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‘Innovative solutions will not always have ready talent’

By Rajiv Raghunath - December 20, 2022

“As industry leaders we need to chalk that path towards innovation and sooner or later a critical talent pool will emerge,” says Bharat Rajamani, Co-Founder & CEO, GetafixM as he talks about talent acquisition and development. Edited excerpts of the interview with Rajiv Raghunath.

Bharat Rajamani, Co-Founder & CEO, GetafixMYou have worked with the Big 4 accounting firms, and you have had engagements with the Indian OOH industry. Now you spearhead your own venture. OOH is by and large a people business – requiring a gamut of skillsets. How would you assess the talent pool that Indian OOH has at hand?

In reality OOH has actually got a good and diverse talent pool. One needs to be good in strategy as well as street smart to be successful in OOH. The on-ground dynamics as we all are aware is very different and dynamic. Today, the need is to develop a strategic and measurability perspective while recommending media options to clients. This will reinforce trust and credibility into OOH. We have to rapidly unlearn and open up to regular changes in the OOH landscape. One needs to reinvent every time a plan is submitted.

OOH business is changing quite rapidly, with an increasing accent on technology and creativity. If there is a talent deficit that the industry faces, and what would be the best way to bridge the gap?

Let’s bring the cliche here -- change is the only constant and will always be so. But the fundamentals of business and being innovative are never outdated. We are in the business of serving audiences and the need to capture audience attention will always be at the core of the media business. OOH is no different. As in any business, innovative solutions will not always have ready talent in opulence. As industry leaders we need to chalk that path towards innovation and sooner or later a critical talent pool will emerge. If you ask me, there is no talent deficit - we need to think out of the box, may be synergise or have strategic partnerships with companies who will make up for the deficit in terms of creativity and technology. 

Would you also recommend steps for talent development and retention?

Training and development is the key for any organisation to succeed. The entire ecosystem is evolving  and so are the audiences. How do we deliver reach and engagement in today's time is  the challenge of every media asset and OOH is no different. As I said earlier, the needs of OOH are from a strategic and measurability perspective and the talent needs to be further skilled in this. 

Are the OOH industry roles and compensation packages attractive enough to bring talent from technology companies?

May be the question should be addressed differently. Is there a need to attract talent from technology sectors? If yes then that vision needs to be accordingly communicated. In today's era of convergence, there is technology at the core of everything we do, from shopping, booking tickets, travelling, communicating , expressing so on and so forth. The offerings that are non-technology based are shrinking periodically. We need to be true to our core sustainable proposition. If that needs to attract a technology bent of professionals we should and plan the P&L accordingly. The P&L planning at the end of the day has to provide value to the advertiser and at the same time be profitable too and packages therefore may prohibit deploying a tech. 

A tech stack business management needs a different level of approach and understanding. Larger media companies may need to have tech specialists in-house but not Advisory and Marketing Managed Services outfits like ours who specialise in diagnosing the marketing problem and providing services and solutions based on the problem -- we leverage on our marketing acumen, partner network and value creation approach. For tech requirement we work back the best-in-class basis the objective. But the same will not hold good for large media companies like the broadcasters, OTT and larger media conglomerates.

Would you recommend any pan-industry initiatives to help build a strong, large, future-proofed talent pool?

Media is a passionate business. Here you partner clients in communicating their story in static, dynamic, AV and digital film formats. The thrill of making the communication work is unprecedented. When marketing metrics are met and when brand heads confide that our solutions worked, the joy of our first campaign continues. Such perspectives should be provided to our bright young minds when they make career choices.

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