CNN International is looking at more strategic growth in India in terms of drawing partnerships. Jonathan Davies, Executive Vice President, CNN International, and William Hsu, Vice-President, News Advertising Sales in Asia Pacific, CNN, were in India recently and share some of CNN’s plans with exchange4media.
Speaking on their key markets and where India stood, Davies said, “One of our biggest growth engines is among the developing countries, that includes the Middle East, Central Eastern Europe, Africa and some parts of Asia. We see a lot of growth from these countries and companies within those countries who are trying to place themselves on the global map. In India, we are already seeing a lot of investment happening. And we plan to build the foundation based on these investments.”
Hsu remarked, “Five years ago, India contributed 2 per cent of our total revenues in Asia. Now it is 10 per cent, which is very good. Thus, the Indian market is becoming important for us, given this percentage growth. So, we have plans for investments here and we are looking forward to it.”
He added, “In India, there are two kind of markets for us – the domestic market and the international market. The domestic market is growing very well with CNN-IBN. But on the international side, the growth is more gradual. In the next 12 months, the big story for CNN would be in the news coverage genre.”
Recently, CNN had appointed Sonali Chatterjee as Director, Sales for India and South Asia.
On the distribution front in India, Hsu said that it was growing at a ‘natural rate’. He added that CNN was expanding on the technology front as well, which includes new media platforms like the Internet and mobile phones.
According to Davies, the world was now more interconnected than it was before and that the people who are operating in global companies now realised that one could no longer see the world through the prism of an individual country. “It is necessary to be interconnected between countries to be aware about the events in a particular country and how it could impact that country as well as the world. So, events like global credit crunches, oil price rise or the food crisis all are global stories, relevant for all. We at CNN can join these dots and bring to the world these global issues.”
CNN as a group plans to give Indian companies, or any company in the world for that matter, an opportunity to talk to a highly influential, educated and active population around the world. And given the booming economy in India, the world would listen to what India has to say.