It's critical for every business to start putting steps into the world of metaverse: Offbeet’s Jaideep Singh

Mumbai: Offbeet Media Group is a new-age media platform company driven by content production (B2B and B2C) and distribution capabilities.

Offbeet has a thriving service business with different brands offering specialised services for the government sector, influencer marketing, OTT, broadcast sector, B2C business of media brands via, Zelador Talent Management, the USPL (US Premier League), and Offbeet Studios, which has projects lined up for theatrical release and the OTT marketplace.

The group has a robust, credible stack of services/media products with an established body of work and has taken its first steps into tech with VR, NFT/metaverse, and esports, as well as becoming a true new-age media platform company. caught up with Offbeet Media Group CEO & founder Jaideep Singh to find out about the company’s plans.

A management executive with 20 years of experience in media, marketing, and entertainment, Singh has specific expertise in broadcast/TV, digital & social media, film, radio, live events, and experiential large-format entertainment properties. He has an in-depth understanding of building the content and revenue sides of media businesses across platforms and an established track record of managing P&L.

An expert in strategically building scalable and sustainable media brands/IPs and businesses, Singh has engaged aggressively in the global market with exposure and understanding of the UK, US, Europe, Singapore, and the Middle East.

Edited Excerpts:

On the market gap 

Offbeet was founded with the intention of capturing the space for telling stories about India that are rooted in our diverse culture, heritage, and the new India that is emerging. With content at the heart of everything we do across all lines of business we have entered, and a belief that there is a space and a demand for a new-age media company that vows to be content at heart while efficiently delivering profitable media services and media products that are scalable across spectrums, we have launched.

On the rising Offbeet scale

We started as a small content agency, working with and servicing brands and the government sector. Today, we have evolved into a media group that has a thriving service business with different brands.

On the covid impact

We actually took it as an opportunity to evolve and deliver innovative content solutions to clients to ensure business kept ticking. We also pulled back and strategised to seize new opportunities to diversify our business into what it is today. As a result of that, in the first covid year, we had no drop in revenues, and in the second year, which is the last fiscal year, we actually did 4X the business of the previous year. The work we put in last year to diversify and strengthen our offerings has carried the momentum forward, with H1 of this year already delivering the previous year's topline, and the team is working to ensure that the current fiscal year is 3-4X growth again.

On the USP

Well, three things. One, great mix of service and media business both running efficiently and scaling at a very fast pace. Second, our ability and agility to enter into new trends and opportunities at speed and execute to perfection. And third, our team is our soul; it's a perfect collective of creative, marketing, design, and business minds with solid years behind it, which has actually driven our first two points to perfection.

On the plans to grow USPL

We identified a gap in the US market and the need for a strong cricket league brand. Hence, we launched the USPL with a vision to deliver world-class cricket content and mix it with entertainment to get a wider audience to come and see the game on-ground, digitally, as well as on TV. We have set a good baseline in the first season with partnerships on broadcast and OTT, both on Voot and Colors Rishtey. The planning for the second season of the league is underway, and we will soon be making a big announcement for the same.

On the expansion

As of now, our aim is to focus on USPL and expand this brand in the US and into other markets as well. While remaining true to our vision, we have taken our first step into the explosive world of e-sports. With Ekalavya Bhattacharya on the team to drive the Offbeet esports business, we are developing this space in India and also making it one of our new growth drivers for the next year.

On the acquisition of 101Media

We launched the 101NFT Creators Project at Kochi as one of the first emerging from a digital publishing brand. Following which, we had a very interesting association with MG Motors and produced a series about Indian women who are warriors of change and are doing real work in the area of sustainability. 101India will soon be announcing a few flagship properties and also exploring expansion into new markets in India as well as globally.

On scaling Zelador up

In just 18 months, Zelador has produced some truly outstanding work across both macro- and nano-influencer bases. Aside from regular business, Zelador works on "moments-driven" marketing campaigns for multiple clients, has close to 100 clients, and produces content with influencers on a daily basis. The team had also collaborated with Google US as their exclusive partner in India on a mega project, where we worked with 200+ influencers and delivered close to 5,000+ pieces of content.

Zelador, which has a global presence, also provides solutions to Indian clients in markets such as the US, UK, MENA, and APAC. As we move ahead with our new business head Zerxes Wadia, who is an old friend and also a very smart influencer himself as well as a brand strategist, we are targeting a few things on a high level for scaling the talent business. One, increase our roster to 100+. Second, to expand into regional markets. Third, bring value to our influencers by making them brands. And fourth, we have a tech product coming out soon.

On what Zelador looks at before signing up talent

A&R discovery process is based a lot on the gut and feel of the team driving the acquisition, and you really can’t pin it down to anything specific. But at the top level, we look for talent that has some uniqueness to it, is hungry, hardworking, young, and understands content for the short and long term, both. Our core sectors for now are health & fitness, entertainment, music, adventure, and travel.

On the evolving influencer marketing industry

It's no longer just about a post here and a reel there. It's developed into a science with clear KPIs and metrics that are tracked by many tools available on the market to ensure that the brand gets the result it's aiming for. As I see it, influencer marketing is now an integral part of most brands’ digital and social media marketing strategies, and if the category keeps moving the way it is and matures, I am sure it will inch closer to getting 10 per cent of the pie of any campaign that gets launched.

On the role of the metaverse

We are still too early to comment on this, but I believe it is critical for every business to begin exploring the world of the metaverse. We are doing our own work in this space and will soon announce Offbeet’s metaverse strategy.

On the collaboration with the Indian government

We have delivered some pathbreaking campaigns for both central and state ministries, with content at the heart of them. To give you a top-level view, we have produced top-quality regular content, coupled with impact content, by roping in A-league celebrities from India like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Puneet Rajkumar, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayushman Khurana, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonu Nigam, Varun Dhawan, Shreya Ghoshal, Kangana Ranaut, and many more for social message campaigns for different ministries. These campaigns are a mix of TVCs, documentaries, music anthems, web series, etc. We also work closely with top government officials on media strategies for impact and reach.

On the company's goals for 2023

The majority of our scaled bets will reach maturity next year, with volume business expected to drive our topline and bottomline at an explosive rate. While our brand communication business across government and brands is showing a healthy growth, I see Offbeet Studios, the US Premier League, and 101 India as driving our volume deals. We have already made our initial forays into the US and MENA markets. 2023 would be the year to spread our services and offerings in these two key markets to drive the global footprint of Offbeet Media Group.

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