We will get into electronic media, says RPSG chairman Sanjiv Goenka

We will grow with the right brand, the right product, and at the right time. We have aspirations of getting into the lifestyle space as well,” says Sanjiv Goenka
RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) Group has signed an agreement with Fortune Media Group to publish the Fortune magazine in India. 

The Indian edition was launched in 2010 under a licensed partnership with the ABP Group that ended this year. RPSG Chairman SANJIV GOENKA tells Ishita Ayan Dutt they have ambitious plans for Fortune and that it’s just a part of the group’s larger plans in media space. Edited excerpts:

What prompts you to invest in a magazine, especially in the middle of a pandemic?

The pandemic is not going to last forever. I do believe Open. It’s been 10 years since we launched Open and it has made a mark for itself. 

With Fortune US and RPSG. This is not just for print, but for digital as well. We have ambitious plans for Fortune, which we will announce soon. 

What are these plans?

We need to validate those plans with a team before we can go public. This will probably be in four to six weeks.

Can you elaborate on the digital plan?

Open, too, will launch a digital version. We are also on the verge of closing an acquisition deal in the digital media space. That could happen in July, or maybe next week. We have aspirations of getting into the lifestyle space as well.

Is the digital acquisition in the news space?

It is imminent, and yes, it is in the news space. 

Do you think there is a shift towards digital, especially in the wake of the pandemic?

Digital will be a crucial arm of the media. I am not sure whether it will be at the cost of print, but it will acquire importance. It is definitely being consumed. 

In times of the pandemic, it has become even more imperative. We will have a major digital presence. The acquisition will happen first, but a significant plan is also being put in place by a team. We have made some senior-level recruitments.   

What will the RPSG media portfolio look like?

The portfolio will have general interest — Open; business, which will be Fortune; lifestyle, which will get announced later this year. And digital will cover all three.

But you were interested in acquiring television channels and newspapers. What happened to those plans?

I am still interested. I have always said that I will grow my media business and these are steps in that direction. Eventually, we will get into the electronic media as well. 

Is Open profitable?

In profit before tax terms, no. But close enough. I don’t know which media is making money right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not successful.

How many acquisitions are you looking at this year in the media space?

Within July, we are looking at two, including Fortune. 

How hands-on are you with your media arms?

If you mean editorial, I am not.  

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel