Television

'Our aim is to become the currency tool for media research' : Ormax Media co-founder & CEO Shailesh Kapoor

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Ormax Media, the consumer knowledge and consulting firm for the media and entertainment industry, was launched jointly by Vispy Doctor, the managing director of Ormax Consultants, a specialist in qualitative research, and former Filmy business head Shailesh Kapoor in July 2008.

The company has expanded across categories like television, radio, films, and media agencies. It has launched various tools, which can predict the future of a show or a film.

The expansion plan includes doing research in the news and South Indian market. The aim is to establish Ormax Media as the currency tool for media research.

In an interview with Indiatelevision.com‘s Gaurav Laghate, Kapoor sheds light on the research needs in the media and entertainment industry and Ormax Media‘s drive to plug the gaps.

Excerpts:

You have worked with companies like Sony, Zee, Zoom and Filmy in roles across marketing, content and business strategy. So what led to Ormax Media?

The idea was always there, I wanted to start something of my own. And I wanted to set up something which combined the media and entertainment industry where I came from with the marketing and consumer understanding that was always my interest.

The exciting part is that we are working on multiple categories - like GECs (general entertainment channels), niche channels, movies, radio and digital. So there is a wide variety that makes the learning experience far more dynamic than it would have been in a traditional media role.

What the company has achieved in these two years?

Since it has been a new company, the first year focus was on consolidation and the second year was really of growth and expansion into new categories, businesses and clients.

We started with TV. It was for two reasons - a far more organised industry in the M&E sector and also because of size.

In 2009 we started with GECs, then moved on to niche channels and radio. During this time, we also started creating specific products.

How did you identify the need for the product offerings?

As we met more and more people, we recognised that there were common needs across the category. For example, there was common need for tracking marketing campaigns for TV programmes. This resulted in a tool - Showbuzz.

You said you are in expansion mode. What all categories are you looking at?

Initially, we spent time on developing tools, products and methodology. Then our focus was clearly on categories where we had strength. Like Bollywood - so we launched Cinematix. We are planning to launch a structured product of test screening of Hindi movies soon.

How has the film industry responded so far?

We have already worked on 7-8 movies in the last six months. And I think for an industry which is still getting used to the idea of research, it‘s a pretty healthy number. Going forward, the film industry will continue to be the focus. First we were trying to get them on board and trying to make them understand the whole idea of research. And we were pleasantly surprised. Once they (film industry) were exposed to this; they were more than willing to receive research in a far more flexible manner.

 

What are the challenges you have been facing for getting clients?

The biggest challenge has been to meet more and more people and give them the flavour of what research can give them. And once they get the right flavour and do one project, they certainly understand the importance of it.

Apart from films, what are the other areas you will be focusing on now?

The areas which we are going to focus on now are specific categories - like South and news.

What opportunities do you see in the southern regional market?

South is a very big market for both TV and cinema industry. The fundamentals of TV and film research are not different. And we have teams in the four southern states.

And what are your plans for the news industry?

The news market is one that largely relies on Tam. But at the category level, there may not be any tools and products available. So we are looking at that option.

News is also a big category in terms of revenue. It is a category where the advertiser buying is often based on decisions based not directly on the function of the ratings. Particularly English news channels where many different parameters come into play.

All your tools basically try to asses and predict the future - cinematix or showbuzz?

A lot of our work is going into putting tools and analytics in place. We are trying to create ways in which future prediction and future analysis can be made rather than just looking at the past and getting a sense of that.

Research is not just looking at today and giving feedback at what people are liking or not liking. I think the more important area, where a lot of our energies are focused on, is to predict the future.

So what all services you offer to clients?

We have three kinds of products. Syndicated products are owned by us like Showbuzz, Cinematics, Characters India Love, RJ Files. We do them at our cost, irrespective of who is subscribing or not subscribing to it. This is data which is registered and trademarked to us. Whoever subscribes to it, gets it.

These products are most cost effective for all as they are common to the industry. Multiple people are subscribing and paying for it . It cannot be affordable for someone wanting to do it alone.

Second is commissioned research, which could be qualitative or quantitative research. These are need based research.

We also do consulting work, which is specifically beyond consumer research and is more advisory in nature. But it is not our main area of work. We are primarily a consumer understanding firm.

How much market share are you looking at acquiring in future?

We hope to be controlling at least 75-80 per cent of the research market in a couple of years. That doesn‘t mean we are going to compete with already established systems such as Tam, Ram etc. We are going to complement the information available through them. So if Tam gives the viewership, we will add value by explaining the viewership understanding. We are more about adding value beyond the measurement systems.

If some other similar company starts working on the same lines, what will be your plan of action?

See, eventually, in a category like this, one becomes currency. We have seen that in case of Tam. The second player to come will have a disadvantage. It is difficult to say at this stage who will become currency, but my sense is that till the time other players will come, we will be established as the industry currency. We are moving in the right direction.

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