The two-day INMA South Asia Conference got underway in Mumbai on November 13. The Conference seeks to look at the challenges of the dynamic South Asian media landscape and how to create value by addressing four key areas – cost-cutting, how to build a multimedia enterprise, building revenue and acquiring and retaining people. impact, the weekly magazine on advertising, media and marketing and Pitch, both from the exchange4media Group, are media partners for this event. exchange4media.com is the online partner.
The theme for the second INMA Conference is ‘Building Value in the Newspaper Enterprise’.
In his welcome address, Ravi Dhariwal, President, INMA Asia Division, and CEO – Publishing, BCCL, gave a brief overview of the last few years of the print industry. He said, “In the past few years, there have been several launches in the print industry. However, in the past six months, things have not been looking too good.”
Following the Dhariwal’s address, Bhaskar Das, Executive President, BCCL, introduced the agenda for the Conference over the two days. Speaking about the newspaper industry, Das said, “We have all grown up with the four Ps of Kotler and it is inbuilt, but in today’s world, it is outdated and we need much more than just that. The value of the customer, proposition and network is very important and should be followed closely.” According to him, the next phase of growth would be by embracing technology.
Peter Haden, Partner, and Pooja Haldea, Engagement Manager, both from McKinsey & Company, made a presentation on ‘Building Value in the Newspaper Enterprise’. They stressed on identifying the emerging trends within media in India and its implications for India and the rest of the world. They also spoke about strategies to develop growth opportunities in new businesses.
On a positive note, Haden said that India was one of the most exciting places for newspapers in the world, this despite the current global economic slowdown. “The industry has been showing growth and the increase is about double in the whole industry because of the growth in advertising markets. Our view is that the advertising markets will still grow,” he added.
The presentation showed that India was at a similar growth point as China and on the rise. According to both Haden and Haldea there were three key ways to drive performance in tough times – drive ad sales, find cash, and a buyers’ market.
“Although local advertisers would love to advertise in the local newspapers, they find the current print propositions very expensive,” Haden pointed out, adding that local advertising in print was far higher than national advertising in countries like the US and the UK.
Haldea noted that apart from new age media, traditional mediums like radio and television were also eating into print’s share. “The digital medium is already on the rise, which includes mobile phones. In fact, Indian users are spending more on high-end phones as compared to any other country in the world. The Hindi GECs and regional channels are making a place for themselves as well, and not to forget radio, which is fast growing. All of these mediums will leave newspapers behind, which is a concern,” she cautioned.