A dynamic and creative media business entrepreneur, Kartikeya Sharma is the founder and promoter of India’s leading media group, called iTV Network. After more than a decade since its inception, iTV network has steadily succeeded in becoming one of the fastest growing media networks in India. The man behind this success, Kartikeya Sharma shared his experience in overcoming the challenges and difficulties that came along and taking iTV Network to the top.
Media houses have been criticized for being proponents in spreading biased opinions or false propaganda. The current trend in confronting the side-effects of “fake news” has only contributed to the television news debacle. Amidst such challenging and competitive environment, Information TV Pvt Ltd. (iTV Network) has managed to retain its position as being one of the most viewed and trusted media houses. The media house attributes its success to its Founder Kartikeya Sharma, who seized every opportunity at the right time and believed in ‘differentiated content’. The media company stands out from the rest because it manages to stay away from sensationalism and yellow journalism. Sharma observes that “the journey has been a good one but was tough and the initial four years of the company were not fruitful”.
Sharma struggled hard to reach his present position through his incredible entrepreneurial skills and innovative mindset.
Challenges faced, and opportunities seized
Kartikeya Sharma Entrepreneur started off with an aim to launch a national news channel. Things took a different turn when he launched iTV network in 2007 because of the bad economy during that time. He says that “whenever a challenge was thrown by the industry, I tried to turn it into an opportunity”. He saw the opportunity in the challenge and began planting roots to start a regional news channel. Thanks to his determination and entrepreneurship skills, iTV network now has 5 regional channels successfully operating in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
The media company at present employs a total 2025 people across 25 offices. It also publishes two newspapers- The Sunday Guardian, which is a leading Sunday newspaper in Delhi and Aaj Samaaj, a Hindi daily becoming popular among readers.
The next challenge Sharma faced was when he decided to take over NewsX. He turned the loss to his gain by taking the right decisions at the right time.
“Desh Ki dhadkan” and “News, not noise.”
Operating under iTV network is one of India’s top 5 news channels in Hindi called India News. With its motto – “Desh Ki dhadkan”, the news channel connects with the Hindi speaking masses and raises issues any common Indian faces. In a very short span of time, India News has become the fastest growing Hindi News channel. The brilliant entrepreneurship skills and unique style of working of Kartikeya Sharma has helped increase the market share of India News from 1% to around 9.5% over the years. According to him, what caused this phenomenal performance was the “differentiated content” he focused on.
Sharma’s English News channel NewsX was launched in 2012 with much skepticism and raised eyebrows. In just a few years this news channel has become the fastest growing News channel in India. Just two years after its inception, the channel won the Best English Channel of the year in 2014. The success of NewsX is attributed to its targeted audience of India’s youth. It tries to resonate with the thoughts of the younger generation and debates on topics and issues that matter to them.
Sharma says, “Our quality of journalism and hard work has earned us respect among the masses”.
He believes in a workspace that is open and informative where people do not come with an opinionated mindset.
Pioneers of innovations
iTV network is a global broadcasting media company and aims to be a step ahead in the industry when it comes to innovations. The company recently launched the first-ever news studio with an AI-integrated voice assistant, called NewsX AI. This is the first of its kind initiative in the world, and the Studio Voice Assistant (SVA) will be used during special occasions like the 2019 budget and the general elections of 2019. The SVA will present data and facts and answer questions and participate in live discussions at the studio. Commenting on this launch, Kartikeya Sharma said, “iTV network is committed to its customers, partners and viewers to innovate the best practices possible and introduce futuristic technologies to improve access, interactivity and experience of the viewers, NewsX AI Voice Assistant is a big leap into the technologies of the future and of live newscasting”.
iTV Network also recently organised the NewsX Health Awards to honor medical professionals who excelled and did marvellous work in this field. Panel discussions and debates were held regarding current health sector schemes, like Ayushman Bharat, latest medical technology and others. Policy makers, entrepreneurs, senior doctors, medical professionals took part at the event.
Kartikeya Sharma’s constant efforts to pursue and support quality journalism and his innovative ideas have made iTV network a much-loved news channel with millions of viewers all over.
Pro Wrestling League
Another unique and innovative idea by Sharma is the Pro Wrestling League, initiated by ProSportify, a company owned by him. The Kartikeya Sharma Pro Wrestling has successfully completed three editions and provides a platform to give 360-degree exposure to Indian players in order to encourage them to perform better. In this regard, Kartikeya says,” ProSportify aims to bridge the gap prevailing in Indian sport and catalyze talent to a sporting glory”.
Towards a brighter and innovative future
Kartikeya Sharma has long term plans to build a network of news channels that will cater to the current needs of the viewers and aim to integrate television with social media. He is focused on building a team of new and young journalists, editors with the potential to become pioneers in this industry.
Sharma also aims to bring many media innovations in the near future, such as integration of multi-language in regional channels, voice operated studio screens, lights, video selections, human analysts Vs computer AI prediction of polls and much more.