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'Celebrity mgmt goes beyond endorsements'

Q&A: Manish Porwal

Aabhas Sharma  |  New Delhi 

He has been acquainted with almost all the facets of the media and advertising business. Be it media planning and buying with FCB Ulka or account management with Everest or broadcasting with Vijay TV. Manish Porwal, managing director, India-West and South, Starcom has come a long way in his career and is excited about his new assignment as the CEO of Percept Talent Management. Though he takes over next month and is busy winding up his work at Starcom, Porwal spoke to Aabhas Sharma about his new role and what lies ahead in the celebrity management business.

What prompted you to take up this new assignment with Percept Talent Management, as you were doing quite well at Starcom?

After twelve years in the media industry and working on various functions associated with it, I wanted to do something different and explore other aspects of communication. To be honest, there was a bit of complacency creeping in. And celebrity management is still a green field area and a challenging assignment which helped me take this decision.

What are the challenges that you foresee in the celebrity and talent management industry?

The biggest challenge, I feel, is to get the industry to function in a more professional manner, which is quite ironic, considering brands and the associated with it are supposed to work in a professional manner.

One needs to realise that celebrity talent management is much bigger than endorsements, which has been the focal point driving the industry.

Coming from a hard-core media background, what are the challenges you face, as an individual in your new role?

Frankly speaking, I am a novice, as far as this industry is concerned.

I know, that joining a company like Percept which was probably the pioneers of celebrity management is a daunting task.

The company has been handled by who had acquired or developed the know-how of the industry. But I do believe that I have a certain amount of brand understanding which is a key element of this business.

The industry works on the assimilation of brand values with talent values and I hope I am up for the challenges that lie ahead.

What are the challenges that you foresee in the celebrity and talent management industry?

The biggest challenge, I feel, is to get the industry to function in a more professional manner, which is quite ironic, considering brands and the associated with it are supposed to work in a professional manner.

One needs to realise that celebrity talent management is much bigger than endorsements, which has been the focal point driving the industry. Both, the brands as well as the celebrity talent possess certain values. The challenge is find the right channels to make use of these values.

What would be your main focus as the new CEO of Percept Talent Management?

At Percept, my focus will be to find the exact match between brands and the right talent. It's a challenge to assimilate brands with the right kind of talent, but I hope I can achieve what we as a company want. As I said earlier, it is an area which has been tapped, but not to its fullest.

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First Published: Wed, December 26 2007. 00:00 IST
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