Of the many catchphrases that were created to bolster PM Narendra Modi's election campaign, none perhaps had the resonance of 'Acche Din.' The brainchild of Ajay Singh, co-founder of Spice Jet, the phrase caught on with the electorate and continues to inspire as many parodies, jokes and applications now, as it did during the elections. In short, people bought it.
One of the continuing debates is whether 'Acche Din' have truly arrived for the sectors that were ailing. While Insurance and Railways are definitely enjoying the good times, exchange4media spoke to the print players, to know if the times are indeed changing for the better.
The media has of late witnessed significant churning, with changes in ownership and management, senior journalists exiting under controversial circumstances and several print and digital publications shutting down. Ravi Dhariwal, Executive Director & CEO, BCCL, sounds cautious. “We are expecting better days for media,” he said, while reflecting on the uncertainty that dogged the industry over the last two years. “When the future remains uncertain, the first casualty is advertising, which remained sluggish.” While sounding optimistic about the prevailing sentiments, Dhariwal said, “Now that the uncertainty is gone, the economy should grow faster. Our growth is tied to that of industrial growth and we expect the scenario to get better.”
There were speculations galore on the most sensitive issue of increase in FDI in news media. Some of them were hoping for the government to look into the matter, but evidently it has been put in the back burner as of now. D D Purkayastha, MD & CEO, ABP Group gave a thumbs down to the catch phrase. He said, “Achhe Din for media haven’t come yet. We are waiting for that to happen.”
Varghese Chandy, Chief General Manager, Marketing & Advertising Sales, Malayala Manorama feels it’s too early to comment. He said, “Acche Din have to come in with positive sentiments and that has not happened yet. Media's performance is dependent on several other sectors. Unless they do well, we cannot do better.” He listed consumer appliances and automobile sectors as indicators of a robust economy that would help the media business as well.
While Suresh Srinivasan, VP, The Hindu said, “The only Accha Din I saw was on Independence Day and things are looking better. I don’t know how and when they (Acche Din) are coming and how long they are going to last. Maybe during the festive season we will see some Acche Din.”
He concluded by saying that the day a man on the street truly believes that things around him have changed for the better, Acche Din would have truly arrived.