How traditional media is losing relevance?
Traditionally, media has considered itself to be the Fourth Estate, wielding a lot of power to inform and influence.
It commands a lot of clout in forming and informing views. With their formidable influence, they could shape and change opinions. They could herald revolutions. They could topple governments. They could finish careers. They could tilt electoral outcomes. But not any more.
Why? Many media houses have assumed much more power than they legitimately should have. Any papdi patrakar does not mind writing any insulting or irresponsible piece about anybody, just to be more popular and controversial.
In India, particularly regional language media has been more irresponsible in its content, focus and presentation. Many publications only can look at the negative side of any story. For example, 28th October 2013 issue of Chitralekha magazine has a cover story about
Sachin’s announcement of retirement. It means to say “Sachin (un)willingly announces retirement.”
The only thing such publications write positive is about some powerful or rich business person when they go out of the way to praise their life journey. Of course, many of such features are ‘inspired’ by some other motives, some of them financial. Indian media is not known to be averse to be purchased. Many PR agencies thrive on planting ‘success’ stories touting some wannabes as ‘the most successful’ in such opportunistic and greedy publications. They call it ‘win-win’ deals. ‘Win’ for the publication, and ‘win’ for the wannabe. But ‘lose’ for the reader.
In-authenticity and irrelevance of such cheap gimmicky media houses was exposed rather openly, when the social media took charge of Sachin’s retirement day. All the negativity generated by irresponsible media surrounding his announcement of retirement was eclipsed by the sheer enthusiasm, loyalty and love showered on Sachin by Indians of all ages to their icon. Opportunistic and negativity-focused regional media looked irrelevant and clueless. The irresponsible media publications like Chitralekha had simply failed at their attempt to tarnish the image of this humble but great personality. They also could not fathom the power and magnitude of the respect Sachin had gathered in India’s minds and hearts. Reluctantly, they started covering Sachin mania because they had completely missed the pulse of the populace they are supposed to represent and educate.
Today, the clout of such irresponsible and opportunistic regional media is reducing thanks to the emergence of social media. The traditional, easily ‘saleable’ and adulterated media has only itself to blame for this sorry state. They made a mistake of assuming more power than they actually had. They sold their reputation by giving charge to brokers (who call themselves journalists), who wrote fiction to be passed on as informative journalism. The new highly connected generation can’t be influenced by paid content. It has its own voice and its own language.
Words can be bought, because such wordsmiths can be bought. But the emptiness of such ‘bought’ words gets exposed. In-authenticity has to die. Sooner or later.
Social media is a tight slap on the irresponsible media. And the slap was long overdue. Let’s hope it brings the senses of this media who looks like a drunkard back to normalcy.
Sanjay Shah posted on: November 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm. No Comments.
Personal Branding Lessons from Priyanka Chopra
I am a Priyanka Chopra fan. She is one of the best things that has happened to India’s entertainment industry. Here are some reasons why Brand PeeCee clicks so well.
1) Connect with the best
PeeCee has worked with the best of the actors in Bollywood. She has worked with all the Superstars of her time. Also, for her music albums, she has joined hands with the best in the world like, Will.i.am and Pitbull.
In an industry where availability, relationships and friendships create collaborations, PeeCee has gone much ahead by connecting only with the best.
2) Dream big and act BIG
Instead of being limited to Bollywood or India, this lady has made the world as her playground. It requires a lot of self-confidence, talent and commitment to have a vision to make a mark globally. There is hardly any other such personality in Indian entertainment scene who has dreamed and realized this big.
3) Be persistent
Success in Beauty pageant, Movies, Singing and Lyrics writing. This multi-talented beauty is persistent in her excellence.
PeeCee puts a lot of hard work in all her movies, songs or other assignments like events, shows etc. Today she is the only actress in Bollywood who can do some multi-talented roles or gigs which the pretty young (or old) things of Bollywood just can’t imagine. She can be called the only real superstar in the current breed of actresses.
4) Make this world a better place (Not in Beauty Queen style!)
All beauty queens have lots of theories of making this world a better place, which they themselves naturally forget after the pageant, because they have mouthed those great-sounding concepts without really understanding what they mean. PeeCee has really made this world a better place through her work.
5) Be unique
Most of the Indian actresses are beautiful dumbs, who can’t be more than a good-looking, necessary accessory to a male lead. PeeCee is refreshingly different. She is a beauty with a functional brain.
Just as in Bollywood, where she created her own unique space without any godfather or uncle or father to hold her hand, she has created her own unique identity on the world entertainment and music scene.
Today, one can confidently say that nobody can fill in the shoes of Priyanka Chopra. She is really unique.
6) Be professional
PeeCee has not allowed controversies or personal tragedies stop her.
She was embroiled into some media created flings with her co-stars. She has withstood all her relationships related gossip or controversies by maintaining a very dignified silence and let her work answer all the gossip mongers.
She exhibited her strong commitment when she resumed work within few days of losing her biggest strength.
7) Be playful
PeeCee comes across as that beautiful, young, naughty woman who captivates your attention not only with her charm but also with her brain. She is intelligent, playful, desirable, seductive and smart.
8) Communicate wholesomely
PeeCee is articulate. She communicates very well. Along with commendable linguistic skills, she also uses a lot of body language to express herself. It is always a delight to see or listen to her speak.
Many beautiful actresses will come and go, but Priyanka Chopra has created a unique space which will be very difficult even to match. PeeCee is one of the best things that has happened to Indian entertainment industry.
Unique, playful, persistent, expressive, smart and desirable – Brand Priyanka Chopra has all the attributes of a successful personal brand.
Sanjay Shah posted on: November 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm. No Comments.
Where has the money gone? Here it is…
India’s Gold reserves with RBI are approximately Rs.1.25 lakh crores.
But, India is spending almost double this amount every year, on mobile services and handsets. And that is about 2.06% of India’s GDP…
Telecom and Mobile handset industry is where the money from average consumer’s pocket is going. No wonder most of the markets are reeling under slowdown. India spends less on goods and a lot of time and money on talking…
Check some interesting numbers to get a better perspective :
India’s GDP in 2012-13 : Approx Rs 114 lakh crores (Reference :Wikipedia)
India’s Telecom Services sector revenues in 2012-13 : Approx : Rs. 2 lakh crores based on Q4-2012-13 report of TRAI (Reference : TRAI Report for Jan-March 2013 Quarter)
Mobile handset sale of last 2 years : (Reference : Economic Times article here.)
a) 2011-12 = Rs. 31,330 Crores
b) 2012-13 = Rs. 35,946 Crores
That means, EVERY YEAR, approx Rs. 2.35 lakh crores are being spent in India on Mobile services and handsets. That is approx 2.06% of India’s GDP. Considering approximately, 120 Cr population of the country, this works out to about Rs.2000 average PER HEAD PER YEAR….!!!
This means that out of about Rs.90,000 per capita GDP, EVERY Indian is spending average Rs.2000 per year on mobile phones…! Now that is a significant number…! A lot of Indian money is turning into hot air. This has a very serious possible repercussions on the Indian economy.
1) Notwithstanding the immense communication advantage of mobile and Value Added Services and their contribution to the economy at large, the actual productive usage of these facilities is comparatively lower. Most of the mobiles are used for non-productive purposes (Chatting, Social Media, Group messaging, Playing games,Listening to music, as a Camera etc.). Along with money, this is wasting a lot of productive time of the country’s populace. The general population, newly exposed to this technological solutions, is behaving like a small child who has suddenly entered a room full of toys. The instincts ‘to be there among the crowd’ is costing the economy a very huge amount of productivity. Unfortunately, this will be realized later than sooner.
2) A lot of this money is going out of the country, as most of the telecom hardware, mobile handsets and accessories are imported. This puts a lot of pressure on the Indian rupee.
3) With many of the family members now having their individual mobile phones, the monthly budget of the average household is very strangely skewed due to mobile hardware and services claiming a significant amount. A lot of essential goods and services are becoming predictably unaffordable due to this imbalance in the household income and expenses. This is one reason why all other markets are reeling under reduced demand.
4) The social impact of ‘the mobile revolution’ is generating a lot of lonely souls, destroying the fabric of relationships. This also gives rise to a lot of psychological disorders. Small children exposed to mobiles early on are reducing time on physical activities and spending a lot of time on mobiles, limiting their wholesome physical growth. All this finally impacts the general physical and mental health of the country and then to the economy.
It will be good if the child gets wiser after playing with the new-found toys for a while and getting back to its normal life.
Otherwise, these toys will prove to be very expensive for the economy in the end.
Sanjay Shah posted on: October 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm. 5 Comments.
Here is what stops India’s industrial growth.
India is shining…! Or, that is what the government wants us to believe. The emptiness of this claim is visible in the decelerating economic growth since last few years. The reasons for this disappointing performance are not difficult to find.
It is very difficult to be an entrepreneur in India. Even though the country needs a lot of entrepreneurs, it is hostile to entrepreneurship. The Indian government and its bureaucracy has always treated Business and Industry as a milking cow. Officially, businesses are imposed various types of taxes and levies. The impossible maze of rules and regulations encourage another unofficial extraction of money from the businesses in the form of palm-greasing amount for various permissions, licenses, certificates etc.
This all has lead to a step-motherly treatment to industry and entrepreneurs. Instead of building sound infrastructure and facilitative rules and regulations, the government and politicians don’t leave a single opportunity to strangle the business and industry. I saw a live example of the negligence, exploitation and apathy of the government towards industry during visits to Silvassa and Daman, the union territories on the border of Gujarat.
1) Even though thousands of SME units are located in this region, the infrastructure in Daman and Silvassa is at its worst. As soon as we enter Kachigam from Vapi, the miserable quality of road welcomes you. The one kilometer stretch passing through one of the industrial area, takes at least 10 minutes, with not even 5 meters of flat road to be found anywhere. Driving this through this road is a hellish experience. Theoretically, every year some money is sanctioned for improving this road, but the condition is simply unchanged. The pathetic condition of this road has remained the same since many years.
2) The poor infrastructure has grave impact on the industries here. A lot of international companies fail the units here in their internal evaluation audit only because the infrastructure in the vicinity is not conductive for the business. This puts the industries here at a huge disadvantage.
3) The Daman-Silvassa has an independent Member of Parliament to represent this region. But, instead of helping the industries in this region through proper infrastructure and facilities, the politicians here seem to be busy ‘developing’ their own future. Instead of helping the industry which brings jobs and prosperity to the region, their lieutenants are known to harass the industrialists by running a parallel government in the industrial belt milking the entrepreneurs for ‘maintaining’ the region. Every now and then, these pseudo ‘governors’ drop in for various favors, including seeking financial contributions from the owners of the units in the area. These people, ‘blessed’ by the reigning politician, ensure that all types of contracts go to them only and their own people are employed in these companies, regardless their qualification or suitability for the post.
4) It seems the poor central government does not have funds to maintain roads and other infrastructure in Daman-Silvassa and hence the volunteers from the ruling MP’s cadre have to work hard to go and collect the ‘contribution’ themselves from the industry owners, to build the roads and maintain the infrastructure. In spite of the ‘hard work’ of these volunteers in the form of collecting repeated contributions, the roads are not in place. May be the pit is too deep to be filled.
India will have to wait to grow its industry till all such deep pits are filled. Till then, the industry will continue to struggle for growth and the country will have to continue to live “in the pit…”
Sanjay Shah posted on: October 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm. No Comments.
Even a strong brand can’t survive employees inefficiency
MTNL and BSNL are some of the strongest Indian telecom brands, due to their inherent advantage, existing huge customer base and the brand equity.
But, in spite of having a headstart in the country’s telecom revolution, these best brands are losing out big time. The companies are not making profit. Here is why. I read here that for MTNL, employee cost as a percentage of revenue stands at 103 per cent. That is, its salary bill is higher than its turnover…!
Today also, when the world-class telecom companies are beating MTNL/BSNL on their home turf with their efficient service and quality and still making money and building formidable brands, these government behemoths are bleeding since many years.
MTNL/BSNL have a huge redundant and unproductive employee base which is eating them out. Here are some examples of the wastage of manpower at these companies.
If you complain to MTNL (Mumbai) one of the following things are likely to happen :
1) The number for registering the complaint will keep ringing. In this time of being attentive to customers 24×7, the ‘official timings’ of MTNL Customer Selfcare department as displayed on MTNL Website are 10 to 17.30 (7.5 hours), when the world-average is at least 8 hours per day. In spite of the official 7.5 hours of duty timings, MTNL babus are still living in the age of 11 to 5, which includes at least 1 hour lunch break in between… Such an archaic working practices can kill the organization and they are doing it…
2) If you are lucky, after some follow-ups if your complaint is attended, you will see at least 2 or 3 persons from MTNL coming to your place for attending the same. There are always 2-3 hangers-on for every customer visit. And most of the time, the problem is not resolved even after the procession visiting the site.
If India has to progress, inefficiency of its government and its PSUs has to be worked upon. Till then, India will have to struggle to grow ‘in spite of’ the government, not ‘because of’…
Sanjay Shah posted on: at 7:17 pm. 1 Comment.