It’s a common thing to see senior and experienced professionals move up the ladder either in the same organization or with various job changes. We as a media and entertainment online B2B trade portal report most of these management changes ourselves, however there’s a trend that seems to be emerging in the recent years; which is that ‘new media’ or ‘digital media’ are taking away the mavericks or masters of Traditional media companies in India and globally.
Experienced traditional media veterans are moving to new age digital media organizations. Take for example Sanjay Gupta of Disney and Star India moving on to be the Country Manager for Google India. He was instrumental in making Star India one of the most successful media organizations in the country.
“All these senior leaders and industry veterans actually know the business and the ecosystem very well, while digital in that sense is quite nascent in comparison with the old media businesses such as Print and TV etc. said Anand Bhadkamkar, CEO Denstu Aegis Network India
“The traditional media companies has immensely talented leaders who are able to take their knowledge and experience to the digital businesses such as Sanjay Gupta from Disney and Star or earlier it was Punita getting into Google at that time or say Sam Singh into Bytedance now who was in Google earlier, went to the agency business and is back into digital.” Added Bhadkamkar
Similarly last year we saw, Ajit Mohan another senior Star India leader who launched India’s biggest OTT platform Hotstar, move on to Facebook India as their VP and MD for the Indian business.
Not a long ago, Bytedance which is the parent organization of Tik-Tok appointed Nikhil Gandhi as their India head. Gandhi who is an experienced TV honcho had spent close to a decade at the Turner Group and later moved to Times Network as President and COO. He played a key role in setting up Zoom Studios at Times. Sameer Singh who the CEO for GroupM in South Asia also moved on to become Bytedance’s VP Monetization for the Indian market.
“It is natural for big fish to swim where the water is deep.” said advertising veteran, Ramesh Narayan, Founder Canco Advertising.
Narayan added, “You can’t blame the medium. And by traditional if you mean print, I don’t think Print can afford to match the emoluments being offered by digital. If you include TV in traditional, then I am happy to say that the medium has a good breath of Star performers left.” Smiling he added, “No pun intended.”
On how this trend is a win-win situation for both traditional and digital media companies, Bhadkamkar said, “In a way these leaders getting into digital companies is actually for the benefit for the whole ecosystem, because digital is an evolving medium. When you have leaders who understand the industry quite well, have delivered results and successfully set up and run the businesses are taking charge at digital businesses will be in a better position to transition, integrate and embrace the disruption. I think that’s much better for all the stakeholders in the industry, as you have people who understand both sides of the business and it creates new leadership positions / talent pool across both – the new age companies and traditional companies.”
Gowtham Ragothaman, WPP’s Global Client Lead and GroupM’s global blockchain solutions lead moved on from WPP after 23 years and launched Aqilliz in Singapore, a blockchain solutions company.
“The future, we talked about for long, is here. Digital & digital media is where spends are migrating to very rapidly.”Said FCB India’s Group Chairman and CEO Rohit Ohri.
Continuing Ohri said, “Obviously, there is a big need for the best talent there. People who deeply understand the art of building brands in the market. No surprise then that some of the best people are starting digital ventures or joining digital companies.”
It is evident that digital companies want leaders who have had the experience of running traditional media companies and preferably conglomerates and stand true to the fact that they are draining traditional master brains, but then that’s what experience means.
In the early days of television, there were no TV professionals; the best people from the print media were given the opportunity to work the television. So the trend is simply repeating.
While it is a known fact that India has the world’s largest and youngest workforce across the globe finding digital talent truly is one major challenge for digital media companies.
What needs to be done here? Does the digital industry need to tap into fresh talent? Or senior/mid-senior level executives of traditional media companies fear that traditional media may come to an end with the growing popularity of digital media companies across the spectrum and hence want to make the switch before they are forced to do so? While these are just some points that maybe a few reasons but in the end it’s upon every individual and the company that hires that individual. Isn’t it?
Digital is here…