?I only shop online or via TV?: Best Deal TV COO Meghna Krishna

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In a highly competitive media industry where cut throat competition is the way of life and being one up on your competition is the only way to succeed, it is rare to come across someone who still believes in the power of empathy.

And that's why Best Deal TV COO Meghna Krishna strikes as a pleasant surprise.  Krishna believes that there is nothing that you can get done alone as an individual.

Hailing from a small town called Khurja in UP, Krishna armed herself with an MBA from the reputed INSEAD in France before moving to US to work with startups like Walmart. Through varied exposures in different organisations that she worked with, Krishna has had exposure in front of the camera, behind the camera, on the marketing side of things and as a consumer as well. Now, after almost two decades of being in the industry, she opens up to Exec Life on her tryst with Homeshop18, her reasons for shopping mostly through television and online marketplaces, and her experience of working with Raj Kundra.


What is your take on the concept of using celebrities to market home-shopping products on Best Deal TV? 

Best Deal TV is exactly how I envisioned TV shopping to be. This is the way to bring credibility to a space that suffers from lack of trust. Here, we are not just getting products and slapping celebrity faces to it. They are truly involved in creating the brand, selecting the product and using it. Having been in this industry for eight years now, I think it runs in my blood. I have been in front of the camera, behind the camera, on the marketing side of things and on the buying side of things.

What part of home-shopping appeals to you?

The good thing about home-shopping is that you cannot predict what your day would be like. Launching a product is a lifetime experience and in home-shopping, we launch 80-90 products a month. These are not products that are picked from what exists in the market; they are customized and sometimes conceptualized by our sourcing team keeping in mind the demand of the customers.

What are the major challenges that you face in selling a product through television?

The primary challenge would be customer recruitment. Because of the not so positive reputation of home-shopping in general, people do not relate shopping from television to quality products. It will take time and consistency to change this perception.

Secondly, there's the challenge of logistics and infrastructure like delivering in locations that do not even have motorable roads. Lastly, talent. There is so much growth in the retail space that it is difficult to hire talent and retain it. Challenge of identifying the correct technology that will make us future ready should also concern those involved in home-shopping.

Do you shop online?

I only shop online or from TV except when I am traveling. I don?t have favorites, but it?s addictive. Once you start browsing and looking, you get hooked. Innovation obviously matters in staying ahead of the curve, selling a differentiated product as well as knowing what is going to be in demand tomorrow. At the same time, innovating in servicing the customers is also imperative. Making sure the customers have a good experience is essential.

Who do you consider your role model or inspiration in the industry (or outside)?

I learn from everyone I meet, every person has some inherent quality that you can learn from. But if I had to name one person inspires me, it would be Mr. Sundeep Malhotra, he is my ex-boss and even today when I am lost or need help, I think of how he would handle the situation and if that does not work- I call him and ask.

How has the experience of working with Raj Kundra been?

Working with Raj has been fantastic so far. He has been a mentor and a friend more than a boss. The best part is that he gives a lot of space, which makes this a very exciting opportunity.

What is that one thing for which you are proud of yourself?

There is no one thing for me, but I am very proud of the fact that I was a part of the founding team of India?s largest Home-shopping channel. We did not just set up a company, we started an industry.  When we began, trained talent did not exist. We started from scratch and trained each and every anchor and producer for television shopping. We created a communication strategy to differentiate ourselves from all the infomercials that ran late at night. Setting a brand that is trusted in an industry that was fested with lack of trust has been one of the most exciting experiences

Is e-commerce and digital market going to be the market leader when it comes to lifestyle commodities?

In my opinion, the future is innovation and having a pulse on customer needs. This is just the beginning, I think customers are so much better off today as they get better variety at much better prices. Additionally they can also buy the latest trends so it?s a lot more easier now.

What is success to you? 

Success to me is building a passionate organization with a strong customer franchise. My mantra is to focus, get it right and then build on it.

Any words of wisdom that you want to share with our readers?

Imbibe knowledge as knowledge gives you confidence, and brings empathy in your work as there is nothing that you can get done alone as an individual.

As told to Papri Das

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