Rahul Namjoshi joined My FM in 2007 as the Station Head of Ahmedabad city and later took over the role of National Head, Corporate Sales in 2011. He has been instrumental in establishing My FM as a top choice in the minds of corporate clients and agencies to their advertising needs in tier II and III markets.
In the year 2019 he was elevated as COO to spearhead the brand through the transformation in radio industry and focus on bringing in wider acceptance for the radio medium. Namjoshi’s mandate was to drive significant partnerships, enhancing reach, brand integrations and lead the launch of content and campaigns for the channel
Namjoshi is an MBA in marketing and well-versed with sales strategies in the radio industry. He has also successfully led the radio expansion in Maharashtra.
Your journey at My FM from 2007 to present as the COO?
It has been a learning trajectory here at MY FM. I started my Journey as a station Head in Ahmedabad, and then was heading the regional business cluster for MY FM in Gujarat. Gradually, my profile was expanded to a national role and I shifted my base to Delhi. From here, it has been an eventful ride of responsibilities on a network level- be it as a Business head or more recently as the COO.
You started off in the Textile industry first with Vimal, then Dinesh Mills, both textile giants, how did the shift to Radio happen?
Since Childhood, I have been a go-getter. This is the trait I cherish and still try to continue developing. I love to take challenges and get out of my comfort zone; this keeps the excitement in life high and kills monotony. This is the reason I moved on from the textile industry and joined Radio, which is much more dynamic as a medium and is full of challenges and opportunities.
Today, talent is a big issue, how are you as COO tackling it in My FM?
Yes it is indeed a challenge to hire new talent which fits and gels into our culture and is in-line with our work ethics. Being in such a dynamic industry where a lot of content is being created, sold, re-used and refurbished, our approach is to keep our existing work-force motivated while continuously looking out for fresh passionate people. Fortunately, our Human resource department is quite pro-active in this. I can say this quite satisfyingly looking at our employee attrition rate and the kind of talent associated with us since the last one decade.
How do you view the community radio space in India? What are the growth potentials, according to you?
With over 18 officially recognized languages in India, community radio space will always be a very good bet as far as localized content is concerned. However, in terms of advertising spends and revenue models, a lot of private community radio stations do not have the necessary fuel to keep on delivering. Gradually, corporates have realized that to reach the end-consumer you cannot have a ‘Corporate-centric’ approach. There are approximately 104 million homes that have radio-nearly double the number of homes that have TV. You can judge the growth potential from this.
How important is the digital space when it comes to Radio?
Gone are the days when we can have a clear differentiator between a traditional and a new medium. By mentioning this, we are not denying the fact that music streaming apps are gradually sharing our advertising pie. In this era, where every medium has to face a unique struggle for audience and advertising revenue, MY FM has been steadily adding to its digital components with more content focusing on digital audience. We are working towards using our digital and social media platforms to extend our brand promise with podcasts, videos and live streams. We already have established our mark in the social media with RJ Kartik becoming the most followed RJ on Facebook.
Marketing initiatives to grow the brand to create awareness and presence?
There’s a new proverb in today’s market “Quality, relevant content can’t be spotted by an algorithm. You can’t subscribe to it. You need people – actual human beings – to create or curate it”. Till the time you are being relevant to someone, be it your advertiser or your listener, I think you are doing your job. When you become relevant and desirable, you are excelling in your job. So, our aim right now will be to be someone for everyone and something for everything. To achieve this we are working towards creating more relevant content with new shows, fresh concepts and never heard before properties which can be accessed anytime and anywhere.
Is the FM radio industry today looking more at hyper local advertisers or national advertisers? Or for most brands it is an afterthought?
Its 2020, and even global giants have started to go as hyper-local as possible. In terms of on-air presence, MY FM’s strength has been being a local star having a national prominence. The same is true from the advertisers’ perspective as well. If you need to reach out to your end consumer, you need to match their expectations. Majority of the media plans are made at corporate levels and that is where the ROI gets hampered. Media buyers and planners cannot miss the fact that what might work out for a metro may not even be accepted in another part of the country. A country where a simple ‘gol-gappa’ has multiple variations, copy pasting of strategies used in urban markets to non-metros is a blasphemous.
Brands have now evolved what are they looking for beyond the ROI?
If one has to lead in the current scenario of cut-throat competition, relying on plain commercial spots is a blunder. At MY FM, we understand our clients’ need and always plan a little extra. This ‘little extra’ is what makes our brand desirable for our advertisers. We believe it is our duty to understand our client’s requirement and focus on customization. This is where Brand Solutions come into play. FCT will always be our bread and butter, Brand solutions is the cheese that is desired by all.
The measurement for Radio (RAM) does it reflect correctly the listenership?
I seriously believe that some scientific approach needs to be present for tapping Radio Listenership. I think relying on just one approach is always dangerous. You have to look all the parameters for calculating the correct data. That being said, I support the initiative of having an industry Standard for measurement. Doing the same for print and TV is comparatively easy as there is a lot of appointment viewing and physical circulations going around. Radio, as a category is passive and happens throughout the day at multiple touch-points.
My FM has done a lot of initiatives, what has the thought been?
2019 was a year of successful experimentation for us. We launched three back to back unique concepts on radio like Mafia Stories by Hussain Zaidi, Fun Mei hai Vishwas with Dr. Kumar Vishwas and Cheers with Engineer Dev. The idea behind all these concepts was to encourage listener experience through radio, our core. 2020 will be a step forward in launching more such concepts through listener feedback, surveys and regular brainstorming exercises.
‘Mafia Stories with Hussain S Zaidi’, a thriller series inspired by the underworld, what made you want to put this on a platform like Radio
Radio is not just music, traffic updates and city-news. It has always been a theatre of mind. We wanted to re-ignite the experience of listening and imagination with our audience. And, what can give the most ‘thrilling’ experience than a thriller itself? That is where Mafia Stories came to our mind. A series of audio dramas based on true incidents, eye witness accounts and testimonials of Hussain Zaidi- all done to enhance the listener experience and attempt appointment viewing on Radio.
My FM has also conceptualized ‘Fun Me hai Vishwas’ is delivered in short one minute capsules throughout the day… strategy behind this move?
Dr. Kumar Vishwas is a personality that relates with all age groups, professions and genders. We knew his spontaneity connects immediately with the listeners. Since radio does not have audience-peaks like Print & TV, and the exposure happens throughout the day, we strategically planted his exclusive content as short capsules throughout the day. It was done to expose the same capsule to a mutually-exclusive audience throughout the day.
How will the radio industry look in the next 5 years?
First and foremost, I see a blend of digital & on-air focus in Radio. The essence of any digital campaign is its targeted approach, and Radio, since a decade, has been pioneering that. Since a lot of digital content is being consumed every second, the only medium that follows such consumption is Radio, and I think in the coming 5 years you will get to see a lot of blended approach by both the media.
Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, you cannot miss out on what is happening locally. We already are leaders in our existing markets and have well-established RJs who are celebrated regionally and nationally. The need of the hour, or to say the decade, for us as a category, is to create more such stars and more shows to appeal to our local audience. In a country where the vibe of the area changes in every 100 Kms, it is crucial to tweak the format of your presentation so that it blends in effortlessly.
Today there are many music platforms airing free music how as a Radio station you are upping the content you offer to the listeners?
As I have already mentioned, and this not just concentrated to Radio, every medium is eying for digital impressions. Yes, it is a category-level competition, but we cannot ignore our core. Our core is Radio, and we are here because of our listeners. We are a customer centric organization and always strive to bring something new for our listener. Last year we brought three unique concepts on our platform- Mafia Stories, a crime-based audio drama series, Cheers with Engineer Dev, a light-hearted motivational daily capsule, and Fun Mein hai Vishwas by Dr. Kumar Vishwas. We will continue this trend of bringing new and unique concepts on Radio to engage our audience and upping our content offerings.
How does Rahul Namjoshi tackle stress?
Spending time with my family is something I really look forward to. After a hectic routine, playing a sport with my children and wife helps me ease up the day’s tension.
Your favourite sport?
Although I love watching cricket, my personal favourite, when it comes to playing, is Lawn Tennis.
Your go to activities to unwind?
It has to be either music or spending time with my family. I have a mix of Zen sounds, Jagjit Singh gazals, old Hindi and Sufi music and a lot of retro English songs in my playlist which I frequently listen to.