Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO,

My video with Ganesh of Indiaproperty. Amidst the’s Rahul Yadav shenanigans, i want to draw attention to the business model of property websites. and point out to how “physical/ human capital” led digital companies are. The digital part has to be complemented with plenty of feet on street. Consumers discover digitally, but are serviced thro a people chain, which includes assisted search, validation of properties, information gathering and dissemination, legal vetting etc…

This is, by the way, true for most “digital” plays- including Flipkart (supplychain, logistics and helpdesks are their main people counts), Zomato (a feet on street model that checks out every restaurant, bringing back menus and photos), 

Whilst tech is the essential backbone of the discovery, and they use all of the tech-Machine learning, intelligent recommendation engine, a learning algorithms, augmented reality etc. Their repeat traffic is 65-70%. They get consumers through digital,  If you are only an information website, thats fine,However, there needs to be an offline leg in these high-involvement buys…
They have to create trust in a low trust ecosystem . verify seller, property details,,, Take 2 d plans and recreate their own 3D visualisations, which show them the difference between the promise and reality. They also collect legal documents and verify all approvals etc… On top, they have a unique insurance product- example mfg defect, calamities etc are covered for.


Bridgette Bartlett, Mehndi & Henna artiste in Vermont, New England

Vermont is a state in New England, the northeastern U.S. known for its natural scenery, being 75% forest. It's also known for its 19th-century covered bridges,and for maple syrup.  

So how did Bridgette get to become a Mehndi artiste? Find out more...


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sameer Pitalwalla CultureMachine, Video platform

My video with Sameer Pitalwalla, Cofounder, Culturemachine- a leading MCN with +100Mn views
Our core innovation is about understanding what content to create, and to create that content at scale. we use technology to identify content trends, and also create content at scale.
Our video machine converts any audio into video.
The platforms will become more convoluted. Facebook and twitter have launched their own video platforms., and obviously are eyeing Youtube.
Whilst telling great stories hasn’t changed, the medium used to tell them is changing…from the TAM led Daypart/timeslot consumption of linear TV, we are now in non linear consumption- filling in free time.  


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Pankaj of Bertelsmann- RTLMedia, FremantleMedia, Stylehaul, BroadbandTV etc

My video with Pankaj of Bertelsmann, who are scripting the future of video production and consumption with their ownership of traditional (RTL, Europes most profitable TV entity), and their MASSIVE digital footprint  (FremantleMedia - who own Idol, GotTalent, Apprentice) , Styelhaul, world’s #1 women centric MCN, BroadbandTV (World’s #4MCN) etc…)

TV is just one channel to consume video which will be consumed in multiple formats through multiple channels by multiple devices. Thats the future of video. 
They run the most profitable TV broadcaster , RTL in Europe, They have also acquired new age broadcast systems  to aggregate, curate, put tech on top and push this out. In the past 2.5 years, they have the following to name a few:
  1. FremantleMedia, (who own the franchises of  X-Factor, Idol , Got Talent, Apprentice to name a few and are a large MCN in their own right)
  2. RTL( Europes most profitable and leading TV channel company)
  3. Stylehaul , leading women centric MCN (+19B views, +224M subscribers, +5200 channels)
  4. BroadbandTV Tech MCN (12000 channels, +100M subs, +1B mthly views thro VISO & TGN) 
  5. Munchies food network
They are brilliantly positioned in the coming digital video world, with a large enough ecosystem, to ensure when it moves from one platform, youtube to multiple platforms.

Digital is key. First world markets like the US went from 1 tv household to 2nd tv and 3rd tv…however, India is a 1 tv household, if u , in a family of 5, want to watch your video or audio, you have to go online.  

India is a mass, high volume low price game, and if traditional media has been able to survive and make money, the online industry will as well. In the west, subscription prices were very high.  and content producers get similar moneys thro MGs to Netflix as they get from traditional media, depressing margins… In india, radio is free, fully ad funded, TV ARPUs are $4-5- already very low.  


Saturday, 2 May 2015

Prof. Peter Kabel, German Investor in Indian e-commerce, Ixigo, moodsofC...

How many people have you heard refer to Flipkart as a cash rich gorilla? My chat with Prof. Peter Kabel, a genuine bonafide teaching Professor for Media Communications at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. An Indophile of 15 years, an early investor into Ixigo which gave him a good exit, currently has a portfolio of invesmtents..Serial Internet- and Media Entrepreneur (Kabel New Media, Trendbüro, Büro Hamburg, Tone Consultants)


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Money is not a problem anymore in India- My video with Seed incubator, T...

Switched from being an entrepreneur (, Japan’s largest e-commerce conglomerate)  to being an incubator and a seed accelerator (Open Network Lab). Here he talks about how the entrepreneurial ecosystems  in Japan, India and China. In India, they have funded Shopclues and CitrusPay (the chaps that run the mobile wallet on Meru cabs) Some of the extracts:
  1. As things get more mobile, and data connections improve, for instance Japan, everyone connects thro’ 4G, but in some countries, everyone connects through wifi
  2. He talks about the leapfrog of e-commerce in the emerging markets. Take japan, everything is super developed, so  everything is available everywhere,  unlike in India where e-commerce will leapfrog the traditional markets.
He signs off with “Money is not a problem anymore in  India” as India  is getting a lot of attention from funders across the world, and a lot of indian funds are being backed by LPs outside of India.


Saturday, 25 April 2015

SamirBangara from Qyuki on the Future of Video (ARRahman +Shekhar Kapur)

This is the 2nd Video in my chat with Samir Bangara of Qyuki where we explore the future of Video for the first one, click here

 What is the future of Video? Listen to Samir, the CEO of Qyuki talk about the future of video in this Part 2 video.
Internet will be synonymous with video. Everything will convert to video. intelligent software will convert tech to video, you could consumer wikipedia in video by choice, that and the non p2p traffic on the net 60% is already video.  India holds a few aces. The interest in consumption of content and entertainment is highest in the world, monetisation not wit sanding. Coupled with a youth economy, network upgradation and the smartphonisation of the nation is going to change the video paradigm. 125K daily mobile internet connections…  over time we may not be as accepting, but today, ts ok even if its non hd, even if it buffers today


Friday, 24 April 2015

Deb Timesaverz dot com, On demand home services

My video with Deb, who delivers on demand home services to +5000 homes in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore with +1000 agents. They solve the  “Getting your Cleaning, Repair carpentry, and handyman jobs done a the right time, the right place by the right person”. The agents are within 5 km radius. 

They work off the shared economy and provide “fractional employment- where their agents decide when they want to take up jobs and when they dont” And they go mostly by referrals to recruit agents- who like the “corporate” environment and bring on others as well. Their game is also more metro centric than tier 2….


Sunday, 19 April 2015

MCNs explained by Samir Bangara, Qyuki (ARRahman &Shekhar Kapur)

Why have Shekhar Kapoor and AR Rahman invested in Qyuki? What is an MCN (Multi Channel Network)- explained in detail by Samir Bangara , one of the most articulate people i know in the connected media world…. with a history of leading Disney/ UTV content creators, Samir had an exit nnd

Each creator is a channel, and we get together a big library of creators together to form an MCN- the leaders in the space are Full Screen and Maker studio and Vevo, who between them generate 20Billion views mostly, and this is a huge chunk of the monetised views on Youtube.

The west is dominantly youtube. but india /emerging markets are different. Whilst Youtube will be the elephant in the room, other platforms will continue to exist.
The video stack has Creators, content, distribution and monetisation.
For studios, creators are a commodities. the MCNs crash content production costs, create tech at scale to serve the masses, and monetise in multiple ways...

 The big problem is discoverability, in an age where everyone is creating content i the hope of being discovered. Big media houses throw money to spread the video. The new paradigm is using the power of Tech and the network to the creator, which is what MCNs do… Discoverability becomes 2X to 10X. 

Production values have no bearing on the reach and popularity of your content anymore. As you are scaling, can we now look at the early analytics, and give bespoke custom attention to those people.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Caroline Campbell Troman, Yahoo APAC's Programmatic Buying Head

The latest and the greatest buzz is "programmatic buying"in the media buying/ advertising world. To those that may know, Yahoo is emerging as a key player in the new-gen AdTech world, with deep and solid investments that are paying off big returns, for example:
In this video, I explore the state of play in India and Asia with Caroline, the APAC head of YAHOO’s programmatic buying.


"Changing how community raises boys"- Will Muir, founder of ECF, an NGO

"We are changing the way community raises boys, so fewer boys become violent towards women” this is Will’s purpose in setting up his charity in Pune, 6 years ago, where he has built a centre of excellence. The scale of the issue is huge. India has +270 Million boys < 18 years, and about 40% of them would, left unchecked, be abusive to women. They have identified four principal actors that they work with- peer groups, male role models, parents, teachers and the education system.They work with 20 Pune communities, with 40,000 people. 60% of the women who live with the men have experienced a significant reduction in abuse...


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Debashish, Zee Digital: What makes a Great OTT Product?

Debashish heads all things digital at Zee, which through its, has a base of ~28 Million users built in the last 24 months with properties such as,,,… We look at OTT (over the top)  products and what it takes for the OTT to be successful.

Take video platforms- by definition, a platform has to have a lot of content. Which means, even if they are producers of content, the platform would have a lot more than their own content. So how do they create stickiness? The answer lies in the mix of product proposition  and technology. Can they reduce buffering lag, regardless of the connection spottiness.  Can they make recommendations that nail the consumer preference, based on the kind of videos they watch? Can we make the discoverability fast? How do they get to their videos at the shortest possible time. .A strong product proposition, with a complexity simplifying technology platform , with great content is key.

Whats the future? The big shift that’s coming up is the spawning of new, organic content  through building up the ecosystem. Whilst  professionally produced content ( e.g. Bollywood/Hollywood)  still holds sway, new organic content producers are coming up who have huge followings. How can they be supported and expanded will hold key.  Witness the buying of ,who are creating more and more youtube stars, by Dreamworks animation.


Saturday, 4 April 2015

What happens when everyone has the power to defame? Video with Karthik Srinivasan, @beastoftraal

A very interesting conversation with a a very cool, down-to-earth digital guru, @beastoftraal.

Remember the Bhubaneshwar flight  in February where the girl filmed her alleged predator and the youtube video went viral?  Well, Karthik takes on an alternate point of view, and we debate the “other” side of social /digital media, where every individual has the power to defame… 

Along the same lines is the very interesting article in the NYT,which talks about how one unthinking small message somewhere can unwind your life

And of course, the earliest and the most touching of these-


Dhruv Chopra- Carwale -“Smaller towns in India and Mobile are fuelling tremendous growth"

My chat with Dhruv Chopra, Marketing and Sales head of He shares some fabulous insights on whats happening in the Indian Car market...
  1. By 2014, your Tata Indica was packing more features than the big luxury brands such as BMW, Audi in 2011..Thats how fast the market is evolving.
  2. The move towards small towns is startling. 3 years ago, delhi and Mumbai was half of our site traffic. Today, less than 30% of our traffic is from Delhi+Mumbai+Bangalore. The long tail of small towns has expanded exponentially. Every week , based on user requests, we are adding new towns to our list of 3000 towns. Mobile is driving this completely for us.
  3. Behaviour on Desktop vs mobile:- Desktop is about research, content consumption, Mobile is more task based.  As your set closes towards to point of purchase, the consumers increasingly use mobiles.When people migrate to mobile app, they rarely come back to the desktop.
  4. Our site is a forward indicator of sales numbers. People buy after 2-3 months of search. What they are searching for today will result in sales 2 months from now.
  5. Luxury brands. "The Volvo V40 cross car was an outstanding success- has 3-4 month wait periods". He talks about how luxury brands are growing, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi, BMW, Mercedes... 
  6. We tend to think this market is all about fuel efficiency. That’s true for the Rs, 5-6 L cars. After Rs 8-9 lacs, fuel efficiency drops,  at the 30 Lac price point, fuel efficiency is 5th or 6th in priority list. Maruti has a huge range in a tight price segment. 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Why did Disney buy Maker Studios for $1B? My Video with Gautam Talwar

Why would Disney, a content creator, buy Maker Studios, an MCN that aggregates youtube content for a Billion dollars? Try this- Maker Studios has +9Billion views and boasts of a star roster including rockstars such as pewdiepie...
What’s an MCN? What a broadcaster network is to show producers, a Multi Channel Network is to YouTube channels and youtube. They are the programmer/ curator that sit between these channels and the distribution platforms.Their role is to help organise,commercialise, monetise variety of youtube channels. Requires tech to grow viewership base and a strong sales base. The MultiChannelNetwork is a modern day version of the cable network, except that they live entirely online on the internet.

How do they categorise content? At Maker, they have 23 big niche areas under 4 categories
  1. Gaming & Sports (where pewdiepie is)
  2. Lifestyle (fashion, beauty)
  3. Family (kids, pet videos) and
  4. Entertainment (music, movies, comedy) 


“People connect to MissMalini because they are at a one-tweet-access to ...

"(S)he who controls the spice, controls the universe” :- My video with the immensely talented and articulate Malini Agrawal, aka MissMalini, amongst India’s most famous bloggers.
Says she: I created "Miss Malini", the anime/ cartoon version of me, as the voice out of india that represents the youth. We have our Chota Bheem characters, but there is no young, Indian “Oprah” that represents this new generation.
I did not know what a blog was when I was writing the Midday column Malini’s Mumbai. And, in 2011, I quit everything else and started blogging full-time.
With her prolific content generation capability, she holds sway over the entire young digital Indian audience and has tremendous influence, as indeed Bollywood has found…
In this chat I explore how she crafted her personality and influence and what her plans for the future are.
Brilliant and inspirational stuff.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Magic of Newshunt's +75Million Installs- with Vishal Anand

The Magic Of Newshunt :+75Million installs happen when Vernacular Ecosystem+ Mobile First + Operator Billing come alive. .

With +75 Million installs, Newshunt rivals Whatsapp, is bigger than Youtube and up there in the constellation of the greats of the emerging Digital India. Add to that the fact that they are the largest bookseller in india, beating the Kindles etc by a very wide margin. This to my mind is truly the future of India, as 300+ million indians wake up to the smartphone and content consumption, Watch their story  as it grows and grows.

The problem they solved: Going Mobile first by building a vernacular ecosystem :  In a nation with  less than 1% english literacy, they started off with a problem to solve- a lack of a mobile ecosystem for fonts. Content creators have used non unicode/non standard fonts that only work for print. On the consumption side, india is all mobile-many have never used  desktop and 95% of phones won’t support one or more indian languages.

So how do u solve for it.? Can’t wait for the ecosystem, so they built a rendering engine that is cross platform. It renders 12 languages consistently across any OS -android, java, symbian, windows, IOS. They take the content from the publisher, transcode, package it for mobile only- less data usage. The publisher doesn’t have to do anything. The outcome- an all organic installed base of 75MM.

They are the largest vernacular book seller in India. They have practically created the books ecosystem in India, for the vernacular,here are no big 5 publishers - typically it is local publishers - about 15000 of them. How do you find them. More important, how do you stack rank them? They built this from users who wanted this, went to railway station sales counters. etc and did research and got the market built. They have sold more books than the publisher has sold physical+ebooks combined. The users are just lapping it up.

They also did operator billing, thro i-pay, our own product- almost 85% of the transactions happen thro operator billing.

A great story, one worth watching… Virendra and Vishal- look forward to more magic.


India will have an explosion in Instant Mobile Payments- Lizzie Chapman

"When the entire market cap of the indian banking system is the same size as an average european bank, there is an explosion waiting to happen. I am here to be a part of that."

My video with the deeply insightful and the extremely articulate Lizzie where we explore whats happening to the payments space and how that will bring in a revolution/ transform India.

We are lucky to have NPCI, which is focused on tech innovation on payments and has released a unified payments interface, a massive API for the entire banking ecosystem. All you need now to access a bank account is a phone. individuals and companies can plug into the banking network without acquiring infra (e.g. Visa, MasterCard etc). with UID/ Aadhar and other identification platforms, even higher fund transfers will become easier.

Final takeaway : Instant virtual mobile payments will leapfrog every other form of payment in india, accelerating Indias digital, ecommerce and consumption revolution.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Youtube- Insights from Rockstars- Superwoman, Bethany Mota and AllIndiaBakchod

Some insights from Youtube rockstars who have made it big. 
  1. Some insights from Youtube rockstars who have made it big. 
    1. Bethany Mota (8Million subs)
      1. she has 8 million friends ( she calls them friends, not subscribers)
      2. when i meet them in person, it feels like i already know them you really get to know them before 
      3. you already know what your audience wants, you need to continue to take that risk might seem a little crazy, but can go extremely well.
      4. Equipment: my first video did not have professional equipment- a bunch of books was my tripod, my old camcorder was my video, the window was my light source… now i use tripod, lights and better quality camera.
      5. She was cyber bullied which got her into looking at the content and got her engaged
    2. Lillysingh @iisuperwomanii (5 Million Subs)
      1. 2010 was the first video -fell in love with saying what i want , how i wanted to say it. Youtube is like an outlet, a self medicating way. 
      2. 5 years later, 5 million subscribers. Everything has been a super learning process, trial and error. Very rarely a right or wrong answer
      3. She is a prolific content creator- 2 videos a week, v-log every day, Vine, twitter, snapchat, the works...
      4. I try my best innovative- do a live stream every single month - around 14th/15th.  persons birthday, can u send them a video.
      5. Equipment- first start- macbook webcam, cheapest lam i could find (light showed up as 7 different colours on my face)- my channel is more about content, its not the production. Ive never used a mic in any of my videos.
      6. Youtube is the centre of the funnel- other social media is used to funnel views into youtube.Youtube audiences fear change a bit- be careful with what you experiment.
      7. makign videos that get lots of views- a balance of videos I want to make and look at what people are searching for (eg search trending on twitter) 
    3. AllIndiaBakchod- Tanmay and Khamba- (+1 Million subs)
      1. Started doing standup comedy. someone convinced them that tube was a good idea.
      2. TarlaDalal cooking crystalMeth - was their fisrst video, which tanked, one video did well.
      3. 18 months later, they have gone viral-
      4. see the traffic surge after 10 pm.
      5. bid to keep creating and doing something new. feedback immediately from the audience
      6. Indian content creator- we wanted to set a benchmark- the guys who manage us had a productions studio. the key for us was the quality that needs to be as good as film and TV- cast, shoot, etc...
      7. we were at yashraj and did not do a brilliant job- Just because its on the internet does not mean it should be poor quality.
      8. Our last video- we had a drone, with the guys that did weddings.. nobody cares about the shoot, everyone looks 
      9. every post has to blow peoples minds

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Going Digital with AshishPatil, Yashraj Films

When a guy introduces himself as a "Creative Suit. Run excel on a mac”, you know you are onto a treat…Ashish, the Creative and Business head of Yashraj Films, Bollywood's #1 Production house in this video- an action packed, must see!

  1. Yfilms- 2 yrs , 3 films old. talks about his new project- Bankchor, with Vivek Oberoi
  2. Some of the cool brand work they are doing in the digital space with their artistes, example : Ranveer singh with #Dotherex (+3.5M views, brand: Durex), or #mynameisranveerching (+1.5M views, brand : Chings)- where they have gone way beyond just typical photoshoots with their artistes...
  3. On Creating a content factory to produce a lot of content based on consumers creating it Explains with the MTV example of the stencil of M…  "Everyday on the MTV channel, the logo bug would switch to the one designed by our consumer/influencer"
  4. he talks about  the genesis of Kan Khajura Tesan with the Salman Khan , “Ek Tha Tiger” Unilever Wheel promo how digital is penetrating media dark states (leapfrog even TV and print)