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The Extra ‘Y’ In ‘Myy’ Stands For The Youth

In an interaction with BW Businessworld’s Urvi Shrivastav, MyyTake’s MD & Founder Saurav Banerjee talks about the growing interface between media and technology, the importance of ESG in the next normal, the need to democratise sports in India and the company’s future plans in India and beyond, keeping the new generation of consumers in mind. Excerpts:

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What are some of the elements in the current Indian business and consumer landscape that blur the line between media and technology?

The Indian media industry is at the cusp of mammoth change, with the last two years showing a clear shift from traditional media to mediatech. This transition has facilitated consumers to create user-generated content and demand content of their choice. In simple words, the shift is from ‘push’ to ‘pull’. This trend clearly explains the creation of unicorns in this space in recent times. As the Indian economy’s share in the global pie keeps increasing, so does the need for corporates to reach out to consumers.    

Tell us more about the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) side of your business — how does storytelling fit in this?  

Our ESG business aims to occupy a unique position amongst its peers globally. Given the increasing pressure from stakeholders in the social, corporate, and financial space, we are developing the services our clients need to make ESG an integral part of all their decision-making processes. Our work shows that ESG can be elevated from merely fulfilling a compliance function to becoming a driver of commercial performance. We call it ‘360-degree ESG’.  Advisory and analytics as well as capital formation services are crucial elements of our unique value proposition. Storytelling binds everything together. We should strive to communicate significant commercials on ESG progress while integrating community and environment.

What is it about the Indian creator economy that makes you bullish and makes a case for ‘social storytelling’?

We clearly observe a global movement towards creating sustainable outcomes in all parts of life, of which India can emerge as a global leader. India’s creator economy already plays a prize-winning, leading role in this area, at all levels. Respective ESG initiatives range from women-driven local initiatives to prevent no- or low-income communities from falling into energy poverty to engagement with some of India’s leading corporate players for providing equal opportunities in the communities they touch. For example, our initiative called ‘MyyIndia’, a TV and digital campaign to honour the work of Covid heroes, got us an audience of 73.5 million. Stories are not only entertaining but function as a foundation for the mind.  

What do you think of  India Inc’s business consciousness on the ESG front during last year?

The Covid crisis has taught India and the world about its deep-rooted interconnectivity. Most of the leaders in corporate India have identified the need for building more resilient corporate processes, reviewing their national and global supply chains, and creating the tools required to produce and appropriately measure all truly relevant ESG outcomes on a constant basis. The circle closes when we can present this new quality of information to the financial sector where it supports more comprehensive capital allocation and investment decisions.  

Let’s talk about your second business vertical under MyyTake. What attracted you to sports tech in India and the need to democratise it?

MyyTake was created with a vision to empower the youth by creating an interactive digital platform. With the extra ‘Y’ in ‘MYY’ dedicated to the youth, we recognise passing the power in the hands of the young population. In India, there are close to 300 million individuals who play sports in some form or the other, and there are 600 million viewers of sports’ content. Yet, less than a week of China’s sports revenue equals one year of India’s sports revenue. Less than one per cent of sports is played by volume, mainly cricket creates 99 per cent of the value. We are using technology to democratise sports in India, details of which will be disclosed closer to launch.

How do you see your initiatives on this front make a difference in the bigger sports picture in India?

We believe MyySports will expand the market and have a ‘net new market creation’ effect. This has two aspects. First, ‘broadening’ of the market through continuing transformation of cricket from a player-dominated economy to a multi-stakeholder economy which includes leagues, owners, key infrastructure participants such as venues, technology etc; team management contributors like managers, coaches, doctors, etc, and match components such as umpiring, commentating, broadcasting and so on.

Second, there is a ‘deepening’ of the market by making the model more affordable, accessible and available to everyone, including Tier-2 and rural markets. This model operating in the 600 million consumers to the 300 million players market will create the massive democratisation of opportunity in cricket leading to more volume, variety of jobs and wider distribution of wealth.

What are some of the specific factors of the media sector that influence your plans for your businesses going forward?

India is one of the biggest consumption markets in the world. If we look at the projections, India’s GDP will be around $28 trillion by 2050. By these standards, the Indian economy will grow 10 times from its present size. For a consumption-driven economy, media will play a pivotal role in reaching out to consumers, especially digital media where most of the offtake will happen. MyyTake Group’s focus is around sports tech and 360-degree ESG offering. The growth in the media tech sector will spur growth in both sports and content creation.

What are your plans for 2022 and what are the specific growth areas?

We plan to launch our sports tech platform in 2022. The objective is to create engaged communities around the sports ecosystem. There are four major pillars we are focusing on -- vision, capital raising, technology and content creation. We have put together a strong team to handle the execution on all four fronts. My focus will be to support the team to fulfil our objective.

You launched the company amid the pandemic. What was the biggest challenge you faced and what do you think is your greatest strength?

We started MyyTake last year in the middle of the pandemic. While our vision was in place from day one, the biggest challenge was to put together a world-class team. From a global perspective, India has always been a land of opportunities. MyyTake Group is very proud to have a robust governance framework with some of the global leaders on our board. Keyur Patel, Founder & Chairman, Fuse Global, is our chairman, Bhaskar Pramanik, former chairman of Microsoft India guides us on ESG and technology, Chris Lencheski, a global sports leader provides leadership on strategy and execution. Other board and advisory members include Carey Mendes, Mukesh Butani, Sanjay Kakkar, Gaurang Gandhi, Sanjeev Anand, and Niladri Mazumder.  

My co-founder & global CEO of ESG business is Christian Benigni, a very well-respected global finance leader. Harsh Jajoo, an accomplished leadership coach is the CEO of ESG Business in India. My co-founder of the sports tech business, Sai Narayan, a seasoned investor and visionary is based out of the US. The last year has also seen an inflow of investments from very credible investors. We have a world-class execution team and have been fortunate enough to achieve our targets.