19 August 2022 20:26



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M4marry will showcase the festive mood of its members this Onam with a unique feature. The festive mood is captured in a seasonal profile picture members can post on the platform.

Members who add their festive photos will have a customised profile template enabled for enhanced visibility.

Adding a festive pic is designed to increase profile visibility and enhance response to the featured profile.

The ‘Wear Happiness’ campaign initiated by m4marry is intended to celebrate Onam and to deepen the ‘emotional connect’ of the brand in the state.

A social media contest enables users to share their pictures in traditional Kerala attire. The Onam reel contest is already a huge hit among young users.

Onam is Kerala’s biggest festive season and this year the celebrations are expected to peak after being confined to a family affair in the past four years due to the pandemic and the floods.The campaign has a 360-degree media plan which includes print, social media and on-ground activation.

“Our brand has always been about celebrating the spirit of the community. Marriages are rooted in tradition and are symbols of familial bondings. M4marry brings families together, a hallmark of Indian weddings. With our new campaign, the brand will partner with the community in showcasing the magical facets of Onam,” Mariam Mammen Mathew, CEO, Manoramaonline. said.

M4marry offers a robust set of features for its patrons to find the perfect partner and family. The festive picture feature is part of a fresh direction for the website, which is working on the new functionality of dynamic profiles.

“Our customers don’t have a static life, they are constantly achieving goals, milestones and dreams. It is our hope to keep pace with them and their evolving aspirations. We want their profiles to capture these dynamic concepts of user profiles. We will be rolling out unique user features in the coming month, offering a lot more in the matrimonial space,” said Joy Mathew, Vice President, Marketing Services and Solutions, Malayala Manorama.

M4marry is present across South Indian markets and has seen impressive growth during the Covid years. Vijay Devarakonda, the lead actor in the pan-Indian movie Liger, which is releasing this month, is the face of m4marry.

Everyone wants the next big franchise. Marvel Studios has generated close to $25 billion at the global box office alone since 2008’s Iron Man — and that doesn’t include ancillary revenue, Disney+ subscriptions activated, theme park visits, or games licensing opportunities. Joker, a darker take on DC Comics’ most infamous villain, saw more than $1 billion at the box office and spurred a sequel, with director Todd Phillips in talks to potentially help architect the future of the DC Cinematic Universe.

Star Wars, The Witcher, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokémon, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones — even NCIS and Ru Paul’s Drag Race. All of these are franchises that are core to a network or studio’s development plans, core to their expansion efforts and, for many companies that now operate alongside or within a streaming service, the catnip to bring in and retain subscribers.

The term franchise gets thrown around a lot these days, but like any term that gets tossed around, it loses some of its meaning with every new use iteration. What is a franchise? A franchise is a shared universe that features characters, occupations, or settings that overlap and maintain connective tissue via multi-platform and multi-delivery content. For the purpose of this issue, let's focus on television franchise building for streaming platforms: how that can help larger cinematic universes, how it can lead to full blown universes built out on the small screen, and more.

That means The Vampire Diaries and its Originals and Legacies spinoffs, on top of the books, make it a franchise. The same goes for the Dick Wolf universe, which acknowledges that several shows operate within the same fictional world, building in crossovers and distinct character arcs that allow it to flourish as a franchise under his banner. These exist alongside more traditional franchises, those ones dominated by superheroes and droids, but in effect exist to accomplish the same feat, even at vastly different scales.

This issue of Parrot Perspective is all about franchises, answering a few key questions that have arisen over the last few years.

How important are franchises to onboarding new customers for OTT platforms?

How important are franchises to retaining those customers?

How to avoid making franchise pitfall mistakes?

Franchises are important, but they’ve also become terms thrown around to satiate Wall Street without really understanding how to properly use them for customer acquisition, for growth, for retention, and for distribution decision making. The below piece will explore how to recognize signs of a potential franchise, how to best grow across mediums based on early franchise recognition, and traps to avoid when trying to find the next franchise.

Establishing Franchises by Understanding Franchises

Netflix is developing a Stranger Things stage play and a new live-action Stranger Things spinoff with the Duffer Brothers at the helm. Part of this is an attempt to ensure the brand’s longevity is secured beyond the show’s final season set to air in 2023, but it’s also one of Netflix’s strongest attempts into building a franchise.

Netflix has the second highest demand for licensed series, exclusive and non-exclusive, according to new analysis conducted by Parrot Analytics. Nearly 40% of demand for all Netflix series in May 2022 was for franchise shows, with 11.6% of that demand coming from exclusive series (like Stranger Things) and 24.3% of the demand coming from non-exclusive franchise series, like Pokémon or Supernatural. This is second only to Disney+, which sees about 50% of total demand for its platform come from franchises. Nearly 28% of that demand is for original franchises, while 21.9% is for non-exclusive franchises.

Disney builds itself around franchises. Its studio divisions practically operate to build out franchises from the get-go. There are plans for sequels if demand is met, and box office sales are high. This coincides with consumer products and theme park divisions working those titles into their lineups, with characters being licensed out to video game developers to continue capitalizing on attention. As Parrot Analytics’ Director of Strategy, Julia Alexander, told Reuters about Netflix and Disney’s franchise approaches, “Do we have the same confidence in the Netflix machine as we do the Disney machine? No, but in part that comes from Disney spending years determining what that machine looks like.

“For all of Netflix's dominance in the streaming space, they're still relatively new to building out these types of worlds."

The word franchise often goes hand-in-hand with the vast majority of Disney’s output. That includes streaming. Comparing the average demand of franchise series to the average demand of non-franchise series nearly doubles in favor of original franchises on Disney+. This is far greater than any other competitor. Before going any further, however, we must determine what equals a franchise and what doesn’t. The chart below goes into more details.

Breaking Down Franchise Standing and Opportunities

Key to Disney+’s expansion plans is expanding beyond franchise to find new, general entertainment programming that appeals to a wider audience. While CEO Bob Chapek and his team still see room for growth within the company’s main franchise pillars, including Marvel and Star Wars, eventually that audience will hit its capacity and the streaming platform will have to scale beyond it.

That means the supply side of the equation has to shift in order to create a new wave of demand for non-franchise series. Although 73.4% of series on Disney+ are non-franchise series, Disney+ still relies on the highest number of franchise titles both on the original and licensed front. Nearly 91% of titles on Netflix are non-franchise series, while 90.5% of titles on Amazon Prime Video are non-franchise titles.

Just as important a data point: the average demand of a Disney’s original franchise shows are nearly 3x the average demand for non-franchise shows available on Disney+. This is one of the largest gaps in favor of franchise shows across the major platforms. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, for example, show major favoring for non-franchise series. This makes sense when considering that Disney’s main concern with Disney+ programming is expanding the scope of its offering to broaden the overall total addressable market for its subscriber base, and one of Netflix’s biggest issues is finding new franchises outside of Stranger Things.

In Q2, Netflix’s global demand share for streaming originals plummeted from 45.2% in Q1 2022 to 41.2%, another all time low. The last time Netflix’s global share dropped more than this was in Q4 2019, when both Disney+ and Apple TV+ entered the market. The only thing that helped Netflix in Q2 was Stranger Things’ return with its fourth season, which saw 229.6x more demand than the average show worldwide in the days following its May 27th debut. Or, put another way, without Stranger Things, demand share for Netflix originals would be 2.1% lower. Only the final season of Game of Thrones hit a higher peak demand.

In fact, from May 27th, when part one dropped, to June 30th, Stranger Things averaged 193.2x with US audiences — making it 279% more in-demand than the next closest digital original, Amazon’s The Boys (51x). Globally it averaged 200x, 124% ahead of second place The Boys (89.2x). It’s a reminder that building out more franchises like Stranger Things is paramount to Netflix’s continued growth.

Building out the Stranger Things franchise is a must do for Netflix as they aim to stem subscriber bleeding in the quarters to come, yes, but it’s not the only franchise play. Currently, Netflix has a limited track record in creating sustainable franchises. Their attempt at building out La Casa De Papel (Money Heist) has not been successful, with the Korean adaptation failing to replicate the original’s audience, or piggy back off the steady rise in global and US demand for Korean content.

For Disney, it’s a matter of determining what general entertainment programming makes the most sense for the Disney+ platform — instead of Hulu, for example — and can achieve growth goals that may not come from the main franchise series in the next 2-3 years.

Franchises are key — but the question is whether relying on them too much can lead to hindered growth because of the total audience base and the potential for that audience base to grow. Disney+ maintains the largest demand share for franchise originals in the action genre. This genre tends to lean young and male; while there are attempts to bring in more women (see: Ms Marvel), the best way to grow at scale while not just trying whatever works for the sake of whatever works is to find new general entertainment programming that feels specific to a platform’s identity and can possibly turn into a new franchise that isn’t based around the original audience base.

Building the Base

One of the biggest questions is whether franchises are strong acquisition drivers, strong retention drivers, or a little bit of both? Most high calibre, IP-focused series — especially those based around an in-demand and heavily established film world — are assumed to be high acquisition drivers.

Franchises are necessary to establish the core acquisition base, especially as platforms continue to launch in new territories. Having series that appeal to different audiences within those franchises are also key, like Ms Marvel or The Clone Wars. They are base builders. Understanding the importance of franchises to streaming services comes in three tiers. The first is base builders: a core franchise that acts as a main attraction for a large base of primary subscribers. It is the selling point for a platform, or is the type of show designed to generate a strong surge in subscribers based on pre-awareness, strong affinity, and strong longevity for a title based on IP a company owns.

By looking at the demand for new entries in this type of universe, set against the percentage of demand those titles made up during a particular period (like a quarter), and comparing those to subscriber additions or reductions for the quarter as publicly reported by the company, we can get a better sense of just how integral those titles are to the platform. Similarly, by examining off-peak seasons when there is no new entry in a franchise and comparing that to overall churn the company faced per quarter, we can determine the retention rate of those titles as well.

Each new installment in the Marvel, Star Wars, and DC Universe bring in new customers, but each new season sees a smaller number of subscribers joining in established regions. For example, in UCAN (United States and Canada) where Disney+ has existed for 2.5 years and HBO Max has existed for 2 years, the audience that’s signed up for those services to access their favorite franchises aren’t going to cancel. This leads to smaller groups of acquisitions based on new installments in those franchises.

Therefore, to see scalable growth on those specific platforms, demand share has to come from non-franchise or non-established franchises that reach a group of subscribers in established regions who previously didn’t sign up to Disney+ or HBO Max because the value proposition wasn’t there. Growth stagnates if action isn’t taken otherwise.

Of Disney+’s 10 most in-demands series between January 1st 2022 and July 13th 2022 in the United States, 60% of the titles belong to the Star Wars and Marvel universes. Comparatively, only 30% of HBO Max’s top 10 series in the United States during the same period belonged to well-known action/adventure and fantasy franchises.

While Disney+ and HBO Max saw relatively the same amount of subscriber growth in the UCAN region during the quarter, HBO Max’s base is much more diverse. Therefore, the value proposition of HBO Max to a wider audience as a four-quadrant service is more apparent than Disney+, which is much more heavily reliant on specific franchise installments.

HBO Max and Disney+ see similar skewing in gender demographics for their films, with HBO Max leaning more male and Disney+ leaning more female. They also see similar gender demographics for their television series. But while HBO Max has more consistent offering for people of all age demographics, including Above 40, Disney+ has relatively low demand from Above 40 demographics when it comes to series.

This wouldn’t particularly matter if Disney wasn’t trying to grow its crown jewel streaming platform into a platform that attracted the widest group of subscribers instead of focusing on the primary franchises and core Disney audience — young. To reach the goals set by the executive team for the street, the generational demographic for Disney+ series has to improve, and that’s done by looking for white space opportunities that appeal to a totally different demographic than what’s currently being satiated.

We’ve established that franchises are base builders – a core franchise that acts as a main attraction for a large base of primary subscribers. Disney+ launched with The Mandalorian, HBO Max saw its big rush of subscribers with Wonder Woman and further DC installments alongside the HBO library, and Netflix’s most in-demand series of all time is also its first big franchise — Stranger Things. We’ve also established, however, that base builders can only build so large of a base before the building blocks have to start being added to build beyond the core.

Land and Expand

Think of it like Lego. Once the various pieces start to come together, the potential for those blocks to create something the original designer didn’t even imagine starts to happen much more quickly and at a larger scale. If the first step is base building — laying down the foundation for the Legos to sit on — then base expanders are the various blocks that are used to create something new, tear it down, and do it again.

So, what is a base expander? An expansion of a core franchise that’s designed to widen the TAM not captured by the first base builder. It could be a change in genre, in style, or in medium, but the goal is to double down on the core IP growth while also broadening the perception of what the core product is. If successful, the franchise takes on slightly different identities to different taste clusters, but is all regarded within one main universe.

Let’s use The Vampire Diaries as an example. The original series focused on a female character (Elena) and was effectively an action-romance set within a small town. The show went back-and-forth on her love triangle with the Salvatore brothers. The Vampire Diaries ran for eight seasons. The Originals, a spinoff of the main series, focuses on Klaus Mikaelson. The show is a fantasy drama set within New Orleans pitting vampires against werewolves in a much more politically-heavy show. Klaus was the connecting tissue between both series, but the CW was able to broaden the audience with a new show that acted as a gateway in. It was another building block. Then, they added Legacies, which brought a younger generation to the aging franchise and carried on the overarching story by focusing on Klaus’ child.

Each block is a new Lego square that when added together creates a new portrait. Even more important, those various Lego parts allow for proper franchise development rules to be met: not keeping too much time between installments, reinventing the series for each new generation to make it “theirs,” and following a similar tone and setting to ensure it feels like one cohesive universe. These are just some of the rules that must be followed to ensure successful franchise development, but on a streaming service, they’re also central to expanding and retaining a customer base.

In the case of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies, which also spawned comic book lines and games, we can see the Lego building block idea in action. Although the characters are not necessarily reliant on one another, the shared history and lore can help lend to developing shows around secondary and third-tier characters.

Klaus isn’t a main character in The Vampire Diaries, but his relationship to the show allows him to become the vessel for a different series that targets a slightly different audience while also giving the core audience something to chew on. The Originals may be a reason that someone enters the universe — including signing up for a streaming service — but then it connects back to The Vampire Diaries. Since the settings interlope, this allows for interaction between shows without relying on actors. Similar to the Wizarding World, there is a through line even if the main characters aren’t present.

The result is that as demand for one series grows, so does demand for the others. The chart below shows demand for The Vampire Diaries’ eighth season, The Originals’ fourth season, and Legacies’ first season. We can see demand spike for all three, which is the end goal for franchise development, and is a strong signal point for potential streaming growth and retention. Each new series brings in a slightly different audience, and can work to retain the core audience built in from the base series.

The Vampire Diaries may not come across as much of a franchise as the Marvel Cinematic Studio, but the end goal is the same. Finding new ways in for various audiences, especially on streaming services where new content is key and building recognizable universes is more important than ever, having a world like The Vampire Diaries can help with the bottom line.

So what does that look like at other platforms? Take Netflix as an example. Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead uses the same methodology. It started as a film — Army of the Dead — and was quickly followed by a prequel, Army of Thieves. When Army of Thieves was released just six months after Army of the Dead was released, the original film saw a spike in demand. We can make an estimated guess that Army of the Dead subscribers either returned for Army of Thieves or were consistent Netflix subscribers. We can also imagine these were relatively the same group of subscribers. The demographics are very similar, even if one is more comedic and the other is much more of a typical action film.

The next installment is an anime series spinoff. For Netflix, where anime is a large investment, having an original series that continues to build on the franchise but potentially brings in a slightly different audience expands the total addressable market and creates a new favorite franchise home for a specific taste cluster. This increases the value of those titles because they manage to bring in subscribers, but can keep retention high. As the world expands, so does the necessity to have Netflix in order to experience new installments in the universe.

An essential aspect of franchise building is crossing different mediums to build out gateways. Army of the Dead is a movie. Same with Army of Thieves. The anime series is a TV show. There’s a good chance that Netflix explores a game based on the series for a new batch of audiences to enter the franchise through. Then there are live experiences and other ancillary paths. The idea is to have the franchise remain top of mind via any platform and medium necessary while the Lego blocks continue to build.

Lego blocks also help with the last part of franchise building within the television universe: base expanders. These are titles like CSI: Miami or Law and Order: Organized Crime. They’re defined as a new installment that plays upon a familiar, recognized formula but creates a feeling of freshness that brings a sense of new to the franchise to keep fans engaged.

The attention economy requires consistency on behalf of the content provider and adoration, affinity, and demand from the consumer. To keep a franchise top of mind, this includes finding ways to keep the audience’s attention and demand. This isn’t an expander play to broaden the audience, but a play to keep a franchise top of mind. These are integral to television; there’s a reason that NBC, ABC, and CBS have employed this tactic for years. As streaming starts to build out its own catalog and library, finding shows to expand in without having to worry about attracting a whole new audience — these are retention and brand admiration plays — will also become important.

Now, building franchises? Easier said than done. Building franchises is exceptionally difficult — just ask Netflix. Just as important to trying to get the process right is actively recognizing mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.

Don’t Repeat the Same Mistakes

One of the most important films Disney released in its recent tenure is John Carter. The 2012 film is most remembered for being a colossal box office failure. The film. which cost $300 million to make, amassed less than $250 million domestically, with $less than $75 million at the domestic box office. It was also, however, a perfect example of how approaching a franchise starter the wrong way can have catastrophic results.

John Carter’s failure felt like it came from, in part, Disney executives believing that they could manufacture a franchise simply because it was a) some form of IP and b) Disney needed franchises, as our director of strategy previously pointed out. The Disney franchise machine wasn’t as well-oiled in the early 2010s as it is today. Many of the franchise attempts were blockbuster failures. Disney, a company known best today for its ability to generate strong adoration for its collection of big franchise titles, couldn’t figure out how to get audiences to love their live-action products.

John Carter was created as a film that might work because it kind-of-sort-of looked like one that should work, and if it kind-of-sort-of looked like the type of film that led to major successes (X-Men, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean), then maybe it could work as a franchise for Disney. A $200 million loss later, and that plan was no longer the case. Disney’s fix was one of acquisitions. The company bought Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm and, through producers like Kevin Feige, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Kathleen Kennedy, created the most successful franchises to date.

So what are the pitfalls?

Over-indulging, under-planning

Assuming, not watching

Overestimating structure, undervaluing writing

Let’s break this down further. The first point is in line with the aforementioned budgets. Netflix spent $200 million on Jupiter’s Legacy believing it could be the company’s answer to Marvel and DC. Netflix wanted a superhero franchise. Other, non-Marvel or non-DC owning companies like Amazon found success with The Boys. Netflix spent $50 million on acquiring acclaimed comic book writer Mark Millar’s production company, MillarWorld, to place that bet.

Now, this isn’t to say Netflix went in without any creative development strategy. Of course the teams did. No one sets out to make a project people aren’t interested in. But Netflix over-indulged on a concept instead of letting the first season play out for a fraction of the cost and planning out different case scenarios to move the franchise forward.

Millar is moving forward with other projects that he has at Netflix, but Jupiter’s Legacy was supposed to be the big kickstarter. Instead, it became an overpriced example of what not to do. The show peaked at 24.5x the average demand of all series globally, which is decent, but within a month was hovering around 7x the average demand of all series globally, putting it in the average category. It’s an expensive bet for an entire franchise, without much wiggle room to pivot out of successfully to keep the franchise attempt going.

Sometimes a show lands. Sometimes it doesn’t. But franchise development is contingent on having a plan ready. The MCU was already set in motion with Iron Man when Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury appeared. It was continued in The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger, but if Iron Man failed spectacularly into The Incredible Hulk, the team could have pivoted to trying a new way in without having wasted hundreds of millions of dollars. Planning is essential, but don’t bet everything on the first go.

The second point — assuming, not watching — is what’s happening with franchises in general. At the beginning of this piece, I noted that everyone wants a franchise, but they’ve also become terms thrown around to satiate Wall Street without really understanding how to properly use them. When Netflix or Amazon want a franchise, it’s a Marvel or a Star Wars or a Harry Potter. It’s precisely what executives at Netflix told Reuters just before the company announced its second quarter earnings.

There’s an assumption, therefore, that because one thing worked, another will also work. A great example is the Fantastic Beasts films. Since the original Harry Potter films worked, the theory was that something set within the Wizarding World would as well. A clunky story matched with trying to make five films out of a two-film story arc meant that demand decreased with each new installment and box office return also diminished. While the demand peak for The Secrets of Dumbledore is higher, demand tapers off faster than it did for The Crime of Grindelwald. More importantly, it didn’t do anything to move the franchise forward in any meaningful way.

Diminished financial gains are one key component of the story, and are necessary to understanding expansion or contraction efforts, but franchises are dependent on adoration, which is harder to quantify. Demand and sentiment, which Parrot Analytics tracks, is one way of doing so. If sentiment is high through multiple different expansions, the chance of a more successful franchise development strategy is also higher.

By watching what’s working well for other franchises across different mediums and in non-theatrical expansions, instead of just assuming that something will work because it belongs to an established IP or because it has ties to an established IP genre’s, will help understand what audiences want. How does demand for certain shows, and sentiment for certain trends, help with developing a franchise strategy plan? This is essential to ignoring missteps that others have taken — mainly assuming that just because the audience is there once means they’ll always show up if there’s a brand attached.

Franchises are interlocking stories that create enough widespread adoration and demand that ancillary paths become viable gateways and continuations to create a meaningful flywheel model. None of this works if the storytelling is bad.

That’s the last point — overestimating structure, undervaluing writing. A franchise only works because there’s consistent investment in the next story from the fanbase, and that comes from trust that the stories will continue to bring them joy. It’s why concerns over sentiment regarding Marvel Studios’ recent CinemaScore ratings bring up questions about quality potentially diminishing as supply of content ramps up.

Data and structure is a lighthouse. It can shine a light on opportunistic paths that were maybe invisible before, and it can direct away from treacherous paths. But the lighthouse exists to give the ship’s captain a clear runway to do what they do best — steer the ship safely into the harbor to deliver the goods to people in town. That’s so important to keep in mind when developing franchise strategy. Planning, data, and structure are key to building out the world in a lucrative manner, but the creative teams are what drive continued investment.

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong and Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani lead distinguished speaker line-up

Forbes Media today announced that it will hold its 20th Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore from September 26 to 27, 2022.

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Way Forward”. The world is looking for a way back to normal. Recovery from the pandemic is underway for much of the globe. Yet markets gyrate on every economic, geopolitical and Covid update, while investors keep a wary eye on inflation and rate hikes. Global tensions escalate between major economic powers, with ripples felt worldwide. Amid all these uncertainties, some 400 leading CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors will convene at the 20th Forbes Global CEO Conference to share insights, spotlight opportunities and stake out the way forward.

William Adamopoulos, CEO/Asia, Forbes Media, said: “We are delighted to host the 20th Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore, where our conference first started. This is an important milestone for Forbes in Asia and we look forward to bring back together, for the first time in three years, our community of some of the world’s most economically powerful and influential business leaders.”

One of the highlights on the opening day of the conference is a one-on-one dialogue between Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Singapore and Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media. On the second day, Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group, will be making a keynote speech.

To date, some 40 speakers have confirmed their participation at the conference. Speakers will gather from around the world to share insights on topics such as the global economy, technology, innovation, and investment opportunities in sectors such as finance and venture capital, real estate and sports. Panels will also discuss best strategies for leadership, entrepreneurship, family business, ESG and sustainability.

Speakers who have confirmed their attendance include Jenny Johnson, President and CEO of Franklin Templeton; Eduardo Saverin, Cofounder and Managing Partner at B Capital; Jenny Lee, Managing Partner at GGV Capital; Ajay Banga, Vice Chairman of General Atlantic; Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Football Group and Manchester City Football Club; Miwako Date, President and CEO of Mori Trust Co., Ltd; Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of Byju’s; Nisa Leung, Managing Partner at Qiming Venture Partners; Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India; Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings; Janet Henry, Global Chief Economist at HSBC; Mohammed Dewji, President of MeTL Group; Russell Coutts, CEO of SailGP; Goodwin Gaw, Managing Principal and Chairman of Gaw Capital Partners; John Studzinski, Vice Chairman and Managing Director at PIMCO; William E. Heinecke, Founder and Chairman of Minor International and Arif P. Rachmat, Cofounder and Executive Chairman of TAP Group.

Other speakers include Anderson Tanoto, Managing Director at RGE; Sudarshan Venu, Managing Director at TVS Motor Company; Kevin L. Tan, CEO of Alliance Global Group Inc.; Nancy Pangestu Tabardel, CEO of ANB Investment; Kishin RK, Founder and CEO of RB Capital Group; Meng Kuok, Group CEO and Founder of Caldecott Music Group; Aaron Tan, Cofounder and CEO of Carro; Katrina Razon, CEO of KSR Ventures; Kyungsun Chung, Managing Partner at The Sylvan Group; Simon Loong, Founder and Group CEO of WeLab; Laurent Junique, Founder and CEO of TDCX; Lee Yeow Chor, Group Managing Director and CEO of IOI Corporation Bhd; Randall S. Kroszner, Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Binod K. Chaudhary, Chairman of CG Corp Global; Wendy Yap, Founder, President Director and CEO of Nippon Indosari Corpindo; Harald Link, Chairman of B.Grimm; Joe Ravitch, Cofounder and Partner at The Raine Group and V Shankar, CEO and Cofounder of Gateway Partners among others.

The Principal Sponsors of this year’s Forbes Global CEO Conference are Royal Golden Eagle, HSBC Global Private Banking and Star Energy Geothermal. The Corporate Sponsors are Wuthelam, Singapore Economic Development Board, International Container Terminal Services, Inc, MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited) and Mayapada Group. Supporting Sponsors are Sari Roti, OUE Limited and Hill & Associates.

The festival was inaugurated by H.E. Sunjay Sudhir, Indian ambassador to the UAE

ZEE5 Global, the world’s largest streaming platform for South Asian content, has partnered with the LuLu Group for their India Utsav celebrations.

The announcement was made in a press conference at LuLu Regional Headquarters in Dubai.

In the Group’s first ever simultaneous region-wide launch of its celebration of the 75th Indian Independence Day - Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the “India Utsav” was launched at the same time across the GCC countries on 15th August 2022, Monday at Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi.

The festival was inaugurated by H.E. Sunjay Sudhir Indian Ambassador to the UAE, alongside Mr. Yusuff Ali, Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu Group International, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer of ZEE5 Global, the official partners of this promotion, and other top officials and government authorities at LuLu Hypermarket Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi.

“India Utsav” is a retail festival that brings alive the 3 Cs of the Indian experience at LuLu: Culture, Commerce and Cuisine. It showcases the close commercial ties UAE enjoys with India.

In celebration of 75 Years of Indian Independence, the "India Utsav" will present a unique immersive shopping experience at LuLu with regional food trails, celebrity visits organised by ZEE5 Global and amazing promotions & Offers on every category from fresh food to grocery to lifestyle and fashion wear in time for the festive season to follow.


This year, LuLu has partnered with ZEE5 Global, the world’s largest platform for South Asian entertainment. As part of the initiative, ZEE5 will be flying in popular actor Sonali Bendre to meet and greet with fans in the UAE. Shoppers at LuLu Hypermarkets across the GCC will also win a free annual subscription to ZEE5’s for every purchase of AED 1,000 and above; and a free one-month subscription or a 50% discount on yearly subscription for every purchase of AED 100 and above.

Speaking on the occasion H.E. Sunjay Sudhir said, “We are delighted to note that LuLu Group is celebrating the India Utsav across all their stores on the historic occasion of Azadi Ka Amritmahotsav and I thank LuLu Group for always promoting India and Indian products through their hypermarkets. No doubt initiatives such as this will go a long way further promoting the trade ties between India and UAE.”

Mr. Yusuff Ali said, “Needless to say, India is very close to my heart and mind emotionally. On the occasion of the 75th Independence Day, I would say that the country is an emerging economic superpower, and the visionary foreign policy of PM Modi has led to stronger India-GCC ties and the UAE is emerging as one of India’s staunch business partners. I believe strongly that the LuLu Group can be a key player in this vision of the future for India.”

“Apart from product promotion, India Utsav will also showcase rich cultural diversity of India through many shows, competitions and celebrity visits during the campaign period,” added V. Nandakumar, Director of Marketing & Communications, LuLu Group.

Speaking on the occasion, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global said, “It’s a highly exciting time for ZEE5 Global as we have galloped ahead to become the No.1 streaming platform for South Asian content across multiple global markets, including the Middle East. We now look forward to continuing to build on this success through multiple local initiatives and on the back of our compelling content, further deepening our connection with South-Asian audiences here, we are thrilled to partner with LuLu for their India Utsav celebrations. This marks the continuation of a wonderful and deep relationship with them, and with the region.”

Key highlights:

Special stalls to promote Indian handicrafts, khadi products, Kashmir products, etc.

Indian Food Festival to showcase different state cuisines and snacks.

Daily cultural shows and competitions.

Free subscriptions of ZEE5.


“India Utsav” will herald LuLu’s celebration also of India’s busy festival months with a series of celebrations, LuLu India Utsav Deals for Indian Independence Day (from Aug 11th – Aug 17th), Janmashtami Specials (Aug 17th – Aug 18th), Ganesh Chaturthi (Aug 25th – Aug 30th), Onam (Aug 30th to Sept 8th), Navratri – (Sept & Oct), and culminating with Diwali (End of Oct).

This one-of-a-kind campaign shines the spotlight on both Technology and Fashion

· A Series of unique experiences will be presented through a three-fold campaign spread across IRL events, Print, and Digital formats.

· TECNO continues being an industry-first with the RGBW+ (G+P) sensor and 0.98mm slimmest Bezel feature in the CAMON 19Pro5G

TECNO Mobile, the premium smartphone brand, is introducing CAMON 19 series in India through fashion razzmatazz—‘Stylish Affair’,in collaboration with Cosmopolitan India, the world’s largest-read fashion and lifestyle magazine. This one-of-a-kind collaboration is fashioned to lay the groundwork for TECNO’s upcoming CAMON 19 series launch in India, merging Technology with Fashion. TECNO brings in its tech prowess with its industry-first key mobile camera technology, and RGBW sensor that enable the camera to click the perfect portraits even in low light conditions, just like a professional fashion photographer.

CAMON 19 Pro5G is an archetype of a fine balance between technology and style, and the event fittingly draws a parallel with it.

With The camera becoming a most-desired feature in any hi-end phone and Millennial and Gen-Z users wanting to capture every beautiful moment on the camera, the ‘Stylish Affair’ campaign is an interesting strategy by TECNO Mobile to unveil its new series, highlighting the focus on style. The intent is to create a unique platform for budding style icons and enthusiasts pan-India, under a marquee campaign. ‘Stylish Affair’ aims to develop unique experiences through a three-pronged approach, spread across In-Real-Life (IRL) events, Print, and Digital Campaigns.

Projected to be a premium lifestyle product series, the campaign essentially targets fashion enthusiasts among the Millennials and Gen-Z, across colleges and universities. Going from strength to strength, TECNO Mobile has forged many alliances across products and series, living up to its own motto—‘Stop at Nothing’—while building a stronger youth connect in the country. In addition, TECNO POVA 3 is the Presenting Sponsor for Esports Premier League current season.

Elaborating on TECNO CAMON 19 series, Arijeet Talapatra, TECNO India CEO, said, “With a range of five product lines, each catering to a very different set of target audiences, we at TECNO are always working towards doing things differently. This time, we are targeting the fashion-conscious audiences with the Camon series and we intend to engage with our audiences in the most innovative, fun, and rewarding way.”

The Camon 19 series will feature three products initially—Camon 19 Neo, Camon 19, and Camon 19 Pro 5G. The product is expected to be ushered in amid much fervor, lined with fashion parties, a Style Hunt contest helmed by a distinguished jury panel, and the cover of CosmopolitanIndia shot on the Camon 19—highlighting its key features.

Adding insights to the campaign, Nandini Bhalla, Editor, Cosmopolitan India, said, “We are delighted to launch the CAMON 19 Pro 5G at this special fashion event. What makes this evening, the ‘Stylish Affair’, truly distinguished is the celebration of both technology and style, shining the spotlight on the smartphone’s futuristic character. Through this unique collaboration, we are not only launching the Pro 5G, but also introducing a very special ‘Style Hunt’, a one-of-a-kind platform where Cosmo India readers will geta chance to showcase their unique talents and style. The pan-India campaign welcomes participants from all over the country and will award cash prizes to a few lucky winners. Keep a lookout out for related announcements on TECNO’s and Cosmopolitan India’s social media handles.”

The latest launch is a part of the lauded CAMON series. The CAMON 19 Pro 5G is an advanced version of the recently-released CAMON 19. While the previous version flaunts the industry-first RGBW sensor, the Pro5G version boasts of RGBW+ (G+P), along with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Hybrid Image Stabilization (HIS) that enables sharp and steady photograph in dark and shaky conditions. The Pro5G version boasts of 200 percent light intake, which is set to revolutionize the low-lighting imaging experience. Perfect for fashion enthusiasts and style icons, the CAMON 19 Pro5G features incredible 5G connectivity.

The premium smartphone brand views ‘Stylish Affair’ campaign to set off this year’s company focus on the mid-to-high segment and to leap the extra mile for technology democratization and make new-age technology accessible to people at disruptive price points.


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