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Venkata Susmita Biswas

Articles By Venkata Susmita Biswas

204 Articles

Shopping in full ‘stream’

E-commerce platforms are streaming videos within their apps to push products and boost sales

Brand partnerships could give an impetus to the otherwise small fraction of ad revenue earned by e-commerce platforms in India.

Brands rethinking ad strategies

The remaining 31 IPL matches will now be held in September and October, coinciding with Navratri festivities this year

The league, even though split into two parts this year, is still expected to draw advertiser interest

Review Corner

Five recent ads that caught our attention

Ad review

Interview: Rohit Ohri, group chairman and CEO, FCB India

‘We are not focussed on in-housing of skills’

Brands that genuinely help and do not offer lip-service will stand out

Second Covid wave dents ad spend on out-of-home media

The onset of the pandemic dealt a heavy blow to OOH (out-of-home) media in 2020, resulting in a 60% de-growth, according to the Ficci-EY Media & Entertainment Report 2021.

Several brands in the automotive, real-estate and FMCG categories had begun to invest in OOH advertising earlier this year.

Digital to the rescue

We ask experts if other filmmakers are likely to follow suit

The Indian audience is ever evolving and seeking new alternatives for entertainment.

After Hours: Bala Sarda, founder, Vahdam India

'Prioritisation, effective time management and delegation have been my personal hacks for managing time better and maintaining a work-life balance'

From Forest Essentials to Apple are some of his favourite brands

Celebrity intervention

Incense stick manufacturers strive to stand out in the largely unorganised category

Incense sticks are typically priced at Rs 10 for a pack of 14 sticks or Rs 50 for a pack of 80 sticks.

Interview: Ashwin Suresh, founder, Pocket Aces

‘Regional markets won’t drive pure-play growth’

As regional markets are gaining access to the internet and education, they are beginning to consume content in English, says Suresh

Hygiene products lose steam

Companies are rationalising the production of hand sanitisers and masks as demand abates

In a consumer survey from September 2020, Mintel had found that 47% of consumers believed that the use of hand sanitisers will decline once the pandemic subsides. 

Upskilling apps tap into India’s white-collar workforce

Ed-tech platforms claim that those who complete their programmes get pay hikes to the tune of 40-45% and achieve career progression within a year of completing a course

According to industry estimates, enterprises contribute 30-40% to the overall revenue earned by these companies.

Select viewing

Documentaries and plays are finding their own streaming destinations online

45% of the viewership of discovery+ comes from tier II cities, and the rest from metro and tier I cities.

Interview: Vidit Aatrey, co-founder and CEO, Meesho

‘We want to bring 10 crore SMBs online’

Other than fashion and lifestyle, grocery will be our third key vertical for the next couple of years, says Aatrey

Second wave hits IPL viewership

The uncertain circumstances under which the league is being held is likely to be impacting its viewership, and advertisers are getting jittery over their investments behind it, say industry insiders.

“The health and safety of players, staff and everyone involved in the IPL are of paramount importance,” the broadcaster said.

Now trending: Personalised care

Several D2C brands are launching customised personal care products, though scalability remains uncertain

According to Euromonitor, India’s skin and hair care markets were together estimated to be worth Rs 38,339 crore in 2020

Review Corner

Review of five ads from the ongoing IPL season

Ad review

Interview: Abhijit Avasthi, co-founder, Sideways Consulting

‘It will get tough for big agencies to handle start-ups’

Brands are increasingly realising that solutions could lie in a different business model or a tech platform that achieves the same objectives differently

Debate: Streaming with caution

We ask experts if these guidelines could alter or limit the scope of OTT content.

The guidelines are broad and allow platforms to ‘self-censor’, which is a good sign.

Brands turn to ‘character actors’

Likes of Pankaj Tripathi and Gajraj Rao are the new favourites

Character actors often get typecast in films and these stereotypes are reinforced through ads

Detergents get a makeover

The lockdown period saw consumers veering towards washing machines and dishwashers in their quest for self-reliance and convenience, opening up the market to new forms of detergents and fabric care products. The past year saw

Pods are positioned as products that address multiple concerns in one go, thereby replacing detergents, stain removers and whitening agents.

The life goes out of live events

According to the 2021 edition of the FICCI-EY media and entertainment report, the revenue from organised events fell 68% in 2020

Brands are cautious about sponsorships and offline activations because of the looming uncertainty

The tough balancing act

HP led the PC segment in 2020, but supply remains a challenge

HP is riding on the expectation that a hybrid work model could further fuel the growth of PCs in India.

Interview: Vikas Bagaria, founder, Pee Safe

‘We’re targeting a turnover of Rs 250 crore by FY23’

About 40-45% of our annual turnover is set aside for marketing alone, says Bagaria

Consumer durables back in business

Brands launch high-tech ACs, fans and coolers to make up for poor sales recorded last year

The consumer durables segment has not benefited too significantly from the growth in online channels.

Take 5: Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League

From Educated to Battlestar Galactica series are amongst his favourite books and TV series

Srinivas’ inspiration is Jeff Bezos

Review Corner

Five recent ads that caught our attention

In less than 15 seconds, and with fewer dialogues, it manages to make a statement.
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