Elephant Advertising owners have aggressive growth plans for India

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | March 11, 2008
The US based CineMaya Media Group, which owns Elephant Advertising, has interests in publishing, content creation, broadcast television, film, broadcast radio, online and interactive, events and marketing services

The US

based CineMaya Media Group, which concentrates specifically on the Indian demographic in North America, has been gradually spreading its presence in India through platforms across the spectrum of media, entertainment and marketing. Elephant Advertising, which is part of the CineMaya Media Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Starcom MediaVest Group to start a diaspora marketing unit in May 2007.

The aim of this unit is to facilitate Indian and global marketers to engage with key consumer segments from the subcontinent across all relevant geographies. One of the prominent clients the diaspora marketing unit has serviced since May 2007 is Jet Airways.

Apart from diaspora marketing, the group specialises in publishing, content creation for television, broadcast television, film, broadcast radio, online and interactive, events and marketing services.

The group distributes and markets the Telugu tabloid, Telugu Times, in North America. Telugu Times is owned by Telugu Times Media Inc. USA. Recently, the CineMaya Group bought a majority stake in the publication and the right to publish it in the region. The tabloid is monthly and targets Telugu NRIs living in North America, who form almost 23 per cent of the total Indian population living in the region. Beginning April, the CineMaya Group hopes to publish it bi-monthly. The tabloid has 32 pages and a circulation of 20,000 copies.

Other publications under the banner of the CineMaya Group include The Indian Express' weekly North American edition and Divya Bhaskar's weekly Gujarati North American edition. All the publications have a 4:6 ratio of North American and Indian content.

Through its film and production division, CineMaya Films, established last year in Mumbai, the group plans to foray into films and content creation for television channels. The division aims to create content that's engaging and gripping for the young audience in India.

Nayan Padrai
Nayan Padrai, president and chief operating officer, CineMaya Media Group, says, "In the past years, has anyone come across a sitcom or serial created locally in India which has the power to really attract the audiences? What people in India have become accustomed to watching is boring old soaps and lifted concepts. The soaps are boring, so it's even more surprising to see new channels come up with the same formats. People have been watching the same thing because they don't have a choice. Even reality shows such as Indian Idol or Nach Baliye have been adapted from foreign concepts. Originality as a whole is lacking completely."

"HBO and MTV in the US have created such high quality TV formats that they truly have the capability to engage viewers without even going near the general entertainment genre. Hopefully, in the coming years, we will get to see original as well as interesting programming properties in India. At CineMaya Films, we aim to create that niche that will target today's India and engage them in the true sense."

At present, the group is in talks with leading television and broadcast service providers in the country for the content creation and programming aspects. Padrai, however, did not reveal any names. The group is also looking at bringing in foreign magazine titles to India in the coming years.

The group will launch its real estate marketing service, Buy Indian Properties, in May in the US. This service will serve the real estate needs of investors and owners in the US and India, respectively. Padrai says there is a huge demand in the US for Indian property. People who shifted to the US in the 1960s and the 1970s have now retired and plan to come back to India.

Other than this, the Indian economy is growing consistently and entrepreneurs, businessmen and companies are looking to set up operations in the country. But so far, the crucial link between demand in the US and supply in India has been missing. Buy Indian Properties will aim to bridge this gap, transfer knowledge and bring more investment to India. The service will have extensions in the online space, print, expos and events. It will be launched in India also once it captures the NRI market fully.

The CineMaya Media Group is a publicly traded company. It established offices in Mumbai and New Delhi in 2007 and inaugurated its Hyderabad office recently in February. Some of its clients in the diaspora marketing space include Shaadi.com, Fropper.com, Indya.com and Yatra.com. The group claims revenue of US$ 6 million in 2007, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.42 per cent.

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