Friday, January 23, 2009

Raghav Bahl’s inspiring mail

Network18 Group Managing Director Raghav Bahl’s internal mail would inspire a lot of entrepreneurs in these tough times. Among the Group’s channels are channels CNBC TV 18 and IBN7 partner. Excerpts from a report in exchange4media:

For us at Network18, it was an year in which we proved to the world that tough times will inevitably separate the Winners from the Quitters. Thanks to your unremitting focus, grit and sheer slog, we are ending 2008 as the redoubtable Winners on India’s media landscape. When the rest of the pack ran for cover, we pulled off two of the most spectacular launches ever – Colors’ meteoric rise has acquired a ‘legend’ of its own, and has outflanked entrenched portals from media groups five times our size.

At Network18, we converted it (the tough year) into an opportunity by folding back into our core, by ruthlessly trimming frills and wastage. We empowered our teams even more, we decentralized the ‘challenge of survival’ by urging you to come up with the solutions, you to pump more efficiency into your operations, you to see how much more could be done with less. And that’s why we shall end 2008, the year of crises and firefighting for most, but a year of crises and opportunity for us.

Let us not ‘con’ ourselves into believing that bright sunshine is just a couple of hours away. 2009 will be a tough year, an year in which we will have to consolidate upon the ‘crisis gains’ of 2008, an year in which we will have to become even more efficient and conscious about how we deploy our resources, an year in which we may have to patiently wait for visible/ exhilirating success to return, an year in which we will be severely challenged to squeeze every penny, every camera and editing machine, every megahertz, every kilobyte, every square inch of carpet area, every LCD screen, every litre of petrol, every perk…

But let’s not ‘con’ ourselves again with any despair. We shall win even bigger in 2009, our media assets will become larger, more influential, packing greater punch. We shall put even more blue sky between the Winners and Quitters.

Expert’s advice to media

P.N. Vasanti, Director, New Delhi-based multidisciplinary research organization Centre for Media Studies, writes
in Mint:

The reigning power of newspapers, especially English newspapers in our country, is very unique in terms of its impact on politics, policymakers and its ability to garner advertising revenue.

However, in these competitive times, media firms may reposition their newspapers and their priorities. In a way, 2008 could be considered the beginning of a phase when companies try to come up with unique content strategies and efforts to repackage and reposition newspapers.

After all, news is about relevance. Local and more relevant issues to do with health, education, environment, lifestyle and governance will demand attention even in the front pages as publications further shrink in size.

Newspapers will have to look at these issues that are relevant to people, and provide information presented in the way readers want it. Otherwise, Indian newspapers will go the way of Western ones.

Today, unlike anywhere else, newspapers are prosperous and still make business sense in our country. In these tough times, if they want to stand out, newspapers, including English ones will have to be part of the rethink all India will go through in 2009.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vir Sanghvi plans to monetize his web site

Veteran journalist and television celebrity Vir Sanghvi has launched his own web site, where he has aggregated all his past content. In addition, there would be some original content.

The site has been put together by Seema Goswami, and has been designed by Olive. Sanghvi has stressed on the need to allow interactivity on the site and the right resources have been allocated for that too, writes Noor Fathima Warsia of exchange4media.

Sanghvi hopes to monetize the web site which had over 1,500 unique visitors on Day 1. “These numbers would definitely stabilise going forward, but if we can manage something around this, I expect a certain amount of advertising to come in on the site. And there would be two kinds of advertisers – one for the number of visitors, and second from a brand association and prestige advertising point of view that would be dependent more on the quality.”

The web site already has support from media corporates such as Hindustan Times, STAR India and Discovery.