We all have had those moments when we want to pack our bags
and kiss goodbye to our desks to start something of our own.
However, in reality very few of us actually do that to follow
Das' pedigree encourged investor ITV Network to back
him with its bucks
ago, the late Rohinton Maloo took the step of quitting his job
at Trikaya Grey (now Grey Worldwide) when the entrepreneurship
bug bit him to start his media concessionaire firm. In the recent
past too, the Indian media industry has seen many executives
leaving their cushy jobs to start their own ventures. So, what
makes one to take such a step? It is independence, new challenges
or just fulfillment of a childhood dream.
my trainee days, I always wrote my career objectives, one
of which was to strike out a place for myself," says
Cent Percent Media Solutions (CPMS) co-founder Barun Das who
started the company along with his former Zee News Ltd (ZNL)
colleague Amit Tripathi. The two ZNL executives started the
ad sales agency in February this year with a core focus on
the growing regional language, news and niche channel spaces.
Amit functions as the CEO of the company.
20 years of work experience (quite a few of these in media)
and a deep understanding of the broadcast industry (he was
CEO of ZNL for quite a few years), Das knew that the time
was right to start a one-stop sales avenue for the ad revenue-challenged
regional and niche channels.
digitisation taking shape, the industry is bound to go through
a boom in the next three to five years," he says. "Most
channels that will come up in that phase will be subscription
driven. They will not want to set up a national ad sales infrastructure
and will be more than glad to have someone with one to generate
those extra ad rupees for them. And this is where agencies
such as us will come in."
was very easy for us to put our bucks behind this fledgling
venture says RK Arora
agency which didn't have a single client when it started four
months back, can today boast of having 10 clients in its kitty.
The company handles ad sales for channels such as India News
National, India News Haryana, India News Rajasthan, India
News Bihar, India News Madhya Pradesh, India News Uttar Pradesh,
Kolkata TV and NewsX which are a part ITV Network. Apart from
these, the agency has also been appointed by Odisha Television
Network to handle the advertising sales of two of its channels,
Tarang Music and Prarthana.
is clocking in about Rs 4 crore of billing revenue per month.
Das says this is just the beginning. "The numbers that
we are getting are just in four months of existence. Our venture
has really taken off well, much better than I even anticipated,"
he says. "I expect Cent Percent to close its first year
at around Rs 100 crore in billing."
the journey hasn't been a smooth one for the newcomer. "I
have had investors who committed but backed-out at the last
minute. But there have been others who have supported and
appreciated us," points out Das while explaining how
the last six months have been a mix bag of emotions.
So how does he motivate himself and others? "Our current
aim is to sustain for the first two years. If we can achieve
this, I am confident that we will reach our goal of being
a Rs 300 crore billing agency in the next three years. We
know and understand the industry and if we aim high as well
as believe in ourselves then surely we will be able to achieve
what we have ventured out for," says Das.
agency which currently has a strength of 45 employees across
the country is backed by the Kartikeya Sharma-owned ITV Network,
which has bought a majority stake in it. Prior to this, the
agency was also funded by a private equity investor. It is
looking at setting up a national network in order to service
will happen as we go along. We currently have a strong presence
in the north with regional manager Aarti Manchama, and in
the west with regional manager Sonal Pandey and the east with
Dipayan. These are professionals who have worked with national
news channels, and we will expand when the need arises,"
Optimedia's Naveen Khemka believes that agencies such
as Cent Percent are filling a need gap
to indiantelevision.com, ITV Network CEO RK Arora explains
that it was very easy for his company to put its bucks behind
the fledgling venture. Says he: "Both Barun and Amit
come with a lot of experience and know how to sell news channels.
They have tremendous merit, and we have full faith in them
and hence we didn't hesitate in promoting them. New regional
broadcasters which do not have a set-up in cities like Mumbai
or Delhi want such agencies to help them."
senior vice-president Naveen Khemka too believes that such
new ventures only succeed when they have something new to
offer to their clients or if there is really a need-gap in the
market. "Small channels can't spend or set-up large
sales teams across the nation and hence tie-up with these new
specialised agencies. According, to me it's a win-win situation
media source reveals that there are other advantages too.
A small standalone channel - on its own - may not have much
negotiating clout with media agencies who believe their job
is to drive down prices and get a deal better than the best.
a concessionaire such as Cent Percent comes into the picture
dealing on behalf of a dozen channels with a large amout of
inventory,the media planner/buyer views things differently,"
says she. "The balance of power shifts and his negotiating
power goes down. Hence, going with a concessionaire is really
a good bet."
Das. "We are actually aiming at strengthening our news
channel vertical to at least 20," he says. "Then
there is the regional entertainment vertical and the national
niche channel vertical which will be gradually built up."
then of course. there are other challenges which normally
come up for media concessionaires: like marrying one's systems
into those of each client's and ensuring that all commitments
made to advertisers and agencies are met.
have been scaling up and will definitely do more depending
on the requirement to ensure that our service standards stay
top class," says Das. "But on the whole our sales
team is in constant touch with the media agency, the brand
and the content team of the channel to ensure that everything
works out right, even for product placement and brand integration.We
actually work as an extended arm of the organisation."
an outlook and attitude like that, Cent Percent is 100 per
cent likely to hit bull's eye! Right?