A Closer Look at the BRIC Countries: India

July 16, 2010

by Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media, Business Wire New York

BRIC Country FlagsBrazil, Russia, India and China, collectively referred to as the “BRIC” countries, are widely seen as the pistons powering the 21st century global economy.

Previously, we’ve profiled Business Wire’s powerful partnerships in Brazil and Russia, key markets where our unique strategic relationships provide Business Wire members with privileged access to the financial, government, corporate and media sectors. Agencia Estado in Brazil and Interfax in Russia are the most prominent business and financial news services in their respective markets, whose influence extends far beyond the investment industry.

This month’s spotlight is cast on India, whose economic growth in the past quarter-century has been nothing short of explosive. It is clearly a market that is on everyone’s ‘short-list’ in terms of potential  business development opportunities. Creating a brand identity and reaching business decision-makers in India has become a top priority for companies seeking to stake a claim in today’s Southeast Asia gold rush.

Once again, Business Wire has captured the high ground by offering the most comprehensive distribution platform available.

Business Wire India [BWI], a licensed affiliate with offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, has established itself as the country’s leading corporate news service. Many of India’s best-known multinational companies are clients, using BWI for both their domestic and international distribution needs.

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Business Wire International: India

April 20, 2009

Today we continue our series of posts from colleagues outside the US with a look at our operations in India, from Archana Kachru at Business Wire India, a licensed affiliate. Previous entries in this series are available from London, Frankfurt, Paris, China and Japan.

The Rise of Social Media in India

Amongst the mayhem that recession has brought, the communications industry is witnessing an emerging trend in the Indian corporate sector. With constrained budgets, PR professionals are ready (or forced) to look at non-conventional and inexpensive modes of increasing brand visibility and recall. The communications teams in India at large are now more open to using online/social media as a possible way to reach out to target audiences effectively.

With the entry of online/social media the rules of the game are gradually changing; the masses have evolved and so has the medium. And this time around the epicenter of this media is not editorial desk, not the advertiser, but the consumer himself.  On the other hand, corporates are curious but skeptical about the New Media. As of now, it largely remains an unexplored territory for business brands, with perceivably unstructured format.

What scares them most is the fact that each news item that gets floated in this universe can be commented upon without any editorial gatekeeping. The larger picture for consumers, investors and the general public, however, outlines greater transparency and the power of accountability.

Over the past few years, the online media space has become exciting and has gained some momentum in India. This has largely been limited to social issues. Any event which has affected the nation at large has had a social media movement supporting it. From the Mumbai terror attacks, the 26/11 episode, to outcry over Hindu fanatics, social media has successfully engaged the audiences across the various segments to highlight the national sentiments. More recently, political parties in India have joined the league and have given social media a decent share in the media budget. Online and social networking platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, and YouTube have been used to engage their audiences for the forthcoming general elections.

There is no single process or formula to effectively use social media for public relations efforts. What may have worked for a particular product today may not work for another product tomorrow. While several organizations realize this and are totally avoiding the social /online media route due to lack of knowledge of the medium, a few of the companies are currently trying to play safe till they actually understand it. They are for now just letting their feet into the water by going the content marketing route. Conversational marketing may be the next step but does not seem to be very near in India.

The biggest beneficiaries of any change are the products and services which either have a futuristic outlook or have managed to successfully reinvent themselves in changing times.  As far as newswires in India (such as Business Wire India) are concerned, the dynamics may change at our end too.

The market in India is still in its nascent stages but is rapidly evolving. In the coming times, the newswires will probably be much higher on the checklist for a communications plan. However, once social media assumes a greater importance, as everyone presumes it would, the focus of the PR / communications plan will change from “print media generated coverage” to “real time content on online media” and later to “social media generated conversations”. The change from first to second phase is already in place and from second to third phase may not be too far off. This shift from a mass-medium lead communications to a micro-medium lead communications will probably change the way we define Public Relations and Corporate Communications function. We may then need to reinvent ourselves to suit the changing needs of the market.

Business Wire India plans to be ready for the change.             

Archana Kachru

Business Wire India


Business Wire International: You’re Opening an Office in China Now?

April 3, 2009

Today we continue our series of posts from colleagues outside the US with a look at our operations in China, from Kevin Chiew, Director, Asian Business Development. Previous entries in this series are available from London, Frankfurt and Paris.

This month marks my five year anniversary at Business Wire, and when I was offered the job to head up business development in Asia I was told two things. The first was that I would never be bored, and the second that was my job description was whatever I wanted it to be, as long as it improved the business. No truer words have been said to me, especially in 2009, as we embark on expanding our sales presence in China with our Business Wire licensed affiliate, Interfax China.

In the last five years Business Wire has pursued a multilevel approach to distribution in the Asia region, at the top using the networks of AP and AFP for region-wide distribution — just about every major media organisation in Asia subscribes to either one or both of these feeds. Then, on a country level, we’ve worked with country distribution partners to get country-by-country blanket coverage. Finally, our own NX technology and PressPass services have provided vertical market coverage. We have developed a distribution network that is second to none and which is continually evolving, improving and expanding.

We have been expanding our sales network in the region as well, with offices in Tokyo and Sydney, and sales channels in India (a licensed affiliate), Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and now China (a licensed affiliate).

Business Wire appointed Interfax China as a licensed affiliate of Business Wire, and began operations this month. When we reviewed the China market, it quickly became evident that we needed a strong local partner, who understood the market and had operated there successfully. Interfax China has been operating in China since 1998, and they are the largest commercial foreign news service in China. They understand the local market and have good relationships both in the government and in the business community. Our relationship with Interfax China began two years ago, when they began to disseminate Business Wire press releases into the China market as part of their news service. Interfax China’s network disseminates to more than 9,000 journalists, 600 newspapers, 3,000 magazines and trade publications 300 websites, with guaranteed postings to more than 40 websites for every release.

With such an overwhelming presence, it became obvious that Business Wire and Interfax China would make a powerful force in China. Combining the local support of Interfax China with the global network of Business Wire, as a licensed affiliate, Interfax China would be able to offer the same services and support that any Business Wire office would be able to supply.

But I digress. The title of this piece is, “You’re Opening an Office in China NOW?”

Back in early 2008, when we began to study China, opening offices there was a slam dunk; any business selling anything could justify opening up in China. In 2009, it is a totally different story. The world economy is looking like a train wreck and companies are closing offices, not opening them. So why did we continue to open up in China, when so many others have backed away?

In a word: PERSPECTIVE, which the Oxford dictionary defines as “the understanding of the relative importance of things.”

Despite the world economic gloom you can read in any newspaper in the world at the moment, the fundamentals of doing business in China remain the same:

  • It is the third largest economy in the world, rapidly challenging Japan and even the USA in size.
  • Even the revised growth forecast of the World Bank predicts economic growth of 6.5% in 2009, which would be enviable in any other economy.
  • It has a population of 1.3 Billion people with a growing, educated middle class.
  • It has a strong domestic market, which will be supported by the government stimulus package of some $586 billion dollars.
  • It has foreign exchange reserves of $1.95 trillion, which is predicted to rise to $2.5 trillion by 2010, which means it has a strong buffer against economic down turns.

Although the USA subprime mortgage collapse may have helped lead to the global economic recession, the recovery may well be led by Chinese consumers and investors. The Asian Development Bank, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and World Bank all predict economic growth to in China for 2010 of some 7.5% to 8.5%.

So as my grandfather, who lived through the last Great Depression and beyond, used to say, “It was a great time to make some money.” If your business wants to catch the next wave of the economic boom, now is the time to establish your business in China.

Business Wire is in for the long haul, as is its affiliate Interfax China. Our PERSPECTIVE is not the next 12 months, but the next 12 years and beyond. When our clients want help on their China strategy, we will be on the ground for them, as we will be on the ground for our China-based clients looking to expand into the rest of the world.

Business Wire is in China — why aren’t you?

Kevin Chiew

Director, Asia Business Development, Business Wire


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