Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: Is GST a good move for us in the media?

29 Jun,2017

By Jaisurya Das


Human beings must exit Earth at the earliest opportunity and Lunar travel must be made possible by 2020…

Ladies and Gentleman, Welcome back to Dear MxM, India’s largest counselling platform for the fraternity of media, advertising and marketing..

One thing is certain and that is the fact that Stephen Hawking knows what he is saying..

Given this piece of advice, all of us in media should be plastering our pages with this bit of news. But we will have nothing on it, despite this being tweeted by the world’s leading media companies over the past few days..

We somehow find so many matters of interest in our own country that we often forget matters of global importance. Matters of the bovine ilk seem to be highest on our media priority list now. Let Hawking say what he wants, nothing will shake us !

The larger point here is that Stephen Ol’ boy knows exactly when a lot of things will happen and there is sweet nothing we can do about that. It is hence sensible to pay heed to it .

And if this has to get greater attention, then our dear fraternity need to consider it important enough to cover; In ‘breaking news’ or whatever!

The other advantage is that a topic such can also provoke some heated discussions and the panel can have the usual brood of panelists with handlebar moustaches and without.

Table thumping and chair acrobatics can also be used effectively. 3D visualisation and special effects can also be deployed allowing channels tremendous liberty to innovate. You could even have anchors dressed in space suits and paraphernalia such for added TRP.

So much can be done but is this news worthy huh ?

if you think it is, then my friends, make the required noise. Let India know that Mother Earth may not be as friendly as we believe it to be and Branson’s Virgin Galactic may just have a longer waitlist than expected !!

For now, no more waiting, my readers… straight to our set of questions from the cities of Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.


Sir, I am reading about GST everywhere. I also see ads saying that some day-to-day things will be cheaper or get more expensive. I hear my accounts guys saying that their leaves could go for a toss in August when all the filings have to be done. Tell me Sir, for us in the media is GST a good move?

Thanks for writing in to Dear MxM. It is honestly too early to gauge the possible impact of GST on media but I do foresee it resulting in higher DVC (direct variable costs) for the publishers and media owners.

All consumables will now cost higher than budgeted levels and these increases haven’t been planned for. Revenues on the other side are just about looking up and the gap would increase resulting in lower profitability.

And as we are all aware, the major cutbacks happen on manpower costs (which is the second-largest cost for media owners) when there is a profitability issue and hence this is an imminent danger. Yet, I wouldn’t want to sound an alarm without seeing how GST will pan out effective July.

So till then, let’s hold our comments and hope for the best.


I was reading with interest your views on the noise factor on English news channels? Other than using the remote and not watching the channel, isn’t there any legal or regulatory recourse available?

Unfortunately not. In fact I did make a serious recommendation on noise meters to BARC in my column. This was a feeble attempt of then being able to have the pollution control boards play ombudsman to curtail noise pollution 🙂

But this apart, as of now there is no regulation as watching TV and /or any channel is left to the viewer and there is no compulsion either.

Different matter that all of us are actually paying for this noise! So the only solution is good quality ear plugs. Amazon informs me that they have an interesting electronic one that has a built in noise cancellation feature. Maybe it should be offered bundled with the DTH package !


My office is undertaking repairs and we have been asked to work from home or cybercafes or coffee lounges. But there is no extra money being given to us for our communication costs, since we don’t have wifi everywhere and coffee at Starbucks or CCD is expensive. Would it be fair to expect my company to offer a special allowance for this period when we incur some expenses for office work?

Yes, I agree with you on this, A data allowance should be provided to all of you in this interim period and this isn’t a huge cost in today’s times.

Bereft of this, expecting employees to pay for official use is unfair, though I must confess that you are saving on conveyance to and fro to office during this period.

Additionally, you also get the option of the occasional nap since no one is watching ! So, either way, just enjoy it my friend.


On that note of promise, I wish you all a fabulous weekend. Do take good care of yourselves this season and for those of you close to the shore, may the tides be kind. Till we meet next week, It is me Jaisurya Das saying Sayonara! Stay blessed.


Jaisurya Das, maverick and media evangelist eats, sleeps and makes love to brands. His consulting interventions are aimed at making brands powerful and sustainable. He is also the Contributing Editor of MxM India and Co-Founder of more on his work visit views expressed in this column are his own.


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