One Big Idea: Final word by Pradyuman Maheshwari

03 May,2013

Over the last few months, we have been bringing you various comments from industry stakeholders and the MxMIndia team that were part of the MxMIndia Annual 2012 published last year. We had fun bringing these to you online as we did in print… hope you found them interesting and adding value to your perspectives on the business. The last of these is by our editor-in-chief and CEO, Pradyuman Maheshwari. Meanwhile, work on the Annual 2013 has just begun… look out for it!

 

The problem with annuals and anniversary specials is that they are big and fat and while we all enjoy breezing through the pages and appreciate the great work done, most often we keep them aside and never really get back to reading them again.

 

My own workdesk has some of these tomes, a few over a decade old.

 

So what should a publication barely a year in the business have as the theme of its Annual?

 

We’re living in a world where the attention span is sub-140 characters. Given this, we went ahead with a brief to industry captains and leaders: give us ‘One Big Idea’ for the business of media and advertising, in not more than 250 words.

 

There are some who have kind-of stuck to the brief. Many others haven’t. But we didn’t go about trimming these. So enjoy the Big ideas, some of these really biiiiiig!

 

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It wasn’t easy putting together the Annual. We are working with a small editorial and business team. The team which produced this also works on the daily online edition. But it was fun. Many, many thanks to all those who’ve helped with the cause… especially Alok Kapuria and Johnson Napier who’ve been at it for over a month.

 

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So what’s my One Big Idea for the industry? I don’t think there’s one idea that fits all. Or perhaps there is: Transparency.

 

When MxMIndia set up operations in June 2011 and launched the site a few months later, one of the first things we did was to set up a Code of Ethics. Now, why have a Code when doing business ethically and with credibility ought to be a given?

 

I am often reminded that it’s tough being ethical when you’re running a business. My retort: does this mean a hospital is right in administering sub-standard drugs to ensure profitability? Isn’t it wrong for an educational institute to dupe students with false claims and promises?

 

There are inefficiencies at all levels in our country, so why bother when it plagues media and advertising? According to me, once the media is cleansed, our society will also rid itself of a lot of ills.

 

Guess it’s time to give a wake-up call to ourselves: Jaago Re!

 

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It’s been an enjoyable 15 months bringing you MxMIndia. My sincere thanks to all those who believed in us. To our friends and families, who’ve stood by us. To the industry and professionals who’ve had the faith in us.

 

We weren’t the first in the business. There was a slowdown looming. In fact we were badly hit by it. We made many of the mistakes that start-ups make. We’re possibly still making them.

 

However, we’ve got our basics in order. In the niche media, it’s critical to ensure editorial integrity. While it’s not a crime to be profitable, it’s imperative that you don’t sell your editorial columns for cash. And don’t give away awards for a consideration or to curry favour.

 

Our credo is simple: we write about people and entities even if they don’t advertise with us. And we don’t necessarily write about them just because they advertise.

 

It’s worked so far. My brief to the MxM editorial team is: engage with one and all. Stay in touch with them, and don’t worry whether or not they are advertising with us.

 

This Annual is a testimony of the MxM way.

 

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It’s a tightrope walk for me as editor and business head. In the light of the controversy around the arrest of two TV news executives, one of who wore the twin hats of editorial and business head, I have been wondering whether I should give up one of these roles. Unfortunately, the size of our operations doesn’t allow for this to happen. Not yet. However, I can assure you that there’s a Chinese wall up there in my head which ensures that we stick to our core editorial values. Even as we strive to make monies.

 

We are looking at coming to you in a printed form more regularly. Until then, enjoy the MxMIndia experience online. Alag chhe! Or should I say: Industry wohi, Soch nayi?

 

Pradyuman Maheshwari

Editor-in-Chief and CEO

Email: pradyumanm@mxmindia.com

BBM: 29FEA79C

 

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