27 March 2023 16:34



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One of India’s biggest superstar, Akshay Kumar turns 50 this year and has done over a whopping 120 films in his glorious career. With one of the highest number of hits and eight movies in the Rs. 100 crore club, Akshay Kumar’s films across genres have been consistently successful at the Box Office and have broken several viewership records on television as well. Zee Cinema – The World’s Largest Movie Theatre For Hindi Movies will celebrate his accomplishments and present audiences with some of his films that kick-started his this journey to stardom.

One of the most successful properties of Zee Cinema, ‘Shanivaar Ki Raat’ has been credited for entertaining audiences with Amitabh Bachchan’s biggest blockbusters. Passing the baton from the Shahenshah of Bollywood to India’s most loved family entertainer Akshay Kumar, Zee Cinema will now present ‘Shanivaar Ki Raat Akshay Ke Saath’ with some of his movies that have never been shown on television before. From the cramped streets of Chandni Chowk to being a chef in Bangkok, he started out as an action hero in the film Industry and expanded his boundaries with time. His journey is one of the most inspiring success stories of Bollywood as he essays a variety of characters with ease including that of a patriot, a heart-throb, a dotting son, a caring friend, a loving partner amongst many others.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, if there was a duo who was delivering back to back hits in the Hindi film industry, it was Akshay Kumar and Suneel Darshan. The actor-director-producer duo gave several successes and became the trade’s favourite jodi. With a marvelous career spanning over 25 years, Zee Cinema will treat his fans with his films every Saturday at 9 PM. The birthday month celebration begins with Jaanwar, Andaaz as the birthday bonanza and continues with Ek Rishta and Dosti: Friends Forever. Kick-starting the festival will be the crime and love drama Jaanwar on 2nd September, starring Akshay Kumar opposite Karisma Kapoor and Shilpa Shetty along with Mohnish Behl, Aashish Vidyarthi and Ashutosh Rana. Next in line, catch the romantic musical Andaaz on 9th September. Marking the debut of Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta, Andaaz not only had a stellar box-office collection but was also loved for the performances by the lead cast. In the following week, Zee Cinema will treat viewers with Ek Rishta on 16th September, in which Akshay Kumar shared the screen space with Megastar Amitabh Bachchan. On 23rd September, Zee Cinema presents Dosti: Friends Forever starring Akshay Kumar along with Bobby Deol, Kareena Kapoor and Lara Dutta.

Celebrating the magnificent journey of Akshay Kumar, the festival will commence with these time-honored hidden gems of Akshay Kumar that will telecast for the first time on television and have a remarkable conclusion with the World Television Premiere of Akshay Kumar’s latest blockbuster Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

Business Head, Zee Hindi Movies Cluster, Mr. Ruchir Tiwari said “Shanivaar Ki Raat Amitabh Ke Saath was one of the longest running and most prestigious property of Zee Cinema. The entertainment quotient of Amitabh Bachchan’s blockbusters has enthralled audiences since decades. After Mr. Bachchan, Akshay Kumar stands as an ace family entertainer who caters to various audience segments with a humongous loyal fan following and is a viewership magnet. Hence, he can rightly take forward the legacy of ‘Shanivaar Ki Raat’ and take it notches higher. We are thrilled to add Suneel Darshan’s repertoire to Zee Cinema’s vast library as these films mark the beginning of Akshay Kumar’s successful career. Zee Cinema will also entertain audiences with Gold, 2.0, and Pad-Man”

Ever since he started as a producer in 1988, Suneel Darshan was a rare producer who did not sell the satellite rights of any of his movies. Giving the satellite rights of Akshay Kumar’s films amongst other blockbusters to Zee Cinema, Suneel Darshan said, “Television is a growing medium that is available in every household and Zee Cinema is synonymous to being the family movie destination in millions of Indian households. Working with Akshay has always been a great experience. He is disciplined and fun loving at the same time. Akshay made a comeback with Jaanwar, strengthened his position with Ek Rishtaa and sky rocketed after Andaaz. I have launched many newcomers like Karisma Kapoor, Miss Universe Lara Dutta, Miss World Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor opposite Akshay Kumar. With Zee Cinema showcasing our movies for the first time on television, I am excited to see the audience response. It is the same feeling one gets when a film is about to hit the theatres. I am hopeful of receiving greater adulation than we did during the theatrical release.”

Catch the charm, style and elegance of Akshay Kumar with ‘Shanivaar Ki Raat Akshay ke Saath’ every Saturday at 9 PM


The Fletcher School and Mastercard unveil the Digital Evolution Index 2017, an in-depth look at technology adoption and the state of digital trust globally

New research by The Fletcher School at Tufts University in partnership with Mastercard has identified developed markets in Asia Pacific, such as Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea and Hong Kong, as the leading the charge for a digital future. With momentum and innovation on their side, these markets exemplify the sweet spot of advancement and future growth.

On the other hand, developing markets in the region, such as China, Malaysia, India, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, are evolving rapidly, and though are low-scoring in their current states of digitalization, they are demonstrating the fastest momentum and significant headroom for growth.

The Digital Evolution Index 2017 maps the development of 60 countries, demonstrating their competitiveness and market potential for further digital economic growth. It looks at four key drivers and 170 unique indicators to chart each country’s respective course:

Supply (or internet access and infrastructure)

Consumer demand for digital technologies

Institutional environment (government policies/laws and resources)

Innovation (investments into R&D and digital start-ups etc.)

Asian Markets Riding High, Lessons Still To Learn

According to their overall digital evolution scores, international trade hubs Singapore (6th) and Hong Kong (9th) make the top ten list of advanced digital economies globally.

In South Korea (7th), the digital environment and experience fostered by government and businesses is highly sophisticated.

In Singapore, the government is pushing the smart-city agenda to new levels by harnessing all public data to create a “Virtual Singapore,” a genuine “Smart Nation.” This online platform will map out the performance of the city state in real time. It will be possible to look at how diseases might spread in an epidemic, or how traffic will react to roadworks.

The top 10 is rounded out by Norway (1st), Sweden (2nd), Switzerland (3rd), Denmark (4th), Finland (5th), the United Kingdom (8th) and the United States (10th).

The four Nordic nations that feature in the top five have an impressive history of producing global brands and innovative startups, despite their relatively small populations. However, past digitalization is not translating into future momentum. While their governments were early investors in digitalization, they now suffer from a combination of demand saturation and clogged innovation engines, which Asia’s digital leaders could stand to learn from.

At the other end of the spectrum, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh scored the lowest in the Index, indicating that much more can be done to develop their digital economies.

For example, only roughly a quarter of India’s population can access digital services via a smartphone, despite the recent rapid uptake following the government’s demonetization initiatives. That said, the popularity of services rooted in older technologies demonstrate the potential for growth through data enabled mobile solutions.

Momentum of Digitalization Across Asia Pacific

How fast markets in Asia Pacific continue to develop digitally and how open and supportive they are to innovation hold clues into their future growth potential. Combining the pace and state of digital advancement, the research puts the markets into four distinct categories:

Stand Out – Singapore, New Zealand, and Hong Kong demonstrated high levels of digital development while continuing to lead in innovation and new growth.

Break Out – Though China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam are still at lower absolute levels of digital advancement, these countries demonstrate the fastest momentum and are poised for growth.

Stall Out – Australia, Japan and South Korea are digitally advanced but because of slowing momentum, they are at a risk of falling behind.

Watch Out – Thailand faces challenges and is constrained both by low levels of digital advancement and a slow pace of growth.

“Adoption, the quality of digital infrastructure and institutions, and innovation collectively shape a country’s digital competitiveness, but governments also play a key role. The report also found that consumers’ trust in digital technologies correlates with digital competitiveness,” said Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean of international business & finance at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and founding executive director of Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context.

“The global digital economy is rapidly evolving, and Asian markets are emerging as key players with strong investor and entrepreneurial interest. Digitally advanced markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand have set the standards for others to emulate, trailblazing the way forward for other markets to look at their models and examine which elements of a successful strategy they can potentially replicate, or even further improve on,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, global enterprise risk & security, Mastercard.

“While it takes a complex combination of factors to bring a digital economy to the next level, momentum, innovation and trust are the imperative constants to becoming a successful digital nation. For Asia Pacific, where nearly half (46 per cent) of the region’s population is online, and 96 per cent have access to a mobile phone which is higher than any other region, it is no secret that businesses and governments that are responsible for the region’s economic growth are looking to make sure they continue to stand out and break out when it comes to adopting and adapting to our digital future.”

New This Year: The Trust Factor and Its Impact on Digitalization

To date, digital trust has proved difficult to understand, let alone measure, but it remains a keystone of the global digital economy. New to the 2017 report, the research team analyzed 42 of the 60 countries in the Index around four key dimensions — environment (security, accountability, privacy), experience (extent of friction), behavior (tolerance for friction, use of e-commerce) and attitude (self-reported trust) — to understand the state of digital trust.

Overall the research shows that in less advanced markets such as China and Malaysia which are undergoing rapid advances in digital technology, individuals are more tolerant of friction in their daily digital interactions and transactions – such as slow internet speeds – suggesting that momentum may be a vital factor in understanding consumer behavior and trust.

In South Korea, Australia, the United States and France, where the digital environment and experience fostered by government and businesses is highly sophisticated, users tend to be less patient and fickle when faced with friction online.

Western and Northern European states lead in digital trust experience and environment scores, which reflect investments in strong security, privacy, and accountability measures, and in minimizing friction.

Implications: How Countries Can Win

Use Public Policy as Key to the Success of the Digital Economy:This has implications ranging from Brexit negotiations to how India nudges its society towards a “less cash” future to the U.S.- China competition for economic dominance.

Identify What Drives Digital Momentum:Developed and developing economies ought to emphasize different ways to spur growth: innovation and institutions, respectively.

Jumpstart Small Country Growth by Involving Government:They can grow quickly as early adopters by assembling the right ecosystems.

Reinvent the Digital Stalwarts:The most digitally advanced countries can use their scale and existing connections in the world to reinvent themselves.

Play Digital Catch-Up by Closing the Mobile Internet Gap:The least digitally advanced countries must prioritize increasing internet access via mobile phones.

Work Harder to Earn Users’ Trust:As nations become more digitally evolved and momentum slows, technology providers and policymakers may need to prioritize building trust to continue growth.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

Digitally Enabling Customer Loyalty

Empowering the front lines with digital tools enables organisations to capture the hearts of diverse consumer groups.

Digital transformation doesn’t touch only companies in the United States or Western Europe. Many Russian firms have made efforts to incorporate digital into their business models. Take Sberbank, for example. This is the largest universal bank in the country with approximately 330,000 employees, US$39.2 billion market cap and close to 17,000 branch offices. It now has more than 30 million active users of its online banking system, Sberbank Online; 18 million active users of Sberbank Online App for smartphones; and over 90,000 ATMs and self-service kiosks.

Being a universal bank in Russia means that you have to serve very diverse customer groups – from senior citizens who want interaction with a human customer service representative and are not comfortable with technology to digital natives who prefer mobile banking without much human interaction.

Elderly customers (i.e. 60 and over) represent a large proportion of the bank’s clients. These customers don’t use Internet banking and even have trouble using self-service terminals in the branch offices to pay utility bills. How can the bank make sure that the staff is always willing to help the elderly to navigate the terminals? One can run customer satisfaction surveys or develop KPIs for serving elderly clients and reprimand employees who are not helpful. Alternatively, one can work on improving the staff’s empathy with the elderly so that associates are willing to assist without specific KPIs or a fear of reprimand from the top management.

Electronic empathy

To address this issue, Sberbank has developed a powerful virtual reality tool called Empathy for its staff. With headphones and Samsung VR headset, a young branch associate can actually “become” an elderly client of her own bank. The bank worked with a team of psychologists and doctors to understand how a 70-year-old may perceive the world, given his (or her) poor health and declining motor skills. The tool gives a young associate the visual and sensory experience of an elderly person. They must orient themselves inside the bank’s branch office, seeking advice from a not-very-friendly Sberbank associate in order to figure out how to enter numbers on the self-service payment kiosk. At the same time, the young worker battles blurry vision (due to virtual eye disease), noise in the ears (due to high blood pressure), hands that have lost their dexterity (due to arthritis) and occasionally bumping into younger customers who don’t understand why there is this person standing in the middle of the branch looking for help.

The experience is extremely powerful and helps branch office employees to develop empathy towards seniors’ frequent inability to understand the technology and they become more willing to help. A positive side effect of the VR experience is that young bank associates feel more empathy for their own elderly relatives as well.

Using Pokémon for loyalty

What about younger customers who tend to think of Sberbank as a boring place where their grandparents go to open savings accounts and pay their bills? Russia now has a few branch-less banks targeting digital natives and Sberbank needs to change its image as a traditional bank in the eyes of this customer group.

2016 was the year of Pokémon Go and a small team of Sberbank’s executives decided to use the game to attract millennials to its branch offices. Over three days, the team created a new insurance product called “Sberbank Go”. Every Russian citizen who hunted for Pokémon could sign up for insurance that covers medical costs in case of an accident. That is, if you walk into a street lamp while looking for Pikachu and hurt your leg, Sberbank insurance will help you pay your medical bill. In addition, Sberbank put PokéStops inside some of its branch offices to attract virtual eggs and PokéBalls. This helped the game’s fans to capture more Pokémon if they visited Sberbank.

While this initiative sounds a bit silly, the objectives were very serious: increase awareness among the younger customers about the bank’s insurance products, its loyalty program and mobile payment solutions. The project was run in 27 branch offices across Russia with very good results. There was a huge buzz on Russian social media about the campaign and TV channels featured stories about it too. This was free publicity. At the end, 130 million individuals heard about the initiative; journalists and bloggers wrote about 10,000 articles, the dedicated website received 70,000 visits and the bank issued 6,500 insurance policies to customers who had an average age of 24. In addition, 12 out of the 27 branch offices with PokéStops experienced a visible increase in physical traffic during the month of July, i.e. the period when traffic normally decreases due to the vacation lull.

How to make your company more open to digital transformation? Sberbank’s answer lies in raising awareness of opportunities among senior executives and empowering lower level employees. The bank’s CEO Herman Gref and his top management team became aware of the VR’s potential to teach empathy while visiting the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University. The CEO and his team realised the importance of an agile approach in developing new products. They created an organisational culture inside Sberbank that allows for small scale experimentation. This helped the emergence of SberbankGo and many similar digital initiatives. Ultimately, the embrace of digital technologies helps the bank to better service the elderly while appearing hip to the young.

Written by Andrew Shipilov, INSEAD Professor of Strategy

This article is republished courtesy of INSEAD Knowledge. Copyright INSEAD 2017

In a significant move for the Indian video on demand industry, Turner India and Amazon Prime Video have announced a strategic tie-up that will see Cartoon Network’s popular kids shows play on Amazon Prime Video.

This content licensing deal will see Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 (Classic), Ben 10: Alien Force, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ben 10 Omniverse, Grim Adventures of Billy Mandy, Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls (Classic), Kumbh Karan, Roll No. 21 and Dexter’s Laboratory and many more shows that will play on Amazon Prime Video under the Kids & Family TV section.

Kids today are consuming and engaging with their favourite content across diverse screens such as computers and mobile screens. This is increasing with the emergence of new OTT platforms and the rise in use of apps for games as an entertainment and learning activity.

Turner, a pioneer in the kids’ entertainment space in India, has been at the forefront of providing engaging experiences to kids both on TV and beyond and the collaboration with Amazon Prime Video reaffirms Turner’s commitment to engage with its fans anytime, anywhere.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

DDB MudraMax reinforces senior leadership

Kinetic Worldwide’s Yusuf Merchant and Adil Khan join DDB MudraMax’s senior leadership

August 2017| Mumbai: In a strategic move to reinforce the existing senior leadership team of the agency’s outdoor unit, Gour Gupta, CEO, DDB MudraMax recently announced the appointment of Yusuf Merchant as Vice President, DDB MudraMax-OOH and Adil Khan as Associate Vice President, DDB MudraMax-OOH.Yusuf would be based out of Mudra House, Mumbai and Adil would function from the agency’s Gurugramlocation.

Yusuf will be reporting to Sanjay Shukla, President, DDB MudraMax (OOH & Experiential) while Adil will be reporting to Yusuf.

Quoting on Yusuf’s and Adil’s appointment, Sanjay Shukla, President, DDB MudraMax (OOH & Experiential) quoted, “Both, Yusuf and Adil have reputed stronghold in the BTL market. They come from a credible, rich experience in the OOH domain. These are exciting times for the Group; them being added to the team just adds to the merry.”

At DDB MudraMax, Yusuf and Adil would be responsible for bringing and managing new business; fostering the growth of the agency.

An Erstwhile Associate Vice President with Kinetic Worldwide, Yusuf joins DDB MudraMax with an experience of close to two decades. He has been associated with the Indian outdoor fraternity at multiple levels and has championed the cause of delivering optimal results and business value in stress environments. During the course of Yusuf’s career, his long-term stint with Kinetic Worldwide and associations with high profile agencies like Madison World and Rediffusion Y&R have engineered him to understand the nerve of the changing consumer dynamics and deliver solutions that are profitable for the businesses and are innovative in approach. Yusuf’s brand kitty boasts of some prestigious names like Castrol, Vodafone, HSBC, Idea, Kotak, Levis, Marico, Mondelez, Muthoot FinCorp and Volkswagen to name a few.

Quoting on his appointment, Yusuf Merchant said,“It’s great to be a part of this vibrant set up. I look forward to using my experience to enhance the DDB MudraMax product in the market. Our focus will be on OOH, integrated with technology.”

In his career span of more than a decade, Adil Khan has been largely associated with Kinetic Worldwide; where he successfully handled a rich bundle of brands like Lufthansa, Google, Ford, Amex and HTC amongst others. He has also worked with Clear Channel Communication and Katha Mediatix during his initial years.Adil brings to DDB MudraMax, a strong diversified experience of business expansion, client management and team leadership. He has a proven track record of identifying new business opportunities contributing to growing revenues.

Quoting on his appointment, Adil Khan said,“DDB MudraMax has a pedigree of great work that speaks great volumes of the company’s conviction and commitment to its client’s business. I am really happy to be a part of this dynamic group and am looking forward to exciting times ahead.”


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