Romi Bidichandani, the Managing Director of Affinity Media Pvt Ltd., is a former Chief Sales Officer for three Channels of Zee Group, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of B4u and worked at senior level functions for host of other TV channels. He started off his career in Amrita Bazar Patrika, followed by stints across various Newspapers, Magazines and Broadcasters over a period of three decades.
He launched Affinity Media Pvt ltd in 2003 as an integrated ‘one stop shop’ for TV Broadcasters, Print, OOH and Digital Media Sales
Romi is ably supported by his wife Mitu Bidichandani, who is also a former ad agency professional and his ad-sales team. He along with his team across India, has steered the company to what it is today. His versatility in Ad-sales is something that distinguishes him from the crowd. In an industry starved of professionals, the market needs the expertise and the outreach and that is where the Affinity Media comes in handy.
Affinity Media Pvt Ltd is based on the premise that there is a growing need for professional like him today, thanks to proliferation of Television Channels in particular.
Romi speaks exclusively to Venugopal Nair of tvnews4u.com:
1) Can you brief us about Affinity Media?
Affinity Media Services Pvt Ltd is a Media Marketing Outfit commenced way back in 2003. Digitisation of distribution system has resulted in birth of channels with niche genres and small-mid size News and Non-News Broadcasters in National and Regional markets. We are specialised in offering Media Ad-sales solutions and we also act as a strategic partners to guide them towards achieving better ROI with strategic solutions. Currently, We have seven channels to market and we also offer variety of contents to advertisers.
2) Which are the properties that are currently under your portfolio?
Our core strength is Television and we are currently servicing various channels with Multiple genre from different markets. Our existing bouquet of Channels are MH1-Music (Punjabi Music Channel), MH1-News (Hindi News Channel), DY365 (News Channel from North East) , Shraddha (a devotional Channel), Jonakk (Assamese Entertainment Channel), News 11 (Hindi News Channel based in Ranchi) and we have recently added one more channel to the tally by signing with Kalinga News, the leading News Channel from Odissa.
3) How was the journey as a Media entrepreneur?
We have successfully completed more than 12 years with Affinity Media and the journey so far was very challenging and satisfying. The Media,Entertainment Industry and Broadcast business in India underwent multiple changes right from Programming and Distribution to Viewing pattern of audience…. Media selling also witnessed similar changes and we have successfully transformed to stay firm and grow stronger day by day. We are also excited with the daily challenges in this business. Now, with digital and mobile taking sizeable pie from the market we need to gear up for the next level of transformation.
4) Since you have come a long way in Media sales, how do you find the current trend of Media spend from the time you started your career from Amrita Bazar Patrika..?
Yes, those days were dominated by conventional mediums with limited analytical data. To start with there was no satellite channels, with Doordarshan and Print being the only dominant medium, major spending was focused towards them. Post Cable and Satellite boom, the scenario has changed, clients demand forced planners to consider C&S Homes as mainstream medium, as the satellite channels also delivering required numbers. From then on you know today digital world and industry is witnessing another revolution. Today planners and buyers are ready to experiment in Multiple Mediums. Availability of access to variety of data’s makes them to try various New Mediums in-order to ensure adequate ROI to their clients.
However, despite their efforts to reach out and explore new mediums, they still keep the lion share of spending with the traditional mediums such as Print and Television. I hope this trend will continue for few more years.
5)People speak of you as a person who tremendously believe in the power of networking and your tenacity to reach out to people. What do you have to say about this?
I always believe in networking and updating ourselves constantly, Its impossible to be successful if you are a routine desktop manager. In this age of constant change, Collaboration is inevitable for any successful business venture. Connecting with people and man management is part of everybody’s business. I feel that i have adapted to this principle at very beginning of my professional life and that indeed has driven me towards a successful business venture. I think I have not only inherited this principles to myself but also passed it on to every member of Affinity Media.
6) Digital is emerging Medium, do you have plans of venturing into digital business.?
Currently we are more focused on what we have in hand and want to increase the revenues here as the lion share of the spending is still happening towards the traditional Medium. However, it is an open secret that Digital is growing and future medium and one cannot ignore it, if you have decided to be in this space.
Lack of concrete Measurements mechanism and comparatively lower ad-spending is still keeping digital away to be considered as a mainstream medium. Having said that Affinity Media is exploring the digital medium with baby steps and we will venture in to it aggressively at appropriate time.
7) What does the future hold for Affinity Media. Any growth plans..?
We have been in this business for 12 years as a profit making company. With such kind of healthy bottom-line, we wish to partner with like minded broadcasters, who wish to grow with us.
Affinity Media has a strong sales force that always awaits challenges. The team can accommodate many more properties under their kitty. Our hunt for the like minded partnership is never ending and our negotiations with such partners are in pipeline and we will be announcing the same after the conclusion of the deals.