Announcing the Mediaahperson of the Year 2015

11 Dec,2015


By Pradyuman Maheshwari


It’s the day.


December 11, 2015.


The day we had said we will announce The Mediaahperson of the Year!


The last two years have seen the announcement happen coincidentally on the same day as the older and doubtlessly better known Impact Person of the Year award. It was even suggested by some souls that our attempt was to undermine them and because our choice matched theirs’ last year, we thought it’s better to announce it earlier than them. Even though it’s wiser to do it waiting for the entire year to be completed. Perhaps in January of the following year.


So how are we different from other awards?


First, it’s not based on a survey. It’s not based on any industry poll. But it’s based on a study conducted by me through the year.


Second, it’s an A&M industry study. Agreed CEOs are important, but we are looking at CMOs and not CEOs of well-marketed organisations.


Third, we look at performance through the year, and don’t base it on the highs of the last two quarters of a year which tend to influence any voting-based process.


Fourth, we give you a clear reason why we chose the winner, and why we didn’t choose others which may have done some striking work.


And fifth, we are as sincere and honest about the awards as one can get. There were suggestions that we should make it an on-ground event. But then that comes with its own set of issues. Perhaps next year.


So the Mediaahperson of the Year 2015 is an online award. It’s an accolade that’s for the truly well-deserving. And for the True Achievers of 2015 in the Indian Media, Advertising & Marketing arena.


There were many who came into contention.


For instance, Uday Shankar for Star India continuing with some bold steps in sports and digital. But this has possibly been one Star’s worst years in the last three. Its flagship channel is facing a tough climate on the entertainment front. Life OK is just about going ok-ok. Not taken the path it ought to have. Some other channels have turned laggards. Shining bright, but not brighter than a few others.


for Zee: Stupendous performance by Zee Anmol! Still one of the more profitable media conglomerates. But the flagship channel has needed some attention, despite Kumkum Bhagya


Raj Nayak or Sudhanshu Vats for Colors and/or Viacom18: Yes, but not of the level that would put it ahead of our winner


Joseph George or R Balki for Lowe Lintas: I think they came out to be a very strong contender. Have won huge awards starting last year. Also, set up a second agency. But,  there were a couple of  notches lower than our eventual winner


CVL Srinivas for GroupM: Over the last two years, Srinivas has transformed the face of the holding company. It’s a lot more visible, in fact often even more than the high profile arms like Mindshare and Maxus. Plus, he has done much in industry groupings.


Ashish Bhasin for Dentsu Aegis: This year saw him getting set for the big league, but it’s 2016 that could be Bhasin’s year. Watch out for him.


Arnab Goswami:  Undoubtedly, the most impactful face on news television today. But that he’s been for some years, na?


This list could continue. There are many, many achievers. Some in digital – like the people being Scoop Whoop and In Shorts. Or the Jains of The Times of India for going strong despite the vagaries of the business. Or Google…


So who’s the Mediaahperson of the Year 2015?


We were looking at someone who has made a significant impact in the last year. Has achieved it against several odds.  Also,  this achievement should have been through the year or if it happened only in one part of the year, then it should stand out amongst the various others.


We have great pride in announcing that the Mediaahperson of the Year Award goes to…


Punit Goenka, Shashi Sinha, Partho Dasgupta and Team BARC


Punit Goenka

Shashi Sinha

Partho Dasgupta

First a confession, I didn’t expect BARC to take off. Let’s face it, BARC happened because the industry failed to advise TAM on an ongoing basis and thereby keeping a check on its activities. All the issues about government regulation on ownership of the agency wouldn’t have happened if the industry had counselled TAM through the last decade-odd.


And then the process of setting up BARC took an endless amount of time.


It almost didn’t happen. There were issues about what the ‘ownership’ of BARC would be. Should the advertising agencies be represented on it? Etc, etc.


The turning point in BARC’s history happened when our three primary recipients – Zee managing director and CEO Punit Goenka was appointed BARC chairman and later Shashi Sinha as Technical Committee chairman and Partho Dasgupta as CEO.


The process of appointing vendors and setting up systems took its time. At first there was the government hounding them about the date for set-up and then the industry was putting the pressure.  There were also issues of funding the entire exercise because the monies were big.


There was also the ghost of IRS and the MRUC, where despite being a joint industry body, the new readership study was ridden with controversies.


The anxiety levels for BARC continued till the date of launch – April 29, 2015, when it needed a hurriedly done conference call to finally clear the release.


There have been hiccups like with any industry measurement exercise. In fact, it impacted Punit Goenka the most, as Zee TV showed a slide in Week 1. In fact, credit must go to him for having chosen to steer ahead despite Zee facing the heat.


Things were ironed out in time, and continue to be.  Shashi Sinha’s inimitable style of achieving the impossible was put to use several times over. And Partho Dasgupta calculated pragmatism worked.


The next big milestone was the launch of the rural measurement. Done for the first time ever in Indian broadcast history.


Once again there were pressures, from reasonably high sources.


But the collective convincing from Goenka, Sinha and Dasgupta worked.


While the three of them deserve much of the credit, the BARC board and the rest of the team also need to be applauded.


They are very deserving winners of the 2015 Mediaahperson of the Year!




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One response to “Announcing the Mediaahperson of the Year 2015”

  1. Amith Prabhu says:

    Why don’t Madan Bahal, Prema Sagar and others like them not even feature in the shortlist?

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