The Indian Media Business

Published in Books & Authors (Daily Dawn) on August 27, 2006 – Original Link
By Vanita Kohli-Khandekar
Response/Sage Publications, B-42, Panchsheel Enclave,
Post Box 4109, New Delhi-110017, India
Tel: 91-11-2649 1290-7
ISBN 0-7619-3469-3
264pp. Indian Rs395

The Indian Media Business seeks to provide a basic understanding of how the Indian media functions. It covers the business history, dynamics, regulation, accounting, taxation norms and the broad structure of each of the segments of Indian media, let it be print, television, films, music, radio, Internet or telecom. The book contains basic numbers, names of players and their relative positions in the Indian media market and also traces the evolution of the industry. The idea is to provide a sort of reference/perspective on the business to students, bankers, advertisers, consultants, analysts, etc., who are unfamiliar with it.

These days with an increase in media professionals and the popularity of media, such a book is nothing short of being a necessity. Media is revolutionising all around the world. It is bursting with jobs and affecting the economy in a massive way, especially in the case of India. However, one has to figure out exactly what has been happening so far and what has led to its progress. The information provided by the author is verified by statistics, graphs and tables. The book has been divided according to various types of communication mediums. One learns about the important and/or the big names of the industry, its history and seemingly trivial facts, for example, the fact that the people from the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) background were initially hired by the press. By knowing all this, we are able to better analyse the industry and understand the reason behind the popularity or the failure or downfall of a certain something, someone or some venture.

The inclusion of the chapters on Internet and telecom is also a good idea since these fields are experiencing rapid expansion and are “still a long way from reaching their saturation point, if it does exist,” says Vanita, about the Internet. “The fact remains that world over the medium is seeing a resurgence based on investor confidence and rising consumption numbers. Since the Internet took off in India roughly along with the rest of the world, chances are that we will catch up on the numbers pretty soon.”

If anyone wants a clear picture of the Indian media, this is the ideal book to read. However, the chapters could have been made more interesting by the inclusion of anecdotes etc. Moreover, there’s a lot more that needs to be written about media, since it is an indispensable part of most people’s lives these days. The next, predictable step for this genre/subject will probably be to have books, dedicated to each medium specifically and a more in-depth study of techniques as well, with the foreseen progress in technology.

It is also expected and hoped that with the sudden boom in the Pakistani media industry, someday someone inspired by this book will write an equally detailed account about the past, present and future of the Pakistani press, cinema, television, music and so on. With the introduction of media courses in various Pakistani universities, such a book will prove to be extremely beneficial.
— Ayesha Hoda


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