Aishwarya Ramesh
Viral Diaries

Viral Diaries: A chat with ALTBalaji's SVP - Marketing, analytics & direct revenue, Divya Dixit

WFH means consuming more OTT and digital content. How does the SVP - marketing of an Indian OTT platform, spend her day? Divya Dixit opens up on WFH.

As India abandons its glass buildings and corner cabins to work from home (WFM), OTT platforms, and the people who work for them, are now busier than ever. Understandably so - a lot more viewers have free time on their hands, since they don't need to commute to office anymore. How does the SVP of an Indian OTT platform manage her work day?

To understand these nuances better, the fourth interview in this series is with ALTBalaji's SVP - marketing, direct revenue and analytics - Divya Dixit. ALTBalaji is an on-demand video streaming platform that was founded by Indian television producer Ekta Kapoor in 2015. It is a subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms and was launched so that the company could foray into digital entertainment and explore alternative forms of storytelling in different Indian languages.

Divya Dixit
Divya Dixit

Dixit joined ALTBalaji in 2018. Before she took over at her current role, she worked with ZEE5 as vice president - marketing. Before ZEE5, Dixit had a stint with LeEco - a Chinese technology and entertainment company, as director content marketing. Before that, Dixit worked at Percept Live as head of marketing. She has over 16 years of experience in marketing, and has also worked with Saregama India, Tata Docomo, Star India, UTV, Sony Entertainment Television and Barista Coffee Company in the past. Here's her take on WFH in the times of COVID-19.

If there was just ONE piece of advice you could give people in the media/marketing business right now, what would that be?

Focus and innovate. There are many hurdles right now, with markets down, brands working at a much slower pace, production shut down and, of course, the absolute end of the financial year, which means all-time low budgets. My suggestion would be - think digital, think viral. Right now, under the current circumstances, the whole country is going digital. So, brands can look into exploring that domain more with innovative tools and initiatives led by organic brand ambassadors.

Which app/tool are you using to video conference with your team/clients? And what’s your go-to option for file sharing?

Zoom. We share files via Zoom, WhatsApp and, of course, normal emails.

How are you dividing up your work day? Give us a sense of how you’re managing your time and what your work-from-home routine is like...

Early mornings are set for housework. I strongly believe in the dignity of labour and this has given me a chance to inculcate the same in my 15-year-old daughter. Post the family is fed, cleaning is done, lunch is prepped, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., I am constantly available on calls, emails and phones. Of course, the work does spill over post 8 p.m., and then it’s again time with the family. I sort of enjoy WFH as I have three kids, one human and two furry paws, and this gives me a chance to see them during the day, that I never had earlier.

Dixit with her daughter
Dixit with her daughter

What do you miss most about office?

Face to face interactions with colleagues, as sometimes some things are best explained when in front of each other. Of course, office jokes are also dearly missed.

Ideally, how frequently should a team leader/manager check in on her/his team? Any long-distance people management tips?

I am in touch with my team every day. I like to check if they are doing well in these difficult times, and also as our work is OTT, it’s nonstop. So, one ends up, in one way or another, chatting with the teams. I really don’t have a tip here except for the fact that genuinely care, offer support, be compassionate and be human in work issues in this difficult phase.

Lastly, what’s the one thing you see yourself doing differently once the work-from-home phase ends? To rephrase, what’s the biggest lesson here, for you?

One should not take the liberty to be able to organise one's life for granted, ever.

Viral Diaries is a daily peek into how advertising, media and marketing professionals are dealing with working from home in these trying times.