A fast growing India has the Financial Times very interested. Rob Grimshaw, MD, FT.com, said in an exclusive Q&A with Hindustan Times that FT.com, Financial Times’ online edition, can establish itself faster here, since there are fewer restrictions on online publishing and broadband and 3G are going to throw up big online and digital opportunities too.
Since the print media is still growing in India, why is Financial Times making its first independent India moves with FT.com?
Financial Times has a multi-channel strategy. While in markets such as India, print is still growing, reading habits are evolving. The internet is growing and 3G is coming, making online and digital content a huge opportunity. Things have changed exponentially over time. As an organisation, we are betting on that long-term trend.
How are you so sure that Indian readers will respond to FT.com?
We have the highest number of registered users from India, among the Asian markets. Indian subscribers have more than doubled over the last 12 months. Our core target audience being the top business decision makers, we stand to be relevant in India too, which is gaining recognition as an important player on the world stage. A lot of people know us as an authoritative, trusted voice about global business.
What, specifically, are you doing in this market to grow your readership?
We now have a dedicated India homepage and our content is edited in India to make sense in this market. We are promoting our headlines and content via sampling drives and our partners such as rediff.com, MSN India, Value Research, Samachar, Gaboli, Srisim and the India Art Summit.
Do online subscription newspapers work?
As of October, we have 189,000 subscribers. Since our subscriber base is clearly defined as the top end business decision maker, advertising can also be more sharply targeted, for which we can charge a premium.