Interview with Andrew Nicholls of DMTA India

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As befits a company with a group turnover of �85 million a year ��� excluding its subsidiary companies ��� Dennis Publishing broadened its presence in India with the launch of B2B website IT Pro earlier this year.

Launched in 2008, Dennis Media Transasia is a joint venture between Dennis Publishing and Media TransAsia. It is based in Delhi. Its portfolio currently includes Sports Illustrated India, which is under license from Time Inc, knowyourmobile.in and ITPro India.

Andrew Nicholls of DMTA India
Andrew Nicholls of DMTA India

Dennis is focused on the growing internet audience, both for readers and advertisers, in India and it considers the territory as a vital market for the future.

Dennis Publishing is responsible for some of the most recognisable magazines in high street shops in Britain. It publishes more than 70 magazines, digital magazines, Magbooks, websites, apps and mobile sites, such as The Week, Monkey, Auto Express, PC Pro, Viz and Men�۪s Fitness.

Former editor of Eastern Eye Hamant Verma grabbed a few words with Andrew Nicholls, Digital General Manager, DMTA.

Why did Dennis wait until 2008 to enter the Indian market?
Dennis has had a relationship with our partners, Media Transasia since 2005 when Maxim was launched in India.

Our vision for future growth always included a focus on digital publishing.

In 2008 we began to see more Indian traffic on our British websites and this told us there was an appetite for our content building in the territory.

We have always had an eye on India, but it�۪s important not to move to soon, before the market is ready.

There is talk of Dennis launching a car magazine in India. From editorial and commercial perspectives, if you launched a new car magazine in India today, would it be a digital-only publication? If not, why not?
Dennis certainly plan to launch a succession of brands in India and I can tell you that we are working on a product right now that will launch in the final quarter of this year [Dennis is not ready to announce it to the public]. Though it will not be a car magazine. If we were to launch a motoring title, I think there are opportunities in both print and online. The task as always with any launch is to ensure that our content and product positioning are spot on regardless of the platform.

Do you understand and agree with the Indian government’s desire to maintain a 26 per cent restriction on Foreign Direct Investment in news and current affairs media?
As publishers of Sport Illustrated India, KnowYourMobile.in and ITPRO.in, Dennis Media Transasia is not affected by the 26 per cent restriction and indeed Dennis is investing more in its Indian business.

In general I think foreign investment will continue to benefit the Indian media industry and the consumer regardless of which sector.

From your base in India, do you think the Coalition government in UK is doing enough to promote British businesses (incl. media) in India?
At a time when many UK businesses are suffering, facilitating oversees expansion ought to be a high priority. India is an excellent place for the government to focus its efforts and if they choose to ignore it I believe they will be missing an opportunity.
I wouldn’t anticipate the media industry being high on the list of priorities though. There are probably bigger opportunities in India to create jobs in the UK and this is primarily what the government are interested in.

Is India good place to be for a young media professional from Britain?
For me it’s absolutely the right place to be because the opportunity to launch brands and grow the business in India is so huge and presents such a unique challenge.

In Britain a lot of young media professionals will be working in areas that are in decline or where growth is slow. The same areas in India are today in explosive growth. There is so much left to be written here and I am excited to be in India with a company I love, experiencing the change.

Interview conducted by Hamant Verma for BizAsia.co.uk

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