Search This Blog

Friday, November 16, 2018

Career, Cricket and India - an attempt to analyse via Mandira Bedi

Over the past 4 years Whatsapp groups have become a huge source of learning and connections for me. Today I happened to see a discussion about how Women's cricket should not be compared to Men's cricket on a whatsapp group - where I had also posted a comparison and felt the need to explore this further. As I did my search for third party articles, I realised that this moment has within it an opportunity to help understand or connect to Career and career paths for individuals with  any Talent.  For this purpose - I would define Talent as anything that the seekers of that talent derive value from.

Now Mandira Bedi is an actor starting and Shanti was her major break in 1995. Her career path is explained via this Your Story article. To bring in the connection to cricket - let me paste a portion of text from this article below:
Her love for cricket took her straight to hosting the ICC World Cups in 2003 and 2007, proving to people that women could host cricket matches too, and look great while doing it! She was suddenly the ‘cricket woman’, with her noodle strap blouses and colourful sarees sweeping the cricketing world off its feet. She also hosted the Champions Trophy a couple of times, and happens to be the first female anchor for the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Of course - Mandira proved to the viewers that she did have a 'Love for cricket' - fair enough. But there happened to be a lot of women at that point of time in India who loved cricket. Why was Mandira chosen? The next paragraph may have some answers.

With Shanti, Mandira has become a household name during the 90s, as the female lead in one of the first daily soaps on Indian TV - Doordarshan’s Shanti - Ek Aurat Ki Kahani

So why would any Marketer want to place a women as an anchor / expert in a cricket show? Well, take a guess. It's just business. Most of us and that includes cricketers and officials across India may not know about the Serial 'Shanti' which made marketers choose Mandira as the Anchor for cricket when they did.  Shanti happened to be the first serial which showed Women in a 'Lead role' and as an exemplary figure for other women and men and became hugely popular among women. Now we may be in a better position to see the connection or the need. Basically, Advertisers need more women to watch 'anything' on TV as it's women who makes purchasing decisions. Advts are the source of Income of TV / media companies and it's share of that income that comes to BCCI as 'Marketing rights' for content aka - the game.

The above can also be seen as an example of placing Talent to an ideal role - to satisfy a business need and thereby create a Win-Win situation for the individual and the business.

Now that we have understood Cricket's need - it's also worth connecting to the impact this had on Mandira's career as this Times of India article quotes her as saying in 2017.  This is an important aspect which an individual with Talent needs to realise and better connect. The market may take only a particular part of your talent and not the entire thing - and business decisions are made based on market behaviour.

By now, I guess one is able to connect to the role that marketing has been playing in the conduct of Cricket in India and the ICC nations - from behind the scenes.  The fact that most cricket officials (like some functionaries even in successful businesses) are not aware of this 'control' were visible in the early days of this transition. As an example - this would explain why Kochi, a seemingly smaller centre from a national view, became the host of an IPL team when it did - and we know how it ended.

So to sum up, anyone planning a career (not a job for salary - that will take another post) is best served if they remain clued or connected to the market forces that can influence business decisions. This is applicable in all sectors of commerce - commerce being prerequisite for any career.

I sign off with this attempt at showing the relevance of Purpose / Why in any career - via this Ted talk from Simon Sinek.