RadioandMusic
| 27 Nov 2021
My role is to deliver value to shareholders by profitably growing our business: Preeti Nihalani, Chief Revenue Officer, Mirchi

MUMBAI: Preeti Nihalini Chief Business and Revenue Officer, Entertainment Network India Ltd. joined Mirchi in 2003, who played a pivotal role in Radio Mirchi’s transformation journey to ‘Mirchi Unlimited’.

Preeti Nihalini plays a key role in overlooking Mirchi’s business operations. She shares an insight on the brand’s trajectory and how Mirchi, India’s no.1 music and entertainment company, bounced back from the impact of the pandemic stronger than ever. “Solution selling is a key part of our strategy. Digital Solutions - Keeping the needs of our advertisers in mind we have strategically created various audio and video solutions. My role is to deliver value to shareholders by profitably growing our business. It starts from sharply defining the opportunities within and outside of radio, determining its full scope in the short, mid and long term”.

Check the interview below:

Tell us about your role in overlooking business operations at Mirchi. What are the strategies that you incorporate to maximize revenues for the brand?  

At Mirchi, in the last few years, we have expanded our horizons beyond just FM to multiple platforms. Today, with our hyperlocal, multi-platform, multi-format approach we cater to 63 markets with our FM frequencies, 18 of our online radio stations stream on the music streaming platform Gaana, our video content streams on 12 of our YouTube channels along with a few OTT platforms, and we also broadcast some of our properties like Mirchi Music Awards on leading TV channels. Additionally, we connect with our audiences through multiple events on-ground.  

Solution selling is a key part of our strategy. We believe in delivering customized city-centric brand solutions. Instead of selling plain vanilla spots to the advertisers, we understand their stated objective and marketing challenges, and develop solutions that go beyond radio, including multimedia strategy. To support our sales team in this endeavor of creating solutions, we have a very strong team of conceptualizers, writers, directors and producers who come from different fields of advertising, we call these solution brewers—Mirchi Brewery. We not only create solutions we also execute them and, hence, have a strong execution and servicing support ecosystem as well.

Digital Solutions - Keeping the needs of our advertisers in mind we have strategically created various audio and video solutions. These products range from branded web series to sketches on YouTube, Podcast solutions and audio content for influencers, among others.

Mirchi Impact Solutions – Over the years we have created several properties using multiple platforms like TV, on-ground activations, digital and Radio. Some large-format examples include Mirchi Music Awards and Mirchi Top 20. We carry out the execution of these properties on a local, regional, and national scale based on the market’s requirement.  

My role is to deliver value to shareholders by profitably growing our business. It starts from sharply defining the opportunities within and outside of radio, determining its full scope in the short, mid and long term. Additionally, the health and happiness of our employees lie at the center of the company’s health, thus, a large part of my role is to ensure a positive culture amongst our talent.

How has Mirchi evolved over the past few years. What do you have to say about the brand’s trajectory since the time you joined Mirchi?

I joined Mirchi in February of 2003, in Kolkata, which was three months before we went to live in the city. At that time, people weren’t aware of how and what FM was. We used to invite big influencers in the city to our studio to give them a tour, record their voices and give them a feel of what it is to be like in the studio! During that period, we invested a lot in educating clients and agencies (both media and creative) about the medium. We used to conduct Radio workshops for them with international speakers from some of the more mature markets like the US, Australia, etc.

From the time we launched, Mirchi has been a preferred brand for audiences across most markets. We have been leaders, both in terms of listenership and revenue. But it is in the last 12 years that we started slowly experimenting beyond Radio. We started with Mirchi Music Awards 12 years ago, we then started creating events and activations 10 year ago, and roughly 3 years ago we expanded our social media reach and started creating audio and video content. Today 1/3rd of our revenue is generated from non-radio streams. We get 12% of our revenue from digital solutions.

What factors contribute to making Mirchi India's no.1 Mirchi India’s no.1 city-centric music and entertainment company?

Be it radio, digital or live events, Mirchi is available everywhere, providing unlimited entertainment to everyone across the world. And behind this unmatched proposition lies our very creative programming team working in line with our progressive brand ethos. This team has consistently created some very path-breaking audio and video content that caters to national as well as hyperlocal audiences. They are adept at not only understanding the changing needs of today’s consumers but also have a great understanding of content requirements on multiple platforms. The content that the team creates goes way beyond just radio.

What are the future roadmaps for Mirchi for 2022?

FY22 is the year of recovery. The pandemic had a deep impact on the economy and businesses in FY21, and a large part of that recovery is expected in FY22. In FY21, when business was low, we took that time to work on improving some of our processes and we invested in software/automation and training. Some of those initiatives will continue in FY22 as well. We have also forged a strategic tie-up with Gaana to represent them in the market - it is an initiative to augment audio solutions for clients. Additionally, we are experimenting with a few other large digital players to complement our strengths.