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Photo : Twitter

Do New IPL Teams Make Business Sense?

Indian Premier League (IPL), an estimated $7 billion property, became richer by close to $1.5 billion as the bids for two new teams touched Rs 12,715 crore. Kolkata-based Sanjiv Goenka, who had owned the Pune IPL team for two years, bid a phenomenal Rs 7,090 crore and chose the AB Vajpayee stadium in Lucknow as his team’s base while CVC Capital, a US firm which was running Formula 1 racing till recently, got India’s biggest stadium in Ahmedabad. Annually, the new team bids would fetch an additional Rs 1,200 crore to BCCI for next 10 years. But does shelling out so much money as a team’s franchise fee make business sense? Goenka thinks so, though industry estimates put prospective losses at around Rs 350 crore per year for the Lucknow franchise even if the team gets Rs 350 crore from the IPL central pool. IPL figures show that teams are currently earning around Rs 200 crore a year from central pool, Rs 100 crore from gate collection besides sponsorship and merchandising. The profitability prospects for the teams are likely to brighten with the next IPL media rights auction – and they could be big winners in the valuation game with individual IP teams rated as high as $1 billion. But, experts hold that the new teams may have to withstand losses even if the future share of central pool revenues is higher when the new IPL bidding cycle for media rights kick in.
ipl trophy

Rs 7,097 Cr: New Valuation Mark For An IPL Team After Aggressive Bidding By Sanjiv Goenka, CVC Capital

In less than 24 hours Indian cricket took the rough with the smooth in Dubai: the UAE emirate became the first venue in the world where the national team bit the dust in an ICC World Cup match against Pakistan, and the very next day the BCCI got two franchisees to bare their heart and soul for the popular Twenty20 tournament which goes by the acronym, IPL. While Virat Kohli’s team was battered and bruised by left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi’s telling blows and Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s daredevil batting, the BCCI leadership under Jay Shah (son of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah) saw thin paper envelopes delivering a heavy Rs 12,715 crore from the two newly minted franchises and making it further cash-rich. Somewhere in the UK, Lalit Modi, the brains behind the IPL arithmetic, must be delighted to see a probably desperate Sanjiv Goenka of the RP-SG Group shelling out Rs 7,090 crore and choosing Lucknow, not far from PM Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi; and PE player CVC Capital winning Ahmedabad for Rs 5,625 crore. Now the starting valuation for any of the IPL franchises is Rs 7,090 crore, which means, any among the first franchises, can reap a windfall should they wish to place 20 plus stake for sale and wipe out the losses.
dabur fem

Lessons Learnt From Dabur’s Karwachauth Ad: Don’t Mess With Our Culture

This Karwachauth saw more than the moon through the sieve of tradition. It saw the trampling of a tradition. Dabur aired this in-your-face ad about a lesbian couple, their beautifying for the sacred Karwachauth, when married women fast the whole day (Nirjal) for the longevity of the spouse. Dabur planned to sneak in a Fem ad, and also legitimise this relationship by presumably the mother of the gay partner. She is shown handing over costly sarees and jewellery, and blessing to the one who is the “wife spouse”! When netizens reacted with revulsion, Dabur withdrew the ad with an apology. However advanced sexual preferences are in the closet, there are certain mores you don’t trample on with impunity. Bhavesh Talreja, founder of Mobile Advertising platform, Global Media said, “All companies live and thrive under a political system….” Interestingly, a plea about same sex marriage had come up for hearing in the Delhi High Court…. timing, timing is everything. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, argued that same sex marriages cannot be brought under the umbrella of the Hindu Marriage Act. The Government’s stand is that marriage is permissible only between a biological man and woman. Karwachauth is a premium event in the calendar of marketers, who must acknowledge that the society is still not ready for such woke gyan and experiments. Dabur seems to have got the message: don’t mess with our culture!
Nihar letter

ICAI President Nihar N Jambusaria

ICAI President’s Call To Adopt Hindi Upsets Tamil Nadu CAs

ICAI President Nihar N Jambusaria has stirred a hornet’s nest. In a signed message published in the October issue of The Chartered Accountant journal, he exhorted the members of India’s apex body for chartered accountants to adopt Hindi in their work and interactions with other stakeholders. For him, Hindi is a rajbhasha (official language). And, he wants his fellow CAs to promote Hindi. His appeal has virtually kicked up a row with many senior CAs, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu, warning the ICAI chief of the adverse fall-out of his action. Should ICAI be promoting a language? Or, should it be guiding the CA fraternity as a whole? The debate has already picked up steam on social media. Predictably, his move has drawn political reaction as well. A sitting MP from Madurai, S Venkatesan, has taken to Twitter to condemn the ICAI chief. “May be it (Hindi) is your mother tongue but not for all,” he tweeted. He has already dashed off a letter to ICAI, opposing the move. “Tamil Nadu would resist imposition (of Hindi),” Venkatesan asserted. The CA fraternity in Tamil Nadu is seething in anger. ICAI could live without such controversy. And, Jambusaria could have avoided playing to galleries (on September 14 being marked as Hindi Diwas). He reportedly clarified: “It (Hindi) is a choice… If you want to write in whatever language you want, there is no restriction on anybody.”

Photo : Fotocorp

Mamata-Kishor Chalking Out Mission TMC For Poll-Bound Goa

Looks like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s plans to make a big bang start in Goa on October 28 may not quite happen. That is because she is not able to get the right kind of line-up of leaders — from the Congress and other smaller parties — to join her Trinamool Congress (TMC). Her key advisor strategist Prashant Kishor (PK) has been working on it for weeks. Yet he has not been able to make much headway. Initially, PK was lucky in persuading former CM Luizinho Faleiro, ex- Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief, to join the TMC. Faleiro had helped the Congress clinch a big win in 2017 by picking up 17 of the 40 seats — the BJP won only 13 seats and yet managed to form the government with the support of smaller parties. Faleiro is expected to draw the right mix of leaders to the TMC Goa but there has not been much headway. Of Goa’s 40 seats, 21 are from the largely Hindu North and 19 seats from the mainly Catholic South. Mamata is keen on getting Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesi (who is seen tilting towards Congress’ working president Alexio Sequeira) and his two MLAs. Mamata even got a high profile TV anchor who flaunts his Goa connection and common surname to boot to call up Vijai Sardesai.
rn ravi swearing

Photo : Twitter

Tamil Nadu’s New Governor Ravi Keeps DMK On Tenterhooks

While in Delhi, the newly appointed Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi prefers to stay in his MS Flats at RK Puram than in the Governor’s suite in Tamil Nadu Bhavan in Chanakyapuri — which is part of the diplomatic enclave in the national capital. He had been staying in this flat during his long service in IB and retained it when he was the Governor of Nagaland till he was sent to Chennai. His visit to Delhi a month after taking charge has the ruling DMK worried. This is because he held a lengthy meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah and then called on PM Narendra Modi. DMK leaders wonder what may be cooking. Apparently, Chief Minister MK Stalin doesn’t want any confrontation with the Governor nor with PM Modi. Finance Minister Dr P Thiaga Rajan (PTR) too has piped down his confrontation with the Centre. It may be noted that Governor Ravi’s daughter Prof Shamika Ravi was a member of PM’s Economic Advisory Council.
csk champs

CSK Is Sport And Never A Business For Us, Says India Cements’ N Srinivasan

Indian Premier League (IPL) has proved to be a heady mix of sports, entertainment, and business. Not surprisingly, there is quite an interest around it. Sanjiv Goenka-led RPSG group is new franchisee for Lucknow and PE player CVC Capital for Ahmedabad. Indeed, the sport has changed. Is it cricket? Well, the debate has been on for a long while now. But N Srinivasan, the indefatigable former boss of Board of Control for Cricket in India, has a different take on his IPL team. “We look at CSK (Chennai Super Kings) as a pure sport,” says Srinivasan, who is the vice-chairman and MD of ICL (India Cements Ltd). ICL owned the IPL franchise team CSK from inception in 2008 till 2014, when the ownership was transferred to Chennai Super Kings Ltd. “CSK is a sport and never a business for us,” he makes it clear. Srinivasan is the fulcrum around both ICL and CSK. “I think my personality has rubbed off in CSK,” he says. Both at ICL and BCCI, he had endured the worst. “A less strong person would have wilted,” he feels. “Our reaction to victory and loss is the same. When we win we are happy in our heart. We don’t need to go out and blow the trumpet,” he said. Indeed, CSK will remain an inseparable part of Srinivasan.


Technology Cannot Disrupt Original Content Provider: Short Post Editor

They say time flies. How true!  Today is our #SecondAnniversary. Two years back at the height of Covid-19 Pandemic when lockdown was the way of life we took a leap of faith and launched Short Post (Jan 28, 2021), the first-of-its-kind website in the country that focuses on Authentic Gossip. The Oxymoron is deliberate. Well, the response has been quite encouraging. That’s what has kept us going. Till date we have posted close to 2000 stories in the areas of Politics, Business, Entertainment and Sports. Each insightful story of around 225 words has been contributed by Senior Editors. There is a sense of satisfaction of creating a new segment in the market – authentic gossip — and in the process creating a brand (in a limited sense), creating demand (readers) and creating supply (writers). Well known advertisers — IDFC FIRST Bank, ICICI Lombard – supported us.  And that really boosted our confidence. Thank you!

So here we are raring to go.  But, when I look at the media landscape the disruption is indeed fast and furious. Technology is playing a very big role in how content will be consumed. In the past, we have seen how social media has disrupted the media world. Now, everybody is saying the same thing about ChatGPT. It has reached 1 million users in five days. Its scorching pace of growth is indeed frightening and will disrupt the media industry big time. My limited argument is can it do investigative stories, write gossip items using the digital world ecosystem. Unlikely. Clearly, the original content has to be created first — only then can ChatGPT do the magic. That’s what we promise to do – focus on original content.

Before I sign off, I am reminded of an old advertisement of the early sixties: “Avis is only No.2 in rent a cars. So we try harder”. Likewise I can say, we are two years old and we are trying even harder to be relevant to you readers.