MediAvataar's News Desk
Star India has announced the launch of its brand new English movie channel, Star Movies Select HD. The insight for this channel comes from an extensive consumer research that highlights how people yearn for variety and great stories.
As much as viewers need their action and superhero blockbusters, they need freshness and new stories ranging from dramas, comedies, thrillers and animation. The need of the hour was for a channel that’s dedicated to showcasing select movies that breathe fresh content and promise variety that will leave everyone spellbound.
Who better to take up this responsibility than the biggest storyteller of the country – Star India - a name synonymous with introducing Hollywood to Indian television. It’s natural then that the same company heralds the evolution of English movie channels in the true sense, a feat possible owing to the exclusive first output deals with three of the biggest studios in Hollywood – 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal and Disney.
This brand new English movie channel will redefine the movie viewing experience for a Hollywood buff. The unique proposition of 365 days, 365 stories is based on the insight that this audience seeks new and enhanced experiences in life. Every day of the year at 9pm Star Movies Select HD will delight its viewers with the promise of a great story.
Some stories deserve to be celebrated and Star Movies Select HD promises to showcase stories that will mesmerize the audience with the television premieres of Gone Girl, Fault in our Stars, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Theory of Everything, Birdman to name a few. The line-up on this channel proudly proclaims to have over 30 premieres in the year, 7 out of 10 Oscar winning premieres, movies that stood out at the Golden Globes and more. To keep this experience exclusive, the channel will be available only in High Definition (HD) and the premieres and the 9 pm movies will not be screened on any of the other channels.
That’s not all; Star Movies Select HD will be the first English movie channel in the country to showcase films that were never released in India. The channel will celebrate the finest stories by creating festivals based on the strong consumer insights – movies based on True Stories, Book Adaptations, Iconic movies, Biopics and many more.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kevin Vaz from Star India said, “Star Movies Select HD is not just a new English movie channel, it’s a promise - to deliver best of storytelling from the house of Star India. We have curated content from the biggest Hollywood studios, created a programming line-up that will need no introduction to our Select audience. Movies unreleased in India, award winning premieres and festivals are just some of the initiatives that will enthrall them with the sheer strength of spectacular stories.
Wudstay, an online marketplace for budget accommodations announced a USD 3 Million round of funding from former Skype investor, Mangrove Capital Partners and Nimbuzz CEO Vikas Saxena.
Travellers can use WudStay to book accommodations online and through mobile at very affordable prices and also guaranteed a quality experience along with complimentary breakfast and wifi. WudStay relies heavily on its technology backbone for standardising its guest houses so the user experience is uniform across all of its accommodations in any cities.
Currently available in Gurgaon and Jaipur, WudStay plans to expand to 65 cities in the next 18 months. Funds raised will be deployed in ramping up the technology platform and team building.
Excited about the new venture in India, Mark Tluszcz, Founder & CEO, Mangrove Capital Partners said, "We had a great outcome in our earlier investment in India through Nimbuzz and wanted to keep that going. WudStay was obvious from the start: huge unstructured market, great founder and an opportunity to define the standard in budget hotel segment.”
Vikas Saxena, CEO, Nimbuzz, remarked, “In my past ventures I have looked at scenarios where tech advancements can disrupt a large inefficient market and make the services cheaper and better for the consumers. With Internet penetration reaching critical mass in emerging markets I think time is ripe to repeat the same in budget stays. . With 2015 travel market size in India hitting a mark of USD 70 Billion, there is a huge potential for travel technology platform that WudStay has built.’’
According to Prafulla Mathur, Founder & CEO, Wudstay, ‘’I travel a lot for business and leisure and one thing I learnt in that is booking rooms in India through existing channels does not give you the confidence of getting value for money. Additionally safety and security is a concern too. We intend to solve that through the technology we have built to standardise these accommodations so a user is always sure of a quality experience. It is great to have Mangrove and Vikas onboard as they bring their experience of consumer internet through brands like Skype, Wix and Nimbuzz. ’’
Prafulla Mathur has been a serial entrepreneur and had earlier founded one of the most prominent mobile technology company called Queppelin with clients including Facebook, Snapdeal, Times of India, Gaana.com, Reliance Bigflix, HomeShop18, TastyKhana and many more. He created a mobile product in 2011 which was showcased by Oracle at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona and was also a Red Herring Winner.
The race for The Voice intensifies 11th July onwards every Saturday and Sunday at 9.00 pm on &TV
After an unprecedented start of The Voice India with the BLIND AUDITIONS, it’s time for the most entertaining and electrifying phase – THE BATTLE ROUNDS that is all set to bring the house down. So far, you cheered for your favourite coaches – Himesh, Shaan, Mika and Sunidhi as they formed their teams of 14 singers each. Now it’s time to see them choose between their own favorites as they whittle the list down. Don’t miss the unique, spellbinding and high voltage episodes of the fiery BATTLE ROUNDS starting July 11th every Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 pm only on &TV.
As The Voice India's battles commence, the premise is simple: one song + two voices = one contestant moves forward. You will be on the edge of your seat as each coach pits the singers of his/her own team against each other in a musical face off. Catch the coaches and battle advisors train the signers through songs and jamming sessions as the ultimate musical battle kickstarts in the boxing ring of The Voice.
The excitement among the four judges is palpable and the response overwhelming. Said Shaan – “The experience so far has been simply amazing, the quality of singers is exceptional. Blind auditions were challenging and with the Battle rounds it’s only going to intensify.”
Added Mika Singh – “I received some fabulous reviews on the Blind auditions from my colleagues in the industry. The Voice India is the purest form of singing reality show currently on television and an absolute entertainer. Selecting the team was a tough job and now eliminating artists from the team is going to be even tougher.”
Himesh Reshammiya further added – “The Blind audition rounds was a wonderful showcase of The Voice talent and the best of the lot have been chosen. In the Battle round, it is all about survival of the fittest. I have a wowtastic team and I am looking forward to coaching them to give it their best.”
The only female coach on the show, Sunidhi Chauhan expressed, “The Blind auditions was a tough call with superior quality voices auditioning for a chance to be a part of The Voice India. Now, with the battle rounds ahead the job is only getting tougher, the coaches will have to eliminate their own team members. The levels ahead are difficult yet exciting and I am looking forward to it.”
The Voice India became the talk of town with masses pouring in copious amounts of support for the show and the dazzling B-towners expressing their awe for the show with their fevered tweets. From Abhishek Bachchan calling it a “great show” with “great judges” to Riteish Deshmukh wishing them the best, everyone is talking about The Voice India. And now the excitement goes several notches higher as the battleground is set to choose the best.
Vizeum India, the media agency from the Dentsu Aegis Network, has roped in Industry veteran Shripad Kulkarni as the Managing Director.
Shripad will report to Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO Dentsu Aegis Network, South Asia and will join the Dentsu Aegis Network India Executive Council.
Meanwhile, S.Yesudas will now focus on content and analytics, something that he is extremely passionate about, while continuing to report to Ashish Bhasin.
With more than 25 years of experience across various media specializations, Shripad has worked in agencies such as Carat, Contract, Clarion and O&M. Prior to joining Vizeum, Shripad was CEO - Allied Media, a Percept Group company. Shripad, who serves on the Board of MRUC, was the founding CEO of Allied Media. An MBA from JBIMS, Shripad also holds a Master’s Degree in Statistics and a Diploma in Operations Research. He is also a well-known trainer and ran a media school prior to joining Allied Media.
Commenting on the appointment, Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO Dentsu Aegis Network said, “I am very pleased to welcome Shripad as the MD of Vizeum India. With the wealth of experience that he brings in and the thorough knowledge of the business that he has, I am sure Vizeum India will touch new heights under his leadership.”
“I also want to thank Yesudas for the great job that he has done in helping start Vizeum operations in India from the scratch and bringing the agency to the level, at which it is today. I have no doubts that he will equally excel in the new opportunities. Shripad now has a great platform to take Vizeum India to the next orbit because our ambitions for Vizeum India are tremendous,” he added.
“I am really happy to be leading Vizeum India. The sheer dynamism of Vizeum as a brand excites me. The One P&L philosophy of the Dentsu Aegis Network opens great opportunities for us and will help push Vizeum to the next level,” said Shripad Kulkarni, MD - Vizeum India.
Some of the clients that Vizeum handles in India include BMW, Lotus herbals, TI Cycles, MTV, Hindware, Jet Airways, Allied Blenders and Distillers, Luxor and HDFC Bank amongst others.
Close on the heels of the announcement of Nikhil Shahane as Vice President – Mobile and International Business and Mahesh Patil as Chief Technology Officer comes another significant appointment that of Navin Kansal as National Creative Director.
The move marks an important phase in the digital agency’s journey of growth where the endevour is to ensure seamless integration of creativity and technology.
Welcoming Navin on board, RajDeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett India, said, “Navin is a creative genius when it comes to digital and he happens to join us at a right time when we are looking to fast-track Indigo’s growth as a full-service digital agency and a technology hub for clients. Navin’s experience of creating exemplary work on many brands reflects his ability to make an idea look great across digital platforms. His passion for innovation will drive the change brands need, thus helping to take the quality of our offering notches higher!”
Harshad Hardikar, COO, Indigo Consulting, added, “Navin and I have worked together in the past and I am fully convinced about his great ability to think big brand ideas that can create magic for brands, using digital media. This is the most critical position we were waiting to fill-in for some time. I’m sure that Navin’s creative acumen coupled with his leadership skills will take Indigo’s creative reputation to new heights.”
Commenting on his joining, Navin Kansal said, “Indigo Consulting has a great momentum going forward and a huge potential that is waiting to be tapped. The agency is blessed with great clients and a multi-disciplinary team that is rich in experience with full-service offerings that very few digital agencies in India have. I look forward to working closely with Harshad and Raj to leverage the technology, UX and mobile capabilities of Indigo in new and innovative ways to solve business problems. My focus will be to design and implement digital solutions with a human purpose in mind, by keeping Leo Burnett’s HumanKind philosophy as my North Star.”
Navin joins Indigo Consulting from Grey India where he was spearheading the agency’s digital creative function as Executive Creative Director and worked on many brands, including Volkswagen, Dell, Cadbury (Bournvita, Silk), Birla SunLife, ICICI Bank, Go Air, ITC, STAR Network, Sony LIV and Adobe.
Before Grey, Navin spent nine years at OgilvyOne Worldwide, Mumbai, where he was Creative Director on key accounts - Unilever, Tata Safari, The Economist, Vodafone and Perfetti van Melle.
His work has received recognition at various award shows for creativity and effectiveness across various categories in digital, including Spikes Asia, Adfest Asia, PMA-Asia, ECHO Awards, Yahoo! Big Idea Chair, Effies, IDMA, DMA India, DMA Asia, Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards, Goafest (Abbys) and Outdoor Advertising Awards.
Navin has also served on the jury of the Digital Asia Festival, Goafest, Indian Digital Media Awards (IDMA) and ECHO Awards.