Media biggies meet Modi, want speeding up of TV digitisation

28 Sep,2015

By A Correspondent


Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a roundtable meeting with top American CEOs from the media and entertainment sector.  This happened last Thursday, September 24, to be precise.


The CEOs present included Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman, News Corp and 21stCentury Fox; James Murdoch, CEO, 21st Century Fox; Robert Thompson, CEO, News Corp; David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications; Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment; Michael Roth, CEO, Interpublic Group of Companies; Shane Smith, CEO, Vice Media; Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP; Jeff Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner; Nancy Dubuc, CEO, A&E Networks, Anthony Pratt, Chairman, Visy Industries; William Duhamel, Route One Investment Company; and Jeff Ubben, CEO, ValueAct Capital.  Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India was the only Indian M&E CEO in the meeting.


According to a release, the CEOs appreciated the Prime Minister for energetic and dynamic leadership, and expressed optimism about the future of India. Specifically, the CEOs were enthusiastic about the digital transformation that is taking place in India through the Digital India initiative. They said that the current strong trajectory of the Indian economy makes it at a unique moment to accelerate growth in this sector.  The CEOs called for speeding up of television digitisation and strengthening of the cellular (mobile) infrastructure.


The Prime Minister and CEOs observed that the changes in technology and media in recent times have led to an enormous democratisation of knowledge. The Prime Minister said that the world is now in a technology- driven era, where growth of digital infrastructure is as important as growth of physical infrastructure. He suggested to the CEOs that India represents both the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge for them, and urged them to keep regional languages in mind, as they firm up investment plans for India. He spoke of his government’s vision to connect 600,000 villages through broadband connectivity. He asked CEOs to visualise the citizen of the 21st century, and think about what values s/he will represent and what challenges s/he will face. He also spoke of the role that digital technology can play in human resource development. The Prime Minister emphasised that he saw a key role for digital technology in further strengthening democracy, and in India’s development narrative.


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