We are cautiously optimistic about the near-term future: Shobhana Bhartia
Bhartia, Chairperson & Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd., in the company’s annual report for 2021-22, said the company has achieved good results irrespective of the tough times they navigated
Chairperson and Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd. Shobhana Bhartia has said that the company has been able to achieve good results irrespective of the tough times they navigated, and continues to be cautiously optimistic about the near-term future despite risk factors such as limited outbreaks of Covid pandemic, escalating global conflicts, persistent inflation, and supply-side shocks.
In the company’s annual report for the year 2021-22, Bhartia said, “Over the past year, the pandemic has reshaped human behaviour and interactions. It has made us more flexible, innovative, adaptive and responsive -- although far too many lives and livelihoods have been lost on account of it,” said
“Over the past two years, the world has undergone a digital transformation with technology adoption becoming pervasive in most aspects of our daily lives and routines,” said Bhartia, adding that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption and use of digital technology across domains – information, entertainment, commerce, finance and banking.
In her address, she mentioned that as the pandemic began to subside and governments began to ease restrictions on movement and activities, economic growth was unshackled, but the next disruption, towards the end of last year, came in the form of a protracted global conflict and geopolitical tensions that have once again cast dark clouds of uncertainty on an otherwise conducive business environment.
“The situation has also been exacerbated by pandemic time excesses in western countries – a loose fiscal policy has resulted in their economies overheating, affecting both global trade and growth.”
“As one of India’s leading media and entertainment conglomerates, we are aware of the tremendous responsibility we have – as the fourth pillar of democracy; as a sane, credible, and authoritative voice amidst all the noise; and as an organisation fulfilling its duties to its customers, both readers and advertisers. The HT family continues to strive towards fulfilling this responsibility day after day. For us at HT Media, the trust of our readers and the credibility of the information we provide is more important than anything else – a mission that is appropriately captured in our flagship’s tagline, First Voice, Last Word,” said Bhartia.
She shared that the company has been able to achieve good results, irrespective of the tough times they navigated. “Our performance also makes me optimistic about our future,” she mentioned
The network’s print segment comprises newspapers like Hindustan Times, Hindustan and Mint.
“The first months of the last financial year saw significant pressure on advertising and circulation revenues owing to supressed economic activity and sporadic lockdowns. These conditions began to ease in the second half of the year as commercial activity began to pick up, businesses opened up and consumer sentiment improved.”
Talking about the company’s radio business, Bhartia said that it was severely impacted owing to the second wave of the pandemic. But as the year progressed, and a gradual improvement in the general business environment came about with the easing of mobility restrictions, advertisers began to return to radio. “We focussed on innovations with broadcast formats across our stations and complemented our radio programming with digital activities across social media.”
She also spoke about the network’s job portal, Shine, which according to her, continues to be one of the most popular recruitment portals in India.
Also, Mosaic Digital, which they acquired a year before, has been successfully integrated and is seeing growth across its product streams, said Bhartia
“We continue to be cautiously optimistic about the near-term future, although risk factors such as limited outbreaks of the pandemic, escalating global conflicts, persistent inflation, and supply-side shocks remain,” she said.
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