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Bucking the trend: Network18, converting crises into opportunities – Raghav Bahl

23-January-2009
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Bucking the trend: Network18, converting crises into opportunities – Raghav Bahl

With the economic slowdown making the entire industry uncertain and jittery, corporate and media honchos have stepped in to stem fears and boost the morale. Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Network18 Group, is confident about winning “even bigger in 2009” and putting “even more blue sky between the Winners and Quitters”.

In an internal email sent out to his Network18 team recently (a copy of which is with exchange4media), Bahl said, “2008! An year, which pared down the almost unrealistic highs of the previous three years… an year, which brought the inevitable dusk after three exceedingly bright years. But hold on, dawn is at hand.”

He continued, “For us at Network18, it was an year in which we proved to the world that tough times will inevitably separate the Winners from the Quitters. Thanks to your unremitting focus, grit and sheer slog, we are ending 2008 as the redoubtable Winners on India’s media landscape. When the rest of the pack ran for cover, we pulled off two of the most spectacular launches ever – Colors’ meteoric rise has acquired a ‘legend’ of its own, and in.com has outflanked entrenched portals from media groups five times our size.”

Acknowledging that 2008 was also a year which brought in tough economic times and ‘crisis all around’, Bahl told his team, “At Network18, we converted it into an opportunity by folding back into our core, by ruthlessly trimming frills and wastage. We empowered our teams even more, we decentralised the ‘challenge of survival’ by urging you to come up with the solutions, you to pump more efficiency into your operations, you to see how much more could be done with less. And that’s why we shall end 2008, the year of crises and firefighting for most, but an year of crises and opportunity for us.”

He, however, cautioned, “Let us not ‘con’ ourselves into believing that bright sunshine is just a couple of hours away. 2009 will be a tough year, an year in which we will have to consolidate upon the ‘crisis gains’ of 2008, an year in which we will have to become even more efficient and conscious about how we deploy our resources, an year in which we may have to patiently wait for visible/ exhilirating success to return, an year in which we will be severely challenged to squeeze every penny, every camera and editing machine, every megahertz, every kilobyte, every square inch of carpet area, every LCD screen, every litre of petrol, every perk… But let’s not ‘con’ ourselves again with any despair. We shall win even bigger in 2009, our media assets will become larger, more influential, packing greater punch. We shall put even more blue sky between the Winners and Quitters.”

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