Letter from MxM: Goodbye, horrible year!

31 Dec,2013

It was a kinda Annus Horribilis for us MxMIndia. At many times in the year, we thought it was better to shut shop. The folks who owe us monies didn’t pay us. Some haven’t paid up since last year. We’ve sent them umpteen duplicates, sent reminders. Etc, etc.

 

Adverse cash flows are killers.

 

Like the Pandavas in the Mahabharat, we’ve put in our life’s savings. But the money wasn’t squandered, it was invested.

 

We’ve done a few course corrections. Like shift our office from a prime location in suburban Santacruz to closer home in Andheri. It saves us some dollars in rent as well as in the commute.

 

We chose to not replace some of the prized staff who left us.

 

All of this has had some impact on our work. Our newsletters often get delayed. The Annual issue which should’ve been out this month will now be released next month. We weren’t able to send someone to Cannes Lions or some of the national and international events as we would’ve liked to cover. We’ve also not been able to pay some of our staff, contributors and service providers on time. They understand our predicament and have backed us up so far. Some, understandably, are peeved.

 

Twenty-thirteen has been a very active year on the news front. Ask any journalist and she/he will tell you that planning a ‘big story’ or lead/cover story is tough. For us at MxM, including the days when a scheduled report fell through at the last minute, we’ve had a Big Story every single day of our working year.

 

We didn’t spread ourselves too thin by organizing standalone events. We curated two sessions at the Social Media Week Mumbai. We were exclusive media partners for the Kyoorius Designyatra and the Awards and the Social Media Week Mumbai. We partnered a few FICCI events and turned down many offers from people who had tied up with all and sundry.

 

We’re also proud of the fact that we are possibly the only media neutral website tracking the media and advertising trade. So when a BusinessWorld was sold to a group of unnamed individuals fronted by Anurag Batra of exchange4media, we wrote about Batra’s rise and rise. We covered the IAA debates even though they were sponsored by Campaign India. We wrote about an all-new website launched by former IndianTelevision staffers. We also analysed the Impact Person of the Year nominees… We couldn’t of course cover the various e4m industry functions or the Campaign Agency of the Year awards or the afaqs Unmetro events or the IndianTelevision distribution summit… not because we didn’t want to, but because we weren’t invited to them.

 

It’s an unfortunate trait in the Indian media. Competition is treated like your ‘jaani dushman’. A Filmfare Awards will not be covered by rival media groups. Ditto with the (now) Life OK Screen Awards. A DNA women’s marathon winner may not be profiled by a rival newspaper.  HT for Mumbai awards are blanked out by most others. Sad.

 

In all of this, our sincere thanks and gratitude to all those who stood by us. To our benefactors, to our advertisers. To all those who’ve counselled us. And those who’ve recognized our work and appreciate that we are credible… that we are the only ones who don’t mind asking the tough questions or raising the red flag when it needs. Because our allegiance is first to you, our readers. Even our advertisers know that.

 

Cheers and wishing you our choicest shubhkaamnayein for 2014!

 

Pradyuman Maheshwari

Editor-in-chief and CEO

pradyumanm [at] mxmindia.com

 

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