An interesting session on the concluding day of FICCI Frames 2009 was on ‘Print: Emerging successful from the digital storm’. When electronic revolution emerged years ago, soothsayers predicted that the print medium would get wiped out. Not only has the print remained rock steady and strong, it has grown as a sector in the past decade. The session had stalwarts from the sector discuss and find out how print emerged triumphant despite rising competition from many media platforms.
The session was moderated by columnist and author Sevanti Ninan, while the panelists included Bhaskar Das, Executive President, Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd; Rajiv Jaitly, President - Ad Sales and Marketing, Danik Bhaskar Group Ltd; and Suprio Guha Thakurta, MD, The Economist India.
Ninan began the session by saying, “According to a study done by KPMG, print will continue to have the largest share of advertising for the next five years.”
Taking the debate further, Bhaskar Das said, “I don’t think there really is a storm, so I don’t really agree with the topic of the session. Digitalisation in India is yet to set in, but then, print is operating in an unsaturated and conducive environment.”
He further said, “India represents a clutter of three distinct economies, each of which is in varying degrees of progress. So, India will face the digitalisation in three waves.”
Jaitly, too, felt that the storm had yet not happened. He added, “What we are seeing today is a mild drizzle, which will eventually cause a flood in times to come. There are certain parts of the country that have not been touched by the digital storm. People like the agriculturists, who contribute 3 per cent to the country’s GDP; that is the area where print is winning.”
Guha Thakurta quipped, “There is a storm outside in the West. We are under-penetrated in print and there really is a huge potential.”