The story of Spearhead Media Group – Spearhead Media Pvt. Ltd and Spearhead Publications Pvt. Ltd – is that of a seed, a seed that was planted in fertile soil, nurtured continuously and conscientiously for over 5 years by all its stakeholders. This pampered seed is now in bloom because of their teamwork. No one person can be credited with its success.
The Spearhead Media Group (www.spearheadpvtltd.com) is a media house based in Mangaluru, Karnataka, the products of which are focused on Karnataka, but are also digitally available to its growing fan following all over the world.
Spearhead houses several forms of media under one roof and has something for everyone. The Group owns and operates two news websites – www.newskarnataka.com and www.newskannada.com – which are popular across Karnataka and the Gulf, a monthly English magazine- Karnataka Today, a YouTube channel- NKTv (check for Newskarnataka on YouTube) and a design house – Verdevice. The Group’s reach across Karnataka and the world is growing at a rapid pace. It also enjoys a good following on Facebook with over 2,14,000 followers.
The story began with Newskarnataka.com, the first website that focused on the whole of Karnataka, but when it was launched in May 2012, it was a Kannada news website. In March 2013, in response to the demand, it was transformed into what it is today, an English news website that goes by the same name. Later, the Kannada version was reborn as Newskannada.com. The focus of both the sites is on positive journalism – highlighting the positives in a news story and focusing on solutions.
Karnataka Today is Karnataka’s only high quality monthly English magazine with an enviable brand reputation. It is an all-colour, aesthetically laid out magazine, web printed on high quality imported news print, with timeless content for a discerning reader. All of Karnataka Today’s content focuses on issues of the state for the global Kannadiga. It is circulated all across the country and the Gulf.
Evolution of the Spearhead Group
Founders of the company, Prakash Lobo, Nelson Lobo and Rajesh Venoor – all from different backgrounds and possessing different skills were innovators in the media space. They were all young but dynamic individuals with a common idea – to Engage, Evolve and Enlighten the people of the state of Karnataka through all possible emerging media avenues. Soon, they realized that their innovations needed to be cocooned in a robust structure if they were to survive and grow. Thus, in November 2013, Spearhead Media Pvt. Ltd, the flagship of the Spearhead Media Group was born.
The company did not rest on its growing popularity or become complacent, because of the passion of its people, its readership and most of all, its investors, which has now swelled to 43. Investors and media visionaries like Leo Rodrigues, MD Al Mazroui & Clevy Automobiles, Abu Dhabi and philanthropist, and CA Valerian Dalmaida, positive media proponent, pushed the company to expand its footprint across platforms.
Spearhead Media Group is a crowd-funded Private Limited Company registered under the Companies Act. Its editorial team is given full freedom to act independently and impartially. The team has grown from 2 to 22 over a span of five years but there are many more, who contribute every day to what you read and view.
The Spearhead Group – the revolution
We believe that the television, as it is used today, is as good as dead. With the advent of 5G connectivity and faster processors, high resolution cameras and screens on your mobile, the large screen TV is a dying breed and videos on social media spaces are the way forward.
With this in mind, NkTv, a YouTube hosted channel (today the subscription base is 5,884) was started in April 2017. Today, it is a brand by itself and hosts episodes from the world of culture, food, literature, poetry and talk shows on contemporary issues, both at our studio and outside, all of which have been well received.
Technology is changing lifestyles and viewing habits. Live Streams of events on social media take you to the venue while you remain in the comfort of your armchair and Spearhead Media is at the forefront of such technology. Recently, the Vishwa Tulu Sammelana, that was held in Dubai on the 23rd and 24th of November, 2018, was telecast live by NewsKarnataka.com on its website and Facebook page. The live telecast was a massive hit with NewsKarnataka’s followers, event organizers, the stars and delegates at the event and Tuluvas back home. Videos of the event on NK’s Facebook page went viral, garnering over 3.5 lakh views within a couple of days of being premiered. With this confidence, we launched NK Live to bring events to your living room, and the gamble has been a successful one.
Active social media engagement is the key to brand recognition and recall. For us, the NK team, what is gratifying is the overwhelming response that NK’s Facebook page garners on a daily basis. It recently crossed the 2 lakh follower mark! The page now has over 214,000 likes and over 238,000 followers, all of these genuine.
The page was recently verified by Facebook (check out the blue tick next to the name). All of this is a matter of pride for the NK team that strives hard to continuously and consistently live up to its tagline – Truth Endures.
The Spearhead Group is different, innovative and forward looking
Currently, there is no other digital media that focuses on the state as a whole. The Group has positioned itself accordingly, featuring news in both English and Kannada, thereby ensuring that its products reach its intended target audience. Even as the group continues to focus on giving Kannadigas around the world a window to Karnataka – its issues and concerns, failures and successes and its peoples’ joys and sorrows with honest content without sensationalism to enlarge its circle of admirers – it has also now begun to build human networks across cities and engage with social influencers through its studio and publications.
The group, uniquely has initiated new networks through its Students Action in Media (SAM) programme to engage students in practice and report and other media innovations like its ‘Legends of Karnataka’ and ‘Amazing Stories Publications’ based on the Karnataka Today brand with the aim to disseminate positive stories to a larger audience.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “True India is in the Rural Villages.” Every village has to become a Global Village. It is possible today. Digital connectivity has created a way ahead. The Spearhead Group intends to create opportunities for a large number of people in this way. New thinking is required and it is developing a concept of media circles that will bring Delhi to the villages and take the villages to Delhi, helping people earn along the way through revenue models. Each circle will have a mentor, a team lead and members (upto 10). The group hopes to create a model of mass employment, disseminate positive information without sensationalism, and leverage technology to take the village to the capital with this innovation in the media space.
Uniquely all its media products are editorially independent and focused on positive journalism of the kind that can convert business triangles (Innovator, Investor and Revenue) into expanding concentric circles to speed up both business and brand recall.
The Group is planning an IPO in 2022. For a media house emerging from a tier 2 city, that indeed will be a great achievement and the group plans to do it incrementally and with determination.