The Times of India started the year 2014 with an expansion mode. They have increased their total number of editions for the brand from just about seven or eight editions five years ago to over 40 editions now. The Group turned its focus on consolidating and strengthening some of the new editions that have been launched over the last 2-3 years, editions such as Madurai, Trichy, Nashik, Vizag, Bhubaneshwar and so on.
Talking to exchange4media, Ravi Dhariwal, Outgoing CEO, BCCL said, “It’s been good but certainly I think it will get better. This has been a decent year. I won’t say it’s been a great year. We started not as well as we wanted to but I think our business has picked up.”
The year was going smoothly for the news giant until the IRS spectre came and changed the game for all the leading publishers. TOI was one of them. With major publishers against the numbers, TOI participated actively in this.
Though the IRS mishap faded away but then a new game started between HT and TOI of being number one and it went for a good three weeks. HT said TOI is a crying baby and TOI replied there is only one horse.
Sharing his view about the year, Arunabh Das Sharma, President, BCCL said, “It’s been not a very bad year but not a very good year either, it was kind of somewhere in the middle and the start was quite good and the credit goes to election. Some people benefitted from the election while some didn’t. I think the festive season went well; post that we have to see how the last quarter goes; I would say the year was in between.”
Commenting on IRS he said, “Our comments on IRS are very well known I don’t want to give any other specific comments on IRS. The fact that it needs revalidation and post revalidation still the IRS is something we don’t feel comfortable with at all and pretty much the industry feels the same except a few, but I am hoping that it will sort itself out sooner or later.”