The Doyen of Indian Media Outsourcing Business, Shankar B, CEO of Fourth Dimension Medias Solutions, is completing his 25 years of successful journey in Indian Media and Broadcast arena.
Shankar B, is one among the few talents who managed to travel with the changing landscape of Indian Media Space and transformed themselves into the new age talent by adopting to the new ecosystems.
During his career span he had spend around 5 years in Print and Magazine, a Good 14 Years in Television, around 2 years in Digital and 2 years in Experiential Marketing and 2 years in Radio, this makes him unique and versatile marketer with all round abilities.
On this landmark occasion of 25 year in Indian Media, Shankar B took nostalgic tour relooking his past, Secret behind his success and what he has in store for the future.
You did your BSc Physics, given to understand you also did your PGDSM from NIIT and you were a computer programmer how come Media, Broadcast?
I always had the flair to meet people, wanted to be a part of advertising, marketing and communications at an early age. As a programmer, I was restricted to meet only 2 people, found them boring at times, the same coding. When I went for an interview to GetitYellowPages it clicked and then my journey started, I decided I will be here for a while and pursued my MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies.
Which is the best of these in 25 years, is it Print, TV, Radio or Digital.?
- See I’m a very lucky guy, most of the places where I worked I was given a great opportunity to learn and grow. Like when I joined TV in 1998 it was new to me and to a lot of other people too, we were at most times clueless on Ratings, CPRP etc. Likewise in 1997 Indian Express gave me a great opportunity to grow, Bombay was new to me and so was English Dailies and Magazine business.
- Likewise – Experiential Marketing completely out of the block, in 2008 it was still nascent and the global recession was at its peak, I did some great work with Independence Rock, Jethro Tull-Anoushka Shankar, Bacardi Blast and Launch of Beetle – was awesome!
- Digital was for a brief stint thoroughly enjoyed in 2009- 2011.
So which is the best?
I would say it was Television, probably because I spent more than 14 years there, did some awesome shows for the South
People and the industry say- you are very aggressive, how do you define this?
True and Untrue, depends on the situation. Am sure my clients and associates will vouch for, I have been aggressive but never curt or arrogant, have always stayed true to my clients, advertisers and the company I work for.
From People meter to current ratings, explain this change?
Its like Typewriter to Computer, We should embrace the change nicely, imagine its made life so easy for us, why people debate about the lacunae in this change, a currency is a must for everyone. Am sure people involved are putting their best effort and feet forward.
Would you advise your friends, relatives, and people known to you to be a part of this field?
Depends on what their interests are, its great industry to be a part of, it gives name, fame and all – comes with a lot of hard work thou.
Tell me briefly how Fourth Dimension was born?
It all started in 2010, when I had gone to sell a cricket concept to Dr. Sathya ( President, SRM Group), he liked the idea and bought it! That’s when he said they have plans to launch a channel in 2011 and wanted me to be a part of that team.
By then I had done TV, Radio, and Print and suggested the idea of Media Outsourcing and he instantly approved and Fourth Dimension was born.
I had convinced Bharath to join first, who then got Bala, Thyagraj and another person, today we are more than 30 of us.
How do you motivate the team?
A successful company depends on a great 2nd in line. Bharath is a great manager and handles them well, most of my team members are self-motivated and they have worked with us for so long. So they know the likes and dislikes of most of them, luckily its worked well for us.
The team is pretty matured one; they are very open and transparent. If they don’t like something or feel uncomfortable – they have every right to pick up the phone and say it, which they have been not frequently thou.
We have just expanded across India, the response is overwhelming, we have a lot to do and my clients, agencies and the industry has embraced me personally and my products very well, hope they continue the same support for years to come.
If not Media, what would you be?
In fact in the mid-2000’s, I wanted to direct and act and all that, I did get some small roles, knowing my impatience I changed my mind and said – my bread, butter, and jam is here. To answer your question – could have been tried be an actor, don’t know.
Memorable Hits in 25 years…!
My first client was a Dr in Hyderabad sold him an ad for Rs.2500 was so excited called up my Bosses from a landline.
The biggest events in South – have been a part of that – most memorable one being a Felicitation to K Balachander – had got both the legends Kamal Hasan and Rajinikanth, unforgettable meeting with Rajini to convince him to come for the show in 2005 just days before ‘Chandramukhi’ – must thank Mr.Regunathan for this opportunity.
Independence Rock, for 2 years with Rock starFarhadWadia, then Bacardi Blast and JethroTullAnoushka Shankar in Goa.
The launch of Puthiyathalaimurai in 2011 was a WOW factor – we had the mother of all launches.
Shankar recollected the Dhronas of his Career, His Ex Bosses who played immense role in shaping him as a formidable talent: Megha Tata, Regunathan, Balaji V, Hari Bharadwaj, Farhad Wadia and his current Boss Manivannan of SRM Group.