising to drive exceptional ROI through deeper vertical-specific insights.
    Anuj brings more than 20 years of relevant media and advertising industry experience. Prior to Affle, he worked with large global media companies like ESPN STAR Sports, GroupM Mindshare and JWT. Anuj holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College and a Master’s in Advertising & Communication from MICA in India.
    In this episode, Anuj speaks about the vision that led to the inception of Affle – from how he thought of founding a mobile martech company in 2005 when iOS / Android plans were yet to be announced, to the recent past when the company put in a remarkable Q2 & Q3 performance. What drove the performance, and some major achievements of Affle in the last year.
    Anuj also looks forward, and shares the Affle2.0 Strategy and how Affle is delivering on the end-to-end needs of the marketer? We speak of the importance of cross-screen advertising and how it helps a brand stand out in a crowded app world, especially in a market like India.
    While Affle, providing an in-app service and experience, is not worried about the looming demise of 3rd party cookies, Anuj shares his take on the important aspect of Consumers data privacy. Remember, one important aspect Affle’s business practices of consumer outreach and connect  is its Consumer Acceptable Advertising -- the first patent for which Affle filed in 2005 in the US. That continues to drive the company’s consumer-led ad innovations, and one is aware that Affle's platforms have passed the most stringent industry accreditations and uphold the highest standards in ethical advertising.
    Anuj also speaks of Ad fraud in digital or programmatic advertising, and discusses the trends in the digital marketing space that have come in the last 2 years and are here to stay. He touches upon virtual and augmented reality, the Metaverse, and its implications for the AdTech sector. And much more.
    So tune in for a deep-dive chat with Anuj Kumar, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue & Operating Officer at Affle Limited, one of India’s top 300 public-listed companies.

    • 43 min
    MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast: Ep 53 features Sam Balsara of Madison World

    MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast: Ep 53 features Sam Balsara of Madison World

    In this, the 53rd  episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast series, which is   based on conversations with MVPs (Most Valued Players / Professionals) across important sectors of the Industry – we bring you a titan of the Indian Advertising and Marketing industry; someone who, needs no introduction to any practitioner in the space, because he goes by the name of Sam Balsara. Founder, Chairman & MD of Madison World.
    More than half a decade of creating avenues for remarkable growth, guidance and mentoring for the entire advertising industry in India. And for the past 34 years, Sam has been an entrepreneur, first launching his feisty, innovative, creative and remarkably effective agency Madison, which he helped evolve and grow beautifully into Madison World. 
    On this, the 53rd episode of MVP - The Master’s Voice Podcast, Sam is a very happy man. Especially today, the 5th of May 2022, when this episode goes live  to coincide with the return of the sorely missed and eagerly awaited Goa Fest, which Sam and, indeed, the entire A&M industry has been waiting for to resume. 
    So while Sam’s been looking forward to the return of GoaFest, here’s a message he wants to send out through this episode. “What I would request all the participants to do,” Sam tells me, “is to try and attend all the seminars… which provide the opportunity of broadening and widening your mind and horizons by listening to different points of view,  which I think is very important in ultimately shaping your career.”
    Sam speaks of several things, including the big highs from his career. Sam counts starting Madison on his own as a big high;  also, winning the Media AOR mandate for P&G is another big high for him, because it signaled the arrival of the Media AOR in India, where there was no concept of a Media AOR prior to that win. In fact, Sam focused the Media AORs in those days, Coca Cola, Airtel, ITC and other very large prestigious AORs of TVS, who is still with Madison. When AORs first started, they were only buying AORs; but over the years, Sam and his team managed to convert the Buying AORs into buying and media planning APRs. 
    Once Lara entered the business, Sam says they pursued an aggressive diversification strategy, inspired by the success with the AORs to focus on unbundling, on specialization. Because by then they had a cadre of specialists who took pride in their work and business, and who became super experts, and the Media AOR specialists delighted clients with high value services to clients without concomitant costs. Soon, they had specializations and specialists for Outdoor, PR, rural and more. The formula was to hire super specialists. That design worked rather well, Sam says. 
    Sam also admits to a major pitfall, “of my own doing. In India," he says, "I took the view that my traditional media people should also handle digital and become digital experts. It’s not that I underestimated digital; I thought if the traditional media person is not going to handle digital like he does not handle outdoor, then what is he going to do?! And I persisted with that for five years!” Of course, he corrected things when the penny well and truly dropped. "
    On his outlook for advertising, Sam says India has led in the growth rate of advertising in four of the past five years, and  the country is in a reasonably sweet spot -- whether it is on demographic dividend, potential of the economy as we’ve become a reasonably large economy, countries are recognizing our importance, and that both these factors bode very well for the future of advertising in India. 
    And, Sam says, the same attractiveness of India will create challenges for the indigenous advertising sector, and probably end up giving Indian marketers greater power to leverage, and to negotiate  harder, with the agencies. How? Listen in.  And there's much more. 

    • 46 min
    MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast: Ep 52 - Durgesh Kaushik and Gaurav Jain of Snap

    MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast: Ep 52 - Durgesh Kaushik and Gaurav Jain of Snap

    Delighted to share that this, the 52nd episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast from MediaBrief.com, features not one but two distinguished guests - Durgesh Kaushik, Managing Director of India & South Asia Market Development at Snap, and Gaurav Jain,  Head - Asia Pacific Business expansion.
    Durgesh has led strategic partnerships, community development and overall ecosystem initiatives to support the growth of Snap in South Asia. Prior to joining Snap, Durgesh worked in leadership roles at Dunzo, Edureka as CMO, and most recently as CEO and co-founder of Wishfie. He also spent over three years at Facebook in marketing roles in APAC and EMEA.
    Gaurav, who looks after APAC Business expansion at Snap, is ex-Facebook, ex-Google and ex-Nvidia – a true-blue tech-platforms leader.
    In this episode, they speak about five of the most important Digital Marketing trends today; share what’s unique about Snapchat, its USP, its core user groups and the kind of marketers and genres they are relevant to.
    You will also learn about Snapchat’s India journey, and how today, Snapchat is leveraging its position by structuring itself as a culturally and locally relevant platform.
    Durgesh and Gaurav also share what it Snap is doing to help Snapchat get ensconsced on the mental home pages of digital marketers who generally seem to focus largely on one or all of the top four, ie FB, Insta, Twitter and LinkedIn.
    We also speak about how not only tech in Digital Marketing has evolved, but also how Snapchat has leveraged its AR tech innovation among its Indian users,  and how it keeps its innovation game up to date and consistent. And more.
    Equally interesting things discussed include the work culture at Snap, and how the entire company focuses on business development. Also some important advice for youngsters seeking a career in digital media. And more.
    So, welcome to the 52nd episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast on MediaBrief.com, which features Durgesh Kaushik, Managing Director of India & South Asia Market Development at Snap, and Gaurav Jain,  head - Asia Pacific Business expansion, in conversation with me.
    (Note: The episode was recorded before the recent announcement of leadership realignments at Snap, which you can read about here)

    • 49 min

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