No gyaan, only learning

21 May,2015


This interview was conducted around Melt 2015 was announced in April this year, but the views Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited are still valid and relevant given Melt (or Zee Melt 2015, to be precise) starts today (May 21) and Zee Mindspace, the conference for CMOs, happens tomorrow. We asked Mr Goenka on why he associated himself with Kyoorius, will it impact his linkages with Goafest, on how speakers have been chosen for the event and finally with Rajesh Kejriwal, founder and CEO of Kyoorius.


This is fourth edition of Zee Mindspace. What have been the learnings so far and what made you switch to a much larger scale?

In this fast changing world, our own teams feel that the learning for the changing world is not happening at the pace that it needs to happen. We have got that feedback from our Mindspace series that we’ve been running so far. And when Rajesh [Kejriwal] approached me for Melt, I was of the opinion that we need to scale up Mindspace to a bigger level and why not put it as part of the industry initiative, which means it will be created for the industry by the industry. Normally, we do a half- day session, but this time we are extending it to the full day. Instead of just two speakers, we’re targeting many more to come in and speak up on different aspects of marketing and challenges and their learnings from other markets and bring it on the platform for the CMO world at large.


There are quite a few events such as these which keep happening and apart from the likes of

Goafest you have CII which does a marketing summit and there is AIMA etc. So how is it different from the others that you’re looking at?

So, first and foremost the clear differentiation that attracted me to this was that I’m not just a sponsor here, I’m actually curating the content along with the Kyoorius team with learnings from my own professional space and what industry professionals are facing whether it be in the media or advertising or content world. So when people leave the venue, they should leave with the feeling that they have learnt something new which will help them in their day-to-day running of their professional life. And it should be clearly beneficial for to them, rather than it being a marketing conference where I talk about how great Zee is and what great thing Zee has done in the past. I want to actually make it a learning experience not just for my own team but for the industry at large.


What made you choose on Kyoorius?

I’m very happy to be partnered with Kyoorius because I have seen their benchmark in events that they have created and I don’t want to partner anything less than that. I want only improvement in that if at all, and I said yes to the partnership because I know Rajesh will deliver great standard of quality and best practices. And of course, why would I not want to associate my brand with something at that pinnacle of creation and implementation?


You aren’t associated with the Awards though

No, the Awards are not part of Melt. That’s an independent activity. It’s the culmination of Melt. So, by that definition we are not associated with the Awards as a partner or anything. But of course, I would love to be there and see who wins this year.


With Goafest being an industry event and all creative and media agencies backing it, are you worried of a negative impact your association with Kyoorius can have on business?

I’m not comparing Goafest with Melt. I know what Melt is all about and I know what it’s going to deliver for the industry, and that’s why I have chosen to partner here. I’ve been associated with Goafest in the past and will continue my association with them. Frankly the difference is that in the case of Melt, I’m working on creating the content for this festival. Whereas in Goafest, I’m not involved at. So I would not want to consider what’s good in Goafest and what’s not good in Goafest? Would those agencies look at Zee in a negative manner because I’ve associated with Melt, well, that’s their business, I can’t tell them what they should do and they should not do. We do so many events and that does not mean we make enemies with competing events.


(Rajesh Kejriwal who was alo present while the interview was on steps in: Just to clarify this case, Melt has no sponsors. Melt has only partners. So, Zee is a principal partner, GroupM is a strategic partner, D&AD is a strategic partner, then there are other partners who are bringing in content in some way or the other. Everybody is a partner at Melt… there are no sponsors.)


You’ve been associated with Kyoorius Designyatra for a while and I find it interesting that that you are actually not part of the event at all in the form of making a speech, presenting awards etc. We’ve also heard stories that Rajesh Kejriwal has told a sponsor that a certain logo doesn’t look very good in the creative, etc etc. Would you say he’s a tough guy to be associated with as an event curator?


Yeah, he can be a pain, but nothing that can’t be fixed over a drink (laughs). There is no problem that you can’t fix over a drink, so let me just keep it at that.


Zee has been associated with several industry events over the years. Is working with him different various others with whom you have dealt with in the past?


As I said, normally people just put an event together and ask you for money and for a sponsorship logo on top of it. Beyond that, there is no value addition that one gets. Here, I’m being part of the team working on what should the event be all about. Rajesh came with certain ideas, my team then looked at the kind of speakers they should invite. What they should talk about. And we are actually considering all that before we take a speaker onboard, because I don’t want people to come and give us gyaan as to how good they are and how they have done great stuff, and what their great companies do. At the end, it has to be learning for the people who attend it, that here is the problem, and here are potential solutions, now debate.




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