‘Winning through Innovation’ at the 8th Indian Magazine Congress 2014


The 8th Indian Magazine Congress began on the 24th February and concluded on the 25th February 2014. The conference inaugurated by the Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari called on the industry to strengthen its presence in the digital and new media age by playing the role of an objective, analytical and authentic source of information. The Congress was sponsored by Chitralekha Group, India Today Group, The Outlook Group, and World Wide Media with media partners being exchange4media and Impact.

This year the theme of the Congress was ‘winning through innovation’. “Innovation needs to be used as a sustained tool for bringing the change in the lives of the readers rather than being a tool for ‘short-cut’ solutions,” Mr. Manish Tewari said in his inaugural address at the 8th Indian Magazine Congress, pointing out that recently many iconic publications had turned digital and the need of the hour was to empower the world wide web through agreed rules of engagement.

Print players are expecting a lot from this platform, which brings together several national and international speakers. Talking about expectations from IMC 2014, Anant Nath, Director, Delhi Press, said, “The IMC creates a good platform for the magazine industry. There are high expectations and it will create an environment of good learning and innovation. This conference will bring not only Indian but international leaders and share their thought process on different challenges and opportunities.” Providing an opportunity to connect and to discuss common concerns, the IMC is expected to solve a lot of issues engulfing the magazine industry.

Day one of the Congress saw discussions on a wide range of topics, including pressures to produce quality content, targeting communities, how magazine brands can use social media, and magazines & ROI. Chris Llewellyn, President & CEO, FIPP and Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World delivered keynote addresses.

Day two of the Congress opened with Mr. Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director, Google India delivering a keynote address, followed by discussions on topics covering licensing in a multi-platform world, making money through digital (Patrick Fuller, Group Publishing Director, Haymarket), Building a powerful content brand, the changing face of media buying, and Tablets: Key to Success. The Congress concluded with a Power CEO Session.

Keeping in line with the focus of the Congress being ‘Innovation’, Anand Kripalu, president, Diageo India and CEO-designate, United Spirits, noted that while innovation is often referred to as ‘creativity’ and ‘invention’, it should be viewed in the present day as ‘a creation of new economic value through breakthrough ideas’. Citing an industry study, he noted that 15,000 recorded innovations take place in the FMCG industry each year but the success rate remained at 0.2 per cent. He inferred from this that while a lot of people think that they are innovating, they aren’t. You don’t always need to be first. On innovation you need to be right and not first. While Mr. Rajan Anandan, VP and MD, Google, delivered in his keynote address speaking about how in about a year or two laptops and computers are going to be a thing of the past with innovation in technology knowing no limits. He also mentioned in his keynote how India is number 3 when it comes to technology, having left the Japanese far behind. Giving examples of his own publication DN Mukerjea, Editor, Fortune India stated that magazines should pick their own battles. “You are defined by what you do not do than what you do, and publications should keep that in mind,” he surmised.

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