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November 14, 2011

TRP ratings measurement - a fine art or pure science?

TRP is television rating point which are an audience measurement  criterion that indicates the popularity of a television channel or programme. The TRP measure is very useful for advertisers, who use it to help them decide which TV channels and programmes to place their advertising in.
The advertiser is very curious to find out which of the channels and programmes are popular. The TRP are critical as TRPs will decide where the advertising money will be put. In a country as big as India it is imperative that data be collected scientifically.
The TRP is a measure of the purchased points representing an estimate of the component of the  target audience  within the gross audience.
The first TRP rating measurement was through a people’s dairy where the respondent was given a dairy where he is supposed to note down all the programmes that he/she has watched. But unfortunately the respondent rarely noted down the progarmmes that were watched immediately. The respondent would inevitable scribble down the programmes on Sunday just before the enumerator (the person who collected the weekly reports) arrived. 
Collection of TV audience data in India: Presently, In India INTAM (Indian television audience measurement) is the only electronic rating agency functioning in India. INTAM uses two methodologies for calculating TRPs.
The first is frequency monitoring, in which  people meters are installed in sample homes. People meters are electronic devices, which continuously record data about the TV channels watched by household members. The 'people meter' is an expensive piece of equipment and is currently imported. It reads the frequencies of TV channels, which are later decoded into the name of the channels. INTAM prepares national data on the basis of these sample homes readings. There is a drawback in the technique, as  cable operators  frequently change the frequencies of channels before sending signals to homes. It may be very misleading to read a channel according to a particular frequency even if the down-linking frequency is same all over India.
The second technique is more reliable and relatively new to India. Via a picture-matching technique, the people meter continuously records a small portion of the picture that is being watched on that particular television set. Along with this, INTAM also records all the channels' data in the form of the small picture portion. Data collected from the sample homes is later on matched with the main databank to interpret the TV channel name, in order to produce national ratings.
But TRP ratings should be accepted with caution. In a country as big as India it is very difficult to extrapolate the results of TRP to the general population based on the small sample. Just because a programme has a TRP of 5.7 does not mean that 5.7% of India has watched the programme. But like a friend was commenting it is better to have something rather have nothing at all!

November 13, 2011

Conversation with a Ethiopian Student!

I have worked in Ethiopia for four years. A country with rich culture, inhabited by very beautiful people. I had the fortune in teaching some of the most brilliant students. They have been very knowledgeable, intelligent and very good. They were very appreciative of Indian teachers. Ask any Ethiopian and he would talk glowingly about Indian teachers. Indians are known as great teachers and enjoy tremendous good will in Ethiopia. Reproduced below is a chat that I had with an Ethiopian student today at 2100 hours (13th November).

Hyder Ali: Hi sir do u know now I was writing message for you

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Yes Hyder

Hyder Ali : Oh long time I missed you so much my dear unforgettable teacher  You Know sir, There are always peoples that will have a power to attract individuals as their role model , for me you are one of those few peoples that always have special place. Sir, after I graduate from Bahirdar University I worked in the regional Management Institute in the administration and training posts, then after that i completed my master degree in Public financial management

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: my pleasure Hyder, really very happy to get such feedback from you. You made my day. Your English is very good. You should try your hand at teaching

Hyder Ali: Thank you sir, now sir i followed your footsteps and i am out of Ethiopia for teaching job in one of neighboring country i am instructor now

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: great you are in which country?

Hyder Ali: Do you hear Somali land

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: can you send me your photo?, Yes I have heard

Hyder Ali: Of course sir, very peaceful country and they are paying also in us dollar

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Excellent any ideas of doing PhD?

Hyder Ali: i am very happy now and I am helping my parents, yes sir always I like to continue my education

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Try in development economics or in market initiatives in Ethiopia?

Hyder Ali: ok sir, I will always take your advice

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Okay

Hyder Ali: tomorrow i will attach my picture now i am inside internet cafe after 1 hour i have a part time class

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Post your photo in your profile, Class at night time, which subject?

Hyder Ali: ok, sir how are all your family, hope you are doing well I know your wife and your son. i am teaching now public finance and taxation for economics graduate class

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Everyone is nice. Son is in 11th daughter is in 6th, wife working in a school and I have become a director of a business school. This time of the night I am always on the net

Hyder Ali: ok I will try to keep in touch with you,

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Okay bye, prepare for your class. God bless you and all Ethiopian people!

Hyder Ali: Good Night sir,

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh: Bye 

November 03, 2011

Revisiting Maslow’s theory!

A successful business man was visiting his ancestral home. On the way to the village he saw a man idling on the Charpai (A homely bed that is very popular in Indian villages). The villager was smoking a bidi (a filter less cigarette). The villager looked very dreamy.

Taking pity on the villager the businessman wanted to impress upon him the famous Maslow’s theory of motivation.

He said “Hello”

The villager looked at the businessman and nodded his head

“What have you studied?”


“Why don’t you study?”

“What will I get if I study?”

You can pass your tenth class”

“What will I get if I pass my tenth class?”

The business man was irritated but continued to answer the villager. The told the villager that he could pass intermediate (12th grade), get a degree and a post graduate degree in Management. He told him that the Post graduate degree could land him (the villager) a good job.

Business man “with that job you can earn a lot”

“After earning a lot of money what should I do?”

The Business man was getting rattled “You can earn more money”

“After earning more money what should I do?”

“You could get married to a very pretty girl”

“After marrying a very pretty girl what should I do?”

The desperate businessman babbled “You can buy a car”

“After buying a car what should I do?”

“You could buy a house”

“After buying a house what should I do?”

“You can buy a second house” shouted the exasperated businessman

“After buying a second house what should I do?”

“You idiot” roared the business man “you could buy a farm house in a village”

“After buying farm house in a village what should I do?”

“You obstinate fool” the business man was now shouting at the top of his voice “ You can have a nice farm house, you can breed cows and poultry. You can relax, sleep on a Charpai, look at the stars and enjoy your success with a smoke”

“THAT’S WHAT I AM doing right now, Why should I do all the above and take so much pain and efforts if I have to the same thing 20 years later!"

The placid villager had already reached the stage of self actualization and taught the smart aleck city bred business man a lesson that he would never forget – that some things basic in life should not be sacrificed at the altar of materialistic success.