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INMA: Of growth strategies and innovations in the media landscape

15-November-2008
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INMA: Of growth strategies and innovations in the media landscape

The INMA South Asia Conference, held in Mumbai on November 13-14, also focussed on the growth strategies in the media landscape, innovation in newspapers and a case study on Pakistan’s Dawn Group of newspapers. impact, the weekly magazine on advertising, media and marketing, and Pitch, both from the exchange4media Group, were media partners for this event. exchange4media.com was the online partner.

Pramath Raj Sinha, Founder and Managing Partner, 9.9 Mediaworx Pvt Ltd, in his presentation on ‘Growth Strategies in the Media Landscape’ covered a wide ranging topics including current challenges of the Indian media landscape, growth of the industry, language newspapers emerging as leaders, and issues of distribution and cross-media ownership, among others.

Sinha divided his session into two parts, which focused on the performance of the industry and the health of the industry. Speaking on the industry performance, he said that in the past six years, there had been a decline in sales, which was worrisome. Another worrisome trend was that of the industry not showing sustenance in delivering quarter-on-quarter.

He further said, “There was a time when print media was at 40-time multiples, but the downturn has hit media stocks much harder than the overall stocks. Some of the media companies’ stocks have gone down by 70 per cent. In a situation like this, it is going to be very hard to fund growth and get the evaluation that the industry once got.”

Talking about long term performance, Sinha pointed out that the digital revolution was fast growing and was something to look out for. He said, “The whole digital revolution is something. Today, there is a tremendous shift to mobile phones and the Internet, too, is moving at a very fast pace. The Internet today is just 5,000 days old and has witnessed such as boom, can you imagine what it will be like 5,000 days from now? It is unpredictable.”

According to him, the bigger threat was from the advertising world because they were coming up with whole new divisions for the digital mediums and in the process the traditional print medium was taking a backseat.

He concluded by saying that the traditional media had 4-5 years to really change the game and fight the battle and that the newspaper industry needed to come back as a group to make things happen instead of just questioning readership and circulation ratings.

In another session, Hameed Haroon, CEO, Dawn Newspapers, and President, Pakistan Newspaper Society, made an emotive and passionate presentation on the rise of Dawn Group of Newspapers amid political turmoil in Pakistan.

Haroon revisited historical milestones of Dawn like the rechristening of Dawn newspaper from the earlier ‘Herald’, the ban on all government ads ordered by a former President of Pakistan in Dawn newspaper, and stopping its license application for a television channel, which was later taken back owing to the Internet revolution.

Dawn fought through all the difficulties based on its strong values and philosophy and has today diversified into television, radio, magazines and portals.

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