It’s a first, at least among the English national dailies in India. The Indian Express group has introduced a five working day system, beginning March 1, 2006. The system will benefit its editorial and marketing departments in the Delhi office to begin with.
Though media houses like NDTV and the Internet arm of Times group, Indiatimes, have long implemented the five working day system, Indian Express is the first English national daily to introduce the system.
When asked, Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-chief, Indian Express group, said, “It is a modern practice. At Indian Express, people work very hard. Hence, the new system will help them spend quality time with their friends and family.”
In the last one year, Indian Express has seen high attrition with many of its star reporters like Senior Editor Diptosh Majumdar, Senior Editor Sagarika Ghose, and investigative journalist Navika Kumar leaving the organisation. When asked whether it was part of a strategy to check attrition, Gupta said, “It is merely a lifestyle improvement scheme. We believe in retaining and creating talent. We are known for grooming new talent.”
When asked whether the system would be implemented in other offices, Gupta was noncommittal. “We are experimenting at present,” was all he would say.
For the record, the group has plans to enter the capital market and is running behind its target of March, 2006. It has also set up a magazine division headed by former Managing Editor of ‘Outlook’, Sandipan Deb, and plans to publish some general and specialised magazines.