Come meet us at WAN-IFRA Media Congress 2022

Excitement and anticipation are at peaks, as our team gears up for World News Media Congress 2022 from 28-30 September in Zaragoza, Spain.

WAN-IFRA since 1948 has been committed to protecting the rights of publishers and journalists all over the world to operate independent media. They believe their crucial role in the society is to provide expertise and services to their members to innovate and prosper in a digital world.

It is stirring this year to be part of the Congress as we meet delegates from all over the world in person to discuss the future of media, amidst technological disruptions and a volatile economy.

We are particularly excited to present our new concept pitch on PRANA, a content marketplace for Web3. We also have a very relevant offering for media publishers to build and launch media apps in less than two days.

Meet us at booth no. 21, placed right opposite to the conference organizers, the WAN-IFRA lounge. Come be part of our journey.

NFT Culture: Hype or Favourable?

With a hefty $91.8 million price tag, The Merge (collection of art series) is the most expensive NFT sold so far. This series was created by renowned digital artist Pak making him arguably the most valued living digital artist. 

NFT culture survives at the intersection of art, culture, and the blockchain. Investors and collectors seem to be pouring money into non-fungible tokens, tokenizing anything unique as an Ethereum-based asset. In fact, sales are believed to surpass last year’s total by going up to $90 billion by the end of 2022 despite NFT prices seeing a downturn of late.

But what’s really manoeuvring the market and what makes people want to invest millions of dollars in NFTs? 

Getting to know NFT

According to Wikipedia, “A non-fungible token (NFT) is a record on a blockchain which is associated with a particular digital or physical asset. The ownership of an NFT is recorded in the blockchain, and can be transferred by the owner, allowing NFTs to be sold and traded”.

NFT is simply any form of digital asset that symbolizes real-world objects like art (any form), music, in-game items, and videos. They are traded online using mostly cryptocurrencies and they are encoded with blockchain.

Cash (physical money) and cryptocurrencies are “fungible,” meaning they can be exchanged or traded for one another (which defines specific value for specific items). They’re also equal in value: one rupee is always worth another rupee; one Bitcoin is always equal to another Bitcoin. The nature of Crypto’s fungibility makes it a trusted means for carrying out business transactions and administering them on the blockchain.

Even though cryptocurrency and NFT have almost the same encoding software the similarity ends there. Every NFT has a unique digital signature that makes it rather impossible to be exchanged or considered equal (hence, the “non-fungible” moniker). For example, an NBA Top Shot gif is not equal to a cat gif just because they’re both NFTs.  For that matter, even two seemingly similar NBA Top Shot clips aren’t necessarily equal to each other.

But, anyone can view the individual images or even the entire collage of images online for free. So why are people crazily spending millions on something they could easily download, screenshot or just access online?

Because an NFT allows the buyer to own the original item (OG is the new trend!). But that’s not the only reason, NFTs contain built-in authentication, which offers proof of ownership. Collectors and investors value the “digital bragging rights” more than the piece itself (most of the time).

Essentially, NFTs are like physical collector’s items, but only in digital form; i.e., when a collector auctions a painting, instead of getting an actual painting to hang on the wall, the buyer gets a digital file instead. They also get exclusive ownership rights. NFTs work with the concept of ‘one owner at a time’, and their adoption of blockchain technology makes it easy to verify ownership and transfer tokens between the owners. The creator of the art piece can store specific information in an NFT’s metadata in the file, like their signature.

NFTs are offering more power and control to content creators than ever before…

Looking beyond the hype and the price tags; NFTs could represent a huge opportunity in content marketing. Each token has an exclusive and transparent ID which can be used to track and control them. This paves the way for fundamental changes in the relationship between content creator, consumer and brand.

Traditionally after the first sale goes through, the artist or the creator’s journey ends there with their item. Once the art has been sold, the transactions usually end there. The buyers, however, could sell the same work of art again at higher prices if there is demand and if the buyer is willing to sell. However, there is one more way that the non-fungible tokens help the creator and is called ‘NFT Royalties’. NFT royalties give a certain (usually specified) percentage on the sale price every time the NFT creation is sold on a marketplace. These are automatic pay-outs to the author made on repeated sales. The percentage of the royalties are coded into the smart contract on the blockchain of the NFT. Each time a secondary transaction takes place, the encoded smart contract ensures that the terms of the NFT are fulfilled to the dot and the specified cut of the royalty percentage on the sale price goes to the artist who created them. 

This works equally well for digital content, gaming accessories, physical items, real estate etc. NFT royalties are a never-before-opportunity to maximize the earnings of artists and content creators and to give them what is their fair share of profit. 

NFT has the power to triangulate the relationship between artists, collectors, and the brand to create a strong community that benefits all.

We are participating in FIBEP 2022

After more than a decade of working alongside Media Monitoring organizations, we have seen innovation up-close, brought in disruption, and built immense value for the industry. We can say for sure that there’s never been a more exciting time to be working in this industry. This year we take our forever and a day relation with FIBEP a notch higher. We are excited to be the Headline Sponsors’ of FIBEP World Media Intelligence Congress 2022. With that, we are all geared up to be part of this year’s discussions and insights from industry colleagues.

Founded in 1953, FIBEP is a global media intelligence association. Hosted every year, FIBEP World Media Intelligence Congress has become one of the largest congregations of communications, public relations, technology, social media monitoring, and marketing professionals. Best practices, industry developments and innovations, and the latest technologies are discussed and shared in Congress through a range of activities, discussion panels, and presentations.

The theme for the 2022 FIBEP World Media Intelligence Congress to be held in Dublin from 14-16 September 2022 is “Media Intelligence – Insights During Unrest”.

This year our Chief Strategy Officer, Mohan Doshi will be participating in a range of discussions including:

  • Fireside Chat discussing Future Tech Table on September 15, 2022 (Thursday) from 11:40 AM-12:10 PM (GMT+1)
  • Best Practices presenting Business Transformation at Scale on September 16, 2022 (Friday) from 12:15 PM-12:30 PM (GMT+1)

Stop by the Ninestars lounge next to the conference hall and our team will be happy to help you navigate tech-driven solutions that are changing the world of media monitoring. 

We are participating in AMEC 2021 Global Summit

It is with great pleasure that we announce that we are participating in the 2021 AMEC Virtual Global Summit on Measurement: Communication Accountability: Planning, Purpose and Proof. 

AMEC is the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication which is the world’s largest media intelligence and insights professional body, representing organisations and practitioners who provide media evaluation and communication research.

The two-day summit scheduled on May 26 – 27 is a great opportunity to immerse in the world of communication measurement and evaluation. It features inspiring keynotes and informative spotlight sessions from a line-up of international speakers and offer countless opportunities to connect virtually with industry leaders and influencers. 

Ninestars is participating as a Gold Sponsor and we would also be showcasing our content intelligence SaaS platform, PRANA, through our virtual booth. 

A quick note on PRANA. It is an AI-driven ESP (Event Stream Processing) platform that help derive actionable real-time insights from diverse content sources. Architected on high compute and stream processing engineering principles, PRANA is built to manage scale , processing thousands of feeds every second. It has flexible touch-points to compliment and seamlessly integrate with client’s ecosystem. PRANA offers a unique proposition with its AI-HI model (AI-enabled Human Intelligence), which ensures continuous learning and high accuracy for near real-time intelligence and analysis on bespoke dashboards. 

Even though we love the chance to meet and greet our visitors in person, this year we will use our virtual booth to meet you. Our team will be available to discuss any requirement in media content analysis, intelligence or services that could add value to your business. 

To access the virtual exhibition, make sure you register here : https://amecorg.com/summits/2021-summit/

Browse through our solutions and latest innovations here: https://www.ninestarsglobal.com

The National Archives of India is all set for Digital Transformation

In an increasingly tech-driven world, governments across the globe are looking for ways to hold on to the modicum of the past to preserve their heritage. By digitizing records and relics of historic importance, governments can effectively preserve and provide sustainable access to digital records to its citizens.

To ensure longevity of voluminous physical documents in its custody and to provide quicker access to archive records (a process that currently can take up to a month), the National Archives of India (NAI)  has decided to digitize its documents in a phased manner. Out of the total archive of nearly 18 crore pages, about 4 crore 50 lakh pages will be digitized in the first phase over the next three years. NAI chose Ninestars for this key digitisation project in 2021 through a rigorous tender process.

Established on 11 March, 1891 at Calcutta (Kolkata) as the Imperial Record Department, NAI is the largest archival repository in South Asia containing a wealth of valuable information for historians, officials, and interested citizens. The 125-year-old body is home to priceless articles of Indian history including maps, bills assented to by the President of India, centuries old Buddhist texts, treaties, rare manuscripts, oriental records, official records maintained by the East India Company, private papers, cartographic records, important collection of Gazettes and Gazetteers, Census records, assembly and parliament debates, proscribed literatures, travel accounts, etc. These documents also shed light on the rule of the later Mughals, growth of the East India Company in India, colonial rule in India, Indian freedom struggle and growth and development in post Independent India. Apart from the political and administrative history, the archives at NAI provide information on socio-economic history and the scientific and technological progress of India over the years. These historic titles are of immense value to the nation and the global research community.

In order to broaden access to the Archives’ collections, and reduce the impact of frequent handling of the old or fragile material, Ninestars is helping NAI digitize and maintain their most valuable collections. Ninestars will help create high-resolution surrogates of the Archives’ digitized collections with scanning and enhanced optical character recognition (OCR) for more in-depth analysis. Additionally,  we will help NAI in indexing the digital documents for easy retrieval of information. The digitised files will be uploaded on a DMS (Document Management System) Ninestars will build to make NAI records available on one single, secure platform.  

We are looking forward to an exciting journey of helping The National Archives of India accelerate its digital transformation journey. A new chapter has begun. Here are some glimpses of the project inauguration ceremony. 

LIFE @ZERO DISTANCE

By Gopal Krishnan, Chairman, Ninestars

The continued global uncertainty around COVID-19 feels like an elaborate adaptation of a Stephen King novel with the right amount of suspense, horror and drama. By now, we have realized that even the most carefully drafted crisis plans are inadequate. And that there is simply no playbook.

The world is at ‘zero distance’ and our true tenacity is coming to fore.

Work @zero distance: Home is the new office and work-life blend is the new reality. The saved time in commute is going straight into stretched hours at work. Everyone seems to be working 2x.

Family @zero distance: The work pressure combined with challenges at home need to managed. On the bright side, we are spending more time with family. Let’s make the best of it, support each other and come out stronger.

Wellbeing @zero distance: Health, immunity, wellness, spirituality – all are imminent priorities today. Never have I seen such a keen interest in yoga and Ayurveda to tap into inner wellbeing. Wellness sessions streaming live, experts and gurus sharing insights, and a growing digital audience – all at zero distance.

Events @zero distance: With prestigious events and popular shows going virtual, our social and business calendars look very different. Would the zero-distance networking help us keep connected in a world devoid of travel and conversations in person?

Entertainment @zero distance: One of the worst hit industries in the current crisis, the road to survival for entertainment seems digital. Big budget movies are premiering on OTT platforms. The digital content consumption understandably has grown in double digits across channels. The show indeed must go on.

Retail @zero distance: One click to everything on a wishlist. The increasingly seamless, interactive and intuitive experience not just takes the hassle out of shopping but even makes it enjoyable within the comfort of home. Prompted by social distancing, direct to consumers to their doorsteps is growing rapidly even among traditional shoppers.

Home dining @zero distance: Recently I had an exclusive dining experience at home, thanks to a five-star hotel chain in Bangalore. It was an amazing service, from food to hospitality–so signature of the brand–but now served right at my dining table. It was the premium hotel brand’s way of ensuring its valued customer does not miss out on the dining experience. Go where the consumer is, did you say?

Healthcare @zero distance: Your doctor will see you now, online. Telemedicine has been around for a while, but it has pivoted with a new sense of urgency. On-demand healthcare is on the rise and so is the transformation through AI-enabled systems and wearable devices. Add predictive healthcare and blockchain electronic health records, and you start to see the picture.

Sports @zero distance: Stadiums might be empty, but the world of e-sports is buzzing with excitement. We are yet to hear the updates for the year from big-ticket sport event organizers but I’ll not be surprised if they check in to digital arenas.

So, there it is. From work to social life to services we rely on, zero distance is reshaping not just our business but life at large.

COVID-19 – The mother of all disruptions

COVID-19 has disrupted the rhythm of our daily lives and business, bringing some unique challenges. Despite all the challenges, it is my firm belief that when we come out of this crisis and meet on the other side, what will matter most is how we persevered with grace, camaraderie, and compassion. Here is my take on “the mother of all disruptions – COVID-19” #disruptivethinking #disruptions #covid19 #covidkindness # #futurethinking #innovativethinking #businessinnovation #innovationstrategy #valuecreation Ninestars Information Technologies

Written by
Gopal Krishnan, Founder & Chairman, Ninestars

 

When I am writing this note, COVID-19 has already disrupted our lives on an unprecedented global scale. With more than a million reported cases across countries and nearly 75,000 deaths, COVID-19 has brought the world to a screeching halt. As we go through the throes of the lockdown, the pandemic has pushed the world into a health emergency, showed the cracks in healthcare systems, questioned business models, slowed down the economy, and exposed the vulnerabilities of even developed countries like Italy and the US.

To me,  COVID-19 is the mother of all disruptions. I believe leaders who will rise to the challenge to be resilient and adaptable and won’t let the crisis stop them from moving forward will come out stronger and wiser.

Disruption as an individual

Social distancing has brought forth a lot of anxieties, fear, and uncertainties for all of us. Most of us are facing added pressure from remote working. Instead of being discouraged by the situation, I urge all of you to find ways to manage stress. In my organizations, we have introduced the concept of  5H (Happiness, Health, Habits, Hard work, and Harmony) for WFH where we discuss important elements like happiness and health through virtual sessions on yoga and meditation. With the help of experts, we share techniques and tips to keep anxiety in check. These people connect initiatives that instill in us the power of camaraderie and hope. In these trying times, it is important to practice empathy not just towards others but to ourselves too. Invest time in yourself and emerge as a stronger person when the crisis is over.

Disruption to business

Shortly after the government’s directive to reduce capacity at offices, we rolled out remote working for our staff. What made it possible? Apart from the dedicated effort of our IT infrastructure and administration teams along with the leadership, we have our pioneering effort on workflow automation and cloud infra to thank for. We started on the automation journey much before it became a buzzword in the industry. We have worked systematically, embracing advanced technologies to reach a high percentage of automation, regardless of the diversity or complexity of processes we deal with on a daily basis. Some of our Operations teams work in continuous shifts with extremely tight delivery schedules. These teams are able to continue to deliver customer promise, with minimal interruptions at the beginning of this crisis, due to the technology backbone we have built and continue to make stronger.

However, the crisis is a disruption that would trigger innovation, not just in how we apply technology to deliver better but how we will reshape business models and rethink people engagement. I will not be surprised to see accelerated change, both in small and medium enterprises where change is inevitable and larger businesses who will be forced to rethink priorities.

Disruption on a global front

Upending lives across the globe, shutting down entire cities and countries in a matter of days, only an immediate threat like COVID-19 could bring the world to its knees. With this deep collective vulnerability, it is time to lean on and lift up each other to weather this storm and come out wiser, stronger and kinder than before. Our frontline healthcare practitioners, policymakers, research agencies, private sector, governments at all levels and international organizations will have to work together and reevaluate priorities. If we have to build readiness to manage future health crises, we have to build a new normal in terms of responsive healthcare systems and investments in the right initiatives so that communities worldwide, and not just a privileged few, have access to life-saving measures. If nothing else, the pandemic has taught us how interdependent we really are.

In conclusion

It is not a time to panic but observe caution. Stay strong and invest time in yourself and family. Stay alert and explore new ways to deliver business outcomes. Stay hopeful and build a new world around you.

Earth Day Celebration

Because of coronavirus restrictions, we turned our Earth Day celebrations online. We asked some of our nature enthusiast colleagues to send in their entries for home garden and received a ton of beautiful pictures. Check out these images here.

Leading through the crisis

By the time you read this blog post, COVID-19 has brought the world to a pause. All of a sudden, and sooner than anyone could have envisioned, it was time to go remote. From 4 March, Ninestars announced work from home, starting from the city of Bangalore where our technology and corporate teams are located. On 12 March, immediately after the World Health Organization’s announcement that COVID-19 was a pandemic, remote working was initiated in all our locations.

Challenges are plenty. Our IT team along with delivery team are stretching hours and adopting innovative approaches to ensure we return to business as usual at the earliest across all projects. On the other hand, working from home and working together virtually is a new experience for most of our teams. It is a transition which is difficult but necessary at the moment with India and several other nations opting for lockdown to contain the virus spread.

We reached out to our colleagues to see how they were doing. Some like Dimitar Mitrev, Managing Director of Ninestars Bulgaria, sure knows how to make the best of challenging times. Let’s hear from Dimitar himself:

On finding safety and something to cheer about: Just before our government declared the quarantine and the state of emergency, I moved with my family to my grandma’s house in the countryside, not too far from Sofia. I decided to benefit from the situation and spend my time before/after work in farming, prepared the land for planting and seeding vegetables. So we’re all good and happy here!

Changes at work: Nothing much changed since here in Bulgaria ‘work from home’ program is very popular, but now in isolation it is different. Knowing you can’t go anywhere or meet anyone without the risk of meeting the virus too – my daily routine changed significantly! I love my family, so safety comes first – in the past two weeks I had to adapt to working from home.

Key benefits from remote working:

  • Learn how to manage your time at your best and do as much as possible in so little time because I often got my little helper around me! Growing your patience is something you master after two weeks of WFH!
  • Learn how to communicate at your best because it’s very difficult to coordinate and manage operations in an entirely virtual environment (Skype and Teams are your best friends!)
  • Learn how to follow up on the assigned tasks. In the office, it’s super easy to solve anything while virtually it requires a proactive approach and a well-organised schedule of tasks.
  • Discover the invaluable treasure I have at home and how many moments I’m missing while I’m away – looking at my wife and my boy I just feel happy! My wife is helping me so much in raising our son and he is on the fire of curiosity all the time! 😃 So without her, I wouldn’t have had even half a day of proper working time.

Employee Spotlight: The stars of Ninestars

The wall at the cafeteria in our Bangalore office features a detailed mural full of characters from your favourite comic books. And when you walk down to the 3rd-floor reception, the stark grey wall also flaunts beautiful chalkboard styled motifs featuring doodles that changes every quarter. All this is the artwork of our Graphic Designer Abhishek A.

 Abhishek develops engaging concepts, layouts and on-brand pixel-accurate graphics from brochures, posters, logos, infographics, et al to ensure a consistent brand perception.

We caught up with the artist behind the Graphic designer whose style merges a storytelling impulse with semi-abstract art. Abhishek incorporates elements of repetition, texture, stillness, and rhythm in his artworks.

When did you first know you were an artist?
As early as I can remember, I always drew. I still remember those days sitting in my room drawing and creating imaginary worlds on paper. I didn’t consider myself an artist until high school. I went to Chitra Kala Parishat, the fine arts school in Bangalore, which is where it all came together for me as an artist.

Which artists have played a role in influencing your style?
Salvador Dali, Paul Gauguin, M F Hussain, and S H Raza are my favorite artists. All of them are amazing with their unique style. For my work, I like doing semi-abstract work blending realistic and semi-realistic art. My favorite artworks are:
Salvador Dali – The Meditative Rose
Paul Gauguin – Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
S H Raza – The Universe
M F Hussain – Horse Sketches

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not painting?
As I am a visual designer, I love creating art-pieces whenever I get a chance. I also teach drawing and painting skills to kids in my free time. Several of my students have won State & National awards (Student categories). I also love Badminton which is a huge stress buster for me. I love playing a game of badminton every morning.

What is it like working at Ninestars?
Working in Ninestars is a great opportunity in terms of freedom for my creativity, to bring my artistic skills in digital work for event collaterals, UI designing and illustration. I also get to create artistic wall murals here!