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FM stations go slow on hiring; no increments likely this year

15-April-2009
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FM stations go slow on hiring; no increments likely this year

The economic slowdown has not left the Indian FM radio industry untouched. However, unlike most sectors, there haven’t been reports of largescale downsizing or paycuts in the FM sector so far. Nevertheless, various FM players have now put on hold fresh recruitments and are resorting to other cost-saving measures.

The sixth annual Pitch-Madison Media Outlook 2009 shows that the Rs 700-crore industry has clocked in 38 per cent growth in advertising revenues.

Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City, and President, AROI, said, “At Radio City, we have taken certain cost measures like cuts on travel by moving to VCs, administration and premises cost rationalisation, etc. However, we have always been very streamlined when it comes to recruitment. Thus, the phenomenon of job cuts in response to the slowdown has not affected Radio City.”

Abraham Thomas, COO, Red FM, noted, “There will always be demand for talented people, but yes, imprudent recruitment will stop and there might not be as many jobs available in the market as before.”

Nandan Srinath, COO, Radio Mirchi, said, “We have put a freeze on hiring fresh new talents. Though we have not introduced any pay cuts, there have been no salary hikes either, which remain pretty much the same as last year. Nevertheless, it is all performance-based.”

Harrish M Bhatia, VP – Northern Region, AROI, and COO, My FM (Synergy Media Entertainment Ltd), pointed out, “At My FM, we have always believed in rationalisation of resources, which meant we’ve had a value-based resource management rather than sudden baseless layoffs. The industry has experienced the impact on recruitment, especially due to metro-based larger players being seriously affected. We have, however, not had to unnecessarily lay off our employees since we have been rationalising our resources throughout. We are hiring to supplement the growth that we are experiencing as the organisation.”

While there are FM stations that have put a total stop on hiring new people, there are also those that are going slow on recruitments such as Radio Mirchi and My FM. The industry by and large believes that this slowdown is a temporary phenomenon and that over the next two quarters it is expected to go away. While the economic slowdown is a reality FM players as of now see this as a fine opportunity for further consolidation.

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