On 23rd March 2016, Vinod Gupta School of Management IIT Kharagpur had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Amitabh Srivastava, Director at I-Media International and Regional Head - South Asia at Association of International Broadcasters for a guest lecture under Vaarta ‘16. Mr. Srivastava has previously been associated with prestigious organizations such as MTV, BBC and Walt Disney. He is considered an expert in the media and broadcasting domain scene and is widely known for his deep knowledge and diverse experience. Experimenting with a new way of conducting the lectures, the session was conducted in the form of a Question and Answer talk show.
Mr. Srivastava introduced himself as a weak student who would always fail in school and as soon as he completed his schooling, he moved into the hospitality sector by working as an assistant steward under Taj. Talking about his humble beginnings, he stressed the importance of always having a goal in the mind, albeit being a little flexible about the path one sets on to reach the goal. The QnA session started with the host talking about the importance of sustainable success and Mr. Srivastava took this question to again stress on the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between a goal and a process oriented mind-set towards success. Mr. Srivastava went on to talk about his career highs while working with organizations such as BBC and Walt Disney, in roles he had only once imagined. After having achieved this career high he had aimed for, he was motivated to venture out on his own and hence began his journey as a consultant to Netherlands Radio. It was now, working for Netherlands Radio, that he overtook the responsibility of launching LoveMatters.com, a sex education website that went on to become a major success throughout the country.
As the session progressed, Mr. Srivastava stressed on the importance of integrating technology into traditional media such as radio and print, to sustain and survive within the current era of modern media. To quote Mr. Srivastava- “Nothing will die. Things will only complement each other. Technology changes are ensuring traditional media has to adapt to survive.”
As the session traversed into recent technological changes, Mr. Srivastava explained that while a number of hurdles are yet to be crossed, the pace with which technology is evolving is ensuring that we cannot criticize the efforts being put into a number of industries and sectors. Mr. Srivastava talked about his current role as the director at Association of International Broadcasting, where-in he is responsible for integrating and helping broadcasting companies from South Asia who are willing to look outside and go international. Working in an organization that faces a number of cultural challenges, Mr. Srivastava talked about the importance of technological advancements and cultural integration working hand in hand to ensure success in diverse demography. With a lot of marketing enthusiasts in the audience, Mr. Srivastava answered a question about his experience managing the Aaj-Tak brand when they decided to expand into a dedicated news broadcasting channel. Sharing numerous disruptive advertising methods that he used, he gave the specific examples of brands such as Rotomac and PP jewellers who benefited from their integration with Aaj-Tak using advertisements.
As the session drew to an end, Mr. Srivastava shared some advice with the audience. He stressed on the importance of self-believe and how one can do anything they set out to do. To go back to the starting of the lecture, he reminded us that it is important that you stay focussed on your goal but be flexible about the career choices you make to reach the goal. As a final piece of advice, he talked about the importance of networking, and how it helps an individual in both the short and long term.
The floor was opened to Questions and Answers from the audience and Mr. Srivastava answered numerous questions on the maturity levels of Indian Audience, the recent spur in web-series that is disrupting the way India consumes media, personal challenges and the need for responsible journalism. Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur would like to thank Mr. Amitabh Srivastava for the interactive guest lecture and would love to host him again in the future.