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ZAPR Testimonials | Mallikarjun Das, Group CEO, Starcom India

Starcom Worldwide is a global media-tech company with the vision of combining data and technology to deliver valuable human experiences. Some of their top clients include Samsung, Western Union, Heineken and Honda.

Here is an excerpt from our conversation with Mallikarjun Das, Group CEO at Starcom India.

“I met Sandipan (CEO at Zapr) almost a year back. I was personally very excited about what he was doing.. he was trying to measure what India was viewing on a very large scale, and that immediately excited me because I come from a media background and I was looking at how I could solve viewership problem as I called it – the law of small numbers…

“TAM was at that point having a sample size of about 10,000 houses which translated to about 42,000 individuals. So I really wanted to know at a very granular level, using big data, what the Indian consumer was actually viewing. And I think Zapr really came out with that solution and I was super excited.

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“I really wanted to know at a very granular level, using big data, what the Indian consumer was actually viewing. And I think Zapr really came out with that solution…”

– Mallikarjun Das

“…In the way I look at Zapr data… It gives me what India is viewing on a very big, very large data set level. It does not cover all cross sections of India, which is fair enough because it is based on the smartphone base. But that gives me something about what I would call as the creamy layer of India, which is to say the top 10 – 15% of India which aggregate data based on sample sizes will not tell you… aggregate data based on samples will always regress to an average, statistically speaking. Whereas big data sets will get over that law of small numbers, as I called it initially. So for instance, if I want to know what is HD channel viewership or what is niche channel viewership. Today, the measurement system which is BARC or TAM still does not give me a very granular level of information, it gives me very coarse, large cuts.

“(Zapr) gives me something about… the top 10 – 15% of India which aggregate data based on sample sizes will not tell you.”

“…And the way I look at the Zapr data therefore is first from a TV lens point of view… it actually gives me a binocular vision. When I use just BARC data or TAM data or any syndicated data for that matter,  I look at it as monocular vision…

“When I interpret phenomena – media phenomena using one one data set, I do not know the whole truth. My knowledge of the truth gets enhanced when I use my second set of lenses so to me, as a media planner, as an agency person, I don’t think it substitutes syndicated data. It gives me another set of lenses and I probably get closer to the truth of what India is actually viewing. And that’s what I think, to me, the number one thing about Zapr is.


“The second part, of course, is the targeting piece. Once I know what the truth is, I want to then figure out ways and means of getting more efficiencies into my TV plan. We’ve done something recently for Axis Bank – we went and retargeted those individuals who had been exposed to a commercial once… using the Zapr platform and we had fantastic Click Throughs. I think that experiment really was an eye opener for us…

“Click Through Rates that we got on the Zapr campaign were way higher than what we used to get otherwise… (Zapr) gives me TV data at a very very big data level and I think this is the future.”

“To me, it’s a revalidation… of how advertising works… Click Through Rates that we got on the Zapr campaign were way higher than what we used to get otherwise. So to me, it is very exciting, it gives me TV data at a very very big data level and I think this is the future…I think understanding consumer viewing and media consumption behaviour using big data at an individual ID level is the future.”

Mallikarjun Das

Group CEO, Starcom India

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