Magna Publishing on the verge of shutting down

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Magna Publishing on the verge of shutting down

Once known for its extensive publications portfolio, Mumbai-based Magna Publishing appears to be slowly winding up its activities. Its leading publication, Stardust, has experienced a steep drop in its readership and circulation from 2002, notwithstanding its past glory. According to some reports, the company is headed for a closure within the next few months.

“The company is currently winding up its activities and several magazines under its varied portfolio have already closed. Some of its magazines like Savvy, Society and Health & Nutrition are still operating on digital platforms,” informs an anonymous industry source. A press division insider says, “All the machinery and the equipment with the press department will be sold out by the company to wind up their activities in the next two months.” This confirms that the print production activity of the company will soon come to a standstill and only digital editions will be published till the official communique is conveyed.

Of all its publications, Savvy, a women-centric magazine, is currently doing well but almost all the other titles have recorded a huge drop in their readership. Amrit Dahu from a leading media monitoring agency says, “A trend has been observed in the recent past that publications like magazines have suffered. On the contrary, newspapers and books have done well. B2B magazines have witnessed a major dip while the B2C segment has witnessed a steep fall in the last few years. This has left a strong impact on big publishing houses. Magazines that were recognized for their content have suffered immensely with the rise of the Internet.

Dahu states, “The Magna Group had one of the best magazines under its name and today Savvy and Health & Nutrition are seen doing better than its other heads. Society is yet another magazine that is earning fair revenues. Going digital does save time but they [digital platforms and social media] have eaten up the market share of physical magazine editions.” On a concluding note, Dahu states that just like Nokia was unable to cope up with the trend of Android in smartphones, today, magazines that don’t shift to digital editions will surely experience tremendous downfall.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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