We caught up with Timothy Forbes, chairman, Forbes Digital on his recent trip to India for the Forbes India Leadership Awards 2011.
In an exclusive chat, Forbes shares the publication’s two-year journey in India and talks about their digital forays and informs that Forbesindia.com is also on their radar and will be launched soon.
Watch the second part of the interview here:
“The digital side of our business has been an important component of the business for quite a long time now. We launched Forbes.com in early 1997, and it has been a profitable growth area beginning from early 2003. I think the most important dimension that has changed in the west over the past few years in digital is social media. We are trying to alter how we produce and distribute content to more fully embrace social media concepts and that’s what we are doing. And, in terms of other markets, we have Forbesrussia.com, Forbespoland.com, Forbeschina.com and India will be next. Let’s see how that develops in this market,” he explained.
Talking about the growth of digital revenues for other markets, Forbes said, “In the US, digital is now approximately half of the total revenues. So, it is a very material source of the business. And, on a structural basis, we anticipate that digital revenues will surpass print revenues in due course because of the secular growth.”
On the growth areas for Forbes in India, Forbes believes that events have significant growth opportunities in the Indian market as they do internationally. “We do handle a Global CEO event that is attended by international CEOs. This year, a month ago, we had that event in Kuala Lumpur, next year it will be in Dubai and we will see where it will be held after that. So, I think events have significant opportunities, and plus there will be additional opportunities to expand our television presence. Right now we have a weekly show in India and let’s see where it goes from there,” he added.
Sharing his thoughts on developing a magazine brand, Forbes pointed out that certainly one of the ways forward for magazines and brands is to conceive of themselves as not just a specific product as a magazine or a product or a website, but as a brand and then you need to create products that are specific to different platforms that can create extensions to new audiences.