Announcing! Punit Goenka is Mediaahperson of the Year and Uday Shankar is Mediaahperson of the Decade

05 Dec,2014

 

 

By Pradyuman Maheshwari

 

It’s that time of the year when we decide on who’s are those who have done well and who are those who haven’t all done that well.

 

And since this is also the time that Impact magazine announces its Person of the Decade, we also thought of participating in the exercise. And then figuring whether our choice matches with Impact’s.

 

The Mediaah! view is of course one person’s opinion, Impact’s belongs to the industry and is managed by WPP-owned IMRB. But as a process, it has its chinks.

 

The first stage requires people to send in their nominees. This could be any name. You could even name the barman at Toto’s, if you please. The editorial team then sifts the names and adds on a few if they think a certain name deserves to be in the final list of nominees. Later,  a mail goes out to select industryfolk and the final winner is decided upon by voting on certain parameters. Now, given that the voting happens around October, whoever is making waves in the second half of the year is almost always the winner.

 

This year, the nominees were:

Sam Balsara

Piyush Pandey

Prasoon Joshi

Punit Goenka

BD Park

Sachin and Binny Bansal

 

If Sachin and Binny Bansal were in this list, then we thought Prime Minister Narendra Modi should’ve also been in it. After all, Impact has had Ambika Soni winning the award once and the PM has had a great year – winning the polls, super multiple media campaign and great use (and non-use) of the media after he got the top job.

 

But that’s a decision of the Impact bosses and why get into it.

 

BD Park is the bossman of Samsung,for those not in the know. Our view is he didn’t fit the list although Samsung has done some great work.

 

We think Sam Balsara and Piyush Pandey have done some fantastic work on the BJP campaign and of course kept the flag flying high in their respective organisations – Madison World and Ogilvy. Ditto with Prasoon Joshi who was also elevated to an APAC role, won some good awards and also was part of the BJP creative offensive.

 

But  is their achievement this year – note this year and not in their professional careers – big enough for the Person of the Year? I am not sure.

 

The choice is now between:  Sachin and Binny Bansal and Punit Goenka.

 

If the Impact Person of the Year selection process is to be seen and given that the public sentiment will naturally be towards the Flipkart Bansals, do you think they will bag the top honours. Or will they get the IPOY and Punit Goenka be made IPOY (Editorial Choice)? Or the other way around?

 

My sense is that the Bansals are indeed deserving, but then from the branding and media perspective, PM Modi had a bigger impact.

 

And the PM isn’t among the final nominees.

 

As for Impact Person of the Decade, I am unaware of the procedure that’s going to be followed. There are various names that come to mind.

 

Samir and Vineet Jain: for consolidating BCCL, warding off threats in Mumbai, leading Times Now to be the #1 in English News and leading India’s most successful media enterprise.

 

Sir Martin Sorrell: He may not be a full-time in India but is active here and has a firm handle on his many businesses in the country. The last 10 years have seen Sirji’s empire rise and rise.

 

Subhash Chandra:  Despite all the competition on the general entertainment channel front, his organisation is now no longer dependant on the flagship GEC for determining its fortunes. While he may keeping a tight grip on finances, he has taken the risks in the business and ensured he is one of the most profitable amount the big broadcasters.

 

The Agarwals of Bhaskar and Guptas of Jagran: Consolidated their respective news empires with multiple editions in their markets. Made course corrections in some of their ventures and have moved far beyond the mindset of hinterland media magnates.

 

Sam Balsara: for leading MadisonWorld remarkably, for being an industry leader and ironing out several issues

 

Raghav Bahl: Would have been a worthy contender until he decided to exit Network18. Remarkable success story, but he may be the man to look for in the next decade with his digital forays.

 

Arnab Goswami:  You may not agree with his brand of news television, but there can be no denying the fact that he’s the most watched news anchor today… and all of this has happened in the last six years.

 

Uday Shankar:  Ensured Star Plus gets back to the top slot after being beaten by Colors and consolidated to be far ahead in the pack. Taken bold decisions to make Star India a mega-empire. Virtually controls sports broadcast in the country and is by far the most influent media professional in the country from amongst the non-owners

 

There have been some others who have done some great work and we’ve some remarkable turnarounds. Shobhana Bhartia’s HT Media and CEO Rajiv Verma have done some splendid work on rebuilding the media conglomerate. Aroon Purie has ensured his empire stays relevant and continues to rise and Headlines Today becomes a force to reckon with. Kalanithi Maran with his Sun Network has continued to be the #1 in the South. Tarun Katial with the turnaround of Big FM. The retro positioning has worked wonders for the channel. Rajat Sharma’s stock is rising as India TV chief. Ashok Venkatramani has made a huge success of the MCCS channels after a forced rebranding.  Kartikeya Sharma’s iTV is gaining ground by the day. This list could go on.

 

**

 

So who is the Mediaahperson of the Year and the Mediaahperson of the Decade?

 

Punit Goenka and Uday Shankar, respectively.

 

Punit Goenka has consolidated ZEEL in a big way over the years and has taken his risks in programming and new iniatives. His role as BARC chairman has been tremendous and along with a sound team in Shashi Sinha as head of the techcom and Partho Dasgupta as CEO, is all set to deliver.

 

And Uday Shankar.  Let’s repeat what we said before: Ensured Star Plus gets back to the top slot after being beaten by Colors and consolidated to be far ahead in the pack. Taken bold decisions to make Star India a mega-empire. Virtually controls sports broadcast in the country and is by far the most influent media professional in the country from amongst the non-owners. And add one more: he is the true inspiration for many (or should we say most) young professionals in the country. Rising from a rookie journalist to a mega-professional.

 

**

 

Many friends and acquaintances have asked me why we write about exchange4media events. Why publicise activities of competition? Why talk nice things of someone who damns you in private?

 

Our view is simple: we are in the business of covering media, advertising and marketing. And by media, we mean all media. There are some who perceive as competition, a view cited as the reason for disallowing us to attend the Indian Marketing Awards on December 12.

 

So is MxMIndia going to attend the Impact Person of the Year tonight (Friday, December 5). No, we are not. An invitation was sent to us. When we accepted it and asked if those who had sent it were sure that it was sent as part of the massmail from the Chairrrman, the invitation was declined. Unfortunate, but then that’s the way the news media works. How many other Hindi news channels aired the India TV Aap Ki Adalat event live? Does an Indian Express ever cover the Filmfare awards? Such is life.

 

Post a Comment 

3 responses to “Announcing! Punit Goenka is Mediaahperson of the Year and Uday Shankar is Mediaahperson of the Decade”

  1. Vaishali Sharma says:

    I found this a little mean and bitchy.

    • Pradyuman Maheshwari says:

      Hardly so. Not meant to be mean and bitchy. It’s just a view on who should be the Person of the Year be. Or did you think the bit about being sent an invite and it being recalled was being mean and bitchy?

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