Mid-Day’s Readership Development Head Bikash Banerjee is moving to Business Standard early January 2005 as Vice President. His new responsibilities would entail building various products under the Business Standard umbrella, which includes specialist magazines like Motoring and Getaway.
Confirming the development, Akila Urankar, President, Business Standard, stated, “Bikash Banerjee is going to be an integral part of our management team January 2005 onwards. He is joining us as a Vice President and would look after the marketing and distribution of the entire product portfolio under the BS umbrella, which includes specialised magazines such as Motoring and Getaway. Banerjee has accomplished a great deal for Mid-Day and has been with the organisation for nearly five years. With plenty of expertise and experience up his sleeves, he would undoubtedly be a significant value addition to the organisation.”
As per Urankar, the specialist magazines are performing very well under the BS umbrella. “For instance Motoring, which is circulated via stands as well as a dedicated subscriber base, sells nearly 1,00,000 copies a month. We see a great deal of support from the advertiser community (largely automobile categories, two wheelers and so on) and derive around 20 per cent increase in revenue year on year. Similarly, Getaway, which caters to Maruti customers, has a circulation of 1,50,000. We believe that we have consolidated our stand as far as these magazines are concerned,” she shared.
However, Banerjee’s 23-year-long association with the media industry started in 1981 at ABP, where he served for long 15 years. In 1996, he started what he calls India’s first truly independent media agency – Vibrant Media. After three years, in 1999, he joined Mid-Day.
Dwelling on his days at Mid-Day, he said, “I joined Mid-Day some six years back, when the company was on an expansion drive. These years can best be termed as challenging as within this phase we came up with our maiden public issue, launched our radio station, consolidated our outdoor business, initiated many new projects, etc. I derived sufficient exposure to all the aspects of the newspaper business, which includes marketing, advertising, circulation, operations etc. I also got to learn radio and outdoor as businesses. During my stint as COO, Mid-Day Multimedia Limited had one of the best years in terms of financial results and overall performance.”
Banerjee moved on to his new assignment, adding, “As for Business Standard, I have a very high regard for the organisation and I respect for the brand. I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute to this growing enterprise through my equity, expertise and experience of the newspaper business.”
However, the news doing the rounds in the market indicates that BS is in the process of launching yet another magazine, in the business vein. Urankar although clearly brushed off any such possibility. “We are quite content with the delivery of our existent magazines and their performance. We have no plans of bringing out a new magazine,” she asserted.