Editor’s note: In an ongoing series, INMA is profiling our most engaged members — our super fans. We hope this gives members a chance to learn more about each other. Today we profile Malcolm Raphael, senior vice president/head, creative strategy, innovations and trade marketing for Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd. (The Times of India group) in Mumbai, India.
Is print dead? Malcolm Raphael, senior vice president, head/ creative strategy, innovations and trade marketing for Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd. (The Times of India group) in Mumbai, India thinks there’s hope.
“The challenge for newspapers is to stay relevant and grow in a digital world,” he said. “This is supremely invigorating as the epitaph of print has been written multiple times, but we are still projected to grow at ~13% in 2022. This is something that keeps me going, and the innovative work we are doing is a testament to this.”
When he’s not reading newspapers, he is reading the Harry Potter series at the suggestion of his daughter: “I am enjoying reading fiction after a long time.”
INMA recently caught up with Raphael to learn more about him.
INMA: What big lesson have you learned over the past couple of years that helped shape what you did in 2022?
Raphael: We must seize every day and every moment, be it in personal or professional life. Life became so uncertain that one had to make the most of each day than wait for the big days. We applied this to business as well and ensured that we created ideas and celebrated many more occasions to drive sales and revenues.
INMA: If you had your career to do over again, what would you want to know in the beginning?
Raphael: Identify the people to work with and learn from. While working in certain organisations does help, working with the right people helps shape your thinking and hence gives your career a better trajectory.
INMA: What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
Raphael: The team I work with and the possibilities to do new things in terms of ideas, innovations, and problems to solve.
INMA: What is the craziest job or project you’ve ever done in media — and what did you learn from it?
Raphael: I came up with a new business model called BrandScope, which essentially was marketing in reverse. The idea was to create consumer brands from scratch and leverage the strength of our media to associate with entrepreneurs to create products, services, and content around these brands.
In essence, I identified market gaps and came up with brand names, and created brand books, which we then used to get manufacturers, content creators, and platforms to create products, open stores, and content around these brands.
INMA: What success within your company are you most proud of right now?
Raphael: Successfully launching three consumer brands from thin air under the BrandScope model as it was very innovative, never done before thinking in the media landscape.
INMA: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Raphael: Do good work, day in and day out, and the rest will follow. There will be bad days and great days, but if you are true to yourself, all else will even out eventually and you will be rewarded.
INMA: What do you do to relax?
Raphael: Music, movies, and spending time with my kids.
INMA: If you hadn’t gone into news media, what was your backup plan?
Raphael: I have literally been on all sides of the table — started my career in advertising and then had a fantastic stint in branding consultancy, then moved over to the client’s side in marketing before joining news media. Even in my 13-year stint at the Times Group, I have been more of a brand and marketing guy than a news media person. Ideas have always been at the core of my thinking and that will always be my backup.