On 20th September, TAPMI had the privilege of having Mr. Nirmal Nair, Vice President, HR of Zee Network/ Essel Group on campus. Mr. Nair had an interactive session with the students wherein he talked about media industry in general with particular emphasis on the television industry, careers in media and growth opportunities.
Mr. Nair began with a brief history of the evolution of media in past few decades, the importance of localization in media and equated the television media to a B2C organization with a very similar value chain as of a manufacturing unit. From New Product Delivery after researching consumer needs to prototype being created and tested on various parameters, working on media can be equated to that of any product manufacturer.
Emphasizing on the importance of marketing research, Mr. Nair said that the market acceptability is predicted based on a mix of research data and even gut feel. Many times, research says, a program will not work but taking an instance of Balika Vadhu on Colors, which was a massive hit, he said the gut feel is also important.
Talking about the importance of segmentation, Mr. Nair said that usually GECs which are General Entertainment channels, typically address women. And hence generally FMCG products ads form a major chunk of advertising revenue. Not many automobiles ads are shown but on weekends and usually on business news channels which mostly address men. Throwing light on the concept of a network share, he said media groups form strategies to expand their product portfolio to garner more share of advertising revenue from advertisers.
Media being a business, aims to make a profit, not play the role of conscience keeper. For this customer tastes, preferences are taken into consideration, and this is the reason why prominent, successful TV channels have less of progressive shows. Consumers’ latent demands are studied, even taking help of anthropologists and societal trends, global trend and future trends are studied.
Speaking on major revenues for media companies, Mr. Nair said that it is generated from three main sources - ad sales, subscriptions and syndication sales from syndication content. When EY valued Zee content, it was valued at around Rs 20000 crore. This content which after a particular point gets old, stale can be used to be shown in some other state, or country through other channels. This creates the third revenue model.
Concluding the session Mr. Nair talked about a career in media. Three main, important areas in the media industry are programming, marketing and finally distribution. Programming side deals with content generation. The marketing side deals with market research, PR roles, and branding. The programming and marketing teams sit and take decisions together. Distribution deals with organizations getting in touch with big DTH cable operators and yearly deals are made. If the content is excellent but not distributed well, it will bring in no advertiser. So distribution plays very important role. On a closing note, Mr. Nair said there is no dearth of money in the media industry and innumerable growth opportunities. Zee plans to be a 100 channel company by 2020, with a promise to the shareholders of increasing both domestic and foreign channels to 50. To succeed and grow one needs to have passion towards what he/she is doing and that is what takes places.