Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: 5th ‘P’ in marketing – Paranoia – is missing in Arnab’s rhetoric (+ Is HT Pune safe for employment?)

06 Apr,2017

By Jaisurya Das


Exciting time for Media Watchers and Commentators (read: my breed) as the stage is set to witness an epic battle that will unfold on our TV screens and off it.

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome back to Dear MxM, India’s broad shoulder for the media, advertising and marketing fraternity. 

Yes, prepare for a blitzkrieg that will be unleashed for the Arnab vs TOI or Arnab vs the Rest of News Media as he would probably term this! Interestingly, I don’t think this is about one against the other as much as it is about a very interesting case study of a David vs Goliath, as some of the fraternity term it.

However, as my friend in the hot seat said, there is no David’ and Goliath in a market battle. It’s one brand vs the other and who aces it finally. The market offers equal opportunity in terms of an interested audience and this I agree with completely.

What is interesting however is the strategy that will be adopted and this is the whole point of my column today. I notice that the basic ingredient for a successful strategic plan i.e.’paranoia’ missing in all the rhetoric that ArnabGoswamihas been taking around forums.

#Paranoia is essential for a great combat plan and even the toughest of Generals in War approach the war-room with an inherent paranoia on when the rug will be pulled right under their feet.

I love Arnab for his in-your-face approach and for his imminent love for his craft; both these are extremely significant characteristics for winners, yet this may fall short of a home run, if there isn’t paranoia.

On the other hand, I see closely guarded statements from MK Anand (MD, Times Television Network) on this scenario unfolding. He is am sure, working stealthily on their combat plan and annihilation roadmap, yet he isn’t over-confident;  And If I know him right he would be approaching this with the same integral ingredient, paranoia!

It’s exceedingly simple for the fraternity and others to term this a war between David and Goliath and so on, but I can tell you that this isn’t going to be as simple as it seems. Out in the market, its equally tough for both.

Yes, there will be noise and more noise and money being thrown into the ring several times over. Hopefully, it won’t end up being a battle of one button vs the other on your remote?

Time will tell, but do remember, paranoia is essential for success. And yes, paranoia isn’t an anxiety disorder here.

It is just the 5th ‘P’ in the marketing mix.  ‘P’ for #paranoia !


Sir, I have just learnt that the owners and my bosses have decided that our agency office will shut shop and merged with a bigger office. And that means that I may be out of a job or will have to relocate a big city which will take away all my savings. Thankfully nothing will happen for another six months. What should I do… relocate or look for another job in my small town? (sorry, I don’t want to reveal my location as it will be a giveaway).

And hence, you are sitting there and ruminating about stuff that may not happen at all! Rumination is often the cause of much dissonance, anxiety and even depression.

Stop overthinking my friend. As of now, nothing has happened and you are not out of your job.. Moreover if you have the right skills, what is there to work about. If not one, another employer will give you the right opportunity..

But if you don’t have the craft, then you ought to seriously ruminate on your next steps. For now, I am assuming you do.

All the best, friend !


Sir, you wrote about Hindustan Times coming to Pune, but the paper just closed a few editions. Is it safe to look for a job there, or would you say that no employer is a 100% safe these days?

Absolutely! You got that right. No employer is safe and it would be exceedingly foolhardy to expect any job security in an era that is struggling to decipher what the world has in store…

HT Pune is as safe as keeping your hand in close proximity of an induction cooker top. If its on, your in serious trouble, and if its not you may just get no traction at all!

But this is the world of media and nothing can change it. The unpredictability is it’s essence and for those who want to swim along, this will remain a river rafting ride that is never ending.

So stop overthinking and move on, be it Pune, or anywhere else.


I am a BMM student in Mumbai. While my college schedule is hectic, I have some time available to get into either a computer course or learn a foreign language. I don’t know what to do. Please advise.

Hi, and thanks for writing in. To be honest, I wouldn’t know the difference either of them will make ! These extra highlights are good for your CV but rarely help build on your core competencies.

I would much rather suggest a course on digital marketing and subjects that are more aligned with the current market scenario. More importantly online and digital is going to be the main source of learning and consumption in the next decade so it will be worth your while..


The other option is to do French, German or Mandarin for that matter and pray that there is a good enough career opportunity that comes with it.

Either way, you have my good wishes my friend.


On that note of hope, it is time to carry on with my knitting and leave all of you to prepare for your weekend…Do take good care of yourselves and stay hydrated for this horrid summer that is draining our electrolytes by the minute. Keep the mails coming in Till we meet again then, Sayonara and God Bless.


Jaisurya Das, maverick and media evangelist, eats, sleeps and makes love to brands. His consulting interventions are aimed at making brands powerful and sustainable. He is also Contributing Editor of MxMIndia and Co-Founder of For more on his work visit The views expressed in this column are his own.


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