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Magic Happens When You Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Rajesh Kamat's Advice To Startups

The first edition in the BW Disrupt Dialog Series featured M&E veteran and investor, Rajesh Kamat, Managing director, Emerald Media

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Magic Happens When You Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Rajesh Kamat's Advice To Startups
Magic Happens When You Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Rajesh Kamat's Advice To Startups
Magic Happens When You Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Rajesh Kamat's Advice To Startups

The first edition in the BW Disrupt Dialogue Series featured M&E veteran and investor, Rajesh Kamat, Managing director, Emerald Media. The event was conducted on April 19 at the Indian School of Design & Innovation (ISDI) in Mumbai. BW Businessworld and BW Disrupt launched the BW Disrupt Dialog Series to connect stakeholders of the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem in India.

Kamat spoke about his journey working at four startups and is now an investor in the M&E industry. He started his career in brand management at Coca-Cola India in 1997 after which he has worked with Star TV News Corp. (Asian Arm), Endemol India (India's largest TV production company), Viacom18, Peter Chernin’s CA Media platform and Emerald Media.

When asked about some of the learnings he picked up along the way he said, “The magic happens when you get out of your comfort zone. A bit of luck is also needed.”

On failure, he said there are times when one feels like quitting one’s job and going home. But failure is not an option.

The journey for Kamat has been an interesting one, from startups and entrepreneurship to investor. The audience wanted to know why he decided to become an investor and how he views his role now.

"I had my share of managing companies operationally and felt that I should be on the board and add value to the company as a strategic investor. I see my job as a person panning for gold. But we also need to look out for gold traps,” he said.

When asked what he looks for in the companies he is about to invest in, he said there are 3 or 4 things.

“How scalable is your idea? What is the competitive advantage? Are we investing in a top player? And of course exits.”

There was a lot of discussion on why it is important to think about exits.

“Exits are difficult and you need to go through these and come out with your learnings,” he said.

Speaking on a panel later in the evening, Vivek Raicha, Executive Director & Investment Head, Emerald Media said, “We think about exits even before entering. It is good to have this conversation in the beginning.”

Kamat also presented the latest trends in the M&E industry and told the audience how he pursued certain trends/companies and avoided some.

Some of the key trends are:

· Digital content is the biggest enabler for Internet industry growth

· Growth in high speed Internet users is unlocking content consumption growth

· Content has evolved

· Social is entertainment and entertainment is social (campaigns launched on social first)

· AR/VR

· Content consumption across multiple devices

· Content is being personalised to screens and markets

· Cloud is redefining content distribution workflows

· Targeting is the next buzzword – Targeted ads (right time, right place, right person)

· Instant consumer analytics (the growth of intelligence inside apps)

· Disruptive technologies

· Digital advertising growing but ad blockers a challenge

· Consolidation of mobile apps

· Integrating TMT (Telecom, Mobile, Technology)

A panel discussion was conducted later in the evening. The panel was moderated by Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-chief BW Businessworld.

The panellists included Kamat and Raicha.


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