Dr Bhaskar Das makes 4 suggestions for Indian newspapers

Tackling changing market dynamics

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Dr Bhaskar Das at the Wan-Ifra Indian Media Leaders eSummit 2021
Dr Bhaskar Das at the Wan-Ifra Indian Media Leaders eSummit 2021

During the recent Wan-Ifra Indian Media Leaders eSummit 2021, Dr Bhaskar Das of Dainik Bhaskar Group of publications offered four suggestions to the newspaper media companies to tackle the changing dynamics of the marketplace reconfiguration, revenue reconfiguration, cost optimization, and seamless digitization.

Dr Bhaskar Das’s four suggestions to tackle changing dynamics of the marketplace

Product reconfiguration 

By product reconfiguration, Dr Das meant up-gradation instead of mere updation. This includes reader-friendly designs, hyper local news, investigative and research-based articles

He said that instant news channels like television channels and the internet can never do justice to news due to lack of perspective, staff strength, and ability to research and report. Since they operate in breaking news boxes, they lack the time to do deep dives and research. 

Dr Bhaskar Das stressed on the aspect of credibility, which he said, newspapers need to showcase rather than claim. “Every newspaper claims that it is credible, but they have to work on it to show that,” he said. For this, the newspaper needs to undertake fact-checking and in-depth analysis. 

Newspapers also have to offer points of view beyond reporting to empower readers to make meaning out of the cacophony of noise that is masquerading as news. Newspapers also need to focus on community-based coverage. 

Revenue configuration

Dr Das suggested that newspapers need to prioritize circulation in markets advertising spends are higher. He also said cover price increase can be considered for increasing revenues. 

Also, newspapers need to identify micro-markets, geography, and consumer segment-wise, which are underpenetrated, and bundle deals with e-commerce companies, DTH, and OTT platforms. “You need to connect with DTH and OTT platforms because they are also sort of media companies,” he added. 

Talking of ad sales, he said instead of selling space, newspaper companies should try to achieve market ownership and offer comprehensive solutions. Also, newspapers need to invest in the creation of creative communications, especially for Indian language publications

 Dr Bhaskar Das also highlighted the importance of data and said that it is imperative to communicate reach and the profile of the target audience and the level of immersion by page and by subject. 

Cost optimization

According to Dr Das, newspapers can optimize cost by opting for collaboration and sharing services such as HR, purchase, transportation, and IT, among others. “At the front-end, newspapers can compete, but at the back end, they should explore possibilities of collaboration,” he argued. 

Dr Das also said that newspapers should look at automation opportunities in all areas of consumer, content, advertising, and subscription

Seamless digitization

Dr Bhaskar Das emphasized that it is just not enough to have the printed version, but newspaper companies need to also focus on audio, video, and mobile experience seamlessly. He also said that newspapers need to have multi-community brand extension and different products for print and digital

 

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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