Posts Tagged Big Data etc.)
Cloud-based eClinical Systems – Myths, Challenges & Opportunities
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship, Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on February 27, 2014
Al Gicqueau, CEO & President at Clinovo talked about Cloud-based eClinical Systems to make clinical trial process more efficient and cost-effective, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
Cloud has been a big buzz word, significantly impacting the economy, in the last few years. Cloud is growing 3X faster than traditional internet infrastructure, said Gicqueau. Worldwide public cloud services market will total to over $73 billion, by 2017. There is also simultaneous cloud-bashing. According to Citrix research, majority of the Americans don’t understand it and over 51% think it has something to do with the stormy weather. Most also believe they have never used it but over 95% of us have used cloud based services.
It is therefore important to understand what constitutes cloud based services. There are 5 essential components of cloud based services.
Self Service, On Demand: Cloud based services are available, when the consumer needs them. Further, for the most part they are autonomous and the user can perform the actions without going through the IT department. They are easy to use and on-site training will increasingly become a thing of the past. Any training required has to be available on-line and has to be very short and for the most part the service has to be intuitive and should not require training.
Broad Network Access: Cloud based services provide a broad internet access. For instance, consider gmail. It can be accessed through desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phone etc. Cloud based services enable an ability to easily synchronize information over multiple devices.
Resource Pooling: Amount of traffic over the internet is rapidly growing. Because of the distributed nature of the internet, there is no single point of measurement for total internet traffic. But it is a fact that the total global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2015. By the year 2017, the total internet traffic is expected to reach 5.3 zettabytes. To put it in perspective, if the 11 oz coffee on your desk equals one gigabyte, a zettabyte will have the same volume as the great wall of China! Cloud based services enable customers to pool their resources and save cost.
Rapid Elasticity: In the world of internet activity there are lot of peaks and valleys. Cloud can scale based on demand peaks, without incurring penalty for the period of low traffic.
Measured Service: Cloud offers and ability to pay as you go. People can pay for the internet infrastructure as they pay for electricity.
Some of the examples of cloud based services include, SalesForce, Netflix, Gmail and Amazon.
Clinical Data Trends
Spiraling costs have been a grave concern in healthcare. Typically, efficiency has not been very high in the area of healthcare. Costs of clinical trials is likely to increase even more significantly, in future, on account of increasing costs of medical research and changing and tightening regulations, among other things. Increased costs for clinical trials will push the cost of drugs higher. On the other hand, there is strong public criticism of higher costs of medicines and there is a lot of pressure on drug companies to contain costs. Companies have pressure to cut the middle layers and manage clinical trials on their own. Citing CISCRP (Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation) study, Gicqueau said, currently, only 6% of clinical trials are completed on time, whereas 72% run late by over a month.
Compliance issues and regulations specified in 21 CFR, part 11, prohibit use of public cloud, for clinical data. Clinical data has to be stored in a private cloud. Clinovo’s ClinCapture is a cost-effective EDC (electronic data capture) system. It is tailored to specific clinical studies teams and offers intuitive navigation and one-click access to routine functions. It reduces time for data entry. ClinCapture is also flexible and can be customized and deployed rapidly. “We validate our software like medical devices are validated”, said Gicqueau.
Mobile is next major trend, as more data entries are happening through tablets and smart phones. Tables are also very useful in remote regions of the world where cell phone reception may be spotty or non existent, where information can be easily synchronized later. Data entries can also be structured by getting patients involved. Data integration is another big challenge. Everyone hopes to make sense of the data and make meaningful use of the data. However, making sense of the data and putting it to good use remains expensive. Gicqueau said, meaningful data integration is another promise of the cloud.
Clinovo is launching CloudClinica, next generation, cloud-based eClinical platform. With its easy to use, pay as you go platform, CloudClinica will eliminate IT dependency and allow small companies to manage clinical studies in a sophisticated manner, without high level programming skills. About 30% of cost and 60% of time associated with clinical trials is about data management, and almost 80% of clinical trials are still conducted on paper, said Gicqueau. Paper has many pitfalls. Paper can get lost, it is inefficient, there is challenge of mis-reading someone’s handwriting, it has regulatory risks and other hidden costs. CloudClinica is FDA compliant and it can scale.
Clinovo had revenues of over $4 million in 2013 and raised $500,000 from business angels over the last few months to execute on their business strategy. The company is profitable, and has 30+ clients that include Gilead, Roche and others. Clinovo is now targeting small to mid-size companies, said Gicqueau. Current market of $2.3 billion can be rapidly growing in the coming years. MediData and Oracle are two dominant players but are relatively more pricey. Clinovo’s CloudClinica will fill in the gap and broaden the use of eClinical systems and will empower and bolster the biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, said Gicqueau. The event was followed by Q&A.
How to take a Biotech company from Idea to Exit
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on February 5, 2014
Mahendra Shah, Partner with Vivo Ventures & Ravi Mistry, President of EPPICGLOBAL (www.eppicglobal.org) talked about how to take a biotech company from idea to launch, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event. Here is some of the comments made by Shah and Mistry.
Entrepreneurs starting a biotech company must start with a disease target, said Shah. First and foremost there should have a good understanding of the disease and at which stage in the disease progression is the biotech seeking to interfere. Second, one should have a good understanding of the market opportunity and about existing treatments. Entrepreneurs need to ask the hard question regarding “clinical meaningfulness”; and whether or not the possible treatment developed by the biotech will lead to significant enhancement in patient care. Payers will not pay for little improvements, said Shah. Companies need to identify gaps in the treatment, and find a niche market. Patients need to be identified for who the prescribed treatments do not work well and that could be a niche market for entrepreneurs, said Shah. Shah said that during his career, he found such niche markets through repurposing, taking old drugs and finding new indications. He also cautioned about the importance of ensuring secure Intellectual Property to protect the proposed solution. With currently available internet tools and database resources, that is not hard to do. Even speed browsing on Google can give you a quick idea of who owns the IP and if there are ways to get around it, said Shah. Biotechs based on developing Orphan drugs are a great opportunity for a new startup, because once approved, you cannot have competition for up to 7 years in the US, and up to 10 years in Europe.
In terms of drug development, one needs to also get clarity on development pathway to determine whether it will require 10 thousand patients or few hundred, since that can make a huge difference in the amount of financial capital that will be required to bring the product to market. Companies need to identify how quickly one can progress to phase 2 and bring it to a meaningful endpoint. Also it is important to get an understanding if the endpoint is subjective or objective. A subjective endpoint will have significant placebo effect and will require much higher number of patients, said Shah. In order to do successful fund raising, companies need to have approximate idea of time and costs of bringing the product opportunity to a meaningful endpoint. Companies also need to have clarity on the various product development milestones and inflection points. Finally, an experienced Team is extremely important to bring the idea to fruition. However in this, two members of the team are particularly important; the CEO and the Medical Director. Other members of the management team can be hired as consultants but these two team members of the team need to be identified early and brought on board and should be people one can trust and those who feel passionate about the technology and who buy into it.
A biotechnology company requires significant money for its operations, so it is important to make sure that the first time investors have deep pockets, very sane advice from Shah. He told the budding entrepreneurs to be careful and make sure they have synergy with the investors. “Some of the investors’ money is not good, it will give you ulcers”, warned Shah, since money can have many strings attached to its return on investment. Referring to reimbursement, Shah emphasized that the payer is very important and entrepreneurs should do a quick survey of physicians and Key Opinion and Thought Leaders and get a clear idea about existing and current modes of treatment and who will be paying for the new product opportunity.
Mistry shared some statistics on activity in the life science space. 2013 has been a banner year for life science IPOs. Out of a total of 82 total IPOs in 2013, 46 were in the life science industry. Life science industry also enjoyed a substantial investment of dollars. The increase was certainly more significant in biotechnology, while medical device industry actually saw fewer dollars invested. Mistry talked about how to prepare for an M&A exit and provided some advice to entrepreneurs to keep diligent documentation with respect to company’s IP. He also commented that when it comes to negotiation, there is no “one size fits all” and best deals can be made if entrepreneurs remain can remain flexible throughout the process.
At the start of the talk Mistry put in a plug for EPPICGlobal and their upcoming annual conference, on March 29, 2014. The conference has an exciting lineup of speakers and panels addressing neglected and rare diseases, point of care diagnostics, and innovations in clinical development of novel agents. The talk ended with Shah sharing information on exciting speed pitch session, at the EPPIC conference, where entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch their company to a panel of VCs and receive real-time feedback.
I would encourage my readers to attend the EPPICon 2014 conference, and avail of the opportunity to listen to various industry renowned speakers. To register for the conference and/or register for the speed pitch, please go to www.eppicglobal.org.
Manoj Bhargava, CEO of 5-Hour Energy to give Keynote Address at TiEcon 2013.
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship on May 7, 2013
“Is it useful? If not, it better be entertaining. Else, it goes into the basket called useless”. With this simple mantra and simple philosophy for life, Manoj Bhargava, possibly the wealthiest Indian in America, leads 5-Hour Energy, the company that makes tiny bottles, packed with nutrients. Most of the company meetings last 30 seconds to a minute, says Bhargava, who leads the $1 billion+ company, with a lean, non hierarchical staff, of 60 people. “We are not efficient, we just don’t do useless stuff”, he says. Good advice! I can see how my efficiency would get a boost, if I stop doing useless stuff on my blog, twitter, facebook and take a big gulp of the 5-hour energy drink!
Bhargava’s approach to marketing and advertising is just as simple. With the belief that one may not be thirsty and need the energy jolt at the same time, tiny 2 oz. energy bottles packed with functional nutrients, B vitamins and amino acids, are strategically designed to be placed at the check-out counters and at easy point-of-sale locations; and are believed to have covered 90% of the energy shot market. Explaining one of their first ad that was nominated as one of the worst ads on TV, he says, “we don’t tell a joke and then name our product; our approach is to tell what it is”. This ad increased sales by 50% in 3 months.
Bhargava started plastics raw material company in 1990 that grew to $20 million in sales, before he sold it to a private equity firm. He then started a consumer products company, Living Essentials, out of which came 5-Hour Energy. His stake in Living Essentials is over $3 billion. Bhargava is as generous a philanthropist, as he is successful at entrepreneurship. He has contractually pledged a billion dollars to charities that fund medical research. Bhargava was awarded “2011 Newsmaker of the Year” award and was named Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012”.
TiEcon is around the corner. Register before the event is sold out at www.tiecon.org.
TiEcon 2013 Overview – Focus on Big Data, Mobile, SDN & Entrepreneurship
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship on May 2, 2013
TiEcon 2013, the biggest conference of its kind, with a mission to nurture entrepreneurship, has an impressive lineup of excellent speakers and panels, in the hottest industry segments of Big Data, Mobile, Software Defined Infrastructure, and in Entrepreneurship.
Big Data track will feature speakers that include, Dr. D J Patil http://bit.ly/YYyOxd, data scientist at Greylock Partners, and Rayid Ghani, http://bit.ly/16Ys2iI , Mr. Obama’s Chief Scientist who converted vast amount of data collected through large commercial databases, boutique lists, voter files, and social media sites, into a source of valuable data that galvanized the election campaign and the rest is history.
Mobile track will hold panels on “mobile ecosystems” to “where they are VCs investing”, in this fast growing market. The track will feature top notch speakers like Anand Chandrasekhar http://bit.ly/10zEJks, Senior VP and CMO at Qualcomm.
With data centers of the future defined by Software Defined Infrastructure, efficiency is bound to get a boost, as resources get divided. This track will feature speakers like Dr. Guru Parulkar http://bit.ly/10MyHYw, Executive Director at ONRC and Consulting Professor at Stanford University, with discussions around how OpenFlow might enable networks to evolve by giving power to the remote controller, to modify the behavior of network devices.
Entrepreneurship track has some of the biggest names of inspiring self made entrepreneurs, including famous Ronnie Screwvala http://bit.ly/160LYQB, Syntel’s Bharat Desai http://bit.ly/13HmSrQ, Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics http://bit.ly/ZxDn3f, and Manoj Bhargava http://bit.ly/17KV6dc, CEO of 5-Hour Energy, possibly the wealthiest Indian entrepreneur, in USA.
Entrepreneurship is not just a buzzword at TiEcon. Here future successful entrepreneurs will be showcasing their companies, will get access to mentors like Vinod Khosla and Kanwal Rekhi, and get countless opportunities to network. The participants will likely include professionals from some of TiE’s 500+ startups and 150+ angel investors. Come and get energized, in an environment where failures are merely stepping stones to success.
Last few days to register for tiecon, before it is fully sold out – http://www.tiecon.org.
Growing Market Share in Fast Growing Mobile Technology Market – Anand Chandrasekhar Keynote Preview TiEcon 2013
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship on April 24, 2013
Anand Chandrasekhar, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer at Qualcomm will be giving a keynote address at TiEcon 2013.
Mobility is one of the fastest growing technology segments. It is revolutionizing almost every aspect of our lives from taking a museum tour with our Samsung Galaxy S III to “read” NFC tags embedded in signs and objects and learn more about the exhibits, to wireless charging, to how we pay for things. Basically, we want to bring along on the road, the capabilities on our cell phone that were fulfilled by many objects, and thereby replacing flashlights, satellite radios, digital cameras, game consoles, GPS systems, MP3 players, Wi-Fi hotspots, credit cards and more.
Obviously Qualcomm doesn’t need any help getting its SoCs and baseband chips into smartphones and tablets, but perhaps it could use marketing help, in this fast growing industry segment. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Chandrasekhar was senior vice president at Intel Corporation in charge of the Ultra Mobility Group and the Intel Atom processor family. During his 24 year tenure at Intel, Chandrasekher held a variety of roles, including co-head of Intel’s Mobile Platforms Group; Worldwide Sales and Marketing Group; and, the Workstation Platforms Group. He is best known for his pioneering efforts to help bring Intel Centrino Mobile Technology to the market that helped usher in the modern era of mobility. In March 2011 he resigned from his position of General Manager, Ultra Mobility Group after working at Intel for 24 years. He cited resignation was “to pursue other interests”. After a hiatus of over a year, Chandrasekher reemerged as the CMO of Qualcomm. At Qualcomm, he oversees global marketing and external communications. Come and hear him share insights on opportunities in the mobile market, at TiEcon 2013. Register at www.tiecon.org before price goes up on April, 30.
Entrepreneurship in Niche Markets – Chris Anderson to give Keynote Address at TiEcon 2013, Preview
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship on April 17, 2013
Recently, while doing some search, I read an interesting sentence, “In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare”. I read and re-read the statement that is the theory behind the book “The Long Tail”, by author, entrepreneur, economics genius, and CEO of 3D Robotics, Chris Anderson. Chris Anderson will be giving a keynote speech at http://www.tiecon.org 2013 annual conference.
Chris Anderson was with The Economist for seven years, prior to joining WIRED magazine in 2001, as editor-in-chief. In 2004, he wrote an article entitled “The Long Tail”, which he later expanded into the book, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More”. The book argues that products in low demand or that have a low sales volume can collectively build a better market share than its rivals, or exceed the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters, provided the store or distribution channel is large enough. As you think about it, it seems a no-brainer. But it took the genius of Anderson to make a clear and explicit case, and then prove it.
An example of this would be something that I have long thought about with regards to book stores. In the days of tablets and kindles, the brick and mortar book stores are increasingly a thing of the past. But if you ask people, they remember the book stores, with the fondest memories and often deeply mourn the shutting down of book stores. Why? It is because, people like the idea of picking up and reading a book, in a quiet setting, even for a few moments. But, they just don’t have the time to make a special trip to the bookstore. However, consider if the book stores divided up by genres. Then different businesses picked up a genre, and devoted a small sub-section for that genre, in their store. For instance, consider Toys R Us having a book store section with children’s books, with sofas and comfy chairs for book reading and Starbucks providing a small section for mystery and romance books, and Home Depot providing a comfy section to read “Do it yourself” type of books right in their stores. I would assume that people will likely go and pick up a book to read, while sipping coffee or to take a break in shopping, and then will buy it, before leaving the store.
Anyway, this is the thinking behind The Long Tail, that, in the era of constraints of physical space, narrowly targeted goods and services can generate a great deal of interest. Specifically, since online retailers can stock virtually everything, the sales generated by the number of niche products can easily outnumber the big hits. And given the current complexity in people’s tastes, preferences, and varying lifestyles, when consumers are offered infinite choices, the true shape of the demand curve is revealed and it happens to be less hit centric, than previously presumed.
Chris Anderson is currently the cofounder and CEO of 3DRobotics, a drone manufacturing company. We have heard about drones being used in warfare. These drones allow the military to put a camera in the sky anywhere, anytime, and are touted as the future of warfare. But only geeks are aware of and dabbling in civilian drones, right now. However, practical applications for personal drones are emerging, as they are becoming more reliable and sophisticated. They are gradually being used by farmers, scientists, those doing wildlife management, and those tracking endangered species.
Anderson has now become a champion of innovation in manufacturing and his vision might have potential to bring manufacturing industries back to our heartland. Hopefully, he will share his vision for the future of manufacturing with combination of cloud computing, open source and 3D printing.
Register for the conference at http://www.tiecon.org .
Open Flow Enabling Innovation in Network Computing – Dr. Guru Parulkar to speak at TiEcon 2013 (Preview)
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship on April 10, 2013
In the past, computing centered around hardware based silos of network and storage. With data centers of the future defined by software defined infrastructure, efficiency can be boosted as resources get divided. In the earlier model, because of the network, you had to build pods or tiers. Now tasks can be moved around and ability to move applications that need high performance, is increased.
Dr. Guru Parulkar, Executive Director of Open Networking Research Center (ONRC) and Consulting Professor of EE at Stanford University, will talk about how OpenFlow enables networks to evolve by giving a remote controller the power to modify the behavior of network devices. The growing OpenFlow ecosystem now includes routers, switches, virtual switches, and access points from a range of vendors. Parulkar has been in the field of networking for close to 20 years. He joined Stanford University in 2007 and helped create three large projects – OpenFlow and SDN, POMI 2020 (Programmable Open Mobile Internet 2020), and SEDL (Stanford Experimental Data Center Laboratory). Parulkar is now spending most of his time on OpenFlow and SDN and on ONRC including OnLab.
Will Open Flow and SDN gain momentum quickly and become a new norm of networking? Come and hear Parulkar talk about how Open Flow and SDN is increasingly deployed in the production network of universities, with an aim to develop comprehensive intellectual framework for SDN. Register for TiEcon 2013 at www.tiecon.org .
How Big Data helped Mr. Obama Win the Election – Rayid Ghani in Fireside Chat at TiEcon 2013 – Preview
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship on March 27, 2013
“Share your story”, said Mr. Obama’s website, encouraging visitors to share why they wanted to be involved in his election campaign. The mastermind behind this project codenamed the Dreamcatcher, was Mr. Obama’s “chief scientist”, Rayid Ghani. He aimed to convert vast amount of data collected through large commercial databases, boutique lists, voter files, social media sites, and an unprecedented quantity of voter interviews it regularly conducted using paid phone banks and volunteer canvassers, into a source of valuable data to galvanize the campaign, with the use of analytics, algorithms, and machine learning. The sophisticated algorithms were also used to predict views on particular issues like pro choice and pro life. Armed with this information, the campaign was more focused in its message and its target and the result was vastly increased efficiency in fund-raising and in volunteer and voter mobilization.
Prior to joining Mr. Obama’s campaign, Ghani was a Senior Research Scientist and Director of Analytics Research at Accenture Labs. At Accenture, Ghani mined tons of data collected on corporate consumer servers, to find statistical patterns that could forecast the future. In one instance, he deployed algorithms that replaced health insurers’ random audits, to anticipate which of 50,000 daily claims were most likely to require individual attention. In another instance, Ghani helped set the terms of price insurance marked to eBay sellers, by developing a model to estimate the end-price for auctions, based on each sale item’s unique characteristics.
Ghani’s interests span a whole gamut from general machine learning and data mining to privacy preserving data mining, text mining, semi-supervised learning, active learning, information retrieval, NLP, and knowledge management. Most recently, his work has focused on developing and using machine learning and data mining algorithms to solve large-scale practical challenges in business, government organizations, and in politics, like helping Mr. Obama win the re-election.
Come and hear Mr. Ghani discuss the huge potential inherent in Big Data Analytics, in a Fireside Chat at TiEcon 2013 http://www.tiecon.org .
PS – I have a job opening for Machine Learning Professional and details can be found in JOBS category on my blog at http://www.darshanavnadkarni.wordpress.com .
Information about other TiEcon keynotes can be found at following links http://bit.ly/YYyOxd on Data Wizard D. J. Patil, http://bit.ly/13HmSrQ on Bharat Desai Chairman of Syntel. Register for TiEcon 2013 at http://www.tiecon.org .
Platforms for the Underserved – Health Tech Forum Innovation Conference, April 19, 2013 at UCSF, CA (Preview)
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on March 24, 2013
In the upcoming conference on April 19, 2013 and Code-A-Thon preceding the conference, Health Technology Forum, www.HealthTechForum.com is trying to push the envelope on creating new applications and technologies for hospitals and for getting information on tiny devices. The aim of such applications and devices is to make healthcare information and treatments available to people with the greatest need. Health Technology Forum Innovation Conference on April 19th, 2013 at UCSF, Mission Bay Conference Center, has a theme of “Platforms for the Underserved”. Here is a preview of some of some of the panels and speakers.
Dennis Boyle, a partner and one of the founding members of IDEO will share examples and case studies about IDEO’s work around the world. Armed with a mission to “make high-tech simple”, Boyle tackles design challenges to find ways to get information into and out of tiny devices. IDEO’s current project, a QWERTY keyboard made with foldable fabric, in collaboration with a British company, Elekson is an example of how technology is transforming our ability to send and receive information.
How can better communication through connected healthcare model help improve patient care in the hospitals? This will be discussed in a panel comprising of Five Bay Area Hospital CMIOs. I would also like to see this panel discuss how the IT infrastructure will enable the hospitals to provide value based care with fee-for-performance mindset. Additionally, I am looking for this panel to explore how technology may enable hospitals to lower readmission rates and control infections. Studies indicate that community based care transitions programs can help lower hospital readmission rates, particularly for patients afflicted with chronic diseases. I would welcome an opportunity to hear what plans hospitals have to leverage current strides in remote patient monitoring apps and devices so that patient’s vital signs including blood pressure and weight, biometric data including pulse oximetry and blood glucose levels as well as disease signs and medication and diet adherence can be monitored to couple it with reform driven community care to help lower hospital readmission rates.
Other interesting panels will address issues regarding patient engagement, challenges of harnessing big data and analytics, use of robotics in life sciences, and an opportunity to hear from Bay Area VCs on the funding scenario for Medical Device and Biotechnology companies.
See my earlier blog at http://bit.ly/ZsUggs for information on some of the other panels and register for the conference at www.healthtechnologyforum.com .
Internationally Famous Ronnie Screwvala, to give Keynote Address at TiEcon 2013 – Preview
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship on March 20, 2013
UTV was a humble cable distribution venture in 1981, in India. It would have been hard to imagine UTV to be a multi-media conglomerate it is today. Last year, Walt Disney acquired a controlling stake in UTV for reported $454 million. Walt Disney India’s Managing Director Ronnie Screwvala, founder of UTV and a serial entrepreneur, will be giving a keynote address at www.tiecon.org , May 15, 16, 2013.
I am looking forward to Screwvala share a few details about the secret sauce that has led to UTV’s tremendous national and international success. Undoubtedly, being affiliated with Disney must provide a huge international reach and marketing expertise. But content is the ultimate king and what is UTV’s strategic thinking behind content, to now reach its international audience? The 2012 Oscar entry Barfi and current hit Kai Po Che (movie review – http://bit.ly/YVGeEO ) are examples of themes and content that equally resonate with domestic and international audience alike.
Screwvala’s reach is enormous. He was named 100 most influential people in the world, on Time 100, in 2009 and was listed amongst 25 Asia’s Most Powerful, by Fortune Magazine. He was named Entrepreneur of the year by Ernst and Young. Screwvala’s new holding company Unilazer Ventures, with Rs. 1,000 crores, has been in discussions about growth investments in online fashion brands Zovi and SherSingh, among others.
Besides for profit deals and ventures, besides influencing fashion and form, Screwvala has also recently established a social work initiative called Swades, with an aim to transform and scale the influence of NGOs. The goal is that after the NGO does the development work for 3-5 years in a village, the village can be left empowered as a self-sufficient community that can prosper without any more help from outside. Screwvala is putting in $100 million and plans to raise another $100 million, with a total of Rs. 1 billion for the initiative.
UTV is active in four verticals, consumer products, new media & gaming, TV (nine channels include the Disney network) and film. It seems, Screwvala will continue to enthrall and influence, dazzle and educate many, both in India and internationally. Don’t miss a chance to hear Screwvala speak at TiEcon, 2013. Perhaps he may share a secret or two on how to succeed at entrepreneurship beyond your imagination. Register for the conference at www.tiecon.org .
See my earlier preview articles on other TiEcon 2013 keynotes on Data Wizard D. J. Patil at http://bit.ly/YYyOxd and Bharat Desai, Chairman Syntel, at http://bit.ly/13HmSrQ .