Satish Prabhu’s Ingenious Ideation Helping Asianet Satellite Earn Additional Revenues and Create Customer Stickiness

Whoever says that a CIO can’t help the company earn revenues, perhaps, hasn’t met this rare breed yet. I would like to introduce you to one such CIO from this breed. To his peer fraternity, at a glance, Satish Prabhu, Head – IT at Asianet Satellite Communications may seem like any regular CIO going about his day-to-day job of implementing and maintaining the IT systems for his company. However, prod him deeper about his work and you realize what a CIO is capable of doing with an innovation oriented mindset.


Let’s read more about his story.


When Asianet, a leading Multiple System Operator (MSO) offering Digital cable TV and Broadband Internet services, launched its OTT service (Asianet Mobile TV back) in 2015, it started off as any other OTT service, offering a bouquet of popular Malayalam channels. Probably, it would have continued that way, offering the usual content, had the CIO and his IT team not stepped in.


Today, Asianet Mobile TV is a multi-dimensional OTT platform offering services like IoT, surveillance and education - all built into the app along with the traditional content. All these three services, which are earning the company additional revenues, are the brain child of Prabhu and his IT team.


Before delving further into each of these three services, its important to understand their genesis as that really explains what can really be an innovation driver for the CIO. The innovation driver in this case was addressing the key challenges that the company faces.


According to Prabhu, there are two unique challenges that a company like Asianet faces. Firstly, there is only one cable that goes to its customer, which is the home segment. However, there are multiple people within the household – children, elderly, middle aged, young – each having their own unique requirements. So, how to ensure that one cable caters to the varied needs of everyone and provides everything that the household needs. Secondly, in a market place where everybody is giving content, how does the company really differentiate itself and make more money from?


Even as a CIO, Prabhu kept an eye on resolving these challenges, even though these were primarily business challenges in nature. Upon ideation, Prabhu and his IT team came up with the ingenious concept of leveraging the Asianet Mobile TV app and its reach and connect with the customers to offer other services that catered to the different needs of different household members while also earning revenues from these services.


“There is so much content around in the market. So, our challenge was how do we create stickiness among our customers. By offering surveillance, IoT and education as value added services through our OTT channel, Asianet Mobile TV, we are trying to provide a superior and far more enhanced experience to our customers. Besides, there is convenience for the customers with their different requirements being met at one place itself, i.e. the app,” explains Prabhu.


Prabhu has been a busy man over the last two years, conceptualizing these ideas and working right through giving shape to these ideas in the form of actual services launched on ground. While the surveillance service was launched two years back, the education and IoT services are more just a few months old.


As part of the surveillance service, the company has bundled the IP camera along with the service. The customer can watch the surveillance recording from anywhere, anytime from the Asianet Mobile TV app. Similarly, in the case of IoT, the company sells the IoT device, which can be plugged in like an adapter to any of the devices in the home, like refrigerator, TV, AC, etc. These devices can then be switched on and off where anywhere, anytime from the OTT app on the phone. Asianet has tied up with third party vendors for both the surveillance and IoT devices. Currently, the IoT project is in a test phase with 500 devices out in field with customers. It has placed an order for a total of 10,000 devices, which will be launched in the market once the test trials are done.


On the education front, the Asianet Academy was launched on Asianet Mobile TV around three months back. For the service, which offers career-oriented educational courses to students, the company has tied up with educational institutions. The Asianet Academy is also available on Asianet digital TV and portal.

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