Guest post contributed by Kiriti Rambhatla, MIT Sloan Executive Education Strategy and Innovation certificate holder (2011), who wrote to us recently to share some of the ways his certificate has impacted his career.
Before attending MIT Sloan Executive Education, I had been writing for and hosting political, economic, and business televisions shows for the established news networks in India’s media and entertainment industry—the largest in the world—since 2009. However, I soon realized that success required a larger, macroeconomical understanding of the industry. With more than 90% of the products (movies, television, comics) not making the cut, the competition and failure rates in the industry were a point of research interest for me. I chose to further explore relevant topics by earning an MIT Sloan Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation.
After securing the Certificate 2011, I returned to the industry with renewed focus. I had developed particular interest in areas like macroeconomics, strategy for global markets, and managing successful strategy for products and technologies. I began hosting a successful socio-economic talk show. It was during the scripting of this talk show, however, that I also began to focus on what is known as character entertainment in India.
Much like the American comic book studios Marvel and DC, India has a fragmented comic book industry where I felt I could use my writing skills to build sustainable characters across television, movies, comic books, and video games. With the advent of OTT platforms like Netflix, there was a rudimentary ecosystem for OTT platforms for video content as well in the country.
I created a vigilante hacker character and story that was made into a graphic novel and a motion picture with a theatrical release. The challenge has been integrating the fragmented industry to have this character transform between various platforms like television, movies, comic book and, hopefully in the future, video games. Though the character entertainment (Batman, Superman, Captain America, etc.) industry is a billion-dollar industry in the U.S., it’s still in its early stages in India. Though most of these industries do exist in India, they operate independently in unorganized formats. It is here I see a huge potential for my character and its arcs to seamlessly integrate and create tremendous value.
This work involved creating a new business model, for which the MIT Sloan program, Driving Strategic Innovation Throughout the Value Chain, has been immensely helpful. The value chain for my work involves various stakeholders like production houses, comic book publishers, video game companies, and merchandising firms. Bringing them all under a unified network is the real challenge, but our start has been a good one. So far we have successfully leveraged platforms like television, movie theaters, and YouTube to generate more than 1 million viewers. We were thrilled to be covered recently by The Hindu.
Thank you to MIT Sloan Executive Education for helping me spark disruption in India’s media and entertainment industry.
To earn his Certificate, Rambhatla completed the following courses: Driving Strategic Innovation Throughout the Value Chain, Developing and Managing a Successful Technology Strategy, Understanding Global Markets: Macroeconomics for Executives, and Dynamics of Globalization.