This fort­night...

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL - Ash­wini Gan­gal ash­wini.gan­gal@afaqs.com

Our Cover Story this fort­night is ex­tremely spe­cial. While it may look like a reg­u­lar ‘awards story,’ it stands for some­thing much, much big­ger. First of all, this was the first time web­sites in English and In­dian lan­guages were fe­lic­i­tated for their work and ini­tia­tives; they were judged on a spec­trum of pa­ram­e­ters such as con­tent, brand part­ner­ships and over­all user ex­pe­ri­ence.

In In­dia, web pub­lish­ing has been around for over two decades. If that num­ber seems a touch too large, and if web pub­lish­ing feels like a much younger in­dus­try, don’t fret. That’s a cog­ni­tive er­ror we’re mak­ing, col­lec­tively. We’re mak­ing it be­cause the busi­ness of on­line pub­lish­ing is chang­ing ev­ery day. Ex­ist­ing play­ers are still ex­per­i­ment­ing and newer ones, some highly spe­cialised, are mush­room­ing con­stantly. All of them grap­ple with sim­i­lar is­sues: What’s bet­ter, mo­bile site or app? How does fake news af­fect my busi­ness? Are these al­go­rithms out to get me? Is video ad­ver­tis­ing worth it?

Now, on to my favourite part: at the Digipub Awards, which, mind you, saw the par­tic­i­pa­tion of al­most ev­ery ma­jor pub­lish­ing group and web­site out there, the brand that swept the show, is a tod­dler in the uni­verse of web pub­lish­ing - The Quint. The news plat­form won five Golds, two Sil­vers and the Web­site of the Year (English) ti­tle.

This re­minds me of a Cover Story we pub­lished last June. It was an in­ter­view with Raghav Bahl, who runs The Quint along with his wife and busi­ness part­ner Ritu Ka­pur. He said, at the time, about his de­ci­sion to jump into the world of on­line news pub­lish­ing, “I’m ready to pump in what­ever it takes to be suc­cess­ful. We’re con­fi­dent and am­bi­tious and want to grow fast and big in our sec­ond in­nings... we still love be­ing in the me­dia busi­ness... also, there was a point to prove to the world…” He seems to be do­ing just fine, I’ll say.

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