At the recently concluded TiEcon 2016 (Santa Clara Convention Center, May 6-7), the opening keynote was given by Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe. He talked about the current period being a phenomenal time to be a technology entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. From Silicon to Software; from consumer services (think Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, etc.) to enterprise platforms (think Accounting Software, Customer Relationship Management, etc.), technology is touching all our lives.
With Augmented Reality (where elements in the physical, real-world environment are augmented, or supplemented, by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, etc.) and Virtual Reality (where a real or imagined environment is replicated by creating a sensory experience—including sight, touch, hearing and smell), everything that you see can be turned into a clickable, buyable item. Digital experiences are merging the online world with the real world—thus allowing merchants to offer consumers new experiences. “Entertailing” and “Shoppertainment” are terms that retailers are introducing to capture and maintain consumer attention.
Shantanu Narayen’s keynote was followed by a fascinating Q&A session with Shereen Bhan—Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18. I had first heard Shereen when I watched the live stream of the Startup India event in New Delhi in Jan 2016. She was in conversation with the Softbank founder Masayoshi Son at that time. She continued her style of deeply researched, engaging conversations while talking to Shantanu Narayen. Later at the TiEcon conference, I had the opportunity to sit down with her and talk to her about her journey and her interests.
Shereen got into business television by accident. After graduating from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, she did a master’s in communications from University of Pune. While doing her Master’s, she did an internship with Synergy Communications— headed by India’s Quiz Master, Siddarth Basu. Here she did a stint on current events and discovered that she had a smell for news. Her first job in broadcast journalism was with Karan Thapar—of “HardTalk India” (for BBC) fame.
She moved to CNBC-TV18 fifteen years ago and has not looked back ever since. The biggest thrill for her is being able to meet and have access to some of the most powerful people in the world—from Presidents to Prime Ministers to Corporate executives to entrepreneurs.
Shereen is the anchor of “Young Turks”—one of India’s longest running show on start-ups and entrepreneurship. She has won the award for “Best Business Talk Show” for two years consecutively. She was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a “Young Global Leader.”
She is intrigued by what young entrepreneurs are doing world wide—the ideas that they are working on, how they are approaching problems, what solutions they are coming up with. She loves resonating with the energy and the vibe that emanates from these world changers.
Her mentors have been Karan Thapar (whom she started her career with) and Raghav Bahl (the founder of TV18). When I asked her about what she would attribute her success to, she was generous to mention her mentors. She also said that “she gets the basics right”—by watching, observing and listening. I would like to add that in addition to these, she has a certain passion, dedication and sincerity that comes across when talking to her and while listening to her interviews.
With the numerous awards and accolades that she has won, Shereen is certainly a global journalistic force to reckon with.