BioSpectrum, Cyber Media’s business magazine for the biotech industry, celebrates its first anniversary this month. Alongside it plans to further establish its presence as the voice of the industry, the magazine is evaluating the option adding international and student editions.
Cyber Media made its foray into the biotechnology sector last year by acquiring one of the two magazines that existed in the area. Sad Abraham Mathew, Chief Editor, BioSpectrum, “When we were approached by the erstwhile publishers of BioSpectrum who were interested in selling the title to us, we made a quick assessment and decided that there were some merits in acquiring the title. Besides, we really liked the name ‘BioSpectrum’ as it clearly signified what we intended to do with a biotechnology magazine”. According to N Suresh, Executive Editor, BioSpectrum, apart from the name, nothing much was taken from the previous publishers. “What we took was just the title. Internally we had already planned what we intended to do with a biotechnology magazine and had mapped out our strategies and the route our content would follow,” he said. While BioSpectrum was earlier involved in publishing research papers, under Cyber Media, it has positioned itself clearly as a magazine dealing with the ‘business of biotech’. “We were very clear that we were launching a business magazine for the biotech industry and not a research journal or a technical magazine,” said Mathew.
According to Suresh, the launch issue of the magazine, which raised the question of whether there was a need for a national biotechnology policy, was sold out and established BioSpectrum as a serious industry magazine. Subsequent issues of the magazine saw topics like the ten major hurdles faced by the biotech industry, a tracking of the industry in terms of size, revenue, etc. and a celebration of the industry’s top players being tackled. “What BioSpectrum has done over the past year is fill a void in terms of providing a platform for the biotechnology industry – the suppliers the customers and everyone else to come on to one platform and exchange views,” said Mathew.
Having acquired a circulation of 20,000, the magazine has chalked out its plans for the coming year. While industry suppliers form the bulk of the magazine’s current advertisers, definite plans are in place to attract players from other segments in the coming year. Alongside this, 2004-05 will see BioSpectrum place a renewed focus on the student community. “We are evaluating the possibility of bringing out a student edition,” said Mathew. Apart from this, the magazine is also exploring the idea of an international edition looking at possibilities mainly in Asia. “If you look at the international scenario, there aren’t many successful biotech magazines. There are a number of research journals but not many that look at the business side of the industry. So we see a great potential,” he added.