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With several pressing issues, new BARC CEO Sunil Lulla has his work cut out

BARC India has undergone a leadership change with Sunil Lulla at the helm as the new CEO, after Partho Dasgupta decided to move on from the company. The industry has welcomed Lulla’s appointment and is looking at some key changes being introduced in BARC’s functioning. 

Wishing Lulla the very best on his new journey at BARC, Vikas Khanchandani, Group CEO, Republic Media Network, remarked, “Sunil has been part of the Board in the past and understands the ecosystem and the challenges there of. 

Khanchandani further said that Lulla has a critical task of strengthening the measurement on broadcast in the wake of NTO and integrate RPD sources to improve the representative sample. 

Moreover, he also has the opportunity of integrating new distribution platforms as Live TV consumption of News Online has grown many folds with growth in devices and data consumption. 

Ashok Venkatramani, former MD, Zee Media, also felt that Lulla is an excellent choice. “He is a veteran and has worked in practically all the media genres, entertainment companies, broadcasters – both in news and non-news – AAAI, IBF, ASCI. He is someone who has seen it all and has seen the industry over the years and understands the pain points of the industry.” 

Venkatramani expressed confidence in Lulla’s ability to integrate and bring all the stakeholders together on the same table towards amicably solving any issues that will come up. “Knowing Sunil personally, I think he is cut out for this position,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the industry expects BARC to address some pressing issues facing the broadcast industry. 

Voicing his strong opinion, B Shankar, CEO, Fourth Dimension Media Solutions, said, “Firstly, BARC should be more willing to listen to us from the Southern part of India, which was missing. Secondly, BARC needs to give the landing page menace a right direction and address it quickly.” Shankar also request the industry body to respond to queries raised. “Remaining silent doesn’t help at all,” he averred. 

A senior broadcast industry veteran expected a transparent and level playing field for all. “The product should be technically sound. Also, manual intervention should be done away with and new technology has to be adopted,” he insisted. The industry veteran also wanted the Outlier Policy to be relooked at. 

For Venkatramani, BARC has a long way to go regarding issues at a broader level. He added, “There are specific issues like the landing page that need to be addressed. I am sure there are other issues which will be on his plate. The larger issue is that there is work to be done on cementing the credibility of BARC’s measurement instrument and efforts should be made to strengthen this instrument. The sample size is another area of focus. These are milestones which Sunil will quickly achieve, I am sure.” 

Khanchandani also observed that brands will need to plan their campaigns agnostic of screens, which requires an integrated solution for video measurement and planning.

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