Raghav Bahl: A First Generation Entrepreneur With Undying Fire

Unwilling to walk into the sunset, Raghav Bahl & Ritu Kapoor discuss the launch of Quintillion Media with afaqs.com

2 min read
Raghav Bahl,  founder of Quintillion Media Private Limited.

In an interview to afaqs.com, Raghav Bahl and co-founder Ritu Kapur spoke about the restlessness that led to the launch of Quintillion Media, a digital-first media venture. Incapable of just sitting back and relaxing, the duo ventured into their second innings with renewed vigour and a well-capitalised balance sheet.

The article mentions that the firm has tied up with global business news broadcaster Bloomberg. “On the cards is a business news website BloombergQuint.com and a business news TV channel Bloomberg Quint, which will be distributed in SD and HD, and will compete with the likes of ET Now, CNBC TV18 and NDTV Profit-NDTV Prime”.

The word ‘start-up’ brings 20-somethings to mind. And Raghav Bahl, 55, violates the assumption. Following the Rs 4,000 crore-worth takeover of Network18....by Reliance a couple of years back, Raghav’s path may well have taken him to mentor-cum-venture capitalist-ville. But he, and Ritu Kapur, his wife and present day business partner, were unable to simply walk into the sunset.  

Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

On being asked about what made him go back to TV:

We will be in the TV and digital space, both. And I honestly believe that the debate between TV and digital is completely misplaced. Both are the mediums of the future. It’s the consumption mode which will differ.
Raghav Bahl to Afaqs!

He also mentions how his TV channel and website are two facets of the same program and that content will be created for the digital screen first and will then go on television.

On how different the experience of launching a TV business news channel is when compared to his CNBC launch days:

Entirely different. When we launched our business news channel then, nobody understood business news; we created that category in India...Today, ours is a well calibrated launch with sufficient capital, equity participation with a global partner and a large target consumer base.
Raghav Bahl to Afaqs!

On the argument about digital killing TV:

The battle is not between TV and digital. It is between linear and non-linear communication. Currently, we are in the middle of a transition from linear to non-linear distribution.  
Raghav Bahl to Afaqs!

He explains that advertising formats need to evolve to meet the requirement of non-liner mediums. He says that “banner advertising is currently dying but it will re-invent itself for the small screen-it’ll become much more push than pull, because mobile is a device where you need to push content”.

When asked about the biggest lessons learnt from his Network 18 days, here’s what he said:

That’s a big learning from Network 18 – there, our ambitions were ahead of our balance sheet and that’s never a very sensible thing to do. This time, we have both; experience and capital. I’m ready to pump in whatever it takes to be successful.  
Raghav Bahl to Afaqs!

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