The announcement of Outlook Group shutting down local editions of international magazines Geo, Marie Claire and People, was met with varied reactions from the industry.
This was followed by the People India team filing a petition in Labour Court in what could be called a pre-emptive action to secure their future in absence of any written communication regarding the closure. The Court then restrained the management of Outlook Group from terminating the employees of People India till the due process of law was followed.
However, the issue is now said to have been amicably resolved.
In an exclusive interview with exchange4media, Indranil Roy, President, Outlook Group addresses rumours surrounding the discontinuation of titles, reasons behind the same, and more...
What is your perspective on the turn of events that followed the discontinuation of titles People, Geo and Marie Claire, with the employees from People going to labour court?
The matter is amicably sorted out with the editorial employees of People. It is a closed chapter now.
There has been a lot of talk about this retrenchment. Is more coming our way?
What has led to this, in your view?
One of the reasons is the profitability issue. When we took a long-term view, looking at the market scenario and the business plan, it looked unviable. Therefore, we took a tough decision and decided not to renew the licences.
Do you think rapid expansion of Outlook Group in last five years is one of the reasons?
No, I don’t think so. Expansion is good, it was needed. For a business to be healthy, one of the important aspects is a water tight business strategy and plan. When we realised this was not the case, we corrected it.
What are the focus areas for the Group going forward?
We have already worked out a few plans which I cannot disclose right now. Our focus will be to strengthen our own magazines and create brand extensions to the existing magazines.
Is Outlook Media Group under severe financial pressure?
I don’t disagree that we are under financial pressures, but we have excellent promoters, who have supported us all these years and continue to support us. We will run ourselves as a lean, mean and a well managed organisation. We are all working towards that and are committed to it.
There have been talks of Outlook being sold. Is that true?
The rumours of Outlook being sold has been going on since the last 10-12 years now. It is completely untrue. We continue to enjoy the support of our promoters.