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News industry experts look back at one year of demonetisation

It has been one year since the Modi Government introduced its demonetisation drive in India. The policy decision taken to curb black money in the society and also fast track the country’s move to digital payments is most remembered for the haunting images of people standing in long queues outside banks and ATMs in search of elusive cash. Overnight, 86 per cent of the country’s currency, especially 500 and 1,000 denomination notes was rendered invalid.  

We at Adgully have been following up with industry stalwarts on the impact of the demonetisation drive across media, marketing and advertising. Print, broadcast, radio and digital players have reminisced about how the initial days after demonetisation were, analysed the short term and long term impact, how they coped with the challenges that cropped up and what the industry did to tide over the impact of demonetisation.  

Adgully spoke to a few news broadcasters to know more about the impact of demonetisation on the overall economy as well as on the news broadcast front… 

Vikas Kahanchandani
Vikas Kahanchandani
Vikas Kahanchandani, CEO, Republic TV, pointed out that demonetisation had an impact on advertising over the last two financial quarters of 2016. He added, “The revenue for broadcast business came back on track from the first quarter of FY2017-18. Sectors like FMCG, Consumer Goods, Auto, Banking & BFSI, Real Estate, Jewellery, etc., were impacted on account of demonetisation. The advertisers on national channels saw normalisation faster than some regional genres like Tamil and Kannada.” 

He further noted that while the spends started to normalise in the first quarter of FY20 17-18, implementation of GST at the beginning of the second quarter had its own impact on supply chains which, in turn, impacted ad spends. At the same time, he said that the Diwali spends have been good and the market is showing positive signs across sectors. 

Varun Kohli
Varun Kohli
According to Varun Kohli, CEO, iTV Network - India News & News X, news channel didn’t see much effect of demonetisation. Initially, during demonetisation the market was slow, but it eventually picked up. During demonetisaton, people didn’t move towards entertainment but stuck to news channels because news comes at a relatively good price. 



 Joy Chakraborthy
Joy Chakraborthy
Along similar lines, Joy Chakraborthy, President, TV18 - Revenue & CEO Forbes, observed that when demonetisation was announced last year, it led to a sudden steep slowdown of business almost across all categories. He further said, “Everyone had become very cautious, getting into a wait-and-watch mode. Demonetisation is something that was never experienced before, so this reaction was but natural. However, the so-called aftereffects of demonetisation didn’t last beyond a period of 3-4 months. This is evident in the way advertising came back to business, despite a sluggish Q4. However, the post-Budget build-up led to a brilliant Q1 this fiscal. Broadcasters across all genres have done well.” 

“Everyone had a tough Q4 FY2016-17, but Q1 of FY2017-18 picked up on the back of the Union Budget, before GST came in July, when things were hit again. So, one needs to really wait and watch how the new taxation system really pans out, with several changes being introduced since its implementation four months back,” Chakraborthy remarked.


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