In conversation with Uday Sodhi, SPN India - Part I

Uday Sodhi, business head - Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, talks about his journey in the digital transformation space
Uday Sodhi, business head - Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India
Uday Sodhi, business head - Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India

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Uday Sodhi, business head – Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), has spear-headed the digital business at SPN India for over four years, only to help it bypass its own benchmark. He has played an instrumental role in elevating the SonyLIV OTT application as the preferred OTT entertainment destination for Indian consumers.
He has had a noteworthy history of digitally transforming many leading Indian conglomerates, including HeadHonchos, Balaji telefilms Ltd, Rediff.com, and Bosch and Lomb India, amongst others; over the last two decades. He is a proficient individual, especially adept in the business verticals of media, shopping, data management, recruitment, and OTT entertainment.

THE START
Sodhi completed his MBA in marketing management from Mumbai’s acclaimed Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), back in the year 1990. When asked about how he step foot in the digital world, Sodhi explained, “I have been in the digital internet space for about 18 odd years, and a large part of my career has been in versatile sectors in the digital media space.”
Since the year 2000 though, Sodhi has predominantly worked to add value to the digital space in the M&E industry. “Some of the most exciting companies I have served in the span of my career belonged to the media space. Some of these are Rediff.com and Balaji Telefilms Ltd; before I joined SPN India.”


Sodhi is a workaholic, and spends most of the day in his office. He is a staunch advocate of rising early; he stressed on how important the wee hours are – for productivity. “Given the fact that we are a compact team, we usually end up spending long hours at work – sometimes late in the evenings,” asserted Sodhi.


Even though he belongs to the very exuberant media industry, he is not a very social person during the week, Sodhi said. “If I’m not working, I spend time with my family. I avoid socialising during weekdays – it’s just work and then back home. Weekends, yes, are well-spent with friends and family,” he echoed.

I avoid socialising during weekdays – it’s just work and then back home. Weekends, yes, are well-spent with friends and family.

WHAT WAS, WHAT IS
According to Sodhi, the media industry is evolving rapidly, with revolutionary advances every day. “The media industry is going through a significant transformation currently. We are seeing a great impact of the digital wave, on the way content is being consumed by users,” he added.

Uday Sodhi addressing the audience at the launch of Food Genre

Uday Sodhi addressing the audience at the launch of Food Genre


This change can primarily be attributed to the mushrooming of smart-phones and the advent of 4G, according to Sodhi. “The proliferation of these hand-held mobile devices, along with the widespread of 4G technology, has enabled easy access to content on-the-go. It is literally entertainment in the hand of the consumer. The smart-phone penetration is about 400 million in India, with most of the consumers using their phones purely as entertainment devices and consuming a large amount of content,” he explained.
This number is expected to double in the coming three to four years, foresees Sodhi. He said, “We will see more transformations in the broadcast space, in the coming days. The amount of digital content, its consumption, and the number of hours consumers spend on their devices, is expected to rise considerably.”


Sodhi noted a few additional augmentations that are anticipated to hit the industry soon – one of them being the penetration of smart TVs. He added, “Smart TVs have become inexpensive. The sale of these TVs has ramped up significantly. Alongside, we are also seeing the current trend of fiber technology. Broadband over fiber optics, combined with smart TVs, will really change how entertainment is broadcasted in India. This in turn means more choice and power in the hand of the consumer, moving forward.”

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