Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: No time to post selfies, Media CEOs

24 Aug,2017

By Jaisurya Das


Welcome back, Ladies and Gentleman, to this all-new edition of India’s most read online counselling column for the fraternity.

While the cities in Maharashtra get set to welcome Lord Ganesha, the industry waits in prayer.. This has been a tough storm with revenues having plunged abysmally low. To add to this, the pressures of rising input and manpower cost have landed huge blows to the bottomline of most media companies.

Some suffer out of complacency, some thanks to the aftermath of reduced spending and the others thanks to the lack of a Plan B. Most companies have been caught napping with either CEOs who performed only in boardrooms and the others who travelled overseas while a story was brewing in their backyard.

It is obviously time to get real.This is no time to post selfies and stay visible on social timelines, This is the time to roll up your sleeves, take stock of the situation and work on the Plan B and C. This isn’t an easy phase and introspection is the need of the hour. Far too much time is being wasted on meetings and unproductive long discussions today, If even half this time were to be spent on actually going to the market at CEO level to ascertain the issues, things would be far better.

Yes, it is time the head honchos begin to move into the markets and study first hand rather than rely on anyone else. But this is a tall order since most CEO’s today are good only within the comfort of their plush rooms, fancy cars notwithstanding..

Get real media owners, Get your top management out there in the field. You should be heralding this.

This mayhem demands such intervention !


For the rest of you, here are our weeks questions from our readers in Bengaluru, Vijaywada and Mumbai.


Sir, just four months left in this calendar year. How would you say has the year been so far. If you ask me, it’s been terrible, but we are all waiting for Lord Ganesha to bring in happy times.

Indeed, Ganpati Bappa Morya !

The entire media and advertising industry is certainly hoping for better tidings in the months to come. This year has been quite a roller coaster with the month of July dealing a huge blow to revenues.

Some say it is the demonetisation, others blame the GST rollout but am not sure this is only about these factors. As we have seen life has moved on despite all the song and dance on this rollout. In my opinion this is about a very cautious approach to spends now.

All clients are careful about being overly noticed now and lying low without too much fan fare is one way they are staying unnoticed. I see reduced spending even on the retail front with less shoppers actually buying leading a lot of plush malls to fold up. Pune saw Inorbit shut their mall operations a few months back and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more such fall outs.

The only thing that seems to be dong well is food and healthcare, both of which are mushrooming. Eat away and keep those health checks going is the current motto! Incidentally, my motto as well!


Sir, my cousin is a budding advertising professional, but he is based in a small, Tier 3 town in Telangana. He has studied in Telugu medium, but he has made some short, 3-minute films and finds that his real calling is in advertising. But he’s worried about the language, which I have told him is not a problem. He can speak, as we say in Delhi, ‘tooti-footi’ Hindi and fair, but accented English. What should be my advice to him? Sorry for the long question.

Good creative professionals will find space, no matter what language they speak. I would urge him to scan the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and try and work for a creative agency there. There are several and a lot of them are doing some good work.

This way, his initial corporate foray will see no language barrier and once he has the requisite experience and a good portfolio, he can move to other cities like Mumbai etc. This way he would find his growth trajectory in shape.

I take this opportunity to wish him all success in his career endeavours.


My father would always advise me that my desk should be clear of any pending work when I leave work. It shows your inefficient, he would say. But in media sales, the work just doesn’t end, because there are so many other factors and people who contribute to the decision-making. Sir, I feel a little guilt given what my father said . What is your view…. am I inefficient?

I completely agree with your father and this exactly what I have always believed in. Clutter only adds to your problems and it is thus critical that you dispense with your day’s tasks before you set off home.

More often than once, there is nothing that needs to be postponed and the reams of paper that go with these tasks are best kept away from your workspace once you are done with them.

It isn’t about inefficiency as much as good time management and this goes for media sales too. It is a fallacy that media sales requires you to keep sitting on papers and files. Your job is to get revenue and you cant afford to waste your time in office going through papers.

They are not meant to stay on your table. Get them out and move on with your fundamental objectives.


On this note, I take this opportunity to wish all our readers a

Very Happy And Prosperous Ganesh Chaturthi. May our Elephant God bring you and family all success ahead. Till we meet next time 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 the Contributing Editor of MxM India and Co-Founder of more on his work visit The views expressed in this column are his own.



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