Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Group, has had a difficult year. GST and demonetisation severely impacted the company's bottom-line growth. However, Purohit, known for finding opportunities in challenges, did exactly that.
She made sure to focus on early-stage businesses such as outdoor and digital to turn them around. Outdoor, says Purohit, is usually the last thing that advertisers spend on when they tighten their purse. "But advertisers weren't looking at other media, too, so the idea was to get the outdoor team to push advertisers to try out hoardings. We increased the number of pitches that we were making to clients. We also built a tool where they could monitor hoardings online. This is how we gave a scientific analysis to the clients about hoardings," says Purohit.
This, indeed, paid off as the Jagran Group's outdoor business registered a 22 per cent top-line growth, while its traditional business (Dainik Jagran newspaper) was flat. The group's digital business grew over 20 per cent, and Purohit is confident that it would break even this year. Total income rose marginally to Rs2,350 crore in FY2018.
The company, under her leadership, revamped the digital business by using artificial intelligence and data mining tools. "We realised that merely monitoring page views wasn't good enough and it wasn't an attractive value proposition for our advertisers to invest on us. We monitored the stories that were being read and then recreated fresh content," she explains.