Fortune’s India edition was most anticipated and the magazine’s launch on September 24, 2010 has generated a lot of buzz. Fortune is undoubtedly one of the biggest international business magazines. Though it has been roughly a week since Fortune India’s launch, exchange4media questioned media planners and put the magazine’s mettle to test.
The first question that one can’t help but ask is what magic can Fortune create that the others couldn’t? Where can Fortune score where the others have faltered?
Kartik Iyer, Managing Director, Carat India, observed, “The key is that Fortune was a known brand in India even before it was launched. A brand that is a reference point for global business. With this position, I expect visibility and engagement for Fortune with senior decision makers of the industry. Which, therefore, means that super premium brands could definitely look at the magazine for communication opportunities.” He went on to say, “Magazines like Forbes and Fortune will have their own niche audience, which would be very different from the other Indian business magazines. These magazines are expected to deliver a global perspective for the Indian audience.”
Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar UM, noted, “India is one of the fastest growing countries in terms of economic power, one of the BRIC countries identified by Goldman Sachs more than five years ago. It was high time Fortune was launched in the country. Being a global magazine, Fortune should be able to bring a global perspective and will be able to highlight comparison with other countries. Business magazines have always had a select, niche audience. A global business magazine will have an even more segmented audience. So, the magazine will never be a mass magazine. But within the segmented audience, the magazine has very high credibility.”
Surbhi C Murthy, General Manager, Allied Media, said, “We are very excited on the advent of Fortune magazine in India. Fortune’s launch was much anticipated after the entry of Forbes in the Indian market. The Indian magazine readers can now get a different and international perspective in business news. The advent of Fortune will also give a horizontal growth in business magazine genre. As a media planer, I feel there is always space for newer products. It also gives us media planners more choices, and in this case, more niche magazines to work with. For international and niche products like Fortune, Forbes, and so on, numbers do not matter.”
India is a market where local business magazines till now have been doing way better than their international counterparts. Magazines such as BusinessWorld, Outlook Business, Business Today, Business India, Outlook Money and Business & Economy – all have a success story in their names. When asked if international magazines could jeopardise the position of the local players, Iyer said, “I don’t think international magazines will give the Indian publications a run for their money, primarily because they are both fighting for different spaces. While the Indian magazines would be presenting the ground realities of Indian business, Fortune would probably be focusing on global trends and developments. Yes, they are both business magazines, but they sometimes would approach the same subject from different angles and most often would be covering very different aspects of business.”
According to Lodestar UM’s Dias, the effect of competition amongst domestic and international players would raise the bar of success and excellence further. “We can expect to see changes in the quality of reproduction, the coverage of international news, etc. Like most businesses, the top three survive well and the others struggle. I am sure it will be the case for business magazines too. Fortune will have to work hard to be among the top three.”
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