M&E expectations from Modi & Co

19 May,2014


By Shobhana Nair


With the new government set to assume office in a few days, the media and entertainment sector is also hoping to see its ‘achche din’. MxMIndia spoke to a few stakeholders to know how they see this change of power and what they are hoping to get from the new government.


Ashish Bhasin

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network, Chairman Posterscope and psLive – Asia Pacific

From the Media & Entertainment point of view, what one wants is a strong and stable economy which depends upon a government that takes decisions and takes them forward. A clear majority government is much required as there seems to be a paralysis for the last few years on decision making. To that extent, whatever is good for the economy is good for the media and entertainment sector. From that point of view, having a stable government with a clear majority will be a good change.


Nagesh Alai

Nagesh Alai, Group Chairman, FCBUlka

There is a lot of hope after the 10-year Congress mishap.  There are no industry specific expectations from the new government other than doing away with insidious muzzling of freedom of speech. I would like to see the new government walk the talk on eradicating corruption, have a zero tolerance on corruption and bring about probity and accountability in public life – to start with their own elected candidates and then amongst corporates and avoid crony capitalism. Once this is done, the rest will fall in place.


Jehil Thakkar

Jehil Thakkar, Head of Media & Entertainment, KPMG

The Media & Entertainment sector is enthused about the fact that there is a majority verdict in this election. A majority verdict will hopefully mean a decisive government and movement on the regulatory front. This government will take office with the weight of a lot of expectations – including the expectations from the M&E industry. There are several areas that the industry will expect movement from the government which are:


1. Speedy implementation of Phase III licensing in Radio and associated regulations (networking, multiple station ownership, etc.).

2. Greater friendliness to FDI in Media. The industry is hoping that the government will raise the FDI caps in several areas including Cable to at least 74% if not 100%, DTH to 100%, Radio to 49% and progressively higher than 50%.

3. The industry is also hoping that the government will allow the radio industry to carry news. It does not make sense that news is restricted to AIR in radio but allowed to be privatized for all other media.

4. Solving the service tax issue for the media industry where due to content being on the exception list, a pass through option is not available. This will provide great relief to the industry.


In addition, there are other issues that are not specific to media but will certainly help the industry. Rationalisation of customs duty, implementation of GST (assuming entertainment tax is part of GST) and increased focus on infrastructure development.”


Apurva Purohit

Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City 91.1FM

We are happy with any government that promises to end the policy paralysis that has been operational for the last few years. The good news is that with a decisive victory of this nature there will not be in any internal pulls that will prevent the government from moving ahead with sectoral reforms. We hope to see good governance, an end to the policy paralysis and a focus on development, specifically infrastructure and thereby job creation.


As far as the FM industry is concerned, we have been waiting for the last 3 years for the implementation of Phase 3 and the policy that was announced in July 2011. Unfortunately the previous government chose to do nothing; resulting in the stagnation of the industry, a failure to expand FM beyond the current 90 cities and thereby create job opportunities in the 300 more cities where Phase 3 has been planned for. This failure to expand has harmed not only job seekers, potential listeners but also small businesses and retailers who do not have the choice of a cost effective medium to advertise on to expand their businesses in these towns. We expect the government to urgently help kick start and proceed with Phase 3 of the FM deregulation – a process which by the way has the consensus of all the constituents but has not seen light of day due to the inertia exhibited by the previous government.


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