DD Purkayastha to leave ABP

Dhruba Mukherjee to be CEO of ABP from 1 April 2021

IFRA World Publishing Expo|DD Purkayastha to leave ABP
DD Purkayastha, managing director and chief executive officer of ABP Pvt. Ltd

Dipankar Das Purkayastha has decided to step down as the CEO and managing director of ABP – the Ananda Bazaar Patrika newspaper, magazine, and electronic media publishing group. Purkayastha has been associated with ABP Pvt Ltd for four decades and was appointed as CEO in August 2019.

The company, commenting on Purkayastha’s decision to move on, said, “We take this opportunity to record our appreciation for the services he has rendered to the company. He is a visionary and a legend in our pantheon. He has made the company ready to meet the challenges of the future.”

Dhruba Mukherjee named as CEO of ABP from 1 April 2021
Dhruba Mukherjee named as CEO of ABP from 1 April 2021

Purkayastha, who is in his seventies, will be succeeded as CEO on 1 April 2021 by the deputy chief executive officer of the group, Dhruba Mukherjee. Anandabazar was first launched in 1876 in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) by Sisir Kumar Ghose and Tusharkanti Ghose, who left it to subsequently launch Amrita Bazar Patrika. The ABP group that the Sircar family owns was re-established in 1922 by Suresh Chandra Majumdar and editor Prafulla Kumar Sarkar with Ananda Bazar Patrika’s relaunch as a Bengali daily on 22 March 1922. The group’s publications have generally been at the forefront of Bengali culture and society, including the independence movement.

Editor Emeritus Aveek Sarkar is currently the vice-chairman of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications and was elected chairman of Press Trust of India, the country’s leading news agency, in August 2020. The Indian newspaper industry that has hitherto been owner-managed is now increasingly professionalizing, and the ABP group plays an essential role in this trend.

As an industry insider put it on hearing the news of the CEO succession at the ABP yesterday, “The industry has to modernize and face the digital realities, and this process requires both professionalization and stability. It is a challenging transition for the leading news publishing group promoters who find it difficult not to interfere in day-to-day affairs of their newspapers.”

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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