Friday, 19 September 2014

Innovation and Design in creating great products : video with Todd Rovak, Farenheit212

"The transparent LCD that Samsung came up was very cool, but not a great TV. Thro our process of finding a business win and a consumer win, the most profitable aisle of the grocery store was the frozen foods section, which was also the worst consumer experience-frosty glass and nothing looked like food. The technology could be put into a place that already had a backlight (for the LCD)- so with 5 wins, 5 months from idea to prototype, a great example of dualsided thinking
India has the ability to leapfrog existing systems, an amazing ecosystem and great talent.
My video with Todd Rovak, Managing Partner, Farenheit212, a 75 strong London and New York based product design and innovation company.


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tim Malbon MadebyMany

Tim Malbon, from Made By Many, a production innovation company based in london, talks to me at Kyoorius design yatra, where he was a speaker. he speaks on on everything from Skype to creative... a great conversation

twitter: @malbonster

Saturday, 6 September 2014

"We follow the consumer"-Marico's Aditya Save

Aditya Save, Head, Digital Marketing and Media at Marico discusses his views in this video
"If you look at the Indian family system, we have gone from three generations living under one roof , who share experiences across generations to having nuclear families, who need to search for information which is why people are increasingly going digital in their search- we understand and follow consumers as they do this."

"We have gone in with mobile first in some semi urban/ rural areas to raise awareness in semi literate/ semi media dark state- and have used celebrities in this"
Aditya Save, twitter: @adisave, is with Marico a leading Indian multinational with brands in Health Care Personal Care categories with presence in Africa & Asia. Some of their brands include Parachute, Kaya, Revive, Saffola amongst others
A passionate believer of digital, he is shifting Marketing efforts & dollars towards digital domains, at a pace akin to that of his consumers in these geographies- he talks about these trends in the video.
Besides his role at Marico, Aditya is also a Mentor Partner for the Microsoft Accelerator, based in Bangalore, India.

Links for Aditya

Friday, 5 September 2014

Business Secrets: Sachin Bansal from Flipkart

Please find some interesting Insights from Sachin Bansal of Flipkart (sorry, not a video)

  1. Lots of headroom for growth in e-commerce- The Indian market for e-comm is $3 Bn(of the $600+Billion retail industry) about 0.4% as compared to the US-10% & China-8%
  2. Flipkart pushes out about 2 lakh items daily today
  3. About 20 Million people transact on Flipkart, and 50 Million people visit the website
  4. 4 states of South (TN, Karnataka, Kerala and AP) generate as much business as the rest of India
  5. Their biggest categories by value are Electronics, and by Volume are Books and Apparel (with the acquisition of Myntra, the apparel, has the lead!)
  6. E-transaction vs Cash on delivery is 50:50
  7. They own their entire supply chain and delivers the last mile connectivity in 250 cities across India-Employs 10,000 people to run this supply chain across the nation
  8. They have a dedicated callcenter (again owned), with 2000 people to manage customer queries which are mainly around preordering (why don’t you deliver here, can you gift wrap etc) and post order (when will my product arrive etc)
  9. All their tech is done in house- they build the code and the apps themselves.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Rajesh - Kyoorius Creative Awards

I am thrilled to present my video with Rajesh Kejriwal, who shares with us his very interesting journey of how he got the Indian creative community together.  He charts his journey as a manufacturer of fine paper who got the creative community thro' a not-for-profit entity Kyoorius to bring together the Design and the Creative community of India- something that as a social cause has huge impact.
Their design awards event is on Thursday, the 12th evening, 7pm at the NSCI Indoor stadium, Worli,  is a must attend for the creatively minded.

Rajesh's Links:

Sanjiv Sharma, Optimystix, Filmmaker

My Video with Sanjiv Sharma.  Sanjiv, erstwhile from O&M, started Optimystix in 2000, and as they say, the rest is history.

 A public school educated Advertising Film Maker teamed up with a writer from a small town called Limdi in Gujarat in the year 2000 to start Optimystix with the clear intention of creating world class Entertainment for TV Networks.

 The diversity of the founders is still the hallmark of the company. Optimystix has produced Hi End Shiny Floor entertainment like Indian Idol Season 1 to Papad Pol a Daily Drama Series aimed at predominantly Gujarati Audiences. In this video  Sanjiv shares his passion and what drives him.

Sanjiv's links:

Indian television article:
GroupM-Optimystix partnership:

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Pradeep Guha, Founder/CEO of 9X Media (+playlist)

My video with Pradeep Guha where he talks about "Inging the Thing"- creating defining experiences to propel the brand. Having done what he has, he should know- credited with redefining the Times brand, creating Bombay Times, the turnaround of 9XM,  and crowning a bevy of beauty queens from Aishwarya to Priyanka- he has done it all. A rockstar!
Pradeep Guha is a stalwart in the field of media, advertising, marketing and branding. For over 35 years, he has been a pioneer of change and progress for the brands that he has been associated with. In the mid-70s, he was the President and Director of the Times Group. He was instrumental in building the Group’s flagship brand, The Times of India and magazines like Filmfare and Femina.
He is also on the board of various companies like Mukta Arts, Future Media, Whistling Woods International, Komli Media Inc., Vdopia Inc. and Amagi Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Links for Pradeep:
Businesstoday article:
Livemint article:
Financial express:

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Gerd Leonhard

My Video with Gerd Leonhard @gleonhard, Futurist, Author and Speaker,based out of Switzerland on the Internet of Things and on Privacy... "Things connecting with each other is the 21st century electrification"; "we are moving into the world of visuality- we wont be using language, we will be using pictures"; "Privacy debate- you have to be anonymous in somethings that you do- a part of being human is about having things that you dont want to share -we dont want a world of Matrix or Minority Report"

In his own words : I work as a Futurist in the Media, Telecom, Technology, Marketing & Communications, Culture & Creative Industries, Energy and Environmental Sectors. I am also a Keynote Speaker & Presenter, Author and Writer, Strategic Advisor, the CEO of TheFuturesAgency and Visiting Professor at the Fundacao Dom Cabral in Sao Paulo. I live in Basel, Switzerland - and aboard a good many airplanes.

Gerd's links

Monday, 24 March 2014

Manish Vij-Founder-Smile Vun Group

My Video with Manish Vij, founder of the Smile Vun Group. He holds the special distinction of having the most exits in the Indian digital media space...
Manish Vij is the Founder of SVG (Smile Vun Group). He is a veteran of the digital media industry and has over 12 years of experience in the internet domain. Manish has founded leading internet companies in areas of digital marketing and e-commerce with international joint ventures and leading venture capital firms. Manish's entrepreneurial ventures include:
  • Quasar - A joint venture with WPP is an award winning and leading digital marketing agency in India and part of Possible Worldwide.
  • SVG Media - The largest Indian digital media network that reaches over 50% of India's internet users.  SVG Media is the launch pad for successful digital media businesses and houses leading Performance, Mobile, Data Targeting and Rich Media businesses such as Tyroo, Velocity, PrecisionMatch, DGM and Platformplay. SVG Media is a joint venture between Vun Network and Smile Group and is funded by Xplorer Capital. SVG Media was formerly known as Tyroo Media.
  • SeventyNine - Is a leading mobile ad network, revolutionizing the space through its path breaking technology to serve videos in mobile applications. Seventynine was successfully sold to Gruner+Jahr, Europe's leading magazine publisher in 2012.
  • -  India's leading online electronics and IT retailer that was funded by reputed venture capitalists (now sold to Flipkart).
  • Prior to establishing SVG and Vun Network, Manish was associated with for over 4 years and he also started India's first digital classifieds business - in 1999.
Manish, an MBA in marketing is not only a pioneer in the internet marketing space but also one of the youngest dotcom entrepreneurs. Manish has represented the Indian digital industry in various domestic and international industry forums, events and seminars.

Manish's links:

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Dippak Khurana- CoFounder

My video with Dippak Khurana, of who as of Dec'13, served 280 MM mobile internet users across emerging markets - what he calls mobile first consumer markets. His aspiration is to be the #1 ad exchange across these markets.

"Low credit card and PC penetration means that mobile media and internet will leapfrog the traditional PC. He believes mobile will beat TV as the mass channel of engagement in the next 12-18 months.

As the CEO and Co-founder of – a Global Mobile Ad Network, Dippak plays a central role in today’s mobile ecosystem working with Telecom providers, Mobile Content companies, App Developers, Publishers and Advertisers. With 17 years of experience across Internet & Mobile, Dippak has been instrumental in making revolutionary introductions in the space, including
  1. launching India’s first Online Newspaper – The Times Of India in 1996
  2. India’s first Online Ad Network  -  Intercept Technologies in 1999
  3. India’s first SMS Shortcode in 2001 for Yahoo
  4. Pioneered internet portals for Telcos – in 2004
  5. World’s first One Click App Monetization platform – AppWrapper in 2010 and 
  6. World’s first Ad platform with Telco enabled audience targeting – AudiencePro in 2013
He has gained industry recognition as the Mobby’s ‘Mobile Media Professional of the Year’, and also features at #22 on the IMPACT Digital Power 100 list.

Dippak's Links: (linkedin) (facebook)

Saturday, 22 March 2014


My chat with Manu Jain, co-founder and former Managing Director of one of India's leading fashion portals, a portal that changed the way the indian consumer bought clothes...

Jabong has a lot of firsts to its credit, but it basically changed the consumer behaviour in buying apparel. Apparel traditionally has not been considered the best "ecommerce" material- afterall, the conventional wisdom goes, one would want to try out clothes for colour, fit, look before buying. However, by offering a large catalogue of lifestyle products and a super-fast delivery service - infact, same-day delivery in cities like Delhi, they were able to change consumer behaviour.

Manu is now onto a new venture, named Gynjer, will design, develop and sell wearable smart devices, such as smartwatches and smart glasses.The company will also develop smartphones and phablets. However, the devices will be made by third-party manufacturers in China and Taiwan.

Manu's Links
Techcircle article:
Manu's new passion-wearables:

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Murugavel ( #1 Matrimony site

My video with Murugavel Janakiraman, the founder and CEO of, the #1 indian matrimony portal.
From its launch in 1997 with 4000 members, has found great success.  The crowned king matrimony, it has 8X more success than any other, is available in 15 languages, has 20 million members globally and best of all,  3 Million couples have found their life-partners here.

He talks about the interesting online/ offline model he has evolved. With a physical presence with +170 retail locations across India, he has three subscription driven models- online which is pretty much DIY,  Assisted- with relationship managers and a local language offline model.  He claims "Today, though our service is mainly online, about half our subscription revenue is collected from the doorstep across in India". He has also branched into allied services, such as india's first return gifts portal, and, a listing of +50,000 providers of marriage related services (catering, photographer etc),  they also run events, matrimonyexpo.

He talks further about how physical and virtual benefit  from each other- "People who are already online, walk into retail to convert to paid memberships (hand over the payment over the counter), improve their profiles, understand how this works etc and get a sense of reassurance about the physical presence. The stores also convert the non-online people to get online."

Murugavel heads the BharatMatrimony Group as Chief Executive Officer, with the portfolio comprising, BharatMatrimony Centre,,, and He leads an ever-growing work force of over 300. He also launched a non-profit CSR initiative

Murugavel has been honoured by the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 5 Asian Indian Businessmen in the United States (US) below the age of 35. He was also honoured by the India Today Group as the "Business Icon of the Year".

At 34, Murugavel is successful, smart, digital and new age. He is married to Deepa, who, he found on bharatmatrimony. He started off with an idea, that quickly became a passion and is now his purpose- "To build a better Bharat through happy marriages"- Amen to that!

Murugavel's links:
Linkedin :
TEDx Talk:
Murugavel's full profile :

Friday, 7 March 2014

AmarjitBatra OlxDOTin

I get great satisfaction when people come up to me and say, "We post an item at 10, and at 12, we have sold the item". is a top ranked website (Alexa  #22 in India and #299 globally)

My conversation with Amarjit Batra, the Country Manager for OLX India , the online classifieds website. Been with OLX since Dec 2008, currently based out of New Delhi. Olx is headquartered in Buenos Aires with an emphasis on emerging market.

Says he " we seriously solve a major problem for indians- on how to sell or buy used goods- for which the market never existed". He sees this as a mission , a laser focused priority which he passionately believes in.

Amarjit also expounds how his mobile-first view, started 5-6 years ago, gets him ~70% of his traffic on mobile, the highest  amongst e-commerce companies which are in the 30% range.

He goes onto say "Many of us are latent users, who would have never used a classifieds (in its old form of print classifieds) for selling our old mobile phone, or the text books that we do not need, or for that matter the collection of coins and stamps that we have outgrown. Free Classifieds sites like OLX is therefore bringing a new set of users like us who are not in the business of selling but are experiencing online commerce while disposing unwanted stuff from our homes."

His Links

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Muthu Nedumaran-Technology&Language

My video with Muthu Nedumaran- a language guru working on indo-chinese languages whose technologies have been adopted by Apple. We start speaking in Tamil from 7:35.

" For the english page, the cost of printing was 7 bucks, and for the Tamil page, it was 35 bucks- i wanted to change that" . The smartphone is a huge opportunity where i have licensed stuff to Apple and HTC. "In india you can sell a device with every language except indian language- unlike in Thailand or in China". UGC will change the landscape. Early days were focused on rendering the font, but today, people want intelligent input- predictive text, linguistic spelling analysis, etc.

Muthu Nedumaran has over 25 years of experience in developing technologies for the Tamil language.  He authored Murasu Anjal and Sellinam, the popular desktop and mobile application for Tamil input, rendering and content. His creations have been officially adopted by the education ministries in governments of Singapore and Malaysia. Muthu developed the fonts for Indian and Indo-Chinese languages that are included in the iPhone and the latest Macintosh operating system from Apple Inc. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Channels Synergy Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia. Besides driving Technology and Product Marketing initiatives for large corporations like Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation in the Asia Pacific region, he was also actively involved in niche technology developments such as Java, Web and Mobile technologies. Muthu holds a degree in Electronic Engineering with a major in Computer Engineering from the University of Technology Malaysia (1985).

Muthu's links

Monday, 15 April 2013


My video with Manoj Gupta, head of VAS and Applications, Micromax.

A Gamechanger, with their entry level android phones being priced @ $50, micromax has been a trailblazer in india. Their latest is Canvas. Some of his quotes : "The speed at which we can bring a phone into the market is 1/5 th the speed as compared to the MNC phone manufacturers." "The indian consumer is an emotional consumer, who needs less doubt in his purchases, and hence looks for value for money." "Even our Rs2.5 K feature phone is a 4 inch touchscreen phone" " The middle class will demand to read, write and discover in their mother tongue". " India will still need a lot of feature phones, because on a bike, when you want to make a call, you still need a keypad as compared to a touch screen".

About Micromax: Micromax, is the 12th largest handset manufacturer in the World (According to Global Handset Vendor Market share report from Strategy Analytics). The Indian brand is reaching out to the global frontiers with innovative products that challenge the status quo that Innovation comes with a price. With an in-depth understanding of rapidly changing consumer preferences coupled with the use of advanced technologies, Micromax has been able to differentiate itself from the competitors through innovation and design.

Manoj's Links:

Monday, 18 March 2013

KirubaShankar DigitalRockstar&Farmer

One of the most interesting people  i have met this year, a digital guru with +50,000 followers on Twitter, Kiruba talks about his passions, Internet, social media, his farming , blogging - he started blogging late 90s...and about his inspiration, Derek Sivers...

Kiruba Shankar is an entrepreneur, social media consultant, speaker, author, teacher, podcaster and a farmer. He is the CEO of BusinessBlogging, a social media consultant firm. He also heads Vaksana Farms, a farming venture and Verdure Books, a publishing house. He has authored 4 books and is working on the next.  He has written articles in leading business newspapers and magazines. He runs various projects catering to diverse interests such as Kiruba TV, Kiruba FM, Cerebrate, Sponge etc. He is passionate about comics, antiques, vinyl records, business cards, running, cycling, rowing, traveling and blogging.

Kiruba's Links:

Sukirti Jagran Online CEO

My video with Sukirti Gupta, head of Jagran Online who talks about vernacular language and the digital ecosystem. Jagran is the world's largest newspaper, with +55 MM readers. In india, amongst the dailies, the language dailies are top 7 and the earliest english daily is at #8. The growth has been from 4 lakh NRI dominated  4 years ago to 36 Lac users monthly in india alone. has 247 editions and +10,000 stories daily. The key challenges according to her are content discovery, revenue sustainability and technology rendering on devices. Despite this, even in the digital space, they are as big as The Hindu and Indian Express and they have +6Lac followers on Facebook. She talks about Hinglish, English and Hindi.

Sukirti Gupta is CEO of MMI Online which manages the online media properties of the Jagran Prakashan Group, including Dainik Jagran, the worlds’ largest ready daily. Jagran.Com, the online portal of Dainik Jagran, is the largest vernacular language portal in India.

Sukirti's Links:

Sunday, 17 March 2013

ArvindPani Reverie Entrepreneur

Meet Arvind Pani, Entrepreneur-founder of Reverie, focused on solving the language divide in the mobile  and digital world- his mission is "to make language irrelevant on digital platforms".

The magnitude of the problem: Though Indian literacy is 76%,  English literacy is about 10%, which means people that use mobile phones have paper stickers in their native languages to guide them, a ridiculous situation.80% of devices today sell in non latin regions where support for languages is very difficult in the digital ecosystem. They partner with Qualcomm and have rolled out devices with Micromax- they are also targeting Set Top Boxes... and are the engine behind PluxText

The big challenge Reverie has set itself- to create a digital user experience that has to match up to the next best experience- Print media- (the largest newspaper in the world is a local language newspaper in India) -Reverie has solutions, tools and technologies in three areas- consumption, interactivity and content processing to solve the language divide.

Reverie is a Bangalore based product startup that makes text communication possible in any language on digital platforms.It provide users the ability to read and type in any language of choice and also provide automated contextual text conversion of one language to several other languages.This framework not only allows for rendering multiple languages on such devices for text display, but also for text entry and other value adds such as contextual conversion of languages dynamically.

Arvind's Links:

NevilleTaraporewalla Microsoft

My video chat with Microsoft's senior director for Advertising for emerging markets, Neville Taraporewalla. Here he talks about how Technology can deliver to business. and about how he started his digital media excursion with the Times group, Yahoo, where he led the turnaround to a profit making company in India and to his current role in Microsoft where he evangelises digital. He says - "I see all technology companies have now become media companies"

An expert on the digital advertising industry, Neville Taraporewalla spearheads the Advertising and Online Business at Microsoft India. In this role, he drives long term success and market growth across Microsoft’s advertising and online offerings in India.

Overall, Taraporewalla has over 23 years of industry experience and has been one of the earliest adopters of the Internet. During his tenure with Yahoo! India from 2002-06, he was instrumental in reversing Yahoo! India’s fortunes and had played a pivotal role in converting the India office into a profit centre. In 1996, he led The Times of India Group’s foray into the Internet space, where he was in charge of online media sales, content production and marketing.

APOLOGY: my audio recording device malfunctioned during this interview, so apologies if the sound is not great- it is audible, but not clear- sorry about this.

Neville's Links

Saturday, 16 February 2013

MaheshMurthy MarketingRobinhood

My video chat with Mahesh Murthy, who has styled himself as the Marketing Robinhood, because he makes money out of advising big brands and funds startups with it... with +50K followers on twitter and a Digital Guru,he talks about the future of Marketing. A great example is Redbull, which spent  $20 MM and got $0.5 Billion of publicity getting a man to jump off space (Felix Baumgartner).

Mahesh Murthy, founder and CEO, has 24 years of marketing and communications experience – of which over 14 years are in online marketing. After dropping out of college, Mahesh sold vacuum cleaners from door to door and then found a home in advertising with Grey in India and Ogilvy in Hong Kong, where he won international notoriety as a creative director on HP, Microsoft, Unilever, The Economist, Pepsi and MTV - for whom he wrote and directed a spot voted “Asia’s best commercial of the decade”. Mahesh then moved to a Silicon Valley firm, CKS Partners (later, USWeb/ CKS) as Creative Director and eventually, Partner – where he helped create and launch the first commercial version of Yahoo in 1995 and the “Earth’s biggest bookstore” campaign for in 1997. After a successful IPO for CKS, Mahesh moved to head marketing at iCat, an e-commerce firm in Seattle, which was subsequently acquired by Intel. Mahesh then returned to India to run Channel V, a rival to MTV, till its sale to Newscorp in 2000 and then founded Passionfund to invest in and guide startups. Among his investments were Geodesic, a mobile software firm with a 2008 market cap of over $500m; EBS Direct, a multinational loyalty and marketing services firm; Compassbox, acquired by CareerLauncher and WebDunia, India’s leading multilingual portal. Mahesh pens reasonably infamous columns across various business publications and has played the Donald Trump-equivalent role in an Indian rip-off of The Apprentice, involving entrepreneurs and business plans. While running digital marketing campaigns for his favourite charity in late 2003, Mahesh saw an opportunity to change the basic business model in advertising and set up Pinstorm with a bunch of great people to do so. As the company has grown and better people than him - like others listed here - have come on board, his contribution to business is increasingly restricted to deciding whose lunch box to raid at the communal table. Mahesh co-founded his second fund, Seedfund in 2006 with the backing of investors like Google and Motorola to create and guide even more revolutionary companies.

About Pinstorm: Pinstorm is a digital advertising firm headquartered in Mumbai, India with offices in New Delhi, Bangalore, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Zurich and Santa Clara. It was founded in 2004 and ranks amongst the leading digital advertising firms in the world.[1] The company is founded by Mahesh Murthy who was also its COO until recently.,[2] and in 2005 stood amongst the "Asia's Top 100 Technology Companies" in first "Red Herring 100 Asia list" published by Red Herring magazine.[3]