It's all Business
Shoba Purushothaman is a Malaysian-born entrepreneur who has co-founded three companies. She is most notable as the former chief executive officer of The NewsMarket, a digital news video platform which she started with her business partner Anthony Hayward in 2000. The NewsMarket is considered by many experts in the news industry to have pioneered video-based digital news distribution for the marketing industry.
Purushothaman served as CEO and President of The NewsMarket until March 2009. Prior to that, she was a partner and director of Bulletin International, an international broadcast PR consultancy that was sold in 2001 to Cordiant Communications Group, now part of WPP, a marketing communications service.
Early Life and education
Shoba Purushothaman was born and raised in Malaysia. She studied at the Methodist Girls' School (Junior and Senior) in Kuala Lumpur. She went on to college and completed her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Japanese language from Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). In 1986, she received a Journalism Fellowship in the US awarded by the Asia Foundation. She completed a Master's degree in Economic Communication from American University (Washington D.C.) in 1988. In 2000, she completed the Owner-President Management program at Harvard Business School.
She began her career as a journalist with Malaysian Business, a business magazine based in Kuala Lumpur. Upon completing her Master's degree, she began working for Dow Jones & Co. She first worked for the Wall Street Journal and then its related newswires Dow Jones Capital Markets Wire and AP-Dow Jones News Service in Washington D.C., New York and London.
In 1994, after nine years as a journalist, she joined Anthony Hayward at Bulletin International in London as a partner. While headquartered in Singapore in 1995, she established Bulletin's Asian operations. Bulletin grew regional operations in Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, and Hong Kong between 1995 and 1998. Purushothaman moved to New York in 1998 to establish Bulletin in the U.S The company was sold in early 2001 to Cordiant Communications PLC, a publicly listed marketing services group that was subsequently acquired by WPP Group.
With $100,000 start-up capital from an angel investor, Purushothaman and her former Bulletin business partner Anthony Hayward co-founded The NewsMarket in 2000. Purushothaman served as chief executive officer and Hayward as chairman of the board. The NewsMarket provided video clips and information via the Internet to news broadcasters. Its technology platform provided web-based delivery of high bandwidth video files in formats that broadcasters could download and edit instantly. This transformed how the marketing industry delivered content to the media, which had previously been via satellite or tape dispatch. In 2005, The NewsMarket provided video clips digitally to 3000 newsrooms. "There is quite a lot of media interest in content like that and it's not the kind of video a newsroom can easily get access to, but it's a major milestone in technology achievement," she told Digital Dealmakers.
The Company established operations in London, Mumbai, Munich, Ahmedabad, Beijing and San Francisco while she was CEO. Investors include Apax Partners, Battery Ventures, Hearst Interactive Media, and Softbank Capital. Through The NewsMarket, major brands including Google, Intel, IOC, BMW, and Samsung provided video clips and information about new products and other news announcements digitally to the news media. The NewsMarket also served non-profit clients including UNICEF, Greenpeace and the Gates Foundation as well as and government agencies including the National Cancer Institute, the United States State Department, and the National Science Foundation. Purushothaman left The NewsMarket operating team in New York in September 2009 upon the completion of its acquisition of NASDAQ-listed Medialink. The company was subsequently re-branded as Synaptic Digital and was acquired in 2012. Purushothaman served on its Board until its 2012 acquisition.
Since 2010, Purushothaman has been working on entrepreneurial ventures based out of Asia including a new Singapore-based brand, Training Ventures. The Company is seeking to disrupt the corporate training sector with technology-led learning targeting management development. Purushothaman and her co-founder Anthony Hayward believe that, by 2020, emerging markets around the world will have created hundreds of millions of jobs and that this will provide opportunities for skills training that leverages technology to scale.
In 2013, Purushothaman was chosen as an inaugural "On the Board" fellow by George Washington University. The fellowship, offered in conjunction with the International Women's Forum, trains women to serve on the boards of major corporations. Only fifteen fellows are chosen to participate in any year.
Purushothaman speaks regularly at conferences globally on entrepreneurship, digital media, and marketing. She has given guest lectures at Columbia University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stern School of Business, NY University, Annenberg School of Communication, Berkeley University, California and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. She has also served on the Advisory Board of Columbia University's Strategic Communication program. She was an invited speaker at the 2013 One Globe Conference. She also spoke at the Dell Women Entrepreneurs Forum in 2012 and 2013
Awards & Honors
Purushothaman has received the following awards and honours:
- On-the-Board Fellow (Inaugural program), George Washington University 2013
- ADVANCE (Australia) 50 Global Women Leaders 2011
- Malaysian Indian Global High Achiever (Astro Malaysia) 2010
- Springboard Enterprises (US) North Star award 2008
- Deloitte Technology Fast 50 (NY) 2007
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (NY) finalist 2006
- Asian American Top 50 Business Leader (US) 2005
- magazine, Entrepreneur of the Year Honorable Mention (US) 2004
- Committee of 200 Emerging Business Leader Protégé (US) 2004
- Center for Foreign Journalists 10th Anniversary Honoree (US) 1995
- Asia Foundation journalism fellowship to the US (awarded to 5 Asians) 1986
- "VV Show No. 29 – Shoba Purushothaman of The NewsMarket".Venture Voice. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Shoba Purushothaman".Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Bulletin opens a branch in the US".PR Week. 16 November 1998. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Pofeldt, Elaine (24 April 2006)."Looking to wealthy women to fund a business". com. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Greco, Susan (1 June 2002)."Finding the perfect pitch". com. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Sherman, Aliza P. (30 June 2004)."Let's Have Some Funds!". Entrepreneur Magazine. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Heintz, Nadine (1 January 2005)."Honorable Mention: Shoba Purushothaman". com. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Digital dealmakers".TV Week. 22 June 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Serial Entrepreneur Shoba Purushothaman: Entrepreneurship Could Be the Defining Business Movement of the 21st Century".The Next Women. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Garcia, Tonya (9 July 2001)."The NewsMarket to acquire Medialink". PR Week. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Garner, David (27 August 2012)."Startup U.S. vs. startup India". com. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "On the Board Fellows 2013".Web. George Washington University. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "On the board".Web. George Washington University. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Shoba Purushothaman".Web. One Globe. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "2005 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award"(PDF). Web. HSBC Bank. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year(R) Award Announced in New York Metropolitan Area".Business Wire. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Past Honorees".Web. Springboard Enterprises. Retrieved 13 May 2014.