LEADERSHIP TALK

Rajesh Kejriwal, Founder and CEO, Kyoorius

"One thing which I haven't spoken about anywhere yet and is quite a secret is that we are introducing a new award and that is called - "Master of creativity award". It will be given out to that one person who has immensely contributed to the world of advertising but is not and has never been a part of the advertising industry." Said Rajesh Kejriwal, Founder and CEO, Kyoorius.

In an interview with MediAvataar India, Rajesh exchanged his career journey, point of view on the latest media mix and spilled the beans for this year’s Kyoorius Creative Awards.

Here is the complete Q&A…..

1. Tell us about your career journey so far.

One of the things that I have followed in my life is passion. Be very focused on what you do and do what you have a passion for. In other words - "Do what you love, love what you do." I have followed that mantra as my career path. I have always followed my passion which has been the biggest driving force in my transition from being a working individual to becoming an entrepreneur. I gradually built up my paper business followed by Kyoorius. Typically, what I have done is followed my passion.

2. What excites you the most in your current role?

Bringing people together is what excites me the most. I am always on a lookout for building a platform in some way that helps the communities come together, helps them get inspired, gives them a purpose in life and allows them to benefit professionally from the platform.

3. Advertising when you started off and today, how has been the transition like?

Digital and technology are the new elements that have disrupted everything that we do in life, not just advertising. Earlier, there were only three mediums - Print, outdoor and Television. However, now you have a whole plethora of mediums, platforms and screens and you have to integrate them. Advertising is far more different from what it was before. People in the advertising industry need to start accepting that technology is a major factor today and it is not just about what technology can do for advertising but also what it means and how you can harness technology for creativity.

4. What are your views on digital media?

Digital media is a great medium and people need to understand this medium, In some cases, brands need to use digital as a support medium to another activity that they are doing on television or some other platform and in some cases digital is the only medium that they should be using. I think what people need to do is define the purpose and audience very well and then look at different mediums that are available to reach that audience. One should not do digital or TV for the sake of it, but should take data or insights and use them to reach out to their audiences. Digital is one of the mediums and I don't think people should look at it as anything different than one of the other mediums. People have always been using TV, print and outdoor mediums and they have been comfortable with it. However, what people forget is because they don't understand digital as much as they should, there are a lot of gaps around what actually digital means and how it can be used to reach out to the audience. I think one should look at digital as another medium of advertising and then see what it can do for you and then accordingly make your campaign.

5. Do you like Instagram over Facebook? Your favorite form of Social Media.

It depends on the audience. As I said, much like you use TV or digital as a medium, you use different social media platforms as a medium. It depends on the TG you would like to reach out to. For eg.: in my case if I have to reach out for Zee Melt then Instagram makes less sense than twitter because we are looking at the medium of getting an advertising audience. However, if I am looking at Kyoorius Design Yatra, then Instagram makes more sense. So, I would put a lot of money behind Instagram and none or little on Twitter. I think it depends on the purpose, the audience you want, where do they go, how they use that social media platform, and how you can make sure that you are there when they use that medium

6. One thing you wish you had known when you started off?

How to handle big egos.

7. Your advice to the budding creative talent.

Listen and observe the world around you rather than the screen in front of you.

8. What does this year’s Kyoorius Creative Awards have in store for us?

One thing which I haven't spoken about anywhere yet and is quite a secret is that we are introducing a new award and that is called - "Master of creativity award". It will be given out to that one person who has immensely contributed to the world of advertising but is not and has never been a part of the advertising industry. Another thing which is very different and we have spoken very little about, is that for the first time this year we will be carbon positive. We have done an audit of all the carbon emissions that happen throughout the process of Kyoorius Creative Awards and Zee Melt and both these properties by end of May will be carbon positive. We have planted a lot of trees to offset the carbon emissions that these two produce, and we are the first to do that.

9. Kyoorius Creative Awards has taken a stand against fake and irrelevant entries with #buggeroff? How grave is this problem?

I don't think it is about us taking a stand against fake ads or scam ads. As an organizer of an award show, you can't stop the kind of entries that come into your system. All you can do is have a system and process adhered by the jury member, which weeds out such entries. We build processes and systems that the jury members follow and they are comfortable with, and they try and weed out the scam ads. Scam ads by itself I am not sure whether it is a threat or it is inspiring because at times scam ads inspire a lot of people so I don't know whether there is a ready answer to it. But we try to be as judicious as we can.

10. How is the ‘Open Jury Session,’ appreciated by the industry professionals?

Our ‘Open Jury Session’ has been appreciated immensely by the industry. One of the key aspects of an Open Jury Session is that the industry professionals can come and listen and it gives them immense knowledge on how the jury thinks, what ads work, what don't work, why they work and why they don't work. Hence, it is a great learning experience. Secondly, there is lot of transparency. They come and see the jury judging, they understand that there is no bias as the jury is doing it in an open forum and it’s great for everybody. Also, the industry comes and flags if there is an entry that is a scam. We are the only award which has an open jury. We are also the only award which is carbon positive and we are one of the few awards that do an award night that is grand. A creative awards event has to be creative and we take immense pain to make sure that the evening is as creative as it can be for the people. It should make the creative people proud to be a part of this industry and we try to make that happen.

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