A week in the life of Bhavin Balvantrai
Commercial research is in the heart of what I do. I started my career at ITV, doing research for TV, before joining the investment team at Omnicom Media Group UK back in 2006.
The media industry has changed a lot over the past years, and my role has evolved to mirror this change. The rise of the likes of Spotify, Netflix and Amazon together with the erosion of print media have been major challenges for the industry to deal with. Coupled with the rise of social media, brands have never had more noise to break through to get to consumers. However, my role is not limited to understanding the changes and implications of change within our industry, it’s a lot broader.
My focus and interest are the wider macro trends and their meaning for our industry. This could be looking at anything from election results to major global events to tweaks in legislation or economic modelling.
As a team, it is our role to interpret these trends and consolidate our findings and thoughts into client friendly reports that we then present to clients, partners and agencies both within the group and externally. In the same way as we don’t merely identify trends within our industry, our relationships are not exclusive to our industry either. We have strong dialogue with people in the city and financial houses as well as creative agencies and media owners.
In addition to presenting our research and findings to partners, we also provide a weekly news commentary that’s circulated both internally and externally. This weekly roundup focuses on collating the most important headlines and applying our own sophisticated models to predict implications on what this means for own industry.
While this takes up most of my time during the week, there are also the semi-regular industry association board meetings and an occasional speaking gigs at industry and non-industry conferences and panels.
I am also fortunate – or unfortunate, take your pick – in that I live in the Suffolk countryside, which means a two-hour commute to and from work. I tend to try and spend the commute listening to podcasts or catching up with news or emails. It is a precious time that I can use to respond to anything that needs attention or simply to relax.
What advice you’d give to someone starting their career?
Learn as much as possible, about as many areas as possible. Lines are becoming blurred as specialists are disappearing and we are all becoming generalists. Also, learn to be commercially minded, no matter what you do.
By Bhavin Balvantrai, Chief Market Analyst, OMG UK Investment