India presents ripe opportunity for b-to-b media companies

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Naples, Fla.—There is a growing need for specialized business information in India that is not being met, said Chandu Nair, president-director of Scope e-Knowledge Center, a global knowledge services company based in India, Tuesday at American Business Media’s Spring Meeting.

“ABM members have a big role to play” in developing business content in India, said Nair, who spoke at a seminar on global revenue. “The industry is poised for growth.”

There are several reasons India presents a ripe opportunity for b-to-b media companies. These include the fact that English is the predominant language in many parts of the country. “With business publications in India you’re essentially talking about English,” Nair said, adding that 34% of all print media in India is published in English.

Another factor: India loosened its media regulations in 2004, Nair said, to allow business publishers to own 100% of subsidiaries that are set up to publish media products there. Condé Nast, for one, has set up a wholly owned subsidiary in India, while Reed Business Information and London-based Haymarket Publishing have opted to develop joint ventures to penetrate Indian markets.

India also has 600 million people under age 25. “A lot of young people have aspirations that are not being fulfilled,” Nair said. “If you come into the market early enough you really have something to look forward to.”

Indeed, patience is required to go-to-market in India because it may take U.S. publishers up to eight years to break even, Nair said.

Some of the markets in demand in India right now include biotechnology, health care, hospitality, infrastructure and real estate. “There are several untapped areas,” Nair said.

—Matthew Schwartz

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