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.
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
Purushothaman has received the following awards and honours:
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