BusinessWeek, Fortune to launch India
Global magazine giants head for India!
BY A CORRESPONDENT
March 19, 2005: Wait, wait, there is a job
for everyone! No stampede please, dear journalists, there is
something for you! The applications have not yet been called,
the dates have not yet been fixed, but this much is
crystal-clear: Fortune and BusinessWeek have
both decided to set up their Indian editions. Oh, no.. someone
is jumping the queue..
After years of post-dotcom stagnation, the Indian mediascape
is showing signs of life, again. Apart from domestic media
giants racing towards a war in the print media, the foreign
titans are also joining the fray.
When Harold (Terry) McGraw III came calling on March 17,
2005, few expected him to set a cat among the pigeons. For
background, Mr McGraw is the head of McGraw Hill Companies,
which owns, among others, global rating agency Standard and
Poors and Business Week. People expected him to talk
about the recent open offer made by S&P for domestic rating
agency Crisil, which he did. Then, he said BusinessWeek
is planning to bring out an Indian edition.
we would like to look for a local partner for printing and
publishing BusinessWeek in India carrying local
stories,” Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and CEO of
McGraw Hill Companies said. “At the next stage, we will like
to pick up equity in an Indian media company. Once we start
printing here, we would like to carry more local stories
advertisements,” he said.
The Delhi-based Cyber Media had a few years back made an
unsuccessful attempt to publish a BusinessWeek India
edition. Its application was not cleared by the Information &
Broadcasting ministry. Meanwhile, India’s rules regarding
foreign direct investment in media changed.
According to a report in Business Standard, McGraw
Hill’s application to start publishing from India is pending
with the government for about an year.
very next day, The Financial Express, rival to
Business Standard said in a front page story that
Fortune, one of the world’s most prestigious magazines, is
planning to bring out an edition from India.
According to Fortune International editor Robert
Friedman, the company is looking at the possibility of
bringing out an edition from India and “will take a final call
Currently, Fortune, which is famous for ranking the
world’s top 500 companies, is sold in India through a tie-up
with India Today owners Living Media India Ltd. Mr
Friedman said in the report that his company has a good
equation with India Today, and that it will be his
first choice, when looking for a tie-up. However, he added
that the magazine is also talking to others for a Fortune
think we are too expensive and we have not invested enough in
promoting the magazine in India. There is an ongoing battle on
how to price the magazine. Some of them say that it should be
priced higher because it is a premier magazine. But for better
circulation, we need to price it lower. We will figure this
out," Mr Friedman told leading business daily Business Line
Indian business magazine scene is by and large barren,
compared to the lively general magazine segment. The existing
business oldies – Business Today and Business India
– have hardly changed across the years. Only
Businessworld of ABP Group and Outlook Money of
Hathway have been able to make an impact, both of which lean
heavily on personal finance content.
Fortune and Business Week have significant
presence in China, supposedly a Communist nation. Business
Week has been publishing from China for about 17 years
now. Both have licensing agreements in dragon land to print
their magazines. In India, both have circulation below 10,000.
Watch this space for the latest media news. Dollar dreams are
BY A CORRESPONDENT