National: Known for recognising the efforts of the radio industry, the India Radio Forum 2019 hosted its 14th edition of Excellence in Radio Awards (ERA) in the midst of grandeur and splendid works presented by the Radio industry.
As the industry continues to grow, the conference was well attended and hosted by eminent speakers – Abraham Thomas, CEO, BIG FM, LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, Nisha Narayanan, COO, 93.5 RED FM & Magic FM, Anita Bose, Chief Operating Officer, Madison Media, Rajiv Dubey, General Manager, Dabur India among others coming together for the biggest celebration of the radio broadcast industry. Held at The Leela Ambience, Gurugram, the leading event culminated into the Excellence in Radio awards celebrating the highly deserved winners.
The most coveted title, the Best FM Network was won by 93.5 Red FM. Rest of the titles were presented to the best of the industry across categories like Programming, Talent, Promotion & marketing and Advertising. Radio Mirchi’s ‘The Naved Khan Show’ and BIG FM’s ‘Suhaana Safar With Annu Kapoor’ felicitated with the trophy of ‘Best Breakfast Show (Hindi)’ and ‘Best Radio Show (Hindi – Non-Metro Station)’ respectively. RJ Neelesh Misra, BIG FM won ‘RJ of the Year (Hindi)’ trophy while ‘Most Creative Campaign’ title went into the kitty of Red FM’s ‘Delhi Ask Rashmi – World’s 1st Robot RJ Rashmi’.
The day unfolded with the welcome note session by Abraham Thomas, CEO, BIG FM followed by an engaging panel discussion led by Ashwini Padmanabhan, Head Trading and Partnerships, GroupM. The participants- Anita Bose, Chief Operating Officer, Madison Media;; LV Krishnan, CEO and TAM Media Research discussed the power of audio campaigns in the 30 minutes session.
The next session discussed “Radio’s Dilemma – A Unified Measurement System” which was led by Meenakshi Menon, Spatial Access. The panel consisted of Nisha Narayanan, COO, 93.5 RED FM & Magic FM, Divya Karani, CEO, Dentsu X India and Sanchayeeta Verma, Senior Vice President, Wavemaker. The power packed panel threw some light on the measurement system and the concerns related to it.
An interesting session which kept the audience engaged in the conversation was ‘Storytellers in Audio – From Radio to Podcasts’ was led by – Indira Rangarajan, National Programming Head – Mirchi Love, Radio Mirchi. The panel consisted of Kavita Rajwade, Co-Founder, Indus Vox Media (IVM), Riya Mukherjee, Founder, RMWP and Soela Joshi, Business Director, BIG FM. The panelists shared their opinions and insights on the power of storytelling. The trio also spoke at length about podcast, the new format gaining traction among masses and brands and how impactful medium it is for storytelling.
The summit concluded with the most awaited session ‘Influencer Marketing -The Game changers That Weave Magic Through Their Stories’, with storytellers themselves. Moderated by Akash Banerjee, Co-Founder, NAB Digital Media & Host, The DeshBhakt, the panel witnessed the most celebrated RJ’s of the capital city RJ Ginnie, Radio City, RJ Naved, Radio Mirchi, RJ Raunac, Red FM and the very own Khurafati RJ Nitin, BIG FM.
Speaking about the industry, Abraham Thomas, CEO, BIG FM said, “We have been associated with the forum from the beginning. It’s been 14 years of IRF and this journey has been great so far. There was an interesting session on the unified measurement system in this edition, which I specifically liked. I like the honesty with which the issues were debated and discussed. I am really hopeful that we will move forward quickly on unified measurement front.”
Speaking about the Radio industry and the need of a unified measurement system, Nisha Narayanan, COO of Red FM Network said, “The reason as to why we aren’t coming up with a unified measurement system is because each one of us comes with our own agendas and interests. As an industry, we need to come together, revive conversations that look towards finding out solutions and work towards propelling the industry to further growth. We have seen much larger investments by brands into radio stations the moment we give them more data. It’s not that brands do not believe in radio as a medium, but they are sitting quiet and waiting for the industry to produce research of their own and convince them about the impact of radio. If we are coming up with a unified measurement system, it should be the only measurement system for radio which should be out there. From an acceptance point of view, be it government bodies, agencies, clients, everybody has to be welcoming of it being the one and only currency for radio.”
Sanchayeeta Verma, Senior Vice President, Wavemaker who was the part of Radio’s Dilemma said, “IRF is a great forum to connect all stakeholders to both discuss and iron out bottlenecks that are there in the industry, as well as understand the new developments that are out there which we need to be cognizant about. It was great participating in today’s event.”
Indira Rangarajan – National Programming Head for Radio Mirchi’s second frequency, Mirchi Love said, “Storytelling in audio is an art form that needs a lot more nurturing and investment in quality writers, voices and audio designers. We should be experimenting a lot more and not just restrict ourselves to fiction.”