Too early to say we will go back to our normal growth numbers: Debraj Tripathy

We are almost a month and a half into 2018, and some of the initial high-spirited expectations for the year are beginning to wear off. 

For Debraj Tripathy, MD, Mediacom, while we are all gung ho about 2018, he feels that it is probably too early to say that things would be okay and we would go back to our normal growth numbers. “Things will be on a slope for some time, but in the longer stretch the slow growth will improve. We still haven’t seen the big boom happening, where the industry used to be or where we were expected to go,” he noted. 

According to him, there is an apprehension in the clients’ minds across the industries – from FMCG to IT, from Real Estate to E-commerce, etc. “They are all spending differently and not so much, except for the Auto industry, which is very strange. Their reasons might be slightly different for not spending as much,” Tripathy added. 

He further pointed out that the kind of growth that the industry is used to seeing, is now cornered to large industries like FMCG. However, if that doesn’t revive, we will not see as much growth as we used to because steady growth happens to the established categories, so FMCG has to bounce back, he stressed. 

While commenting on the slowdown in the advertising industry in India in 2017, Tripathy remarked that it started much after the November 2016 demonetisation, in March-April 2017, to be precise, when everyone was expecting to come back with a bang. But soon after, GST happened. “I think GST is good in the long run, but in the short run it has been a dampener. So, I think that these two things slowed down the ad industry during 2017. I don’t think that these have altered the industry structurally, just slowed things down,” he noted. 

He further said, “The entire process of GST is still streamlining. Of course, the sales are getting affected, but I don’t think any client is saying that GST is wrong in the long run. It is going to be good, but it’s only slowing down the industry for some more months, say till April or June of 2018.” 

Speaking on the festive season last year, Tripathy felt that while it was slow, the festive season was not a complete washout.

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