Wan-Ifra’s 3rd Indian Media Leaders eSummit 2022

Key message – content and trust important for growth


The third edition of Wan-Ifra’s Indian Media Leaders eSummit (IMLeS) is being held virtually from 28 to 30 June, with more than 250 news media executives from more than 40 organizations in attendance. The conference, themed ‘Ideas for news realities’ covers a range of news publishing topics, such as digital transformation, changing audience engagement trends, business innovation, newsroom leadership, and diversity and inclusion.

Day 1 of the conference started off with Stig Ørskov, CEO, JP/Politikens Hus, Denmark and vice president of Wan-Ifra, sharing insights on the recipe for growth of the news media business. He said, “It is really about the true value of content and how we monetize it. Publishers should take steps to build subscriptions wherever possible which consequently raises trust in media.”

The keynote was followed by a fireside chat between Raju Narisetti, leader, Publishing, McKinsey & Co., and Ritu Kapur, co-founder of The Quint, highlighting the trends and emerging opportunities in the news media business. Raju said publishers have to create a layer of experience that is unique to their brand on the stories they publish. This will create value and bring people back to their brands, and help publishers monetize the content. He also said contextual advertising is going to become a lot bigger and publishers have to think about it.

The post-pandemic world has seen a rebound of advertising and stabilising circulation. However, macroeconomic developments such as inflation and newsprint prices are impacting the news business. How do South Asian CEOs respond to these developments?

The first day closed with a panel discussion between Dhruba Mukherjee (CEO, ABP), Dr Bhaskar Das (director, Unica Token), Sarmad Ali (managing director, Jang Media Group), and Rajeev Beotra (executive director, HT Media), moderated by Pradyuman Maheshwari, senior editor & media commentator. The speakers agreed that to be successful in the future, media companies have to pivot to the business of content (not restricted to format) and change their business model.

Earlier in the session, Mohit Jain, executive president of Bennett, Coleman, board member of Wan-Ifra and president of the Indian Newspaper Society, opened the summit and shared his optimism for news media and newspaper business in particular. “Till the time the curiosity in human nature will survive or remain, content will never get out of fashion,” he said.

Day 2 addressing challenges within the newsroom

Day 2 of IMLeS started off with Singapore Press Holdings’ Gaurav Sachdeva sharing how the brand’s audience helped it create products to meet real needs and expectations. He mentioned the product development process is a combination of technology, viability of business and empathy for people. All three to be addressed equally to be successful.

The second day of the conference also played host to a panel of eminent journalists including Kunal Pradhan (managing editor, Hindustan Times), Harsha Mathew (chief resident editor & director, Malayala Manorama), Debarati Guha, director of Asia Programmes, Duetsche Welle and Parikshit Bhardwaj (GM and head – Content & Strategy, Jagran New Media). The panel discussed the challenges of working in and running a post-pandemic newsroom.

They shared how news content and format changed because of the pandemic, making way for data-researched and video stories. Post pandemic, it has strengthened the belief of newsrooms on the choice of stories, focus on the more relevant ones and making the newsrooms more efficient.

The day closed with a session on the business case to build a diverse and inclusive newsroom and diversity practices at German broadcaster Deutsche Welle by its editor Akansha Saxena.

The conference continues till 30 June and includes a session by Google News Initiative on sustainable growth pillars and news consumer insights. It will also see a session on changing consumer and advertisers needs at DB Corp. The closing session will have Schibsted’s Tor Jacobsen talking about digital subscriptions and the brand’s overall revenue strategy.

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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