We’re back with another new episode of BGR Talks. And this time we spoke with the CEO of Digital Publishing at Zee Group, Rohit Chadda. He has been the talk of the investment banking and entrepreneurial circles since he began his career co-founding Foodpanda back in 2012. Foodpanda was a success story under him following which he created a multi-channel offline payments platform called PayLo in 2015. And finally, in 2019 he joined as the CEO of digital publishing at Zee Group. The Zee Digital publishing business under him has prospered and even attained milestones like achieving 150 million users in just about a year. Also Read - Poco India GM C Manmohan talks about M2 Pro, F2, Elon Musk, and more
We started off the conversation asking him about how his education at Delhi Technological University and IIM Calcutta helped in his career. He opined that top-quality education is not the only important aspect of attending these institutions. But it is also the company of the other fellow top students of the country or the world and the learning you get from them is unparalleled. This network that is created with the other students and colleagues is also invaluable. Also Read - BGR Talks: Dolby Senior Regional Director, Ashim Mathur elaborates on Dolby and evolving technologies
Watch: BGR Talks: Rohit Chadda, CEO, Digital Publishing – Zee Group
We moved on to the success Foodpanda has had under him and he mentioned that the company was a classic example of a great execution of an existing idea. The app formula was already present in the developed markets and brought it to emerging markets with their own set of parameters. Foodpanda was later acquired by Delivery Hero and is presently available in more than 50 countries. The execution was key which helped it grow at such speed. If things were to be done differently, Foodpanda could have tried to own the entire value chain. This would start with ordering and end with delivery. Also Read - BGR Talks: ZEE5 CEO Tarun Katial speaks of managing an OTT platform in the times of Covid-19
From startups to corporate
He spoke about the shift from the startup culture to a corporate one and said that startups essentially have a different model when compared to corporate. Startups essentially rely on the speed of execution and agility, and it is about quickly adapting to changes. A lot of startups have been able to take on corporate because of this. And this principle is what he has implemented in Zee. This has been the reason for the success that Zee is presently experiencing.
As for the success of Zee in achieving 150 million users in just about a year, two aspects have contributed the most. These include a change in culture and business. The change in culture boils also down to the feeling of ownership in the company. Talking about the business-end, a tech, and a data-oriented approach is key. As for future plans, Zee will be focusing on vernacular content, as well as more relevant content. While from a business perspective, improve the product so it sells itself.
Evolution of tech
In terms of the evolution of technology, things have changed rapidly but the principles have remained the same while it’s the sample set that has increased. In terms of brands, it can reach users even better now, which results in more informed decisions. And as a result of the COVID situation, professionals have to change their approach to business and how they conduct business. The change in the situation has increased the adoption of the virtual method of communication.
As for technologies that will play a bigger role in the future of digital publishing space, deep technologies will play a huge role. AI will play a key role in automating and personalize and making things convenient for users. And as for the debate of the dependencies on search engine and independent news aggregators, it is here to stay. While news publishers should definitely grow their own stickiness and pushing their own direct sources.
We ended on a personal note and asked if he still enjoys using Apple products. He answered that he enjoys and finds the seamless ecosystem that Apple provides. Along with the ease of use and form factor of the Apple products, he appreciates that Apple focuses more on quality over speed of delivery.