INMA to host 11th Annual South Asia Conference

INMA to host 11th Annual South Asia Conference

The International News Media Association (INMA), the world’s leading provider of global best practices and marketing ideas, will host its 11th Annual South Asia News Media Conference on 10-11 August at Holiday Inn, Aerocity, New Delhi. Based on the theme ‘Becoming the Media Organization of the Future,’ the conference is aimed at news media companies in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and brings together delegates from the top media companies from the sub-continent.

The conference is a fast-paced tour de force of ideas and innovations to grow newspaper advertising, circulation, brand and revenue by addressing key current issues in the print and digital ecology of the South Asian market.

Over 30 speakers, several partners, press  and over 150 delegates from 20  newspapers across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the United States will be attending the conference.
The main theme of the conference will be the changing consumer habits where readers are consuming more and more of their content online. In this situation, traditional business models have come under test as ad-funded business models might need to be supplanted by other evolving and yet-to-be stress-tested sources of revenue.

The conference will start with a welcome address by DD Purkayastha, managing director and chief executive officer, ABP Pvt. Ltd. and INMA South Asia President. One Day 1, the keynote address will be delivered by D ShivaKumar, chairman and chief executive, Pepsico India Holdings. ShivKumar will share his perspective on how organizations and industries can reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing environment.

In the next session, Ashish Pherwani, partner, Advisory Services, Media & Entertainment, E & Y LLP, will talk about how media companies should balance the pressures of running a profitable media business in the present time while creating a business for the future.

In the following session titled ‘CEO Panel: How to Reinvent Themselves in a Downturn,’ top publishers will talk about how they navigate challenges in print-based advertising and anout their approach to the current economic and technological challenges.

After this session, CVL Srinivas, chief executive officer – South Asia, GroupM will speak on how those marketeers’ needs are changing. This session will be followed by a talk by Satya Raghavan, head – Entertainment Partnerships, YouTube. He will share insights, cases studies, strategies as well as content creation fundamentals on how to videofy your business.

‘An Ember or A Spark’ is the title of the talk that will be delivered by Agnello Dias, chief operating officer and co-founder, Taproot Dentsu India Communication. This session will pose the question to the best in the industry to find out what will get people excited about creating their best work on print.

Dias’ presentation will be followed by a panel discussion titled ‘Seeking a Model of Co-operative Disruption with Content Aggregators.’

Day 1 will be closed with Chandan Majumdar, director sales, ABP Pvt. Ltd. presenting a case study on how ABP moved the weddings classified advertisements business onto a digital platform and therefore converted a declining business into a growing one.

Day 2 will begin with opening remarks by conference moderator Dr Bhaskar Das, president, Chief Growth and Innovation Officer, Zee Unimedia Ltd.

Partha Sinha, vice chairman and managing director, McCann Worldgroup will make a presentation on the topic ‘The End of Competitive Advantage as We Knew It,’ which will be followed by a talk by Rajiv Lochan, chief executive officer, The Hindu, who will speak on how The Hindu has launched itself as a media organization of the future.

Next, Arnab Goswami, managing director, Republic TV will speak on the topic ‘Is Absolute Neutrality Possible?’ Rajendra Khare, founder, chairman and managing director, SureWaves, Media Tech will have a discussion on programmatic and what it holds for news media companies in South Asia.

Khare’s talk will be followed by an editorial panel discussion on how do to transform the newsroom to regain the millennial audience. After the panel discussion, three best practices in South Asia will be presented. Case studies will be presented by Basant Rathore, senior vice president – Strategy, Brand & Business Development, Jagran Prakashan on crowd sourcing imagination to create a newspaper for ‘The Future, By the Future’; Rajan Bhalla, group chief marketing officer, HT Media on ‘Hindustan Times No TV Day’; and finally by Suneet Johar, vice president, The Times of India & Mirror Brand, BCCL on ‘No Honking Drive.’

In the closing session, Earl J Wilkinson, executive director and chief executive officer, INMA will try to tie together trends such as fake news, consumer perception and brand value and will recommend a road map for companies and the broader news media industry.

For more details on the conference, write to Priya Marwa at or visit

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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