Television

Balance-sheet, impact, fun is the mantra; Raghav Bahl & Ronnie Screwvala

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/16/Untitled-1_35.jpg?itok=M6LeFObO

MUMBAI: At the IAA Knowledge Series held at ITC Maratha in Mumbai today were the two successful entrepreneurs Raghav Bahl and Ronnie Screwvala. Bahl is known for pioneering TV news in India - along with NDTV's Prannoy Roy - whereas Screwvala (a serial entrepreneur ) is known for building a robust TV and film business which was acquired by Disney in India. Both shared the tale of their journey in the media business. The duo shared their business secrets for young budding entrepreneurs. They also opened up about their plans of their new trysts with media.

Bahl began by saying that his new business venture The Quint was not here to reinvent any business models like he did with CNBC TV18 by creating the business news genre. "We have to bring disruption through superior and quality content. We started CNBC TV18 11 and the revenue line was Rs 4-5 crore. Today, the business news market is worth Rs 400 crore. As equity knowledge goes deeper, investors will come in. The USP has to be content. We have to be independent and the editorial issues have to be edgier and bolder. That’s a big thing."

"We crossed paths and swords during the launch of the UTV-Bloomberg channel and when the UTV ticker went out through CNBC channel,” adds Ronnie Screwvala.

Both known for their gutsy moves of launching several channels, Bahl pointed out that CNN-IBN and Colors are the two things he made big bet son, while Screwvala is of the opinion that Bindass was a risky decision that he took.

With digital booming in India and emergence of several platforms for content consumption, broadcasters, multinationals and Indian non-media start-ups entering the OTT/VOD space. Screwavala was of the opinion that MNC’s like Netflix and Amazon have figured out that India is a local market and expensive series will not be successful.

“At the core of this is whether the consumer is willing to pay? This will again bring back to the advertising economy or the fee economy. It is not a venture capital game but advertising where it’s always going to be cost-minus. So, that’s the real disruption which will again only happen by the people who really want to shake up this market.”

The two of them accepted the fact that payment gateways are essential make-or-break tools for these services.

“There are too many different businesses. What I think is, you cannot mix content business with OTT business. You have to decide whether you want to be in the content game or in the distribution game. Netflix, according to me, is an exception which proves it. It will have to figure out whether it is a content company else they can end up in the same confusion as Yahoo. If you can build a compelling proposition for a consumer, then everything will follow,” explained Bahl.

But, did we not want to know more of the duo’s impatience and gutsy decisions? Certainly, yes. Explaining the exit Bahl said, according to the regulations, a partner needs to have 51 per cent equity in a business which is not something entrepreneurs are open to as it means giving up control. “I was not allowed to not dilute it further. The regulations are very first-generation thing. It was either diluting ourselves or exiting."

“Exits cannot be timed. You cannot rewind the clock whether in media or in life. I have no regrets. It is as exhilarating now as it was when I started UTV,” added Screwvala.

Witnessing several ups and downs in the business, both of them shared their success mantras for young entrepreneurs, Bahl said, “Just go by your balance-sheet. Do not go beyond it. Young entrepreneurs should not get seduced by the media. You guys have not become superstars until you do not have a strong balance-sheet. Be resistant to changing times because it's not a sexy, glamorous field to be in but very stressful.”

“You build what you want to build and stay constant about it and your vision. Today’s ecosystem is forcing you to grow a little bit horizontal, but do not go by what investors want. If you are not curious, then this is not the space for you,” concluded Screwvala.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/and.jpg?itok=gmlb88MV
&pictures invokes the feeling of Indian-ness by ‘Saluting the Heroes of India’ this Republic Day

Celebrate the Republic weekend on a high note as &pictures, Naye India Ka Blockbuster Movie Channel brings to its viewers three blockbuster movies on 26th and 27th January.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/et.jpg?itok=c1a6nLak
ET NOW Unveils Mega Pre-Budget Line-Up

Setting the agenda for the interim budget, ET NOW, India's leading English business news channel from Times Network, has unveiled special programming in the run-up to Budget 2019.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/diiscvoery.jpg?itok=8yjyVtTz
Discovery pays tribute to the Armed Forces with Republic Day special line-up

Discovery Channel, India’s leading destination for factual entertainment, will celebrate Republic Day with a special line-up of shows dedicated to Indian Armed Forces.

Television TV Channels Factual @ Discovery
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/naveen.jpg?itok=XLoaqFyD
Times Network international biz head Naveen Chandra moves on

Times Network’s international business head Naveen Chandra has stepped down and will be serving his last day on 28 February.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/logos.jpg?itok=csfH09mP
This Republic Day, feel inspired and entertained by SPN’s English Cluster

As the nation embarks on a celebration of pride and valour on Republic Day, SPN’s English Cluster brings an entertainment parade of the finest shows and movies for its viewers.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/Shashi%20Shekhar%20Vempati.jpg?itok=KQPGyMuu
DD India to reposition as English channel; digital platform to launch before elections

Even as all the private media houses are gearing up for the general election, public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) are not lagging in their attempts to make hay out of the most lucrative season for news channels.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/usp.jpg?itok=pH9gyts1
USP Studios partners with Cosmos-Maya to expand the global entertainment content distribution network for kids

Today, as parents are constantly trying to find the right balance of screen time for young kids, entertainment along with interactive learning plays an imperative role.

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/axis.jpg?itok=HzeFqOmK
Axis Mutual Funds and The Womb take on Fake News in India!

In the context of fake news getting forwarded and investors getting unnecessarily influenced by it, Axis Mutual Fund, one of India’s premier asset management companies has launched an investor awareness campaign

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/motu-patlu.jpg?itok=PbD2fDhq
Celebrate Republic Day with Motu Patlu’s 18th made-for-television movie - ‘Motu Patlu the Superheroes – Super Villains from Mars’

This Republic Day, Motu-Patlu will embark on a all-new adventure, fighting evil to protect the citizens of Furfurinagar and Modern city in their upcoming TV movie ‘Motu Patlu the Superheroes – Super Villains from Mars’ premiering on Sunday, 26th January at 12:30 pm only on Nickelodeon.

Television TV Channels Kids

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories