A leader is only a leader when he influences people to work on goals which were not always worth pursuing for them before. It takes a lot of hard-work, determination and most importantly, experience to make it at the top of the ladder. As, at the top, the stakes are high and the demands are intense. Partho Dasgupta, the former CEO of BARC, and current Managing Partner at Thoth Advisors is example of an excellent leader. His constant vigilance and preparedness of work is the price he has paid to be successful in life. Dasgupta takes us through his illustrious journey of different organisations he had been a part of and justifies his image of a start-up and turnaround artiste.
“Nobody can go through life without gaining experience. Your ability to succeed or fail in life is often determined by what you learn and experience. My decisions and experiences contribute to the person I am today,” believes Partho Dasgupta.
During early days of his career, the expert led as the General Manager, Brand Operations, at a famous publication house – The Economic Times. Being at the forefront, Partho Dasgupta managed to secure his image as a turnaround artiste for companies. He assisted in the publication’s expansion through a number of editions in Cochin, Patna, Chandigarh, and Pune among others. Partho Dasgupta, the former CEO of BARC notes, “I was involved in managing the publication’s growth from 432,000 to 600,000 copies at the time. I was appointed as in charge of the ET Intelligence Group, a profit centre that conducted industry research.”
Every entrepreneur gives their all to make their business a success. Persistence, mentorships, disruptiveness, and market requirements are the foundations of successful start-ups that Partho Dasgupta mastered by working as the first employee at Times Now and BARC. Both are a recognised organisations today, proving the fact that he is truly a start-up artiste.
At Times Now, Dasgupta managed the position of business head. While working at the start-up, he faced the most challenging and interesting years of his career being the first employee. He learnt to create a core team by choosing the most competent members. After that he held the position of first employee at BARC, another start-up venture which is India’s one and only firm that manages a transparent, accurate, and inclusive TV audience measurement system. “During both the start-ups – Times Now and BARC, I and my team faced many challenges. But I always encouraged myself and my team by saying – A smooth sea never makes good sailors”, says Partho Dasgupta.
To run the company strategically, he built the foundation of Times Now starting with the business plan, managing senior-most level recruitments, capex purchases, project implementation and technology rollout. Additionally, he was a member of core team that oversaw the sale of stake to Reuters. He also managed the channel’s marketing and distribution launch, which resulted in the channel continuously ranking first in terms of audience. And again at BARC, post the currency product, Partho Dasgupta introduced AI, ML, and Big Data tools to make it India’s largest measurement and insights company of its kind. He led the Later, he was a member of the team that established GAMMA, the Global Alliance of Measurement Companies, with the measurement bodies of France, Japan, Canada, and India as founding members. On the strategic front, he led the MDL deal for the joint venture with Kantar and Nielsen for its Field management company.
Metereology Data Pvt Ltd or MDL of which Partho Dasgupta BARC was appointed the Chairman of, was founded as the new firm to merge BARC India’s services with TAM’s Television Audience Measurement infrastructure including manpower. It collects data in real time using advanced Bar-o-meters made in-house and transmitted over GSM networks. The data collecting is supported by strong information technology backbone. The locally produced Bar-o-meters are 1/6th price of foreign ones, allowing MDL to quickly scale up its deployment.
Using his vast experience and background knowledge, Partho Dasgupta joined as the Managing Partner at Thoth Advisors. The company advises in the consumer, technology and media sector. With the skills he learnt from each company, Dasgupta managed to create an image of a start-up and business turnaround expert even when he faced crisis and challenges. He quotes, “Although crisis mode is a high-pressure situation, there should be no sense of fear. In fact, many of the firms I’ve worked have taught me to find this restructuring process to be exhilarating and liberating. I believe crisis is a terrible thing to waste. If anything, it prepares you for the challenges.”