Business of Entertainment
Thus it was an honor for the students f Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur, to attend a Guest Lecture by Mr. Narayan Raman, Chief Financial Officer, Viacom 18. Mr. Raman, while working with Viacom 18 for the past 9 years, has been driving growth and profitability, managing strategic and financial planning, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial negotiation. He has also managed legal, information systems and operations In the formative years of Vlacom18.
His previous stint at STAR group, Included setting up of Star News , spearheading Finance & Commercial functions as well as head of Planning for STAR group’s overall India operations. In arly part of his career, he handled equity research as FMCG and macroeconomic analyst for Shriram Group. He has been involved in some of the historic successes and launches in the media industry including the re launch of Star Plus in 2000, launch of Colors in 2008 and formation of JV with Network18 in 2007.
He was nominated for “Global Excellence Awards” of Newscorp for his extra-ordinary achievements in setting up Star News. Mr Raman amped up the energy in the room by starting his lecture with a video, showing us what Viacom 18 does and their
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He spoke about how media Is a medium between the content made and the customers. It can either be for entertainment or Information, or can help us associate and engage with the characters being portrayed in television or movies. He also pointed out something surprising, that motion pictures or movies which would be expected to be the most growing or developing segment in media, in fact have a very small share in the media world. It is the gaming segment that is growing by leaps and bounds.
He also spoke about how the media business is unique in the sense that the “products” are generated by producers (shows, movies etc. ) and also by users (YouTube videos, bloggers etc. ). Shift to online media has brought in two way communication. The key business drivers here are digitization, regionalization, Innovation, talent management and development, Competition expansion and he growth In the importance of pay market. Media “products” have multiple sources of revenue. The product can be transformed by expanding It from ne genre of entertainment to another.
The best example for this being online games being launched after the release of a movie. Product longevity assures income until users can watch them any number o times, revenue keeps flowing in. Also Mr. Raman mentioned that the association of brands with the right channel is necessary to target the right market for sales. We also learnt about the major challenges in the media and entertainment business. Some of the most important ones being cost structuring, piracy, funding challenges, regulatory environment and business sensitivity.