Mitrajit Bhattacharya, Chitralekha Group President, publisher and creator of Watch World event, is also the President of the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM). In a quick chat with exchange4media, he talks about hosting live events in Gujarat and what makes Watch World a unique initiative.
What are your key focus areas for Chitralekha group for this financial year?
We are focusing a lot on events this year. We have planned large-scale concerts in the key markets of Gujarat. The first one to roll out is Shreya Ghoshal Live in Rajkot on October 19. This will be the first ticketed event of this scale in Rajkot and we were almost sold out two weeks before the official ticket sales began. There are a number of sponsors and partners already on board and there is a great demand for corporate tickets and bulk booking. We will announce the next two events soon after we are done with the Shreya concert.
The second round of IRS is on its way. What are your expectations?
We are disappointed. IRS hasn't addressed the issues of magazines. And the revalidation exercise didn't resolve any of the issues put forward by AIM.
Watch World is in the fifth year now, how do you see it as a property?
A huge property. It’s an international event and carries all its glories of being international. It brings the entire watch industry with industry captains, Bollywood and bureaucracy under one roof. It’s a calendar event now for the industry where people plan their travel from Singapore, Dubai, Switzerland as well as different Indian cities well in advance to attend.
It’s also a very difficult honour to achieve for the brands as the jury follows a very stringent criterion for evaluation. It has happened so many times that the jury decides not to award anyone in certain categories if the nominees fail to impress them. And when you have a jury that comprises the best in business, everyone listens. We have master watchmakers, famous designers, filmmakers and sport stars in our jury.
How is Chitralekha group leveraging it?
Watch World is a baby in our portfolio. But it has a huge impact as a brand. It connects us with the world of fine watchmaking. Chitralekha happens to be one of the largest media vehicles of high-end watch advertising in India. All major brands present in the country - Rolex, Omega, Breguet, Hublot, Ulysse Nardin, Rado, Breitling, Tissot - advertise in Chitralekha heavily.
Can we expect such awards in a different genre from your group?
We don't create awards for the sake of creating them. We are leaders in the space of horology and it makes sense for us to host the only award celebrating timekeeping excellence in India.