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INMA: Much needed event in the crisis situation, say industry leaders

INMA: Much needed event in the crisis situation, say industry leaders

Author | Swapna Rahul Shah and Dipali Banka | Monday, Nov 17,2008 6:40 AM

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INMA: Much needed event in the crisis situation, say industry leaders

Industry leaders have welcomed the various sessions and discussions at the two-day INMA South Asia Conference, held in Mumbai on November 13-14 under the theme ‘Building value in the newspaper enterprise’. impact, the weekly magazine on advertising, media and marketing, and Pitch, both from the exchange4media Group, were media partners for this event. exchange4media.com was the online partner.

According to industry leaders, the Conference was much needed in the current economic crisis situation, and had provided a lot of solutions and ideas to deal with the slowdown.

On the concluding day of INMA South Asia Conference, exchange4media spoke to various industry leaders to know their opinion about the event and their expectations from next year’s Conference.

Earl J Wilkinson, Executive Director and CEO, INMA

“I thought the best part of the Conference was that there was a sane, interesting, Indian conversation among the executives. There were so many questions this year as compared to last year. Last year, which was our first Conference, the Indian newspaper executives were not sure whether they wanted to share their experiences or wanted to ask questions.

Next year, INMA South Asia Conference will be held in Delhi as we feel it is lot more accessible to people than any other place. We have been doing these Conferences in India because the vast majority of viable daily newspapers are available in India as compared to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. I hope to have more interactive sessions next year as compare to this year.”

Ravi Dhariwal, CEO - Publishing, BCCL

“I think this conference has given us enough food for thought as to how we can really make a difference in the coming months in the industry. We got the answers for our questions from the session on managing costs in the current inflationary environment, the people challenge, building the advertising revenue pie, and so on.

One important point we came across was that print media will continue to rule, but today, it is important to diversify into other mediums and make sure those mediums contribute to a client’s success. We also came across a series of wonderful insights to ensure that our top line continues to grow.”

Ranjeet Kate, Director, The Times of India Group

On overall level, I think the event was great and successful. It gave a lot of ideas, direction and valuable points to the newspaper companies. As far as presentations were concerned, many speakers presented a positive, strategic view of the importance of the newspaper business in India, unlike in the West. During the session on cost cutting, the view of strategic reduction of cost that makes the core business of newspaper healthier was a very interesting point in that session. The session on acquiring and retaining employees brought out an interesting point that instead of chopping quality talent, it’s time to retain them.

The beauty of this Conference was that INMA is an international organisation and the entire content of the programme was by Indian publishing houses and marketing firms. Also, what makes me happy is that we are looking for solutions within all of us rather than looking somewhere else, which means the industry has a lot of depth and can certainly emerge from the slowdown.”

Bharat Kapadia, CEO and Managing Editor, Jagran 18

The programmes were very well structured. I think the effort to understand the issues of the newspaper business were very well taken. Normally, any conference is either too bullish about what happens in your market or too depressive. I do not think any of these things happened here. The Conference has given a lot of ideas to think through and follow it up at the time of a crisis situation. Overall, the Conference had a positive tone of voice. In fact, I have been getting very positive feedback from the other audiences too.”

Jwalant Swaroop, Director, Lokmat

“Overall, the Conference was great and fruitful. It gave a lot of ideas and direction to deal with the current situation. All the discussions that took place were largely on issues pertaining to the newspaper industry. Day one brought out lots of practical insights and the way forward to tackle the challenges in future. Another aspect that was very important and relevant was the frank and open discussions that took place at the event. This event was also an opportunity for industry people to come together and share their understanding about the issues that are required to be tackled for the growth of the industry. Such Conferences help you widen your horizon, your knowledge base and understanding of issues in the industry.”

Sunil Mutreja, President - Marketing, Amar Ujala Publication Ltd

“If I want to rate the Conference, I would say the Conference met up to 30-35 per cent of my expectations. Those 30 per cent include very interesting points such as cost cutting, a different way of looking at the organisation itself, the brand itself, and the various retrospections, which one doesn’t do on a day to day basis. I would expect more relevant and practical subjects rather than theoretical statements and philosophical values next year.”

KP Narayanan, General Manager - Advertisement, Mathrubhumi

According to me, the Conference was average. I don’t think that there were value additions. Most of the issues discussed during the sessions were already known by the industry. The last two sessions on new strategies to build newspaper readership and the people challenge, respectively, were interesting to an extent.

Also read:

INMA: Building the advertising revenue pie

INMA: Of growth strategies and innovations in the media landscape

INMA: On overcoming the people challenge

INMA: Making media stocks attractive to investors

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