India's radio industry leaders to play the music in Mumbai

India's radio industry will convene once again in Mumbai under the aegis of the India Radio Forum (IRF) on May 26, 2011. This year, the Forum will focus on interactivity, both in the medium as well as the day's sessions. The spotlight will be on Phase III, local growth, and the advent of digital media. Organised by Partners in Media Asia (PIM), the media-conference company based in Singapore, the India Radio Forum promises to be a fun as well as relevant event for the industry.

The highlight of the event in the past has been the Excellence in Radio award ceremony. This year, to keep up with the overwhelming response and changing trends, PIM has introduced 10 additional categories. "We can attribute the significant increase in the number of entries to how well the Awards are recognised by radio stations, advertising & media agencies, and clients. We pride ourselves in providing a credible, neutral platform for all stake holders," said Rajika Mittra, Special Projects Director, Partners in Media.

Over and above the anticipated panel sessions and the awards ceremony, this year the IRF will unveil its inaugural 'Radio Pitch' challenge. Teams from media agencies will be invited to conduct a five-minute pitch in front of a panel of distinguished judges.

Each team must present 16 slides in four minutes, ending with a radio promo lasting not more than a minute. The winning team will be rewarded with a pair of Grandstand tickets worth US$2070 to the 2011 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (23-25 September). The winner will be announced at the Excellence in Radio Awards (ERA AWARDS) ceremony.

Sessions at this year's India Radio Forum will focus on forward trends, the expansion of reach through new digital media and increasing revenues for radio. Nail-biting debates and fiery discussions will take place amongst the advertising, media planning, and client panels. The CEO panel will see some head honchos placed under the spotlight in a thrilling buzzer round. The line-up of panelists and speakers reflects the notion that "all players in the Radio industry are in re-charge and re-energise mode as we gear up for stronger revenue growth this year," added Mittra.

With a nod to the impending round of licensing in Phase III, the forum's flagship panel moderated by L. V. Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, will feature all the heavy hitters -- Ashit Kukian, COO of Radio City, G Krishnan, Executive Director & CEO of Oye! FM, Harrish M. Bhatia, CEO of My FM, Prashant Panday, Executive Director & CEO of Radio Mirchi, and Rahul Gupta, Director of Radio Mantra as well as the Business Head of Red FM, Rana Barua and Big FM CEO, Tarun Katial --in discussions about where radio stands today and the direction it is heading in.

Two panels will address the issues faced by planning, creative as well as station teams. Anurag Batra, CEO & Editor-In-Chief, Exchange4Media will be moderating "Radio and the Media Mix" with advertising's big guns, and Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar UM will moderate "Broadening the Reach: Planning for Radio."

Addressing a hot button topic, Jon Simon from Cimarron Digital Hollywood will lead a talk on taming the digital wave and share insights on how radio stations can become digital media leaders. Jake Abdullah of Malaysia's AMP Radio, will head a session on content and programming; Suman Srivastava of Marketing Unplugged will speak on alternative revenue streams.

The event will culminate in the Super Pitch session followed by the ERA Awards. "IRF is the foremost event of the industry and we are honoured to continue providing the best platform for radio professionals to come together each year, share valuable insights, and take radio to the next level," said Mittra.


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