"The problem is that digital & print are trying to do the same content"

The challenge will be how to ramp up the digital place & reach readers through multiple touch points without compromising on the quality, says R Jagannathan, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes India

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Feb 18, 2014 9:28 AM
"The problem is that digital & print are trying to do the same content"

Forbes India recently held the Forbes Art India Awards in a move to widen its reach. In conversation with exchange4media, R Jagannathan, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes India speaks about the print versus digital debate, challenges and opportunities for business publications in 2014 and more...

What is the objective behind the Forbes Art India Awards?
Art has always prospered when there is a strong sponsorship from wealth, and Forbes is all about wealth creation entrepreneurship. The ecosystem of art needs to be fully developed in India, which requires a lot of sponsorships. We are largely about corporate sponsorship and it’s the power of the Forbes brand collaborating with art to widen the reach in the world.

What will be the key focus areas for Forbes in 2014?
Forbes will do 2-3 three things this year when it comes to the magazine, digital and events. Wider focus will be on events as well as editorial. As far as editorial focus is concerned, it will remain the core at spotting entrepreneurs. We are seeing 30 of very young future chaps who are making waves.

There is an ongoing debate on print versus digital. Many publishers believe that digital is helping print to grow...
In a sense there is no ultimate conflict. What is happening is that people are consuming news and views on multiple platforms. They actually read the print story later and access the early report on the web. I think they actually can cross-promote. Because of the cost economy of huge volumes in print, digital becomes a multiplier for print. Print is essential and gives you the credibility status. Without print, digital will not work, while without digital, print will be devalued for its time and space.

What are the challenges and opportunities for business publications in India in the year ahead? 
The challenge will be how to ramp up the digital place, reach readers through multiple touch points, including print, web phones without compromising on the quality. I think that is the key challenge that everybody is grappling with it and we are also finding a way out. We see it as a opportunity rather than as a problem.

Which distribution platforms are you focussing on more - subscriptions or newsstand sales?
It’s a perfect balance – maximise subscriptions and maximise newsstand sales as well. Subscription gives you more loyalty and even the profitability is higher.

Do you think digital is eating the pie of print?
Yes and no. The problem is that both are trying to do the same content. Print needs to reinvent itself so that it can go way beyond what digital is trying to offer, whereas digital is all about speed.

 

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