Prasad Sangameshwaran
Feb 13, 2018

'A good story works everywhere': Ravish Kumar

In a conversation with Campaign India, Ravish Kumar, head, regional entertainment, Viacom18 speaks about the underlying strategy behind the channel's foray into Tamil Nadu

'A good story works everywhere': Ravish Kumar
Why has Colors chosen to enter Tamil Nadu?
It is one of the largest ad sales markets in the country and a huge media and entertainment market. We did ethnographic research in 18 markets across TN a couple of years ago and there was clearly a need gap. Our research indicated that women in TN were driven by four pillars courage, sense of duty, sense of pride and sacrifice. These are core values that we never want to lose sight of in everything that we do. 
Chennai was not one of the markets we studied as we really wanted to go beyond the conventional markets that everyone chooses. We wanted to get a real feel of the pulse of the people. 
People here are very rooted, god fearing yet they are very progressive. 
But your content seems to be a mix of targeting both urban and semi-urban consumers….
Content cannot be segregated by urban and semi-urban. There are shows that might do well in one market than another. But a good story works everywhere. I have seen ratings that are testimony to that.
I believe that distribution is very different in this market....
Yes, a large part of the distribution is state led. We are present in every single operator including Arasu and every DTH platform. Our channel is distributed throughout the state.
Also DD is dominant in this market, right?
Yes, it has the best of all worlds. Distribution is always a challenge. It’s not as much the number of channels as much as the concentration of the channels. You really have three channels which between them dominate the market. The rest are more or less fringe players. That’s a great opportunity to be in.
How do the dynamics play within the regional market as far as advertising is concerned? 
In Tamil Nadu, the bulk of the market is led by GECs. The print market is also huge. A meaningful mark will be if we start selling on cost per thousand. The day that happens people will understand how underindexed and cheap television really is as a medium. It’s the most cost effective medium as of date. 
Every single player is making an aggressive foray into the regional space. You have seen this from Star, Zee, Sun and Sony.
In terms of marketing it’s the next level of segmentation that you want to get into. It’s a finer form of segmenting and reaching a distinctive audience with a distinctive offering. Look at it from the macro level growth with come from television, digital and cinema. People want good content and they would love to have it in the language they are comfortable with and the milieu that they grew up with. It has to be identifiable, relatable and something that catches your fancy.
Our strategy for regional is that we like to do things that are more than just shows. Do shows that are thought provoking and encourage social messaging.  
Campaign India

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